A few weekends ago we headed off to the Gaylord Opryland Resort for a little staycation. We’ve seen this resort hotel featured on social media and had to check out the hype for ourselves. Let me tell you….it did NOT disappoint! We checked in Saturday morning (bonus…our rooms were ready for check in early) and had a fun filled family weekend. Sharing our itinerary and a few tips below, but we’ll have to go back because there are still things we didn’t see or do during our stay! Also I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, but it’s because I was mostly in the water with the kiddos…and I think that’s the best part 🙂
HOW WE SPENT OUR TWO DAYS
Saturday…. Like I mentioned above, we were lucky to have our room ready when we checked in at 10:30am on Saturday morning! That was definitely a bonus and not guaranteed, but it was so great to drop our stuff off in the room and get settled right away. Upon check in we also got our wristbands for Soundwaves, an upscale waterslide park right in the hotel. Then it was immediately off to Soundwaves! The kids saw the slides driving in and literally could not wait to get into the waterpark. We spent the rest of the day playing as a family at Soundwaves. It was SO FUN. We all went down slides, played in the rivers together and honestly just had the best family day.
Saturday Evening…After a FULL day at the slides we headed back to our room to shower and rest for a bit before heading out to a late dinner. We were a little worried because we didn’t plan ahead and make dinner reservations (ooops) but it ended up working out fine! We went to Old Hickory Steakhouse for dinner with the kiddos. It was pretty good, I wouldn’t say the best steakhouse we’ve ever had, but we had fun and the kids really enjoyed the “fancy” dinner. Bonus, they had a kid menu 🙂
Sunday… When we first booked our rooms and stay at Opryland, we didn’t realize that we would be able to go to Soundwaves on both days. It was another bonus to find out that as long as we’re in the park by noon on Sunday, we could enjoy the waterslides for the entire day. Yay! The kiddos voted unanimously to head back to Soundwaves for a second day of fun. By spending two full days at the waterpark, we didn’t really have a chance to explore other areas of the hotel. I guess that just means we’ll have to go back!!
TIPS & QUESTIONS ANSWERED
ROOMS – When my husband, Brad, called to make the reservation he asked the booking agent to help pick the best rooms for our family of six. She really took her time finding two rooms next to each other that would accommodate all of us! With a large family that’s something we really appreciated! We got two rooms, one with a king bed and one with two queens. The best part though is that the king room had a separate little seating area with a pull out couch. Our girls slept in the two queen beds, Owen got the couch (which he loved because it was his own room), and Brad and I got our own space! It was lovely and not something we often get in hotel rooms!
One thing I noticed that on social media a lot of people showcase the rooms overlooking the atrium part of the hotel. While the atrium is BEAUTIFUL, our rooms actually overlooked an outdoor courtyard area and I really loved that privacy. If you choose an atrium room, be sure to request a room on one of the top floors, otherwise you’ll have people walking by your balcony and room.
SOUNDWAVES – Lots of questions regarding the waterpark so I’ll try and answer them all here!
Are there slides/activities for all different ages? YES! 1000% yes. There is such a huge range of slides and play areas. Emmy (age 4) loved the toddler play area with smaller slides and Owen (12), Amelia (10) and Charlotte (9) basically loved everything else. They were able to do basically all of the waterslides and there are lots of options for single riders, doubles and even a family slide. For the really adventurous there are two super tall slides where the bottom just drops out and sends you down. Brad tried one of them and said it was fun, but these are definitely for the more adventurous crowd!! I think we only saw grown men on the slide 🙂
Is it crowded? Hard to get a seat? Soundwaves did get pretty crowded while we were there, but we never felt like the lines or seating areas were out of control with people. On Saturday we didn’t pick one seating area and we just moved our towels around from chair to chair. There are tons of simple chairs both indoors and outdoors that are perfect for dropping your stuff. Lounge chairs are less plentiful, so if you want a set of those, I’d secure those when you first arrive!
Favorite area of Soundwaves to get chairs? Like I mentioned above we didn’t have a “home base” on Saturday, but on Sunday Brad and I wanted to relax a bit more. When we first arrived we chose a pair of lounge chairs outside by the toddler area. This was a great spot to spend the day! We could easily see Emmy playing, the big kids could run around to the slides together, and we could relax and enjoy drinks and food. This is the spot I’ll choose when we go again sometime! If you don’t have young kiddos, a great outdoor spot would be near the wave pool. We preferred the outside seating over the inside, but it wasn’t a crazy hot day, so maybe that would change based on weather.
FOOD – Lots of questions about the food!! There are sooo many options for restaurants but we only tried two of them!! Since we spent both days at Soundwaves we ate lunch there both days. The food was great! The restaurant is upstairs and looks over the indoor portion of Soundwaves. The line was pretty long on Saturday but the big kids were able to play in the river while I watched from above with Emmy. Everyone was happy with a good selection of burgers, chicken strips, pizza and salads. On Sunday we ordered food and then ate it on our lounge chairs. Basically that’s always my favorite option 🙂
For dinner we ate at the steakhouse and like I mentioned above it was good, but not the yummiest steakhouse I’ve ever been to either. It was a perfect “fancy” night out with the kids though with a kid menu of our younger ones and pretty views of the hotel. We ate late and ended up having a fun view of the Opryland’s nightly light show!
On Sunday morning we had wanted to try the buffett, but we got a late start and the wait was super long. The kids were hungry and just wanted to get to the waterpark…so we skipped it this time around. Hopefully next time!
NEARBY ATTRACTIONS – I have to preface this by saying, we are still very new to Nashville and the surrounding area so I don’t have the best sense of direction in terms of where the Opryland is in relation to other Nashville activities. I wouldn’t say there is too much right around the Opryland, but lots of things within an easy drive. We adore downtown Franklin for it’s charm, restaurants and cute shops. Franklin also has a lot of Civil War historical sites. And of course downtown Nashville isn’t far either!
I hope all of that info regarding our trip to the Gaylord Opryland Resort is helpful!! Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer! 🙂