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What to Expect When Visiting Tennessee and Kentucky Since the Floods

This morning on my way to tennis I was listening to 107.9, which is a radio station based in Clarksville, Tennessee. (Clarksville is about an hour north of Nashville. Or at least from downtown Nashville. We live south of the city so it’s a smidge over an hour for us to get there.)

At any rate, the DJs were talking about LBL. (Land Between the Lakes for those of you not from around here. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may recall a day trip to Land Between the Lakes we took last year.) Their conversation was the inspiration for today’s post, because we’ve got a big holiday weekend coming up: Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is a big travel weekend, but it also officially kicks off the summer travel season. But with the historic flooding we’ve had around here, how does that affect our tourism?

NASHVILLE

If you’re planning on coming to Nashville this summer, the following are closed until further notice:

  • Gaylord Opryland Hotel – Even if you don’t stay here, this hotel is still a tourist attraction it’s that amazing inside.
  • General Jackson Showboat – This showboat docks right by Opry Mills and has been closed since the flooding, but Midday and Evening cruises are set to resume operations this Friday, May 21.
  • Grand Ole Opry – This one is kind of an exception. The building may have been flooded and is closed until renovations can be completed, but the show’s still going on every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Weekly Opry Updates let fans know which shows will be at which venues.
  • Opry Mills – An outlet mall and regular mall combined. Sprawling. Lots of good shops. Shopaholics are mourning the hiatus and will surely rejoice when it reopens.
  • The Schermerhorn Symphony Center – Like the Grand Ole Opry, the symphony is scrambling to find different venues to accommodate its upcoming shows, but the building itself received extensive damage and will need to undergo renovations before it can reopen.
  • Wildhorse Saloon – This super popular restaurant, bar and music venue which is also a major tourist draw in Downtown Nashville sits right along the part of Second Avenue that got whomped during the floods.

CLARKSVILLE

Much like Downtown Nashville, part of Downtown Clarksville sits right near the Cumberland River. Consequently, when the river breached flood stage, parts of Riverside Drive and all of the businesses plus the park along there were submerged.

According to a News Channel 5 story, 200 businesses along Riverfront Drive “sustained major flood damage.” That’s about half of the almost 400 businesses throughout Clarksville that were damaged in the floods.

I didn’t find specific tourist attractions that are still closed, but if you’re heading this way to see Fort Donelson or stop for lunch or something on your way to LBL, be prepared for possible closings.

KENTUCKY

Here’s what to watch for in Kentucky due to the floods:

  • LBL – Most areas are open, but some roads were washed out. Barricades are in place. Do NOT drive around them! For a list of boat ramps and campsites that are open, visit their website.
  • Mammoth Cave – The Houchin Ferry Campground is still closed, but tours have resumed normal schedule. Also, all trails are open but visitors are warned to use extra caution and watch for hazardous erosion.

OTHER AREAS WITHIN MIDDLE TENNESSEE AND SOUTHERN KENTUCKY

The above were the big tourist/travel attractions that I knew were affected. If I come across information on other parks, businesses, museums, historic sites that are still trying to recover I’ll be sure to post updates.

5 Comments

  • I problably won’t be going anywhere out of the state this year. It is too bad that Mother Nature is being such a bitch this year and messing up many places that tourist like to visit. I’m sure those that will be visiting Tennessee will appreciate the heads up on where they can and can not go.

  • I was planning a haunted hotel trip there this weekend, but decided against it because of the flooding. It really is tragic. We used to love going to Opry Mills and going to the Aquarium with the kids. I’ll miss visiting.

  • Julie: “It is too bad that Mother Nature is being such a bitch this year”…CLASSIC! love that line. It’s true, but it also made me LOL. Thanks for the comment. (and the chuckle)

    Jessica: Oh no! You’re not coming after all? Rats! Other places are still open, and the hotel you were planning at staying at was okay and didn’t sustain any damage, but other parts of downtown are still closed. But, yep, the Aquarium and Opry Mills are shut down. For now. You’ll have to plan a trip back to see the grand reopenings of everything!

  • Thanks for the heads up………….the water has receded around here so we kinda forget that it’s still affecting some of KY’s recreation spots.

  • Hey Mark, thanks for dropping by with a comment. I didn’t even know KY had been affected in the ways it had until I started doing research for this article after hearing about LBL on the radio. I hadn’t even considered what all would be going on up there. Glad to know the water’s gone down. Shoosh, that was some crazy stuff!

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