A Belmont Bucket List for Freshman from a Senior

Forget what you’ve heard about gazebo hangs and fountain gazing. While these are all typical (and great) freshman encounters within our recently voted “Most Beautiful Southern College Campus,” I urge newcomers to reach outside campus to explore Nashville beyond the honky-tonk, pedal tavern culture. Here are a few alternative places I recommend!

  • Want something other than Fido or Bongo? Try Retrograde Coffee. With a wide ranging menu, you can grab a cortado or a fresh smoothie served up with a hefty serving of great aesthetic for your Instagram. Located off of Dickerson Pike, this is bound to be your new favorite study spot!
  • Most seasoned Belmont students will send you to Radnor Lake or Percy Priest Lake to go on a hike, but another great option within 30 minutes of Belmont is Narrows of the Harpeth. If you’re not exactly prepped to take a ten-mile hike, don’t be afraid: this one is only a mile and will take you to a beautiful view overlooking a river and a nearby farm.
  • A big mood throughout college is missing your pets. Go to the Humane Society or Metro Care and Control to walk and play with some furbabies! An organization called Tails of the Trail (cutest name ever, I know) hosts morning events where anyone can sign up to go walk a dog that’s up for adoption. Even better, it counts for convo! Or, if you are really missing your pup, the Nashville Humane Society has installed a program in which people can take dogs out of shelter life for a day and treat them to a local park and lots of one-on-one snuggles.
  • Already been to the Frist this month? (Pro tip: you can get into Frist Art Museum for free on Thursdays before five if you flash your ID.) Mosey on over to the GRAMMY Museum Gallery. Often, there are exclusive exhibits featuring costumes of artists ranging from Katy Perry to the Rolling Stones to Michael Jackson — and you get to find out how the awards show came to exist and see tons of instruments used by legends like Johnny Cash.
  • After a concert at Ascend Amphitheater (or really anywhere downtown), a cheap, late-night diner is Hermitage Café. They make classic burger-and-fries dishes and serve breakfast all day. My personal favorite is the biscuits and gravy! Don’t forget to bring cash; there are no cards accepted here.

Everyone discovers their own Nashville staples once they explore the city for themselves, but I hope these help a few newbies find their way past Broadway.

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