The Nashville Zoo

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t enjoy visiting the animals in a well kept and attractive animal park. The Nashville Zoo boasts not only the normal animal exhibits, but offers some animals that are not readily available in other zoos around the country. In addition the Nashville zoo is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day away.

An accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is more than just a zoo. It’s a zoo with a difference. The Nashville Zoo is a sprawling 200-acre park and plantation farmhouse that is rich in history. It is conveniently located just 6 miles southeast of downtown Nashville, making it easy to find and easy to reach if you’re vacationing in the Nashville, Tennessee area, or even if you’re a local area resident.

The Nashville Zoo offers programs for visitors, that excite tourism as well as programs for local residents that are designed to offer help to the community as a whole. For example, the zoo’s offerings include a Dino Trek that allows you to see 15 life sized dinosaurs that will walk, slither and hiss their way across your life. For a limited time during the summer, the Dino Trek, hugely popular, is available at the Nashville Zoo.

In addition, the zoo also hosts a day camp that is available to local residents for children who have special needs. The program is a big hit with kids and was designed for children who can benefit from one on one individualized interaction with adults in the program.

Throwback Movie Thursdays

Thursday nights are movie night. Called Throwback Movie Thursdays, there are classic music hits, old fashioned games and interaction before the movie and the movie is shown on a giant screen on the Festival Field every Thursday. The movies are major hits from the 80s and 90s, designed to be entertaining and fun for the entire family.

Thursday movies are 6 dollars for non zoo members and free to all those who have a zoo membership. Food and drinks are available for movie goers and parents are encouraged to attend the movies along with their children.

In addition to the special programs, hits at the zoo’s animal exhibits include:

African Crested Porcupine Exhibit
Lynx Exhibit
The African Savanna
The Bamboo Trail
Bairds Tapir Exhibit
The Unseen New World
Critter Encounters
Flamingo Lagoon
Pantanal Exhibit
Gibbon Island

Landers McLarty Subaru Review

Subaru LogoIf you are looking for a new Subaru, Landers McLarty Subaru in Huntsville is worth checking out, both in person and online. I know it’s a little way to drive but it was really worth it for me, enough so that I’m taking time to write this review. The dealership has a nice selection of new Subaru vehicles available. Sticker prices might be a bit high compared to other dealerships elsewhere so be prepared to negotiate.When you are negotiating on a particular vehicle, ask that it be held while working on a deal so you are not disappointed that the car you wanted was sold while you were negotiating or waiting on loan approval. This can happen with any dealership as more than one person may be interested in the same car.

Landers website does well in presenting all the vehicles available, both new and used. So it is wise to browse the site first, getting all the information you need to make a smart deal before going to the dealership. Then you can go with a list of features the site shows for the cars you are interested in and verify that those features are there and work properly. You can also have a printout of the CarFax with you. Not all dealerships have websites this complete so Landers McLarty Subaru does have an edge here.

Educating yourself on the vehicle you want to buy, what your trade in’s blue book value is and knowing what to look for that could indicate a problem with a vehicle before you go to the dealership is a good idea and that goes for visiting any dealership. Should you run into any problems during your dealings, contact customer service right away. They are responsive and can help resolve any problems.

Top Spots for Fall Foliage in Middle Tennessee

fall colorsLeaf turning time in Middle Tennessee triggers holiday-like festivities. The panoramic beauty of fall foliage fascinates both locals and out-of-towners. The most spectacular colors this side of heaven are on display for leaf peepers pleasure. From flaming-red maples and crimson sumac to red sweet gums and golden hickories, incredible colors blanket Tennessee hills, highways and byways.

While you may prefer driving to view the lovely leaves, alternate vehicles such as bicycles, helicopters, boats, hot air balloons and trains are available. Hiking and horse trails and are located in state parks.

Piggy-backing leaf peeping with fun activities is trending now. We’ve compiled Nashvillian’s pet places to go and fun things to do between mid-October and late November when fall foliage peaks.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a favorite haunt of locals. Stretching 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville are more than 100 types of trees decked out in dazzling colors. Points of interest include:

  • Watch for milepost 375.8, the Old Trace Drive where you’ll enjoy magnificent overlooks of a hardwood forest.
  • Milepost 382.8, Metal Ford and milepost 392.5, Swanview Overlook have places to pull over and admire multihued leaves.
  • Get out of the car and take a stroll at milepost 385.9, Meriwether Lewis or Fall Hollow, milepost 391.9.

Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic route, which does not permit commercial traffic. Devoid of stoplights or stop signs, the Parkway is a cyclists dream. You can bike amidst beauty, birds and leaves dancing in the breeze.

Fall Creek Falls State Park celebrates “Fall Colors Weekend” on October 18-19. It’s the spot for reconnecting with Tennessee nature. Not only is Leaf Peeping Season in its prime, there are photo-ops galore. Millikan’s Overlook is a don’t-miss for photography buffs. Hike up Buzzard’s Roost to see the lone Virginia Pine and surrounding views of the wooded canyon.

How about a zip lining adrenaline rush? As multicolored tree tops go whizzing by, you’ll marvel at the variety of shapes and hues as you “fly” through the air.

Radnor Lake State Park is for those who prefer roads less traveled. Here, you’ll find peace and serenity, which locals dub closest to the heart of nature you can possibly get. Walk the hiking trails for a taste of true wilderness and striking fall foliage, against the backdrop of Radnor Lake.

Cheekwood is situated on 55 peaceful acres in Belle Meade. Meander among 5,000 richly-colored Chrysanthemums and awesome fall-hued trees. Beware of scarecrows on exhibit, but sort of hidden!

The Fontanel Mansion, previously owned by Barbara Mandrell, nestles in the Whites Creek Valley, amongst rolling hills. You’ll have a panoramic view of the forest that boasts a potpourri of autumn leaves. The Nashville Scene recently designated The Woods at Fontanel “best outdoor amphitheater in Nashville”.

Old Hickory Lake features the fall foliage cruise by Wanderin’ Star Yacht Charters. This is an interactive experience where you’ll get to hoist that sail and even sail the Catalina 25.

The General Jackson Showboat cruises up and down the Cumberland River. Make your way to the top deck where you can bask in vibrant colors of trees flanking the river. Do the Midday cruise for optimal daylight. In addition, you’ll enjoy a lovely lunch and country show.

Get on-board the Tennessee Central Railway’s Fall Foliage Trip for a panoramic view of autumn leaves at their gracious best. Call early to reserve a coveted seat in the glass-enclosed dome.

Get a birds-eye view from a hot air balloon. Watch while treetops create a giant red-orange-yellow rainbow. Guys, if you’re ready to pop the question, you won’t find a more unique and romantic setting!

Enjoy your color-full journey!

The Birthplace of Contemporary Country Music

Known as the birthplace of contemporary country music and unique architecture, Nashville Tennessee is one of the most exciting and dynamic places to visit in the eastern United States. Tourists will find not only great music, but great food, and a history that has deeper roots than what most people associate with the city. A trip through Nashville today can be a revelation to visitors who never imagined just how diverse this ‘Athens of the South’ really is.

The Home of More than Just Country Music

A love of music is the obvious reason to visit Nashville. The city is not just about country music, although there’s still no ignoring just how powerful an influence the genre has had on Nashville’s development and culture. The Nashville sound throughout the 50s and 60s is what turned country music into a multimillion dollar industry. Such production greats as Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and artists like Patsy Cline and Skeeter Davis helped to shape that sound, which is the basis for modern country music today.

Aside from country styles, there is also a strong jazz and blues scene throughout the city. Tourists and musical pilgrims alike will be attracted to such features as the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Bluebird Café strip mall and live music venue. Visitors can even visit famed instrument maker Gibson USA’s factory, where they can watch guitars and other stringed instruments being handcrafted to perfection.

A Foodies Paradise

Maybe there’s something about music and food that goes together so well in a metropolitan area like Nashville, after all, they’re both good for the soul. Tourists looking for gastronomical adventures will be right at home in Nashville Tennessee.

There are plenty of places to eat around Nashville, and visitors will be able to sample some of the finest southern cuisine. Known for mouthwatering barbeque, hot chicken, hot fish, and the famed ‘meat and three’, there’s something for every taste.

One place that no visitor should miss is the iconic Pancake Pantry. Since 1960 this pancake house has been offering up huge stacked plates of pancakes to locals and food tourists alike.

Deep Historical Ties

Like much of the south, Nashville is steeped in American history. Visitors with an interest in heritage will find some in every corner of Nashville, from the historic buildings (even including the century year old glass and timber construction of the previously mentioned Pancake Pantry), to the rich university circuit including the historic Vanderbilt University.

Visitors interested in deeper American history should start off with the Nashville trolley tour. This is a great way to get acquainted with the city and see some of the famous sites like the Vanderbilt University, Ryman Auditorium, and Music Row. They could then move on to historical attractions based around the civil war and southern history in general with plantation and presidential manor tours, and tours through the civil war site of the Battle of Franklin.

A Dynamic, Diverse, and Thoroughly Interesting City

There’s something for everyone in Nashville, whether it’s the combination of different cultures including the largest Kurdish culture in the US, the history in music and visual arts, or the dramatic roles that nearby locations played in the civil war. There’s just something about Nashville that makes it one of the most special and unique places to visit in all of the United States, or even the world.

Finding the Top 5 Amusement Park in the Nashville TN Area

Looking for family fun and adventures is easy when you head for any one of these top 5 amusement park in the Nashville TN area. Summer trips, family vacations, and spring breaks are great amusement park opportunities.

Enjoy the two to three hour drive to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. Country singer Dolly Parton created this theme park that focuses on fun, exciting rides like Wild Eagle and Daredevil Falls, and music. Entertaining attractions like the Calico Falls Schoolhouse, The Wonder Wheel and the Parade of Lights make this adventure perfect for the entire family.

Beech Bend Park & Splash Lagoon is an hour and a half away from Nashville in Bowling Green KY. This water park provides fast-paced roller coasters and a grand carousel for spring and summer fun. Water rides have great names like the Lazy River, Lotta Watta Island, and Ragin’ Rapid water slides. A family-friendly area, it has provided family fun for years.

Take a two-hour trip past Chattanooga to visit Lake Winnepesaukah or Lake Winnie in Rossville GA, about two hours away. It has been in operation since 1925and has family-friendly rides for kids of all ages. Ride the Whale; the Bumblebees and the Wave Swinger. The 1916 carousel is as much fun as the paddleboats.

Right in your own backyard is the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Nashville. Make the visit part of a trip coming or going, with a souvenir bear each person gets to make.

Three hours from Nashville is Holiday World at Santa Claus IN. Featuring over 30 rides, most are perfect for all ages. Splashin’ Safari, the waterpark, is included with admission.

A short drive from Nashville provides memories and fun to last a lifetime. Take cameras and memory sticks for those great photo ops.

The Health Benefits of Coffee

coffeeCaffeine is the most active substance in coffee. The health effects of caffeine become statistically significant when you consume at least four cups of coffee each day. These effects include sleeplessness, anxiety and irritability, especially in individuals who are susceptible to caffeine. Any attempt to derive health benefits from coffee should therefore limit coffee consumption to three cups per day. It is also important to skip cream and sugar when drinking coffee.

Coffee increases your alertness, which can be beneficial for certain tasks. A scientific study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that caffeine improves the ability of students to detect grammatical errors in written text, especially errors in verb tense and subject verb agreement. The same study did not show an improvement in the students’ ability to detect misspelled words.

According to our friends at, caffeine may also reduce the risk of depression in women. A study at Harvard University appearing in The Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that two to three cups of coffee per day reduce the risk of depression in women by 15 percent. A minimum of four cups of coffee per day reduce that risk by 20 percent. The reason for this improvement is that caffeine modulates the release of mood transmitters in the brain according to Dr. Albert Ascherio, a researcher in the Harvard study. Continue reading