Learn about the origins of country music in the nostalgic bars and museums of Music Valley and navigate the indoor canals of a remarkable hotel.
Donelson is a trendy hub of artists and musicians, brimming with eclectic restaurants and cafés. Independent boutiques and markets stand beside quirky museums and bars with live music, while a golf course and water park use the leafy terrain at its core. Explore the quaint historic center and bucolic greenery on your visit to Donelson to experience the highlights of this village.
For a sense of the retro culture, head to Cooter’s Place, outside which stand a tow truck and bright orange car from the iconic television series The Dukes of Hazzard. Venture inside and find yourself in a world mirroring the comedy series from the 1980s. You may even meet the museum and storeowner Ben Jones, who played a sidekick on the show.
Next door is the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and General Store. Check out the memorabilia, costumes and former belongings of the famous singer and his fellow county music stars.
To experience the region’s famous country music for yourself, walk south through the Music Valley to the iconic Grand Ole Opry, whose stage is graced by a mix of the genre’s legends and contemporary artists.
A little south, the village opens into vast green grounds. Play a few rounds at the Two Rivers Golf Course and admire the Italianate façade of the Two Rivers Mansion. Kids will enjoy splashing around in the Wave Country pool. Nearby, meander along the waterways of the indoor gardens of Gaylord Opryland Resort.
Arrive at Nashville International Airport at the southern end of the village. If you’re already in the city center, drive east for about 10 miles (16 kilometers) to get to Donelson. You can also travel by commuter train to the Donelson railway station.
While here, make sure to see other nearby districts such as South Nashville, Hermitage and East Nashville.
Donelson is a nostalgic haven, taking visitors back through television of the 1980s and the development of country music.