Nearly Native’s 5 Ways to Get Outside this Summer

Now that the “unofficial” start of summer has come and gone, it’s officially prime time for outdoor activities in Nashville. The blissfully, sometimes excessively, warm summer months are here to stay, causing workdays to consist of significant amounts of time staring longingly out of your office window starving for that Middle Tennessee Vitamin D. For those precious days that you do get to be outside, we’ve come up with 5 ways for you to get outdoors and soak up the southern sun!

  1. Canoeing:  Or “cabrewing” as it’s also fondly called. If you’re not familiar, this outdoor activity consists of venturing out to one of the many rivers in Tennessee with a horde of your friends for a day of floating and tomfoolery. There are a number of rivers to float on, including The Harpeth River, which is only a short drive outside of Nashville. Several companies have set up shop just south-west of the city limits, in order to provide you and your friends with canoes, kayaks or inner tubes, depending on your desires. People usually bring libations with them, but be careful, technically you’re not supposed to bring alcohol on the water but it happens (shhh). Make sure to book your reservations in advance AND show up at least 30 minutes beforehand to fill out the necessary paperwork. Here are a few awesome companies to book your day on the river with:
  2. Boating: Clearly we’re not living in a tropic oasis and the nearest large body of water is a several hours away, but Nashville does have a few nice lakes nearby to get your boating fix. Percy Priest Lake and Old Hickory Lake are nearest to the city and sees massive amounts of traffic in the summertime. Get your friends together and rent a pontoon for a day at the “party cove” or just cruising around.  There are also some other great lakes within a few hours from Nashville, including Center Hill Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Lake Cumberland in Kentucky and Norris Lake. Here are some local boating options:
  3. Paddle boarding: If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box water activity that will get you moving, paddle boarding (stand up paddle and otherwise) is just what you’re looking for! This water sport has taken off in recent years and it’s popularity has created several local companies that provide paddle board services and tutorials on Percy Priest Lake and on The Cumberland River. We’ve tried this one for you with Big Willie’s Action Sports, ready our review HERE. Here are some other ways to try it:
  4. Hiking: For all of you that aren’t water enthusiasts there are most definitely things to do on dry land in Nashville. There are several places within driving distance to hike and explore the beauty that Tennessee has to offer. Ranging from hard to easy hikes with elevation changes and waterfall destinations, hiking is definitely a way to embrace the outdoors this summer. Here are a few places to try:
  5. Picnicking: If you’re looking for something less sweat-inducing and more relaxing, planning a picnic in Nashville is an easy crowd-pleaser. If you’re entertaining guests from out-of-town who aren’t up for activities or you’re just looking to plan a thoughtful date, a picnic is perfect for pretty much any scenario. Here are the places we’d suggest you plop down on blanket with snacks in the sun:
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