Bells Bend Park


This bucolic park sits within a bend in the Cumberland River. Fifteen miles west of downtown, the 808-acre park has a tranquil beauty well suited to those seeking solitude and wildlife. The park is also home to an outdoor center that schedules bird walks, night hikes and kid-friendly nature classes. More than 6 miles of trails, including a 2.3-mile loop trail, can be accessed from the outdoor center. Leashed dogs are permitted.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nashville attractions

1. The Nations Silo

3.14 MILES

Artist Guido van Helten painted this 15-story lifelike image of longtime Nations resident Lee Estes, who has lived in this neighborhood since the late…

2. Belle Meade Plantation

3.63 MILES

The Harding-Jackson family purchased enslaved people to build a cotton gin, gristmill and sawmill along the Natchez road in the early 1800s. These…

4. Parthenon

5.03 MILES

Built in 1897 to celebrate the state of Tennessee's centenary, Nashville's Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the Ancient Greece original, with a jaw…

5. Centennial Park

5.12 MILES

An easy 1-mile trail loops around a lake in this lovely 132-acre park, with the Parthenon anchoring the western horizon. Vast lawns beg for picnics while…

6. Jefferson Street Sound


Musicians like Muddy Waters, Etta James and Jimi Hendrix all played in clubs on Jefferson St, the heart of the city's Black community during segregation…

7. Fannie Mae Dees Park

5.48 MILES

A colorful dragon sculpture lurks in the heart of this busy park, luring hordes of small children eager to scramble over its serpentine back. There's also…

8. Vanderbilt University


This prestigious university was founded in 1833 by railway magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The 330-acre campus buzzes with about 12,000 students on lush and…