Best of Nashville’s Public Parks

Looking for a quick escape from urban life at one of Nashville’s public parks? Although Nashville continues to rapidly grow, the city holds onto its beloved green space and appreciation for nature—and for good reason. It’s no secret that fresh air stimulates our brain; time spent in nature does wonders for both our mind and our well-being. Even a brisk 10 minute walk can get our blood flowing enough to spark a new idea and help us be more productive.

Though, whether you want to go to one of Nashville’s public parks on your own time or to help you through the work day, we’ll leave the choice up to you. Either way, we encourage everyone to spend more time out in nature. Read on for our recommended list of Nashville’s public parks.

Need a quick bite or something to sip on* while at the park? Peruse our list of local spots for bangin’ breweries, workday lunch, and quality coffee.

Nashville’s Public Parks – Our Picks

  • Shelby Bottoms
  • Centennial Park
  • Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
  • East Park
  • Cumberland Park

*we do not condone the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public parks


Nashville's Public Parks - Shelby Park in East Nashville
Photo courtesy of Facebook

Shelby Bottoms

Why:

An aesthetically pleasing array of terrain, including bluffs, rolling hills, floodplains, wooded trails, and riverside views along the Cumberland, compiles Nashville’s third-largest nature park. Shelby Park boasts a colorful history dating as far back as 1892, when it initially opened as a privately owned park at the end of a streetcar line. Decades later in 1997, the first of Shelby’s trails opened to the public, and in 2007, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center opened at the Main Trailhead to educate park visitors about the natural landscape.

From farmland, amusement park, shaded leisurely getaway, airfield, sports field, and more, there are few things Shelby Park has not been in the past two centuries. Though, don’t take our word for it; discover for yourself the rich history and bountiful activities that Shelby Park provides for the Nashville community. On your visit, you will likely see abundant wildlife. The deer come so close you could practically touch them! (but don’t)

Where:

1900 Davidson Street, Nashville, TN 37206

What to do:

Enjoy the soccer field, baseball field, golf course, disc golf course, open green space, nature center, bike trails, walking trails, running route, community events, and more!


Photo courtesy of Facebook

Centennial Park

Why:

The Parthenon, Musician’s Corner

Nashville’s Centennial Park emerged from Tennessee’s Centennial Exhibition in 1897, which showcased the strengths of the Volunteer State. While there were several buildings constructed for the exhibition, all but one—The Parthenon—were dismantled at the end of the fair. The park’s green space also remained at the request of Nashville’s general public, who fell in love with the park.

Why is The Parthenon exceptionally special? It stands as “the world’s only exact-size and detail replica of the original temple in Athens, Greece.” (The Parthenon) Before Music City USA became Nashville’s moniker, the blooming city received the name Athens of the South as a nod to the grand number of quality colleges in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Today, the park hosts myriads of cultural events throughout the year to keep the rich roots of Nashville’s public park strong. Centennial Park serves as a green space oasis among urban life. From live music festivals, to celebrating cultures from around the world, and artisan craft expos, Centennial Park has its finger on the pulse of Nashville’s creative communities.

Where:

2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

What to do:

Visit the Parthenon museum and art display, check out a show at Musician’s Corner, attend community events, throw a picnic, catch a frisbee, participate in a snow day snowball fight


Nashville's Public Parks - Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park close to downtown
Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Why:

One hundred years after Tennessee’s centennial celebration in 1897, Nashville celebrated Tennessee’s bicentennial year on June 1, 1996. To commemorate 200 years of Tennessee’s history, the 11-acre Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park was strategically built in line with the Capitol Building and on top of the historical French Lick wetlands.

Along the Bicentennial walkway, viewers can gaze at native plant species from each Tennessee county, soak in the history of Tennessee, marvel at a granite map of the state, and more.

Where:

600 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243

What to do:

Study the 200 foot granite map of Tennessee, jump through the Rivers of Tennessee fountains, shop at nearby Nashville Farmer’s Market


Nashville's Public Parks - East Park close to Center 615 coworking space
Photo courtesy of Nashville Guru

East Park

Why:

Not only is East Park vital to East Nashville’s residents, but the park also hosts several family-friendly public events throughout the year. Nashville’s annual Hot Chicken Festival, Nashville Rosé Festival, Nashville Helping Nashville Neil Young All Star Tribute Show, the list of motley events at this Nashville public park goes on.

On non-festival occasions, East Park serves the community as the perfect place to play (or watch) baseball, kickball, frisbee, and more. If you visit the park, we can almost guarantee you will also spot a minimum of five dogs. Plus, near the East Community Center, kids can swing and romp around to their heart’s content at the playground.

For non-outdoor activities, hop inside the East Community Center to enjoy a pool, fitness center, basketball court, black box theater, you name it.

The best perk about East Park? It’s just a block away from us at Center 615! If you’re a coworking member here in Nashville and want to explore the outdoors beyond our Courtyard and Roof Deck spaces, just head up 7th Street past Turnip Truck and you’re there! Although, unlike our Roof Deck and Courtyard, East Park does not offer free WiFi (though that may be perfect for your break 😉).

Where:

700 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206

What to do:

Get fired up at Music City Hot Chicken Festival, attend a plethora of other neighborhood events, get active at the East Park Community Center fitness center or pool, watch or play baseball, take your kids to the playground, or walk your dog!


Nashville's Public Park - Cumberland Park at Riverfront
Photo courtesy of archdaily.com

Cumberland Park

Why:

A newer addition to Nashville’s public parks, Cumberland Park provides a variety of play areas for kids and families to frolic and enjoy the view of the Cumberland. Climbers, runners, and see-sawers will all find the perfect play area made just for them. Plus, the park’s amphitheater seats up to 1,200 people for events.

Nashville’s Cumberland Park stands as one piece the larger public Riverfront space. The written history of Nashville’s Riverfront dates all the way back to the 1600s, before Tennessee was a state! Imagine yourself as part of the Cumberland’s rich history when you visit Cumberland Park.

Where:

529 S 1st Street, Nashville, TN 37213

What to do:

Walk the nearby pedestrian bridge, play in the fountains, monkey around on the playground, stroll along the Cumberland Riverfront, hustle to downtown attractions


Want to know where you can find a shared workspace or private office close to all these parks and green spaces? Schedule your Center 615 tour today to discover all of Center 615’s perks.

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