10 Reasons Why Gaylord Opryland is Worth a Visit Even if You Hate Country Music

Sure, it's right next door to the Grand Ole Opry, but Gaylord Opryland Resort is fun for non-country music fans, too. From gorgeous botanical gardens to a new, upscale water park, this Nashville resort packs so much more than country must-dos.

Related To:

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Ryman Auditorium

Photo By: Deanne Revel

Photo By: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Photo By: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Photo By: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Photo By: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Photo By: Deanne Revel

The Grandeur

Gaylord Opryland is massive. It's actually the largest non-gaming hotel in the continental US, meaning you get Vegas resort size without a smoky casino to walk through. One of the best things to do on property is to simply take a stroll—drink in hand—and tour the resort's soaring atriums decked out with decorations, lights and water features.

The Botanicals

There are more than 50,000 tropical plants inside the resort's gardens, from soaring banana trees to trendy fiddle leaf figs. The grounds feature an impressive array of rare species and require a staff of 20 interior horticulturalists to maintain. From the fragrant flowers to secret waterfalls, the Gardens Conservatory is a great spot to start your morning with coffee or spend the afternoon tucked away with a book.

The Waterfalls

There are nine acres of gardens and waterfalls on property! If you love sleeping with white noise, book a room in the Cascade Atrium. You can leave your balcony door open and let the soothing sound of falling water lull you to sleep.

The Entertainment

Sure, there are live acts performing throughout the property, but it's not always country. The resort features its own entertainment like an acrobatic Cirque-style show at Christmastime. And if the Grand Ole Opry isn't your thing, there's a shuttle to entertainment venues such as the historic Ryman Auditorium where you can catch popular acts, from indie-pop MGMT to comedian Lewis Black.

The Local Fare

You can sample tons of Tennessee cuisine, from BBQ to iconic Goo Goo Clusters, right in the resort. Fill up a growler of beer from East Tennessee Yee-Haw Brewing Company at the Delta Market. Or head to Jack Daniel's for an authentic whiskey tasting. And if you've got a sweet tooth, the "Jack and Honey" gelato at Bravo Gelato is guaranteed to be the highlight of your trip.

The Nightlife

From Findley's Irish Pub to Fuse Sports Bar, there are so many venues just for adults. The best part? The resort is open cup so it's like walking around a theme park with a beer! However, if you want to class it up, head to the Library Lounge at Old Hickory Steakhouse. The upscale speakeasy is a great place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.

The Dining

There are nearly 20 dining options on property, from the upscale Old Hickory Steakhouse to the casual and family-friendly Paisano's Pizzaria & Vino. Like a theme park, you could go days without eating at the same restaurant. Brunch at the Cascades American Cafe is a must with fun, Southern-inspired items such as cornflake-crusted French toast and pumpkin pie overnight oats.

The Boat Ride

This resort is so massive there's a river running through the property. And that river has a boat ride. If you love the Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World, you'll love Gaylord Opryland's Delta Riverboat Cruise. The ride features a tour through a 4.5-acre indoor garden in the resort's Delta Atrium.

The Water Park

Opening later this year, SoundWaves luxury water park will feature more than 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor water attractions. And the park will include adults-only pools, bars, lounge areas and private cabana rentals.

The Christmas Spirit

No one does Christmas like Gaylord Opryland. The resort is decked out with three million holidays lights and features Christmas activities for the whole family like the annual ICE! exhibit. The event features more than two million pounds of ice carved into loveable characters such as Charlie Brown and friends. Adults can get in on the Christmas spirit, too, as the resort's Irish pub transforms into Frosty's for the holiday season.

Shop This Look