Hotel Manager Bradley Russell Reveals His Hidden Gems of Nashville

Nashville, USA

Centrally located in the lively SoBro neighbourhood in the heart of downtown Nashville, Four Seasons Hotel Nashville is just steps away from some of Music City’s most iconic performance venues, museums, dining destinations and more. But for those hoping for a reprieve from the excitement of the dynamic urban core, the city boasts a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, scenic settings and charming hidden gems worth exploring. Hotel Manager Bradley Russell shares his top five outings for those hoping to see another side of Nashville.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area

Just across the Cumberland River in East Nashville, Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area is an idyllic spot to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving the city limits. One of five Natural Area Parks within Nashville Metro Parks, the 960-acre (390 hectare) park offers more than five miles (eight kilometres) of paved trails and more than five miles (eight kilometres) of primitive trails, along with bottomland hardwood forests, open fields, wetlands, and streams. Nestled along the banks of the Cumberland River, with three miles (nearly five kilometres) of waterfront access, Shelby Bottoms is a favourite of active locals and tourists alike.

“As a family, we love to hike, bike and play frisbee golf at Shelby Bottoms,” says Bradley. “It’s also the perfect spot to go fishing, a pastime I’ve enjoyed since my childhood in Memphis, Tennessee.”

Five Points

In the centre of the historic East Nashville neighbourhood, Five Points is a bustling intersection lined with locally owned shops, cafés and restaurants. The eclectic district is the perfect place to while away the afternoon and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this trendy enclave.

“I love strolling through the local shops, which offer everything from antiques and books to clothing and accessories,” says Bradley. “There are tons of great spots to grab a coffee or a cocktail, and no trip to the area would be complete without a slice of pizza from Five Points Pizza, one of the best in the state.”

Musicians Corner at Centennial Park

There’s no shortage of live music to enjoy in Nashville, but those looking to take in the sounds of live performances in spectacular surroundings needn't look further than Musicians Corner at Centennial Park. This annual, family-friendly, free-of-charge music festival is held every spring and fall in the shadow of The Parthenon in Nashville’s 132-acre (53 hectare) Centennial Park. Since its founding in 2010, Musicians Corner has showcased a diverse blend of artists and acts across genres, ranging from promising up-and-comers to musical legends such as Emmylou Harris, Chris Stapleton and Vince Gill.

“Musicians Corner is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Nashville,” says Bradley. “We love to picnic together as a family when we go, and every time, we discover a new band or artist that we fall in love with.”

East Nashville Beer Works

Tennessee has long been known for its whiskey, but Nashville is quickly earning a reputation for its beer. Local breweries can be found in every corner of the city, but Bradley and his wife, Katy, regularly frequent the taproom and beer garden at East Nashville Beer Works.

“ENBW is a great spot to unwind after a long day and enjoy some incredible local brews,” says Bradley. “Plus, we love supporting local businesses in our community of East Nashville.”

The brewery even includes a playground for those wishing to bring along their families, and they regularly host watch parties for large sporting events.

Nashville Zoo

Just six miles (9.6 kilometres) from Four Seasons Hotel Nashville, the Nashville Zoo is one of the city’s top tourist destinations, welcoming more than one million visitors each year. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Nashville Zoo is internationally recognized for its world-class exhibit design and its leading conservation programs.

In addition to the zoo’s regular programming, which is great for children and adults alike, the 188-acre (76 hectre) park hosts backstage tours, special after-hours events, and adults-only food and wine festivals.

“We are in awe of the Nashville Zoo,” says Bradley. “Our daughter, Emma, absolutely loves it, and my wife and I have fun every time we go. This is a great family outing, but it’s not just for kids!”