You Don’t Need A Plan: Things to do around Nashville on Short Notice

Nashville on Short Notice Radnor

I am usually a meticulous planner. I want to know where we are going, what time we plan on getting there, how much it will cost, who is going to be there, and every other detail I can find. This past weekend was no different, we had plans. There were concrete things we were going to do. That lasted until Friday at 6:00 pm. We had an amazing weekend even though we abandoned our plans, and you can too! There are some awesome things to do around Nashville on short notice. This is what we did!


Things to do in Nashville on Short Notice


Dinner in Manchester


Friday night, when my wife and I got home, we were both exhausted. This is where we started changing our plans.  Originally, I planned to cook dinner, and we were going to stay home and relax.  Instead we went to our favorite Mexican place in Manchester El Molcajete.  After a few tacos, and a few drinks, we decided to go for a walk and take it easy the rest of the evening.


Saturday: Nashville


Saturday, we went to Nashville to visit family, and planned on going to Live on the Green to see Ben Harper.  We love music and Live on the Green is an amazing concert series, especially considering the cost ($0)! Well, somehow we ended up doing one of my least favorite things, shopping.  We met our family at Opry Mills for lunch at Chuy’s.  Normally, I try to steer clear of chain restaurants when there are other options, but Chuy’s is really good.  I love the Creamy Jalapeno sauce, and everything I’ve eaten there has been really good.


Parthenon things to do around nashville on short notice


After lunch and a brief shopping detour, we headed to the family’s house where we decided to go to Shakespeare in the Park instead of Live on the Green.It was something we’ve always wanted to do, and we’ve seen Ben Harper before.  We made it to Centennial Park around 7:00 pm and it was pretty crowded.  We managed to grab a couple of seats after getting some really good BBQ from one of the food trucks there.  I’m glad we chose to go to Shakespeare in the Park, their adaptation of “Comedy of Errors” was highly entertaining.  The Nashville twist on the play made it perfect!  I can’t wait to go back for Macbeth.


Sunday: Radnor, Franklin, and and a Bust


Radnor Lake State Park


Sunday we set out with no plans.  We had decided that they were pretty pointless at this point in the weekend and we probably wouldn’t stick with them anyway. I was driving and we set out heading North-West.  As we closed in on Franklin we were talking about so  we headed on to Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville. Neither of us had been there before and we had heard excellent things about this park.  This park lived up to our expectations.  The trails were well maintained, the park was beautiful, and despite the parking lot being pretty full, the trails were not very crowded.


While we were walking around Radnor, I pitched the idea of having an early dinner at Puckett’s Grocery in Franklin and then heading over to Arrington Vineyards for a sunset wine tasting on the hill. Puckett’s Grocery was amazing as it has been every time we have eaten there.  We had the smoked meatloaf this time, but my favorite thing there is the smoked chicken.


Puckett's Grocery


After dinner we walked around Downtown Franklin for a few minutes and then headed toward Arrington for a nice quiet romantic evening…or so I thought.  This is the only time this weekend that our lack of planning kind of bit us.  We arrived and Arrington was packed for a holiday weekend concert. (I would have known this if I had taken just a minute to look at the website).  We decided to pass on the concert and headed to a nice scenic spot to watch the sunset before heading home for the night.


Labor Day Hike and Swim


Fiery Gizzard Trail


Monday came quickly and we had no idea what we were going to get into.  As we were eating our breakfast, we got an invite to go on a hike on Fiery Gizzard Trail in South Cumberland State Park. This trail is 12.5 miles (we didn’t do all of it), and has been rated one of the top 25 in the country.  We have always wanted to hike this trail.  We set out after lunch knowing we were only going to hike a short portion of the trail.  A little over a mile in there is a nice wading pool, water fall and swimming hole.  We spent the better part of 2 hours splashing around in the chilly water before we decided to head back.  We barely covered what this trail has to offer and it is already one of my new favorites.


Fiery Gizzard South Cumberland


While this is just a small sampling, there are so many things going on in Middle Tennessee every weekend.  There is no shortage of things to do around Nashville on short notice. Keep and eye on our Facebook page to see what events are coming up!  Tell us about your spontaneous adventures in the comments. Consider subscribing to our blog so you don’t miss any new posts!

Hiking Fiery Gizzard

10 Comment

  1. Smoked meatloaf! Say no more. Great suggestions for an out of towner like myself!

    1. It was really good! The smoked chicken at Puckett’s is to die for though!

  2. I have always wanted to go there– great post!

  3. It sounds as if the unplanned weekend around Nashville turned out pretty well. The scenery is beautiful. And it’s hard to go wrong with a sunset wine tasting.

  4. I will be visiting Nashville one day and your tips will come in handy (: I love the suggestions.

  5. I hope to get to Nashville this year. I’d like to do it as part of a road trip. Thanks for the great suggestions on things to do in that area.

  6. I’ve never been but would be into the hiking and the winery, for sure!!

  7. Looks like so much fun! I’ve always wanted to go to that side of America. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. I started to sweat the moment you said “abandoned our plans”! I am a control freak and am usually very organised…… think Leslie Nopes from parks and recreation!” So I was fascinated to read how well your unplanned weekend went. You know sometimes I can know a place so well, or be so organised that I miss all the things outside of my preconceived ideas. The pattern interrupt of “screw the plan” can be the jolt I need sometimes, Thanks so much for reminding me that not everything has to be marked down on the whiteboard!

  9. You had me at creamy Jalepeno sauce! Sounds delicious!

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