On your first day in town, follow the itinerary outlined in the one-day suggested itinerary. Today you're enjoying an antebellum plantation and a botanical garden before heading out to Music Valley for a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. Start: Belle Meade Plantation.
1. Belle Meade Plantation
Take a tour of this elegant Greek Revival home, built in 1853 on 30 tree-shaded acres. After you've traipsed through the antiques-laden formal house, saunter the grounds of this former horse farm to find the log cabin, creamery, and carriage house. A highly anticipated new restaurant, named Belle, has just opened on the premises, too. (If you're visiting around lunchtime, you may want to make a reservation beforehand.)
2. Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art
A bit farther toward the western outskirts of town, near Percy Warner Park, you'll find this mansion and museum set amid a lush, 55-acre park. If you didn't have lunch at Belle Meade, you can have it here at the cozy Pineapple Room. Then enjoy exploring the wooded walking trails, landscaped gardens, and outstanding collections of American art and decorative furnishings from around the world.
3. Opry Mills
Head to the Opryland area to get in a bit of shopping before tonight's performance. Check out the vast selection of stores while browsing for everything from books and boots to bass fishing boats.
4. Take a Break - Rainforest Cafe
Especially if you're traveling with kids, have dinner with the monkeys, elephants, and tropical birds that spring to life at the Rainforest Cafe. Sure, it's kitschy, yet somehow the Disney-esque mood of this place fits right in with all the other commercial excesses of Opryland. 353 Opry Mills Dr. tel. 615/514-3000. www.rainforestcafe.com.
5. Grand Ole Opry
This is the ultimate for country music fans. Be prepared for a patriotic, toe-tappin' time and plenty of corny jokes. It's all part of the tradition here, where big-name acts share the stage with fading stars of yesteryear and new up-and-coming talents.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.