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Holidays In Nashville: December 2012 Photo Report


The holiday season truly is the best time to visit Nashville, TN.  Back on December 10th…I did just that.  Yeah the holidays are over now and Spring is right around the corner, but why not take a look back at the festive offerings found in Nashville during this past Christmas season.  In this trip/photo report, I take a look at two popular Nashville destinations:  Rainforest Café located in Opry Mills Mall, and the world famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

After a 3-hr drive from Gatlinburg, I was arriving in Nashville right around lunchtime.  The weather was VERY cold that day; mid to lower 30′s at best, overcast, with a wind-chill of ridiculous!  But considering it was almost Christmas, the cold made the ambience all the more appropriate.  First stop would be for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants…Rainforest Café.  It had been several years since I had visited this particular Rainforest Café location, though I had been to the Downtown Disney location in Orlando back in August.  Whether you’re 9 or 89, these are truly fascinating; brilliantly-themed restaurants which are always a fun place to eat.

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Rainforest Café sign welcoming guests as they enter Nashville’s giant Opry Mills shopping mall.


A family of tigers watching us eat lunch.


Thankfully he doesn’t start throwing feces.


Staring Contest: Ready? Go!

Fun atmosphere, good food (try the Shrimp Endochette… you won’t be disappointed), great time at the Rainforest Café.  The restaurant is only a small part of the huge Opry Mills shopping mall.  Even though I would prefer to have the Opryland theme park still alive & well rather than the mall which currently sits in it’s place…the mall is quite unique nonetheless.  It also houses an Aquarium Restaurant, IMAX theater, Dave & Buster’s, Bass Pro Shop, and nearly 200 stores.

Next it was time to head over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  This giant hotel sits adjacent to the Opry Mills mall (just across the parking lot), and is a MUST see during the holidays!  Every year during this time it runs ‘A Country Christmas’, which includes millions of lights & decorations all around the property.

The hotel consists of 2,881 guestrooms, as well as gardens, waterfalls, lounges, bars, restaurants, shopping, atriums, and an indoor river with a boat ride.  There is an indoor exhibit just outside the hotel known as Ice, which runs every Nov/Dec.  Each year, Ice has a different theme to it.  For 2012, the theme was Shrek The Halls.  We did not get around to seeing the Ice exhibit, but spent several hours touring the incredible hotel, and many of the shops & atriums within.  It truly is a remarkable hotel, and hard to believe you’re indoors many times due to the size & feel of the place.

(Click on any image to see full size).


Delta River area. This section has shopping & dining with a New Orleans/French Quarter feel to it. You can also board an indoor boat ride here.


Walking into the Cascades Atrium.


Jumping fountains near the Cascades American Café and Wasabi restaurant. (Cascades Atrium).


Looking across the Cascades Atrium after dark.


Millions of Christmas lights are hung both inside & outside the hotel. Work begins in July every year to set this up.


The Crystal Gazebo which sits inside the Garden Conservatory section. This is a popular location for weddings.


Giant Christmas tree in the Delta section, overlooking the indoor river.


Outside of the hotel, looking back toward the (Magnolia) entrance.


More lights & decorations outside the hotel. I’m curious as to what the electric bill runs during this season.


And we end the photo report with this horse who waits to give passengers a carriage ride. I decided to name him Bob.

Well that pretty much wraps it up for my Nashville trip & photo report from December 10th, 2012.  Great day all around!







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