Adventure Activities in Nashville -- Try if You Dare

Adventure Activity Nashville

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Nashville, Tenn., is anything but boring. Driving past Vanderbilt Stadium with a University of Tennessee bumper sticker might count as daring, but there are other, more interesting, ways of testing your courage in Music City.

Here are five activities we dare you to try in Nashville:

1. Take a shot at being the next country music star

Sure, we've all done it: We sing in the shower. We sing into a hairbrush. We sing in the car with the radio. But if you have the nerve, the Bluebird Cafe has the microphone.

The Bluebird is a performance hall just south of downtown Nashville. The world-famous venue has hosted greats such as Garth Brooks, Kathy Matea and LeAnn Rimes. Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney both sang on Open Mic Nights before they were discovered. Open Mic Night is every Monday night. In order to be considered, potential performers must sign up between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Names are drawn for performance slots and the lineup is announced by 6 p.m. The show runs for three hours, 6-9 p.m. If you have the nerve, you may be the next Nashville star.

The Bluebird Cafe
Location: 4104 Hillsboro Road

2. Hang out with dead soldiers

The Carnton Plantation, called "The Most Haunted Building in Tennessee," is located just south of Nashville. This plantation was the one-time home of John and Carrie McGavock. But on Nov. 30, 1864, this home and the land around it became the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Known as the Battle of Franklin, the five-hour conflict ended with almost 10,000 men listed as dead, wounded, captured or missing.

The house became the largest field hospital, and even today, areas of the floor are stained with the blood of fallen soldiers, some of whom may not have left. According to legend, there are several ghosts that still inhabit the home. The Carnton Plantation offers tours that explore these stories and give visitors a chance to record their own experiences. The tour is $12 a person (children 7 and under are not allowed).

Carnton Plantation
Location: 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin

3. Seek out famous ghosts

Does James K. Polk still wander the grounds of the Capitol, angry that his body was moved? This is one of the questions posed by many who film phantom lights during the Nashville Ghost Tour.

This walking tour of downtown Nashville takes the intrepid explorer to some of the most haunted sights in Nashville. The tour, led by a costumed, lantern carrying tour guide, takes you to sites such as Printer's Alley, The Capitol, The Hermitage Hotel, and the Ryman Auditorium. For ghost hunters, 21 and up, they offer the Haunted Tavern Tour. This walking tour allows the hunters to look for spirits while enjoying spirits. Reservations are required. Prices start at $15 for adults and $8 for children.
Meeting place:
corner of 6th Avenue North and Union Avenue

4. Gaze on the city -- from above

Get a bird's-eye-view of Nashville, while gently floating at cloud level -- in the basket of a hot air balloon. B & L Ballooning is a locally owned balloon company that has been showing customers the world since 1985. The pilot, Lou Bottiggi, has logged several thousand hours of balloon and fixed wing hours as a pilot. He will make sure that every ride is both exciting and safe.

B & L also offers pilot training and a full range of services for the balloon enthusiast, from April through December. Reservations are strongly recommended. Prices start at around $395.
Location: 6908 Southern Woods Dr., Brentwood,

5. Free-fall over Nashville

The most daring may want to try the skydiving adventure activity in Nashville. Imagine flying above the city and watching the Cumberland River wind through forested hills. See the skyline from the sky. All this with no noise except the wind whistling in your ears as you free fall at 200 feet per second.

Skydive Nashville offers tandem jumps for first-time divers. Strapped to an instructor, the first time diver does nothing but enjoy the ride. For the more courageous, Skydive Nashville offers the Accelerated Free Fall program. This class gives students the chance to learn skydiving safety on the ground before jumping with a parachute from a plane. There are seven levels to the training, but the first level can be completed over a weekend, culminating in a single, accompanied by two instructors. Costs for a tandem jump run around $217. The class requires at least one tandem jump, and will cost around $321. Cameras are encouraged.

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