We all know Nashville has the best musical entertainment this side of the sun. Considering that the city’s most popular nickname is Music City, you can probably guess that Nashville is not famous for its subtlety. What you might not know is that Nashville is one of the most romantic cities in the country. Formerly known as “The Athens of the South,” Nashville is just as romantic a vacation destination as Greece itself. Even if you’ve never picked up an instrument in your life and have zero interest in Music City, The Athens of the South will leave you delighted and entranced. I chose Portland as the destination for my first romantic getaway, and that proved too weird a location for my partner. The most romantic place we found there was our Stay Alfred travel apartment, all because I didn’t prepare ahead of time. Clearly preparation can be useful, which is why we’re going to highlight five of the most romantic venues in all of Nashville. Shall we begin?

The Grand Ole Opry

Okay okay, I know what you’re thinking. We’ve been talking about how not everything in Nashville is related to music, and yet the first venue on our list is arguably the single most famous musical destination in America. But listen: even if you hate all music, The Grand Ole Opry is worth the visit. Never mind the incredible artists the Opry brings in every week to give soulful performances. If you’re a fan of history, architecture, or even just beauty, signing up for the Grand Ole Opry backstage tour will be well worth your time.

Grab your partner by the hand and enjoy a quiet tour through “country’s most famous stage.” Then, if inclined, catch performances by some of the biggest names in country music right up on that very same stage you just got to appreciate first-hand. Never fear, non-music lovers – we won’t discuss another music venue for a while yet.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is truly a must-visit location for all Nashville vacationers who enjoy the outdoors. Don’t feel obligated to explore every inch of this 132-acre park, but you would do well to take at least half a day here. Unlike some of our other suggestions, this is one romantic locale that youngsters can have fun with too. Nashville wasn’t content to have a park with just a band shell, an events shelter, sand volleyball courts, a dog park, and an exercise trail.

In addition, Centennial Park features gorgeous sunken gardens filled with flowers and a huge sporting complex–and who wouldn’t want their park to have a full-scale model Parthenon? The model Parthenon is the undeniable centerpiece of Centennial Park, and the centerpiece of the Parthenon itself is a 42-foot statue of Athena.

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Speaking of ~42-foot-tall things, you should definitely check out the giraffes at the Nashville Zoo. Well, really you ought to check out all 339 species the zoo hosts, although maybe not every single one of the over 6,000 animals that live there. Some zoo experiences are more romantic than others, so it’s really up to you how intimate an experience the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere really is. If you want to run a whole crew of kids through the zoo in a couple hours, that’s easy-peasy. If you want a more personal experience, consider signing up for the zoo’s overnight visit. Or, if you or your partner is a photography buff, sign up for a 2-4 hour private photography session and capture the animals at their most intimate! 

Belmont Mansion

Constructed in the mid-1800s, Belmont Mansion is certainly one of the most ancient attractions in Nashville. What once functioned as a mansion for an heiress now serves to preserve a slice of 19th century life. It’s the perfect place for you and your partner to dress up fancy, put on a bourgeoise face, and pretend that you’re the wealthiest people of the late 19th century. Here’s a fun game: try to figure out what each of the mansion’s 36 rooms was initially used for (hint: maids had to live somewhere)! Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971, the Belmont Mansion is also a museum. Take a gander at historical statues and busts, paintings and portraits, furniture, photographs, and personal items from the people of ye olden times. 

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

See? Told you we wouldn’t come back to music venues for a while. That said, our last romantic option for today is the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. While there’s plenty of amazing performance areas and musicians in Nashville, none of the music you’ll hear from them can touch your heart in the way the music performed at Schermerhorn Symphony Center will.. Sit alongside some 1,800 other music fans and take in the wonderful pieces of whichever show catches your fancy. Top the whole experience off with a date at the in-house Urban Cookhouse Cafe and gnash your teeth into a delicious Nashville wrap, salad, or side-snack.

There you have it, romance fans: a complete guide to celebrating your relationship Nashville-style. Well, perhaps not entirely complete, since we didn’t get around to discussing bars and restaurants. The truth is, the food and beverage choices in Nashville are so universally tasty that you won’t be able to go four blocks without finding somewhere to stop. So eat and drink what you want when you want, and just enjoy the ride!