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?
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.
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.
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.