There’s more to Music City U.S.A. than bluegrass bars and hole-in-the-wall honky tonks. Showboat river cruises, barn dinner theater shows, and boot-bedazzling lessons at the Country Music Hall of Fame are just a few of the activities that make Nashville an excellent place for a family vacation. Here are the top kid-friendly hotels in town.
The upscale Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is a true destination resort, with fast access to Opry Mills and Grand Ole Opry and nine acres of climate-controlled gardens that showcase over 50,000 plants in three spectacular themed atriums. Amenities include multiple indoor and outdoor pools, 17 dining options (including pizza, burgers, Tex-Mex, and gelato), and numerous shops. There are almost 3,000 guest rooms here; they're spacious and tastefully decorated, but not overly upscale or opulent. The resort is certainly isn't for everyone, and it’s not cheap either, with often-hefty room rates, daily resort fees, and pricey parking.
Connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, this 854-room hotel is a large, upscale property in the center of downtown Nashville. Families can make use of the Omni Sensational Kids program, which provides kids with a backpack filled with activities. The hotel features a rooftop pool and hot tub two restaurants, a coffee shop, fitness center, and a spa. Guest rooms are modern, though less luxurious than the rest of the hotel, and include flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and bottled water, but there have been complaints about noise issues due to thin walls.
An extensive 2013 renovation left the upper-middle-range Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville with a stylish, sophisticated look that pays homage to the city’s country music roots. The 340 spacious rooms feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. A lending library provides DVD players, Gameboys, and board games, and Mason's, the on-site restaurant, offers children's menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Concierge services include babysitting arrangements and children’s activities. The hotel is a great choice for anyone visiting adjacent Vanderbilt University, and the hotel's free shuttle takes guests to most attractions downtown.
The three-pearl Best Western Suites Near Opryland offers clean, spacious rooms at budget-friendly rates, and is within an eight-minute drive of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and the Grand Ole Opry. Its 100 rooms have sitting areas, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, microwaves, and mini-fridges. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a small fitness center with sauna, coin-operated laundry, and free continental breakfast, parking, and property-wide Wi-Fi.
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Nashville - Opryland is a mid-range hotel that offers free breakfast, parking, and shuttle service to the airport and nearby Gaylord Resort, which is right across the street. (Other nearby attractions include the Grand Ole Opry, Opry Mills Shopping Center, and General Jackson Showboat -- all about a five-minute drive away.) Its 113 guest rooms are clean and comfortable, though decor is bland, and they're equipped with coffeemakers, microwaves, mini-fridges, and 32-inch flat-screen TVs. The hotel has a heated indoor pool, a small shop, and laundry facilities.