Mother-Daughter Weekend Trip to Gaylord Opryland
Location just down I-65 in Nashville, Opryland makes for a perfect mother-daughter weekend!
It’s always nice to get away for a bit. We love heading out for a weekend trip to Opryland and every time we go, we discover something new.
A friend and I recently had the opportunity to spend two nights with our daughters at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN. We were hosted by Opryland so we could tell you about our stay, the attractions, and the dining options.
The resort is located approximately 3 hours from Louisville, making it perfect for a quick getaway for a weekend trip to Opryland. Though, if you go during the week, the waterpark and dining options are slightly less crowded and rates are better. And, you gain an hour on the way. We left on at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning and arrived by 11 a.m. central time.
We had 2 day tickets for Soundwaves, the resort’s indoor/outdoor water park, so we packed all of our pool gear separately. The bellman took our suitcases, we picked up our admission bracelets at the front desk and went straight to the water park. We didn’t have to wait for our room to be ready to go any enjoy the water park. So, plan ahead and pack a pool back separate from all of your luggage.
The restrooms inside the entry of Soundwaves have changing stalls and showers. On this day of our weekend trip to Opryland, we explored the inside of the park, which includes a lazy river, a rapids river, activity pool, 3 large waterslides, Flowrider surfing simulator and an area for smaller children.
We had lunch in the park at Decibels, which offers standard fare such as burgers, chicken tenders, wings, pizza and salads. The pizza is a good option for families because it’s just large enough for two kids to share. We like the Farro Salad the best as a healthy option…. enough to repeat ordering it the next day. Also, it was convenient to be able to charge our food to the room so we did not have to carry cash or credit cards in the park.
Later that afternoon, we went to our room to change and get ready for evening activities. We had an indoor room with a lovely view of the atrium. We all enjoyed looking at the wide variety of plants, flowers and trees that grow in the atrium garden! Our room was clean and comfortable, though pretty basic. It included 2 queen beds, a large television, plenty of outlets and charging ports, a cartridge-style coffee maker (not compatible with Keurig) and mini-fridge, but no microwave. There was also a closet and a second vanity outside of the full bathroom. Inside the tub/shower combo were mounted full-size bottles body wash, shampoo and conditioner.
After our showers we put our problem-solving skills to the test in the The Captain’s hidden Treasure Escape Room. We had 30 minutes to explore the room and follow the clues, and I’m proud to say we found the treasure with 8 minutes to spare. Our pirate host stayed in character the whole time, and encouraged us along the way. Our 13 year-olds enjoyed this activity quite a bit, a great addition for your weekend trip to Opryland.
Once we were finished, we had time to explore the atrium and quick service dining options. There is a pizza restaurant and a burger restaurant, but we settled on some grab and go food from Conservatory Café’ market. There are also a number of sit-down restaurants that looked nice, but we did not try those on this trip. We sat near the Delta Fountain to eat our meal.
There are 2 separate fountain shows- the International Waters Fountain Show at 7 and 9 p.m. and the Aqua Fountain Show at 6 and 8 p.m. The shows are fun for all ages with music, dancing water and lights! After taking in one of the shows, we treated ourselves to some Carvel ice cream treats before heading to the next attraction.
One unique feature of Gaylord Opryland, is the river that winds through the atrium. There are “riverboat” tours throughout the day (additional charge). We boarded the Delta Riverboat in the evening for the Battle for the Blue Diamond Boat Ride- a pirate-themed show on the water.
This musical show was more geared for the under-10 age group, so our girls were a bit old for it. We noticed some younger boys on our boat who were watching quite intently and having a blast interacting, and everyone young and old enjoyed the glow wands given to each guest.
We finished the night with a Royal Carriage Ride. The lighted, horse drawn carriage made us feel like true princesses! It was a relaxing way to end the evening and reflect on our fun day under the beautiful Tennessee night sky. Be sure to carry cash with you to tip staff members.
The next morning, one of us took the girls to the waterpark while the other enjoyed the Relache Spa. It’s hard for two parents to enjoy the spa since someone has to be with the kids! The spa is tucked away in a quiet area of the resort and features a full menu of spa treatments and indulgences.
Stephanie had a 50-minute massage followed by a little relaxation in their relaxation room. While in the spa, you can take in the steam room or sauna, tea and snacks in the relaxation room, a nice shower, and maybe add-on a facial. With the services, you can relax there as long as you want. It was absolutely wonderful and such a treat for this weekend trip to Opryland.
After eating breakfast in our room, we returned to SoundWaves. Brining breakfast items is highly recommended if you are looking for ways to be more frugal on the trip. Anyway, it was a hot day and we ventured straight outside to the wave pool. I like that the waves are more gentle than the waves at some other water parks.
There is also a giant LED screen above the pool where a variety of music videos play throughout the day.
Of course, our teens had fun poking fun at some of the older artists and music styles! It was a fun jumping off point for conversations, and we enjoyed singing along with some of the tunes.
In addition to the wave pool, the outside park boasts 3 more slides, a kids’ water play structure, and an adult pool strictly reserved for 18+. We spent the day moving between the outdoor and indoor attractions, once again staying in the park for lunch at Decibels.
In the evening, we took a quick shuttle ride over to the Cumberland River where we boarded the General Jackson Showboat. The General Jackson has ties to Kentuckiana. It was build locally by Jeffboat in Jeffersonville, IN. It was launched into the Ohio and traveled to the Cumberland River.
On board, inside the large Victorian Theater, we were treated to a dinner of chicken, beef, potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls and a tasty dessert. After dinner, we ventured out onto the deck for a glimpse of the lights of downtown Nashville, before heading back to the dining room for a lively musical performance.
The show features well-known songs from artists from the river towns of New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. It showcases different musical styles from the past century. The singers, dancers and musicians are all incredibly talented! While mostly geared toward adults, the show is highly energetic and would be well-received by younger music fans.
Before checking out on our last day, we visited Cascades American Café for the breakfast buffet. The buffet included a good variety of food and beverages, in a relaxing environment.
Though we did have to wait a short time for a table, we were sent a text when our table was ready, so were able to walk around the resort while waiting and see some of the foliage and waterfalls we had not seen yet on our weekend trip to Opryland.
Gaylord Opryland Resort in a very unique destination with varying activities each season. It’s definitely a place that is worth visiting at least once. It feels “grown up” and fancy, which makes it a fun location for a special girls’ weekend trip to Opryland!
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