Our Top 5 Spots to Stay Cool in Nashville's Summer Heat
Step away from the fridge and turn off Netflix! Now’s the perfect time to pick up paddleboarding or some other watersport until the temperatures drop (which won’t be 'til October, as we are smack in the middle of the dog days of summer down here). Is your house lacking a private pool, or has your HOA shut down the community pool due to the corona-virus? Here’s five ways to get the most out of Middle Tennessee’s great lakes, rivers, wave pools and waterways while it's hotter than blue blazes out there.
1. Float the Harpeth (Kayak/ Tube/ Canoe)
How to get there: Take I-40 heading towards Memphis or Take Hwy 70 West until you reach the boat rental companies.
A right of passage for any Nashvillian, floating the Harpeth River in the apex of summer is an absolute must. Harpeth River State Park covers 40 linear miles, with 9 access points. The Narrows on the Harpeth is a loop, which is great for pulling up, putting in, and getting out at the same parking lot. There are three main kayaking and boating facilities that have been in business for decades, Tip-a-canoe, Foggy Bottom, and Music City Canoe. If you are planning on going during a weekend, then you’ll need to make reservations, as the river fills up quickly with enthusiastic adventurers.
What to bring: sunscreen, coolers, a packable lunch, good river shoes or sandals (the river bottom is very rocky).
2. Wave Country
2320 Two Rivers Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37214
The closest thing to a ‘beach’ you’ll get in Nashville, the Wave Country has been rocking and rolling out 8 foot waves every 15 minutes every summer for as long as anyone can remember. They’ve added a couple of water slides, but the simplicity and nostalgia of this giant man made wave pool is the big draw here. Conveniently located off Briley Parkway, the Two Rivers Greenway and McGavock Pike in Donelson, you can hit up the Opry Mills Mall afterwards to get out of the sun. Just don’t forget to bring a mask!
3. Canoe the Caney
1 mile off I-40 Exit 273, 17055 Smithville Hwy Silver Point, TN 38582
If you are looking for water and recreation east of Nashville, Canoeing the Caney River is quite a popular choice these days for locals and out of state tourists. Just one hour east of downtown Nashville off of I-40, the Caney River has a lot to offer its visitors, from fishing and boat rentals to romantic picnic care packages, shopping, riverfront dining and overnight campgrounds.
4. Paddleboard at Hamilton Creek
2901 Bell Rd, Nashville TN 37217
The best place to paddleboard is Hamilton Creek, an inlet off of Percy Priest Lake, which is also home to the Music City BMX Association. Whether you want to be on the water or on the bike, this spot is locally-known to provide endless opportunities for practicing tricks, meditating on the water, and enjoying all the lake has to offer. If you live in Antioch, or near Murfreesboro Rd, Nolensville, or Thompson Station, this is a super convenient way to get out on the lake.
5. I’m On A Boat
Best place to put in on the West Side: Rock Harbor Marina
525 Basswood Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209
Rock Harbor Marina is located on the Cumberland River, Mile Marker 175, just 10 minutes from downtown Nashville by car and 15 water miles from Riverfront Park. You can slip into the dock and check out the Blue Moon Waterfront Grille, or hook up with Paddle Up Nashville for paddleboard, kayak, and pontoon boat rentals. Blue Moon is open at 3pm Monday-Thursday and 11am Friday-Sunday, while Paddle Up is open from 11am-8pm everyday (weather permitting).
Best place to put in on the East Side: Elm Hill Marina
3361 Bell Road Nashville, TN 37217
EHM is the official home of the Nashville Boating Club. Rentals include boats, waterskis, kneeboards, lifejackets, fishing equipment and floating tubes. Bevy up to the bar at Shipwreck Cove for drink specials and live music, and if you’re still practicing social distancing, you can pick up a Bushwacker Meal Kit for $50 to go!