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Nashville: Walking Horses, Plantations, Barbecue and Music

Program Number: 14681RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/30/2013 - 10/5/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Price starting at: $1,145.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Join us to discover how and why Nashville has become a crossroads of popular American culture. Learn from experts about local history, heritage, and horses since the town’s founding in 1779. Immerse yourself in the ante bellum era at Belle Meade Plantation and the home of President Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage. Then enjoy a traditional Southern barbecue with all the fixings. It wouldn’t be Nashville, of course, without music, and we’ll get an insider’s perspective on the local scene.




Highlights

• Take a field trip to the Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, home of the World Championships for Tennessee Walking Horses, and meet trainers, riders and staff at a working horse farm.
• Explore the Jack Daniel’s registered distillery, oldest in the U.S., with an opportunity to taste Tennessee’s most renowned sippin’ whiskey.
• Meet an accomplished Nashville musician, learn how to create your own country music song, and go backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House to see what happens behind the scenes.



Activity Particulars

Walking of up to a mile on sometimes uneven terrain. May have walks through some dirt and grass paths.



The focus of this program is the broad scope of Nashville’s history, heritage, and popular culture. We include a field trip backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House, a show, and meeting a songwriter, but this program is not primarily about the music scene. Other Road Scholar programs focus on music and if that is your main interest, we encourage you to take those programs.




Nashville

Visitors have long flocked to the top-notch music industry hub of Nashville for country crooning and boot-stomping energy, but the city offers much more than just music. Nashville is also a beacon of education, culture, industry and recreation in the South, boasting fine arts galleries, antebellum mansions and sculpture-filled botanical gardens.



Accommodations
Full-service hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
  Nashville, TN 5 nights
 Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Largest non-casino hotel in the world with many botanical gardens, indoor streams with boat rides, shops, many restaurants, night clubs, spa, fitness center, indoor pool, etc.
  Contact info: 2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville,, TN 37214 USA
phone: 615-889-1100
web: www.gaylordhotels.com
  Room amenities: High speed internet, hair dryers, in room movies, remote television
  Facility amenities: Activities Desk Relâche Spa, Salon, & Fitness Center In-room iron, ironing board, blow dryer, in-room safe, 2 phones with dataport and voicemail On-site Shops and Restaurants Outdoor Swimming Pools
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $159 - $199 per night Book additional nights on your own. Provider can try to book additional nights before and after but can't guarantee the Road Scholar rate as the hotel has slotted us into the low rate period.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $159 - $199 per night Book additional nights on your own. Provider can try to book additional nights before and after but can't guarantee the Road Scholar rate as the hotel has slotted us into the low rate period.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM - Hotel Lobby You will be staying at Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference that night.
  End of Program:
Ends at 11:00 AM following morning session. You will be staying at Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. None
  Parking availability:
There is a per day parking charge that is not included in the cost of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Nashville, TN
  Nearest city or town:  Nashville
  Nearest highway: Interstate 65
  Nearest airport:  Nashville
  From End of Program
  Location: Nashville, TN
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Nashville Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Opry Transportation
phone: 866-972-6779

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$28.00 one way $38 round trip
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

20 miles

   

Participants 65 and older receive a rate of $15 one way and $28 round trip.

 
Driving Directions
  From Nashville International Airport Leave the airport complex west on Interstate 40. Proceed to Exit 215 and take Briley Parkway - 155 North. Go to and exit the parkway at Exit 12. Turn left exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland Complex.
  Interstate 24 East from St. Louis Go east on Interstate 24. Proceed to Exit 43 to Briley Parkway - 155. Go east on Briley Parkway and exit at Exit 12. Turn right off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland complex.
  Interstate 24 West from Chattanooga Go west on Interstate 24. Proceed to Exit 54B to Briley Parkway - 155. Go north on Briley Parkway and exit at Exit 12. Turn left off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland complex.
  Interstate 40 East from Memphis Go east through Nashville on Interstate 40. Proceed to Exit 215 and take Briley Parkway - 155 North. Go to and exit the parkway at Exit 12. Turn left off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland complex.
  Interstate 40 West from Knoxville Go west on Interstate 40 Proceed to Exit 215 and take Briley Parkway - 155 North. Go to and exit the parkway at Exit 12. Turn left off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike.
  Interstate 65 North from Birmingham Go north on Interstate 65. Proceed to Exit 90B to Briley Parkway - 155Go south on Briley Parkway and exit at Exit 12. Turn right off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland complex.
  Interstate 65 South from Louisville / Bowling Green Go south on Interstate 65. Proceed to Exit 90B to Briley Parkway - 155. Go south on Briley Parkway and exit at Exit 12. Turn right off the exit ramp onto McGavock Pike. Turn left at the first intersection into the Gaylord Opryland complex.
Elevation Note: No

Equipment Requirements: None
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in and registration/Program orientation
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Arrive To: CHECK-IN: Please arrive at the hotel between 3:30-5:00pm. Check into your room at the front desk and then register with Road Scholar staff in the Cascade Lobby. At this time you'll be given a welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date itinerary and other useful information.
 Dinner: Tonight we enjoy our get acquainted dinner served in a private room at the hotel. Tonight's menu will include a salad, chicken with potato, vegetable and dessert.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: After dinner we will have our Orientaion. Your group leader will provide you with information about the hotel, program itinerary, instructors, venues and on site staff. She will also provide you with information for your free time. Conclude with participant introductions.
   
Accommodations: Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit Indoor Atrium Gardens with Horticulturalist, Behind the Scenes of Hotel with Staff
(Tuesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast is served at one of the hotel's restaurants this morning.
 Morning: PRESENTATIONS: Today we meet with staff of the hotel for a walking program of the hotel followed by the Green Leaf Experience led by the Gaylord Horticultural Department Staff. Green Leaf Department gives a potted plant arrangement experience.
 Lunch: You will have a meal voucher that is good at either Stax Burgers or Pisano's Pizza and Italian.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: This afteroon we meet with the Gaylord staff as they lead us on a behind the scenes look at the Gaylord Hotel which is the largest non-casino hotel in the world. We will explore a couple different departments during our time. FREE TIME: Following this afternoon's program explore the hotel or local area on your own. Your group leader will help with ideas. This time may be used to explore some country music attractions not included in this program.
 Dinner: Dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant located near the Grand Old Opry Show.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Evening is free to enjoy one of the hotel's many entertainment venues or take in a show at the Grand Old Opry. Tickets will be available at a discount for our Road Scholar group.
   
Accommodations: Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Hermitage and Belle Meade Plantation
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast is included this morning at one of the hotel's restaurants.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Today we explore the home of Andrew Jackson. To Andrew Jackson The Hermitage meant more than just the mansion; it meant his entire farm. It also meant refuge from the trials and frustrations of public life. But before Jackson purchased The Hermitage, the property was owned and settled by Nathaniel Hays. In 1780, Nathaniel laid claim to a 640- acre preemption land grant comprised of heavily forested level land with rich soil served by natural springs and creeks. The Cumberland and Stone’s rivers were less than two miles away from Hays’ land that would eventually become The Hermitage.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional BBQ lunch served at a local restaurant on our way to the Belle Meade Plantation.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Visit Belle Meade Plantation. In 1807, Virginian John Harding bought 250 acres and a log cabin known as Dunham Station, a trading post on the Natchez Trace. In 1853 John Harding’s son, William Giles Harding, completed the Greek Revival mansion, doubling its size and adding the front porch and columns, which are solid limestone. Harding was very wealthy and very pro-secession and donated $500,000 to the Southern cause. When the Federals occupied Nashville in February 1862, Harding was arrested and sent north to Fort Mackinac in Michigan to be imprisoned. His wife, Elizabeth I. McGavock, was left to tend their farm in his absence. In September, Harding was released on parole and returned to Belle Meade. Belle Meade was headquarters to Confederate Gen. James R. Chalmers of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry command prior to the Battle of Nashville in December 1864. On the first day of the battle, Union soldiers burned the Rebel wagons parked at the racetrack while Chalmers was elsewhere. Returning to Belle Meade, Chalmers’ men charged the Yankees and drove them back before running into an enemy infantry camp. The Yankees fired as the cavalry galloped back past the mansion, where Selene Harding, 19, waved a handkerchief despite the bullets flying around her. Bullet holes can still be seen in the porch columns. After the war, William Harding turned over control of the farm to his son-in-law, William Jackson, a West Point graduate who had commanded a cavalry division under Gen. S.D. Lee in Mississippi and Louisiana. Under Jackson’s tutelage, Belle Meade (French for “beautiful meadow”) became an internationally renown thoroughbred farm and showplace. The farm sold breeding stock of ponies, Alderney cattle, Cotswold sheep, and Cashmere goats. The vast estate also featured a 600-acre deer park.
 Dinner: Dinner is not included as we will be having a very large lunch at the Belle Meade Plantation. Your program leader will help you find dining experiences at the hotel or surrounding area.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Evening is free to enjoy the hotel amenities.
   
Accommodations: Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Lecture on Gaylord Family & Entertainment, Backstage exploration at Grand Old Opry
(Thursday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast is included this morning at one of the hotel's restaurants.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Backstage exploration of the Grand Old Opry House. We will visit the entire complex with a local expert. The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee that has presented the biggest stars of the genre since 1925. It is also among the longest-running broadcasts in history since its beginnings as a one-hour radio "barn dance" on WSM-AM. Dedicated to honoring country music and its history, the Opry showcases a mix of legends and contemporary chart-toppers performing country, bluegrass, folk, comedy, and gospel. Considered an American icon, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world and millions of radio and Internet listeners. The Opry, today part of the American landscape, is "the show that made country music famous", and has been called the "home of American music" and "country’s most famous stage."
 Lunch: You will have a meal voucher that is good at either Stax Burgers or Pisano's Pizza and Italian.
 Afternoon: FREE TIME: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Nashville or other area attractions.Your Road Scholar staff is happy to help you with suggestions. Opry Tours for downtown are available in the hotel. Please be aware that your leader will be doing a downtown exploration but it will not include any of the attractions except the Parthenon.
 Dinner: DINNER/PERFORMANCE: Tonight we visit Nashville Nightlife for a dinner and show with live country music.
   
Accommodations: Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Celebration Grounds, Clearview Farms, Lynchburg
(Friday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included at one of the hotel's restaurants
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Today we travel to Shelbyville where we visit the Celebration Grounds, home of the World Championships for Tennessee Walking Horses. Next we travel to local farm where we will enjoy a riding demonstration and talks with trainers, riders and staff of the farm. The Tennessee Walker or Tennessee Walking Horse is a breed of riding horse. The breed was originally bred in the Southern United States to carry the owners of plantations around their lands. They are known for their unique four-beat "running walk". The breed is rarely seen in any of the sport horse disciplines; however, they are popular in trail riding because of their smooth gaits, stamina and easy temper. In addition they are also seen in Western riding disciplines and in harness.
 Lunch: Today lunch is served at the Parkway Cafe, a traditional meat and two buffet restaurant that you find in many small southern towns.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: This afternoon we visit the Jack Daniel's Distillery for a guided exploration of their working facility. The Jack Daniel's Distillery – the oldest registered distillery in the U.S. – is where it all happens. It’s where Mr. Jack first crafted the recipe for Old No. 7. It’s where the pure, iron-free cave spring water flows. And it’s where every drop of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Sippin’ Whiskey is still made today.
 Dinner: Dinner is included this evening at a local Nashville Restaurant on our return trip to the hotel.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Free to explore one of many entertainment venues at the hotel or nearby.
   
Accommodations: Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Depart and check out
(Saturday, October 5)
   
 Depart From: Depart following the program
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included
 Morning: FINAL PROGRAM: What would a visit to Nashville be without meeting a singer/songwriter? This morning you will meet with a professional singer and songwriter as you write your own song.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Hermitage


Author: Ladies' Hermitage Association, Mrs. Walter Stokes


Description: Short book on the history of The Hermitage: Home of Andrew Jackson.



The Tennessee Walking Horse


Author: Lori Coleman


Description: Book on Tennessee Walking Horses.



The Belle Meade Plantation: Mansion, Plantation & Stud


Author: Ridley Wills II


Description: Book on the history of the Belle Meade Plantation.





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