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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Walking Vacations - in Nashville?

A friend recently told me about a woman who, every year, spends the summer in Montreal - just so she could walk!  This woman is a Nashvillian and misses walking so much she carves out time & arranges to 'live' in a city where she can spend her days on foot. 

Truly, this is my dream for Nashville.  Why couldn't this be a walkers paradise?


Nashville does have a significant amount of change ahead if we are to make it a walking destination.  But, if the intention is there - it would be to great benefit.  'Great streets support city businesses' according to the Urban Street Design Guide.  Frommer's remarks that, 'Cities best reveal themselves on foot' 

There are excellent model cities we could look to.  'Montréal is one of North America’s most pedestrian-friendly locales. There’s much to see in the concentrated districts' again from Frommer's. The city’s layout is mostly straightforward and simple to navigate, and the extensive Métro system gets you to and from neighborhoods with ease.

Wouldn't this be lovely & good for business, Nashville?


Who really wants to go on vacation only to be stuck, kind of lost, in a rental car driving from place to place, looking for parking? 

Don't we spend enough time in our cars daily commuting and running errands?  Do you really want to repeat this on vacation???

A quick google search for Walking Districts leads to this question from 2004:

When I visit Nashville for 2 days in April, I would like to find an area downtown on Sunday where I could just park the car just once, walk around and get a taste of Nashville and then have some good choices in the area to get a delicious TASTE of Nashville. Any suggestions?

Tellingly, there are no responses.  In Nashville, in 2004, there may have literally been no way to answer.


Going on vacation to a place where you can walk EVERYWHERE is a luxurious & unique way to see the city plus get your exercise.  It also allows for a certain amount of serendipity - on foot, you have the time, to see & experience unplanned for shops, restaurants and people watching on the way to your destination.


Needless to say - Nashville doesn't currently make the grade to qualify as a place to go for a Walking Vacation.  We are not a 'Classic Journey' kind of place.  We only have sidewalks on less than 1/2 of our roadways (limited to the Urban Service District) & only only 1 side of the street! We are just starting to have concentrated districts of interest.


But, we could become a Walking Vacation destination with better walking amenities!  What could be better after a big southern meal or after sitting for a bit to enjoy music?


Urban Street Design Guide by the National Association of City Transportation Officials

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