GPS: 36°10'N, 86°46'W
Music City flexes its multisport cred in 10,500 acres (4,249 hectares) of urban parks, including a growing network of green spaces and trails along the riverfront. There are more hikeable shorelines to explore at Old Hickory Lake, just northeast of town, and at J. Percy Priest Lake, ten miles (16 kilometers) east of the city—home to some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the state.
Get a solid lay of the land and meet the locals on a group ride with Trace Bikes (www.tracebikes.com). Cyclists meet every Thursday evening and Saturday morning and head out from the Trace shop, on Highway 100—not far from to the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. The paved byway winds all 444 miles (715 kilometers) from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi, following in the footsteps of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The Tennessee portion takes you past explorer Meriwether Lewis's monument, waterfalls dedicated to Andrew Jackson, and a tobacco farm (www.nps.gov/natr). Come nightfall, hit the honky-tonks. Start with a local goody, like Robert's Western World (http://robertswesternworld.com/) before moving on to the one, the only Grand Ole Opry (www.opry.com).
The hands-down crispiest, juiciest, and hottest fried chicken in town is at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack on Ewing Drive (+1 615 226 9442). Wash it down with a beer sampling at the Yazoo Brewing Company's Tap Room (www.yazoobrew.com). And in the morning, join the queue lining up outside the Pancake Pantry; their namesake cakes are well worth the wait, especially alongside a thick slab of country ham (www.thepancakepantry.com).
The Hermitage Hotel was opened in 1910, and claims to have a guestbook that reads like a Who's Who in American History. From presidents to country singers, the company you'll keep at the extravagant hotel is sure to be impressive (doubles from $249; www.thehermitagehotel.com).