Nashville is a great holiday getaway

It is just about. a week before Christmas and many companies are giving their workers time off either just before Christmas or the week between Christmas and New Years. If you want to really surprise someone or just find a close getaway that will really put you in the holiday sprit, consider a last-minute trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is under five hours from St. Louis, and it is well worth the trip. We recently went to Nashville to take in a concert at the Ryman and while there, thought we’d check out the new Drury Hotel. It was worth a short article.

Nashville, Tennessee is a shining jewel of holiday locations and at just under five hours of driving time from St. Louis it is a perfect getaway. Music lovers will enjoy all of the holiday shows. Every year Amy Grant and Vince Gill do an intimate Christmas show at the Ryman Theater, as shown in the photo, left.  The concert dates are from Dec. 16, 2021 to Dec. 22 and tickets are still available.

Some other concerts in Nashville for the holidays are the Gatlin Brothers Christmas Dec. 17  and 18(Franklin Theatre), Christmas Music with the Nashville Symphony (Dec. 19), Josh Turrner at the Ryman Dec. 20, Natalie Grant & Danny Gokey at the Ryman Dec. 23, and the Grand Ole Opry is open with shows Dec. 17, 18, 21 and there is a special Christmas presentation on Christmas (Dec. 25). The Oak Ridge Boys have a concert venue. These are just a few of the musical offering this holiday season in Nashville. Check out VisitMusicCity.com to find more.

As the convention bureau says: “Stages aren’t the only thing that lights up during the holidays in Music City. Every year, find Holiday Harmony celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and more with numerous attractions and events throughout Music City that offer joyful celebrations and beautiful decorations for people of all ages.”

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is decked out for the holidays. Parking is upwards of $30 so it’s advised to Uber over from whatever hotel you stay, There is also a one-hour check in parking lot for those who just want to do a quick trip inside to see the decorations. For those who have never been to this large, atrium facility, it is worth the visit. Sunlight fills the vast walking areas. There is an indoor waterway with gondolas to ride.

The Opryland Resort’s theme until Jan. 2, 2022 is “A Country Christmas.” They claim to have over 3 million lights with their acres of decorations. The Oak Ridge Boys will be performing “Christmas in Tennessee” — a holiday dinner shows from now until Christmas Day.

There is also fun for the kids. Guests will see Buddy the Elf and help answer the call from Santa to help muster enough Christmas cheer to power the Kringle 3000 and help Santa’s sleigh fly.

There is an outdoor area at Opryland where visitors can visit a reindeer in their mini-winterwonderland. Visitors can go ice skating, ice tubing and take horse-drawn carriage rides

Nashville sparkles with holiday cheer everywhere but the Opryland area is definitely a must-see. The outdoor area is decorated with white glistening trees, signs and a large white nativity scene.

There are a couple of restaurants right across the street from the convention center area. The Opry Backstage Grill at the Inn at Opryland has great fried green tomatoes. There is a cross-walk so it would be possible to have lunch and then walk across the street to the Gaylord to save on the parking fees. For those who want to take in the whole experience there are restaurants and coffee shops all over Opryland.

Another popular area, and especially at the holidays, is the Opry Mills shopping center. There are some fun restaurants including the Rainforest Cafe and the Aquarium Restaurant.

A special event at Opry Mills for a limited time is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition. This exhibit allows guests to admire Michelangelo’s masterpieces up close like never before.

For those who go to Opry Mills this weekend with kids, they can visit Santa and even have Breakfast with Santa Don’t miss the last chance to meet Santa and Cha! Cha! at Rainforest Cafe on Saturday, December 18, 2021, from 8am – 10am, and enjoy a delicious plated breakfast with Santa.

Downtown Nashvillle is very exciting any time but especially at the holiday. A walk down Broadway and the area around brings the sounds of music everyone. Honky tonks play world-class live music 365 days a year.

The convention bureau says: “Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway is a row of establishments that pump live music into the streets, have at least one rockin’ stage, cold beverages, and a party that lasts all day and into the night. You never know who you’ll run into at one of these Lower Broadway clubs.”

The Bridgestone Arena and  Ryman Theatre is right in the middle of the excitement of downtown.

The Drury Plaza Hotel is about a block from it all. The new hotel is the company’s third in Nashville and fourth in Tennessee. The new 22-story property features 389 guest rooms and more than 8,000 square feet of customizable meeting and event space.

This hotel differs from many in the Drury brand as it is a high rise with the first floor being the check in and floors 2-7 house the parking lot. This allows the pool, workout room, restaurant and restaurant area to start on the seventh floor– enabling beautiful views of downtown.

The Downtown Drury is decked out for the holidays so it is perfect for a holiday getaway. They have the Quickstart breakfast and the Kickback happy hour with dinner, but where the happy hours normally start at 5:30, the Nashville downtown  Drury Kickback starts at 5 p.m.

The staff was so friendly and helpful and suggested getting to the dining room at 5 to get a drink and then the food comes out at 5:30. There are windows all around and two fire places. The  large Christmas tree adds to the holiday festivities and the view of the city out the windows lends an air of excitement.

Another difference with this Drury is  it also has a full bar and restaurant called Kitchen + Bar @ SoBro, shown in the photo left.

If you stay at the Drury, don’t forget to give them the promocode SPORTS. That is a special discount available to STLSportsPage.com readers at any Drury hotel, any time of the year.

For those looking for a New Year’s celebration, Nashville has a big one– and it will only be eight minutes away from the Downtown Drury.

As VisitMusicCity.com says, T”o wrap it up, spend the last night of the year at the 2021 Jack Daniel’s New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash! with thousands of your closest friends, hours of live music, fireworks, and the signature midnight Music Note Drop.”

The New Years Eve celebration is a free event at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park with incredible entertainment anchored by headliners Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, and Sam Hunt, with six additional main stage guest artists that will be announced soon.

A holiday trip to Nashville will produce memories for a long time.

Approximate Directions: Get on I-64 E/US-40 E from S Tucker Blvd and Historic U.S. 66. Follow I-64 EI-57 S and I-24 E to 14th Ave N in Nashville. Take exit 209A from I-65 S

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.