I don’t want to say that Opryland could exist anywhere, because they have gone to great pains to country-fy and Nashville-it-up. But seeing people who have traveled from across the world to Nashville riding a boat attraction in an indoor hotel lobby bums me out—and I typically love kitschy stuff like that. I worry that the people who come to Nashville to visit the Opry (right next door) won’t ever go into the actual city, and that would be a terrible shame. Plus, the rooms are dated, the vibe is lackluster, and the food exorbitantly priced (more than $4 per shrimp in a shrimp cocktail at Old Hickory Steakhouse is ludicrous).

And then there are the upcharges and logistics. It costs $50 extra to get rooms with atrium views, which is kind of the point of being here (the 9 acres of indoor botanical gardens and cascading waterfalls are unique and interesting). Opryland also charges overnight guests an additional $28 per day resort fee, and $27 to self park—that’s not even valet (which is $50). I simply cannot. Yes, boutiques, cafes, and specialty shops are scattered throughout, but you will need a literal map to navigate these, which they will provide you on check-in. Just promise me if you do stay here, you will take advantage of the shuttle service (see below), and come into the city as much as you can.

All that aside, there is some cool stuff, especially for kids, including the Soundwaves indoor water park. And there’s no denying that the Delta Atrium’s indoor river and waterfalls will provide a heck of a lot more entertainment than most hotels for children (though I would seriously put a trackable device on a young kid before letting them loose in there). There are bridges and pathways throughout, and the gigantic Magnolia lobby could be reminiscent of an antebellum mansion, if you squint the right way or have too many $13 beers. The Gaylord Springs Golf Links, the resort’s par-72 course, offers 18 challenging holes bordered by limestone bluffs and wetlands. Opryland also shines at the holidays, when it’s outfitted with more than 3 million lights, indoor and out, 15,000 poinsettias, 25 miles of garland and ribbon, and a 48-foot-tall Christmas tree. They also use 1.5 million pounds of real snow at Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing and 2+ million pounds of ice for the signature ICE! attraction, fashioned by 40 Chinese ice artisans, which is something to see.