Downtown's Top Places to Relax Outdoors
Ready for some fun in the sun? Check out our list of downtown Nashville’s best parks, gardens, and green spaces with public art, play areas, and more.
As the weather heats up, we’re all ready to take in some fresh air, greenery, and fun in the sun! If you’re looking for the perfect place to stretch out in nature, you’ll find it in Downtown Music City. Check out our list of beautiful parks and green spaces that everyone can enjoy!
Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park
Opened in 1996 to commemorate Tennessee’s 200th anniversary, Bicentennial Capitol Mall's 19 acres include a number of historic and memorial features, in addition to walking paths and open areas. In the Court of 3 Stars, at the north end of the park, 50 columns house a 95-bell carillon that plays the “Tennessee Waltz” every hour. Walk the Pathway of History, on the western side, to learn about key events of our storied state and the Walkway of Counties, to the east, above time capsules from each community. Whether you visit for the landmarks or simply to enjoy the scenery, it won’t disappoint.
Towards the Capitol lies Victory Park, with memorials to our state’s presidents, a statue of WWI hero Alvin York, and a replica of the Liberty Bell. Walk or run up the curved steps to enjoy a view of Bicentennial while getting a great workout in the process!
Public Square Park
Home to numerous outdoor festivals and events, Public Square Park was once a surface parking lot. Now, its contemporary design includes a state-of-the-art greenroof, observation deck, and sitting areas. In the summer, it’s also one of the best places to beat the heat with a splash pad and wading pool for the kids.
Church Street Park
If murals are your thing, don’t miss Church Street Park, with a 3-dimensional scene built out of puzzle pieces. Over the past few years, there have been numerous discussions about developing the area further, possibly with a memorial to the first rally for women’s right to vote in a southern state, which took place on the grounds.
Walk of Fame Park
If you are interested in music history, don’t miss Walk of Fame Park with tributes to legends like Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, and Little Richard as well as modern stars like Jack White, Ben Folds, and Lady Antebellum. Don’t see your favorite artist? Just wait! New inductees, who have significantly contributed to our community’s melodic heritage, are added twice a year.
Frankie Pierce Park
Named for the barrier-breaking suffrage leader Frankie Pierce (the only African American woman to speak at the first meeting of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee and founder of the Tennessee Vocational School for Colored Girls), downtown’s newest park connects Capitol View with the Gulch Greenway. In addition to a sand volleyball court, dynamic playground, and yoga lawn, the space includes a huge area for your four-legged friends to enjoy. Check out this gem the next time you’re on the west side!
Set along the west bank, Riverfront Park is a just short walk from Lower Broadway. Developed to celebrate our city’s close connection to the Cumberland River, dating back to when settlers arrived by boat, the space includes gorgeous walking trails, sitting areas, and a recreation of Fort Nashborough you can tour for free. This week, take a morning or evening jaunt with your pup to a vibrant cafe with a distinctly European twist! A short stroll from Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater, Liberty Common is serving everything from Croque Madame ("ooh la la!") to housemade Pappardelle ("delizioso") to Nashville Hot Chicken and Waffles ("yum, ya'll"). Enjoy a cocktail or espresso on their patio for "une expérience totale" that is "très magnifique!"
One of the most recent additions to downtown, Cumberland Park has something for everyone! On the river’s east bank, you’ll find a huge play area with sand, a bouncing pad, splash pad, green maze, and tandem see-saws. The park also features a stone climbing wall and climbing nets for the more adventurous. If you’d rather relax, take a stroll through the Explorer Trail, specially designed to attract butterflies, or simply stretch out on the greenery and enjoy the skyline.