Five Ways to Spring into Nashville

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With Spring just starting and all the wonderful things that come with it – warmer weather, flowers, baby animals and so on – it’s time to showcase some of the wonderful events Nashville has to offer during this time of year.  While we may be known for our music and food scenes, we got a lot more to offer including art, gardens, culture, and sporting events.

Cheekwood in Bloom

The first thing I think of when I think of spring, besides warm weather, is flowers.  When it comes to flowers, where else would be a more appropriate than an art and garden expo?  Cheekwood in Bloom events start today, March 22nd, starting with hyacinths, daffodils, and magnolias that eventually give way to iris, dogwoods and viburnums.  Tulips, however, will be this year’s main focus with over 100,000 tulips to see in Cheekwood’s gardens.

Ongoing activities at Cheekwood in Bloom include art activities for children, live music, and story telling for children.  Special events that take place on varying Saturdays include a visit from the Nashville Zoo, a puppeteer, and the Nashville Ballet.

Red tulips


Cherry Blossom Festival

We might not be anywhere close to Japan, but Nashville still knows how to celebrate Japanese culture.  The annual Cherry Blossom Festival features traditional Japanese food, performances, and much more.  The proceeds from the festival go towards planting 1,000 cherry trees – 100 each spring for 10 years.  This year will commemorate the 6th year, or 600 cherry trees to date.

The Cherry Blossom Festival Walk kicks things off and begins and ends at the Public Square.  Following the walk, there will be music and performances along with plenty of Japanese food trucks and vendors.

nashville cherry blossom festival, spring


nashville cherry blossom festival, spring


Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil

The Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil in Nashville is entering its 15th year.  With boiled crawfish fresh from South Louisiana, Louisiana-style chicken & sausage jambalaya and gumbo, and red beans & rice with an all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink setting, how could you pass this up?

The party starts before the boil though and continues well after.  The official pre-party is being held at Music City Dream Cars where you can check out some of the world’s most powerful and upscale cars.  The after-party is being held at Tin Roof Nashville – one of my personally favorite bars in Nashville.

ragin cajun crawfish boil, nashville


Earth Day Festival

The Earth Day Festival is an annual and free, family friendly event with live entertainment.  The event features exhibits and activities that are geared towards educating Nashvillians on protecting our environment.  Nashville’s Mayor, Karl Dean, has a goal to make this the greenest city in the Southeast and this event only helps that goal become a reality.

Along with live entertainment, the farmer’s market and the Yazoo Beer Garden are also making appearances this year.

Nashville Earth Day Festival 2009 - IMG_0269


Iroquois Steeplechase

Every second Saturday in May, more than 25,000 people gather for the Iroquois Steeplechase.  This annual tradition dates back to 1941.  The only year that it did not take place was in 1945 due to World War II.  Even the major flood that took place in 2010 immediately before the race didn’t keep Steeplechase from taking place.

Besides the actual race, Steeplechase is well-known for the tailgating and the fashion.  Women wear ridiculously huge, over-the-top hats and pearls while men wear khakis and bow ties.

iroquois steeplechase nashville

Have you ever been to Nashville?  Which of these seems like the best Spring event?  Anything else to suggest?



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Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused adventure, outdoors, wildlife and Vegan food! In between bigger trips, she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville. Up next | Florida Road Trip, Cruise to Mexico + Honduras + Voodoo Fest in New Orleans Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function.


  1. Gabor Kovacs

    March 22, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    All these events sound interesting, but the cherry blossom festival looks just absolutely spectacular, I would love to see it with my own eyes!!

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  3. Greg

    March 22, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    You had to do it, didn’t you? Wave those crayfish in front of my eyes – knowing good and well they are not available in Costa Rica. Awe, I am definitely CRAYving home now. And yes, the cherry blossoms are nice too.

  4. Syd

    March 22, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    My vote is definitely with the Crawfish bowl. Only in Ohio we call those little guys crawdads.

  5. Kara

    March 22, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Well, I’ve lived in Nashville since 1977 and I haven’t been to most of these events. It looks like I need to get out more because they look like a lot of fun. I think I like that Cherry Blossom Festival also Gabor. I love Japanese food!

  6. Marie-Carmen

    March 23, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    It looks great and now I want more and more to try crawfish! (we don’t do that around here) and that looks like some cool activities!
    For the cherry blossom it does look very nice too though I still really want to see it in Kyoto one day.

  7. Stacey Veikalas Baskets Life

    March 23, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Oh My Gosh This post makes me miss home! I went to school in NC and I love CrawFish and they are few and far between here in Germany! We do have some amazing Cherry Blossoms here but the food I for sure miss! How fun I have never spent much time in Nashville but it looks amazing! Love your Blog and your stories! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Fred Yummy

    March 23, 2014 at 2:42 AM

    My favorite is without a doubt the Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil 😀 I’ve never been to Nashville and we’ve never visited this part of the United States. Maybe a nice idea for a next travel? 😉

  9. frankaboutcroatia

    March 23, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    Nashville seems like a great place to be in spring. I would love to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival – what a great tree planting initiative. And Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil – craving some crawfish right now!

  10. Molly S

    March 23, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    The Crawfish Boil wins for me – just because, amazingly, I’ve never had them, and what better place to try them?! The cherry blossom festival looks beautiful as well. I love spring!

  11. Emma

    March 23, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    I would love to visit Nashville, it looks like a brilliant place. Liking the look of those crawfish too! 🙂

  12. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

    March 23, 2014 at 6:50 AM

    looks like you have plenty of fun things to do in spring in Nashville. The cherry blossom is lovely but those crayfish win for me. Yummmmmy!

  13. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs

    March 23, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Love the flowers, I feel spring in the air, here in Poland too so I’m happy. Life is much better with sunshine!

  14. Chris Boothman

    March 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    I am so glad that Spring is here – means I can get back out on the golf course! Tired of this long winter, though with all the ice and snow we have been having down here in AR and TN, it’s meant that we have had more time off work (at least when you work at a college anyway – sorry Ashley!).

    Some great ideas here on things to do in Nashville! We are thinking about taking a trip over maybe in the next month so will definitely let you know when we do.

  15. Samantha @mytanfeet

    March 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Mmm crawfish!! Yum! That is certainly one big perk to living down south. Loooove cherry blossoms, can’t wait to go back to UW and see them in the quad!

  16. Michael Huxley

    March 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Oh man that crawfish broil sounds amazing! I’m hungry just thinking about it! I’m totally with you on being glad to see the back of winter! I love Spring time!

  17. Lauren

    March 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Oooh I love those tulips! And a cherry blossom festival! I always make it a point every year now to try to make it out somewhere to see the cherry blossoms bloom – once in Brooklyn, once in my town (Mississauga) and once in Toronto. They usually bloom in early May for us so I’ll have to see where I end up going. Great events happening in Nashville!

  18. Sammi

    March 23, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    The more I read about Nashville the more I want to visit.
    Do you find that writing about where you live makes you appreciate it more, or realise how much is going on where you are? X

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  20. The Crowded Planet

    March 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I love this post… there’s something special about writing posts on your home town. The Cherry Blossoms look spectacular, but my favourite must be the crayfish! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Jess

    March 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    I can’t remember what season I visited Nashville in – I think it was either fall or winter – but I don’t think I saw it at it’s best. I do like any city that can put on a good crawfish boil. And the cherry blossoms are beautiful!

  22. Lisa

    March 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    The cherry blossom looks beautiful!

  23. Dave Cole

    March 24, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    I willing to guess that the Steeplechase is a pretty big party. Those horse races are always great people-watching and tailgating affairs.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Yes Dave it definitely is! I hope to go and do a post about it 🙂

  24. Constance

    March 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    What a beautiful of photos! Spring must be a great time to visit Nashville with so many events taking place!

  25. Erin

    March 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Girl, you had me at Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil! Yum!

  26. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    March 24, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    A Cajun Crawfish Boil AND Cherry Blossoms?!! You have just sold me on visiting Nashville in the Spring. It seems like a feast for the senses.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      And they are on the same day! It’s gonna be a good day 🙂

  27. Caitlyn

    March 24, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Oh, all these spring posts are making me forget that it’s only one degree outside! Bring on this lovely weather (and the cherry blossoms and crayfish)!

  28. Travis

    March 24, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Great post Ashley! I’ve always wanted to visit Nashville but haven’t had the chance yet. Hopefully this year I’ll be able to make the trip! The crawfish boil looks right up my alley – so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 25, 2014 at 6:44 AM

      If y’all come this way before I leave, let me know and I’ll definitely show y’all around! 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I know, it’s almost April and we had a blizzard yesterday (well, by Tennessee standards)

  29. Bianca @itsallbee

    March 25, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    When I think Nashville I just think country music. I always love reading things new about places where I always thing its mainly about one thing and there is so much more to Nashville.

  30. Adelina | PackMeTo

    March 25, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I love cherry blossoms – I definitely know it is spring when they start blooming in Vancouver. Crawfish Boil sounds right up my alley. Yum.

  31. Sharon M

    March 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Wow, the flower photography in this post is striking! Well done!

  32. Rachel M

    March 26, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Those cherry blossoms are just spectacular …

  33. Teresa @ Crafty Wife

    March 26, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    We have a Cherry Blossom Festival in DC and I can’t wait to go to it next weekend! That’s always my favorite part of Spring. Wish I lived closer to Nashville so I could go do some of these things with my husband. Thanks for sharing!

    Stopping by from the Southern Girls facebook page.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      I bet the one in DC is gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  34. Leslie

    March 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Oh what an awesome list! I want to do done traveling this spring. I’ve also got a couple vacation days left before August. If love to see the Cherry blossoms! I’m stoping by from the Southern Girl community on Facebook. I’m also a new follower through Facebook.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Thanks for stopping by Leslie! Hopefully you can see them and other fun things on your vacation days 🙂

  35. Pablo

    March 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Haven’t been to Nashville but would love to go some time. The ragin cajun crawfish boil and checking out the cherry blossoms would be on my list!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      They are on the same day too – how convenient! 🙂

  36. Christine

    March 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I’m so glad that I found your blog! I was browsing the Southern Girl Blogging FB page and came across your link! I’m in Atlanta, but we’ll be coming to Nashville next month! Gorgeous city!!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Ohh what do y’all have planned? Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  37. Raphael Alexander Zoren

    March 26, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Cherry Blossoms!!! How pretty!!! I’ve been dying to see them in real life!

  38. Aaron

    March 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I would go for the crayfish boil!, anything with seafood and I am there!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 26, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      I feel ya! Seems the crawfish boil has definitely won out 🙂

  39. Love from Memphis! I hope to go to Steeplechase sometime

  40. Paul (@luxury__travel)

    March 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Looks like there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Nashville during the Spring, Ashley… one of my favourite times of the year, I think. The Iroquois Steeplechase event sounds a bit like Ascot on this side of the pond.

  41. Elena

    March 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Im sure it´s not only during the spring..But I wouldn´t miss the cherry blossom festival if I were there…:) So pretty!

  42. Bob R

    March 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    We’ve got a winner with the Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil. Cajun food rocks; so do crawfish. 🙂

  43. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    March 28, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Sign me up for the Crawfish broil!!! Yeeeaaaaa ha! We missed going to Nashville on our 5 weeks honeymoon in the USA – everytime I see things from you I kick myself for that.

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  45. Emma

    March 30, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    I haven’t been to the US but it’s on the cards, thank you for your post 🙂

  46. Manouk - Bunch of Backpackers

    March 30, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Yay, your post made me even more in a ‘spring’ mood (Spring has also arrived in the Netherlands) Love the cherry blossom festival :)!

  47. Serena

    March 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Lovely events!
    I think I’d expecially like the Cherry Blossoms one.

  48. Christine

    March 30, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Awesome! I love cherry blossoms! That festival looks so cool. I bet its gorgeous.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 31, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      I’m excited to go this year–it’ll be my first time 🙂

  49. Grietje

    March 31, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    Love the pictures! Really give that spring feeling

  50. Lyn

    March 31, 2014 at 4:17 AM

    You got me at Cherry Blossom, but then when you mentioned Crawfish my interest stepped up another peg being a seafood lover. Two things I would never have associated with Nashville. My bucket just grew!

  51. Ashley and Alex

    April 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I absolutely love Nashville! I haven’t been since I was little but I loved it then and your post definitely makes me want to go back! Also I think Alex would go crazy for the crawfish festival.

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  53. Ryan

    August 2, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Lovely pictures, Ashley! I’m actually surprised there’s a cherry blossom festival there—would never have expected that from Nashville. But I guess that’s what makes travel so interesting 🙂

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