The Opryland Hotel has long been a favorite of ours both for their amazing Christmas light displays and for the general wonder one feels when wandering through the gardens, or taking the boat ride through the Delta. When we heard they were opening an indoor/outdoor waterpark, we were delighted and this past week we finally got to take a staycation and check it out! SoundWaves made a huge splash in our opinion!
To access the waterpark you either have to book a room night and choose the waterpark package, OR you can rent out a party room that includes wristbands. We took advantage of the Davidson County Resident discount and spend the night so we could have two days of water fun! (They also have a TN resident package discount if. you live elsewhere in the state.). We timed our adventure well as kiddos here are already back in school but the summer weather is still going strong. The hotel and park were both virtually empty [one lifeguard said they had only sold 158 passes for the days we were there!] and we felt totally comfortable with the COVID measures in place in the hotel - all the staff were masked and occupancy was so low we barely saw any other guests and it was easy to social distance.
The park itself is immaculately clean, well-laid out and boasts incredible attractions like a wave pool, tons of water slides, a Flowrider surfing/knee board simulator, lazy river and lots of splash pad areas for littles. Stretchy wristbands make it simple to access the park and never loose your ticket and there are lockers and cabanas available to rent to keep your valuables safe if you don't want to leave them in the room.
Our favorite attractions were the "Record Launch" centrifuge tube slide, and the Up Tempo Rapids River. We highly recommend wearing a life jacket in the Rapids so you can pick your feet up and just float along! We probably spent half our time there just floating this thing in circles as our daughter loved it so much! They also have an adults only area with an infinity pool and other relaxing spaces that we didn't get to check out on this trip.
Overall, we give this 5 out of 5 stars and while we definitely want you to stay at The Carriage House while you're in town, you might just want to add a night to your trip to make some waves before heading home!
A distance panorama of the wave pool. They play fun music videos on that huge screen!
The park is so massive that it's impossible to get a photo of the whole thing - but this is the outdoor slide complex with the splashpad. The building to the left is the indoor part of the park including enclosed slides that are open year round, and the giant wave pool is behind me!
We've had a fun week of press around here so we decided to throw our hat in the ring for the Nashville Scene's "Best Of Nashville" awards this year. Voting opened today and runs through sept 7!
You can vote HERE and be sure to read the guidelines below to nominate us for "Best Inn/Bed-and-Breakfast"!
🏠 choose the “Retail & Services” category
🏠 choose “Best Inn/Bed-and-Breakfast”
🏠 write in “The 12 South Carriage House (Explore 12 South from a Beautiful Carriage House)”
🌟 NOTE: You have to vote in at least 20 categories for your vote to count, so we thought we'd help you out by sharing some of our friends and local favorites that you can vote for in other categories as well! 🌟
At roughly 12:45 this morning a tornado touched down in Nashville, TN and brought mass destruction to so many neighborhoods primarily Germantown, East Nashville, and then on to the Mt. Juliet area just east of town. As I write this, the death toll is listed at 25 people with many, many more that have lost their homes, property, electricity, etc. I woke up this morning to over 100 text messages from friends checking on our family, group texts of friends checking on each other, sharing reports, etc.
It's been a sad, emotional day here. The images of destruction and the stories of those who have lost so much are staggering and hard to process. But the images and stories of strangers and neighbors pulling together and serving one another have been equally powerful in a positive way. Today has shown me that people can be kind, helpful and selfless.
All of you who have checked in with us today have wanted to know two things:
1) Are you ok? and 2) How can you help?
So I wanted to answer both of those questions here.
Yes! We are ok. We are located in the 12 South Neighborhood and the path of the tornado went a couple of miles North and then East of us. There was no property damage in our neighborhood from the storms and the iconic locations like Burger Up, Draper James, Frothy Monkey and the "I Believe In Nashville" mural are all still alive and well (although the East Nashville Burger Up location and Nashville mural were damaged.)
For those of you looking to help out, there are many ways that you can do that, but I've listed a few key options below.
HELP OUR FRIEND TANNER & HIS ROOMMATE TY
These two amazing guys both work for an incredible ministry and the house they rent was completely destroyed with them inside it last night. They are amazingly unharmed, but they didn't have renters insurance and have lost all their belongings. This gofundme account will help them get back on their feet. Donate by clicking HERE
HELP ERIC PETERS AND HIS FAMILY
Eric is an incredible artist and he and his wife and two kiddos lost their home in the storms last night. He also lost his studio and the inventory of a rare book business that he runs. You can help support him and his family by clicking HERE
SIGN UP AS A VOLUNTEER
If you'd like to sign up as a Disaster Relief Volunteer, register with Hands On Nashville by clicking HERE
PROVIDE FOOD FOR THOSE IN NEED
If you would like to provide food for those in need, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is a great organization who will steward your gifts well. It has been noted that they are particularly in need of bottled water at the moment. You can get info on how to give including the address of their distribution center where you can bring food items by clicking on their website HERE
MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION
The Community Foundation of Middle TN has activated their Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund and is a great place to donate funds. You can do so by clicking HERE
GIVE MATERIAL ITEMS TO THOSE IN NEED
If you prefer to give items, the Community Resource Center is currently accepting personal hygiene items, bleach, trash bags, gloves, box cutters, baby food & formula, baby and toddler clothes, and batteries. These items can be dropped off at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210.
In May of 2010, Nashville experienced a devastating flood that crippled the city, but we linked arms and rose from the waters a stronger, kinder and united city. And I know it will be true as we overcome this storm as well. We are grateful for your thoughts, prayers and donations for all those affected, and we look forward to hosting you next time your travels bring you to Music City.
UPDATE AS OF 3/21/2021: Some of the businesses/addresses/murals have changed since this post was written. For the most-up-to-date info on public art in the neighborhood,
please visit our new 12 South Murals "Public Art Crawl" page!
One of our favorite parts of 12 South are the many murals that have popped up over the last few years. Whether you're looking for the perfect content to post on your Instagram Feed, or just wanting to see the sights as you stroll around (undoubtably with a las Paletas or Jeni's in your hand!), you can find many incredible murals within just a few blocks of The Carriage House! We've listed the address and location (as well as website if there is one) at the top of each listing and the instagram handles and tags at the bottom because as the kids say, "pics or it didn't happen."
DRAPER JAMES "POSTCARD" & STRIPES
2608 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of the Draper James Flagship Store)
While we're hanging out in Howell's Alley, might as well just turn around and check out the happy stripes that Reese Witherspoon's Draper James has brought to town. The awning, mural and bench make any photo as pretty as a postcard, and we're pretty much in love with the blue and white stripes that decorate the rest of the space. The perfect background for a cute group pic!
@draperjames #draperjames @howellsalley #howellsalley
2900 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of Green Pea Salon)
Sadly, I couldn't find the title or painter of this incredible mural (if anyone knows any more info, please message me and let me know) but it's stunning and worth seeing. Fortunately it faces the "Make Music Not War" mural, so you can hit them both in one stop.
RIVIVE! NASHVILLE FOX
2814 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of the Iyengar Yoga Center of Nashville building)
This mural isn't just another pretty picture! Painted in conjunction with the water conservation focused non-profit Rivive!Nashville, this mural raises awareness about the importance of protecting Nashville's River systems. If you want to see this mural in person, we recommend visiting sooner rather than later as the building is slated for re-development and we can't promise that the painting will survive the renovation.
@rivivenashville #rivivenash @mobeoner
LOOKING PRETTY, MUSIC CITY
2709 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of the Madewell Denim Edit Store)
Not only does this whimsical design bring a cheery vibe to the neighborhood, we LOVE that it was "Created in support of music and art programs in Metro Nashville's Public Schools." As strong believers in the importance of music and arts education, this is the cherry on top of an already awesome mural. Note: If you're looking for the "Peace, Love, Good Deeds" mural, know that it was painted over by this new "Looking Pretty, Music City" mural, so unfortunately it's not a neighborhood fixture anymore.
@emily.eisenhart #lookingprettymusiccity @eastsidemurals #eastsidemurals
HALCYON BIKE SHOP - DRINK WATER
2802 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of Halycon Bike Shop)
The folks at the Halcyon Bike Shop are just as passionate about art as they are bikes and the nieghborhood is all the cooler for it. On the side of the building is the "Drink Water" mural featuring the anatomy of a bicycle.
HALCYON BIKE SHOP - JUNGLE SAFARI
2802 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the back of Halycon Bike Shop)
One of the lesser known murals in town, due to its somewhat hidden placement, also happens to be one of my favorites! This incredible jungle safari-scape is on the back of the Halcyon Bike shop. So once you get a pic of that "drink water" mural, just turn the corner and go on a photo-safari! We've also posted pics below that show both murals to help you find both!
FOR BECKS & FOR BECKS WITH RAINCLOUD AND GUMMY BEAR
(see locations below as photo captions)
These two little guys are probably our very favorites of all the 12 South murals. Eternally happy and cheerful, who doesn't want to just go grab the hand of one of these little guys and just know that everything is awesome? :) The little guy on the right is particularly difficult to find as it's on the back of a garage in an alleyway. You can either go through the parking lot behind Frothy Monkey and it's on the back of the garage that "Nashville Looks Good On You" is painted on, or you can turn onto Sweetbriar from 12 South and then turn into the alleyway just past the Islamic Center of Nashville and walk a dozen yards or so.
@forbecks #forbecks @raddingtonfalls #raddingtonfalls
NOW PLAYING IN 12 SOUTH
2403 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of The Flipside Nashville)
We're Music City, so there's always something playing if you're listening!
@n.gaged #nowplayingin12south @theflipsidenash #theflipsidenash
FIVE DAUGHTERS DONUTS
1110 Caruthers Ave, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the side of Five Daughters Donuts)
Founded in Franklin, TN and family owned and operated, these 100 layer donuts are something you just have to experience on any trip to 12 South. Watching what you eat? No worries. Their Paleo options are so good you'll never know that you're eating something that isn't bad for you. Take a pic with their classic mural while you're there, or be part of the picture with their donut-hole-peek-through option on the fence. :)
NASHVILLE LOOKS GOOD ON YOU TN
2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204
(on the front of the garage behind Frothy Monkey 12 South)
There are a couple of these murals around town, including one in the Nations, but we're partial to this one behind Frothy Monkey. Just go down the driveway to the additional parking area (in between MODA Boutique and the Islamic Center) and you'll see the mural straight ahead! (One of the lego men is on the back of this garage)
TROY DUFF GRAFFITI SKYLINE
1204 Elmwood Ave, Nashville, TN 37212
(on the side of 4 Patriots, facing the parking lot next to/behind Taqueria Del Sol)
Although the "Reserved parking" sign kills the photo shoot vibe a little bit, we think this skyline of Nashville by graffiti artist Troy Duff is really incredible and worth checking out.
It's been chilly in Nashville so I've been on the hunt for indoor activities to keep our [super energetic] 14 month old occupied. This afternoon we hopped in the car and headed just a couple miles to the TN State Museum in Downtown Nashville to check out their Children's Gallery!
The Children's Gallery is a huge room decorated with amazing murals of Nashville, Tennessee wildlife, song lyrics, factoids or things to look for (like the one our racoon friend is sharing below.) The floor is an incredible mural as well; a giant map of the state of Tennessee with cities and landmarks. At one end of the room is a set of bookshelves with favorite children's stories plus some blocks and a few toys for smaller kiddos. At the other end is a table with crayons and colored pencils with coloring pages featuring current museum exhibits so you can " #ColorOurCollections " (see photo below).
Curator Matt was on hand the entire time if we had questions and very graciously let Clare carry around a clipboard featuring a scavenger hunt of objects and locations to find hidden among the murals and activities to do when you found them. The website recommends the children's gallery for ages 3-8 and I definitely think that we were a little young to get the full experience of reading the facts, doing the scavenger hunt and coloring the printouts. However, Clare absolutely LOVED running around the map and stopping to point out various rivers and places and brightly colored animals. We also colored and read several books that were new to her (and Mama!). The bluegrass music they had playing was also a hit, and she frequently stopped what she was doing for a dance break.
All in all it was definitely a fun way to blow off some steam indoors on a chilly afternoon! We didn't venture into the rest of the museum today, but it's absolutely worth visiting as well.
Be sure to check out the "Know Before You Go" box below for info - we hope you enjoy your visit!
bETHANY, YOUR HOST
AirBnB Superhost Bethany has lived in Nashville since 2006 and loves finding fun things to do at home and on the road!