Johnny and I are both lovers of the free-99 specials and keeping costs down. Especially when traveling to a large city like Nashville TN!
It adds up quickly when you have a big family traveling and we prefer to spend our money on quality food (like damn good burgers from The Pharmacy), MUST see things and items that can serve us for a long run ( like the kid’s Wave kayaks).
Outside of visiting the local Camping world, we really didn’t venture into Nashville TN the last time we were here. Johnny works for the reserves twice a year now since he was involuntarily separated. It’s a “sore’ subject but I am thankful that Johnny found a way to continue working towards his retirement.
Where We Stayed In The Nashville Area
When planning our trip to Nashville TN, we had this idea that when we first arrived we’d stay at a super chill/outdoor location. Somewhere that we could transition slowly back into just being us again, with little distractions.
MAN we hit the jackpot!
Site 23 at the Seven Points Campground on the J Percy Priest Reservoir would totally win my vote for “awesome campsite for families”! Not only were we backed up onto a lake but the playground and kids beach were right next to us.
I cooked over an open fire and we enjoyed eating outside with the sun setting over the water. Jacob lost his second tooth, he turns 5 at the end of June. We tinkered with projects on the bus, although we really didn’t do much in the 7 days we stayed we fished and the kids kayaked almost every day.
Our month long stay in the Nashville area was broken into several campgrounds. We didn’t realize how booked up the sites can get and it didn’t help that the CMAs, Memorial Day Weekend, the NFL Draft and a few other events were happening in the area this month.
Our next stop was Nashville Jellystone Park for a few days. It’s a little bit pricier than we wanted but they definitely make up for it with the number of activities and amenities. The kids enjoyed the multiple bounce houses, and carnival type games, the rec rooms, pool, ice cream shop, putt putt golf, gem mining and even the “Hey Hey” ride.
This campground is definitely geared towards families. Check out their schedules for activities or specials. We just happened to stop in on Grandparents weekend so there were a ton of activities and kids!
Our last campground was also on the J Percy Priest Reservoir. Poole Knobs is more remote but has sites that are both on the water and in the woods. We happened to book a site in the woods. It was beautiful, quiet and had absolutely no cell service. Which was nice and also hurtful to our workflows.
Visiting Downtown Nashville
For this trip, I really wanted to take the kids into town and do some “field trip” type activities. I am always looking for things to do that are on the cheaper/free end” not because we can’t spend the money but because we don’t need to spend a ton of money to have fun.
We spent an entire day in Nashville TN.
First, we stopped at the Tennessee State Museum and learned all about the history of this state. We spent nearly 2 hours exploring, learning and laughing throughout the extensive and beautiful exhibits. We explained and read as much as we could.
The museum is free to visit.
Right outside of the State Museum is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. We explored a little bit, “ohhhed and ahhhed at the monuments and continued into the Nashville Farmer’s Market for some Jamaican food.
After our bellies were full we drove over to the State Capitol to give the kids a basic understanding of government and law.
The Tennessee State Capitol is also free to visit and has guided tours Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
We got to visit the House & Senate rooms, learned about how bills & laws are evaluated/passed and we signed the governers guestbook (which will be archived and kept)!
We ended our trip into downtown Nashville TN by checking out Broadway Street, seeking out the closest murals/statues and grabbing some small bites to eat.
All in all, we spend money on food and gas and had a wonderful time exploring and learning about Tennessee!