Aw, Nashville. I know it’s raining on cookout and fireworks day, but there are still fun inside things to do. I’ve created a short itinerary of patriotic-ish ones, all of which I’ve done myself so you know they’re worth writing home about. Or at least posting something on Twitter.
HISTORIC / “HISTORIC” HOMES
The Hermitage is open. I already called for you to be sure. The last time I toured The Hermitage in real life, I was on a field trip in elementary school. The last time I saw it in pretend life, I was watching “Nashville” on TV and Rayna was fighting with her father. (The ABC character Lamar Wyatt’s home is actually The Hermitage.) Other interesting Hermitage fact: The 1998 East Nashville / Downtown tornado that tore up Rosepepper Cantina (it was Joe’s Diner at the time) also jacked up The Hermitage where more than 1,000 trees were torn down, many of them planted by Andrew Jackson himself. Anyway, today it’s just raining and The Hermitage is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Adult tickets are $19. Kids 6-12 are $9.
Also, “historic”-in-a-Nashville sense: Barbara Mandrell’s Fontanel is open today. The 10 am tour is closed, but 11, noon, 2 and 3 are still available. When I took this tour, I had the privilege of taking it with Barbara’s daughter, Jamie Dudney, who grew up there. I would describe Fontanel as a cross between Gatlinburg and Las Vegas. So basically – you should go. Adult tickets are $22. Kids 6-15 are $12.
The Frist is open today. They have that art deco automobile exhibit which will make you want to see The Great Gatsby if you haven’t already. And guess what? Movies are INSIDE things!
Speaking of books – because obviously The Great Gatsby was better that way – don’t try the Nashville Library. All branches, including the lovely downtown one with Provence at the top, are closed today. Fine, library employees, take the day off to enjoy the rain. Also, fine Parnassus employees, do likewise. HOWEVER, I would suggest taking your copy of Fitzgerald (or Hemingway; I’m on a Hemingway kick recently) over to a nice coffee shop, ordering a blueberry scone and a fancy custom coffee drink you’d never order on a regular Thursday, and settling in for a good solid hour of reading in the rain. I checked – my favorite reading-type coffee shop, Edgehill Cafe – is OPEN TODAY UNTIL 2!
My dear friend Courtenay made a last-minute decision to stop by the liquor store last night since we all know they’d be closed today. If your friends weren’t so thoughtful, might I suggest you choose to enjoy this American activity by heading over to The Southern, where you should get a bloody mary and a plate of oysters so you can pretend you are at the beach, enjoying a rainy day the way you would should you happen to be on vacation and not just on a middle-of-the-week federal holiday.
FIREWORKS – IF YOU INSIST
Keb Mo and The Band Perry are playing on the riverfront tonight, where there are supposed to be fireworks and rain. If the last part of that doesn’t sound awesome to you, but the first part is too amazing to pass up, I might suggest you arrive super early and scope out a spot on the pedestrian bridge. It won’t get muddy. Your view will be great. If you’re early enough, your umbrella won’t be in too many people’s field of vision. My colleagues at The Tennessean put together a slideshow of other places where the fireworks viewing is good. Thumb through these and see if you can find a spot that feels less-than-drenched. I don’t know. Maybe the Adventure Science Center and put up a tailgate tent?
So – see? Plenty to do on the Fourth in the rain!