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I'll be traveling to Nashville, Tennessee for a week in June. I

shoot primarily nature scenics, a good deal of rustic architecture

and occasionally wildlife. Along with the "regular" locations that

everyone usually knows about, I'd like suggestions on out-of-the-

way, not well traveled or well known spots. I'll appreciate any


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I grew up there and left almost three decades ago, but I've visited a few times since. For

the classic cityscape, walk over the Shelby Street bridge SE of downtown. Downtown is a

nice subject in itself. You should find interesting streetlife near the Ryman Auditorium,

outnumbered by tourists. Must-sees here are Tootsie's, Hatch Show Print and Gruhn

Guitars, but they're no secrets. For animals, there's a great zoo. It's very spacious, so bring

a long lens. For nature photography, I'd drive an hour or two (or more) east to higher

terrain. The Middle Tennessee forests near Nashville are very green, dark and dense, but

they lack the cliff exposures, flowers and more diverse flora of the Cumberland Plateau.

This is a less-famous region than the Smokies, about half the altitude and half the drive.

We Westerners would call it a mesa, but it's covered with trees and bordered with

waterfalls. Fall Creek Falls State Park has some of the highest waterfalls in the eastern US.

It's one of the most biologically diverse areas in the US, too. Tennessee is still full of

rustic architecture, just drive out of town in any direction. There are caves in East

Tennesse. An excellent recreational railroad ride is the Tennessee Central RR, running a

fine streamliner out of Nashville on many weekends. And if you just gotta go Greek,

Nashville's Parthenon looks in much better shape than Athens' original. Enjoy yourself, and

pay attention to the friendliness of the people and the excellence of the food. That beats

the scenery, in my book.


Let me know if you need m ore details or ideas.

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I lived in Nashville for seven years; leaving in 2001 to live, and work, in Yosemite Valley. Here are a few suggestions...


The Opryland Hotel off Briley PKWY. (I think they changed the name). There are three indoor "gardens" of several acres each. LOTS of plants, flowers, etc to photograph. A "must see" spot.


In, and around, Bellevue (a suburb of Nashville) there are several parks that are very photo worthy. A simple search of the 'net will give you directions.


The Nashville zoo is actually not too bad of a spot either... its not great... but if you like that kind of thing, then its worth stopping by.


The downtown area isn't THAT great for nature photography; although, there are isolated spts and plots of flowers. But there ARE good photo ops in the area. Its, perhaps, worth a drive through.


Enjoy... by the way, if you like Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers, stop by "Fat Mo's".



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A few years ago I was planning a cross-country trip on I40 and was planning on stopping at The Hermitage - Andrew Jackson's family estate. Don't know much about it, but it sounded pretty interesting. I think it's about an hour East of Nashville. Also, there's the replica of the Parthanon in Nashville, I think. I'm sure the original is much better, although the one in Nashville doesn't have scaffolding all over it right now.
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