Nashville’s Riverfront has definitely changed since I was a kid growing up here. I don’t get a chance too often to head downtown but this summer our family thought we would check out the Riverfront since we haven’t been in awhile. Since I enjoy taking pictures I try to get around Nashville when I can to showcase our beautiful city and I have to tell you that if you haven’t been to Nashville’s Riverfront Park or walked across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, you need to go! If you are not able to make it downtown anytime soon, or you don’t live close to Nashville, I hope my point of view depicts how beautiful Nashville’s Riverfront is.
Formerly known as the Shelby Street Bridge, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world at 3,150 feet.
The bridge is beautifully lit at night and is a sight to see- whether you are standing on it or gazing at it from the riverbank.
I always feel like a kid as I am crossing this bridge because of how big it is and how small I feel as I reach the middle and look down at the river. The middle of the bridge has a walk out platform where you can hear and see so many activities below you. You can hear music playing from the honky-tonks on Broadway. You can watch the sunset. You can see tourists and locals alike taking pictures and selfies. You have a perfect view of the Tennessee Titans stadium that looks massive with all the lights on! And if you are lucky, you will catch the General Jackson Showboat as it makes its way into downtown on the Cumberland River!
The General Jackson has a capacity of 1200 guests and 157 crew members and is 274 feet long. It was built and launched in 1985 and is named after Andrew Jackson. It was built to recreate the showboats of the 19th century. The showboat offers lunch and dinner shows. My husband and I took his Mom many years ago and we all really enjoyed seeing Nashville on the Cumberland River via the General Jackson as we dined.
I snapped this picture of the Captain turning the General Jackson around before heading to the downtown riverfront and it was fun watching him maneuver it so carefully and professionally.
The few times I have been on the Bridge it was also fun people watching on the bridge itself – some briskly walking as they headed downtown to the restaurants, others jogging across the bridge to get Cumberland Park, while others were slowly meandering across the bridge and at times pausing to watch the night lights come on in the city There were families on bikes peddling to the other side, or just those who are sitting and enjoying the view.
At times I didn’t know which was more enjoyable- people watching, looking toward Riverfront Park as the sun was setting, or watching for boats to come down the river and head under the bridges so we could wave at them! (I told you I felt like a kid again!)
Did you know 3 music videos were made on this bridge? Probably the most famous one is the Big and Rich video, “Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy” with the Batman Building prominently showcased in the background.
As you stand on this bridge, you also have a beautiful view of all the new high-rises , the historic buildings, the downtown office buildings and boutique hotels that are close to the riverfront.
See the red triangle in the distance? That is the top of the Adventure Science Center. The dome changes colors at night.
I have to share pictures with you of the new Ascend Amphitheater that is almost completed.
Did you know the squiggly sculpture on the right is called the Light Meander? It is 45 feet high, made of stainless steel, guitar picks and LED lights. The shape of the Light Meander is meant to emulate the shape of the Cumberland River as it flows through Davidson County. The lights will showcase the different colors you might see of the river during the day. I would love to see a concert at this venue! Do you have your tickets yet?
Another interesting site you can see is the the top of the Country Music Hall of Fame which is 10 blocks away.Did you know the diamond shaped radio tower is a miniature version of the WSM tower a few miles south of Nashville ?
Finally, as pretty as the view of downtown Nashville is from the Bridge, the view is also spectacular from Cumberland Park. Cumberland Park is located between the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. It is a 6.5 acre park that offers a play area for children, an outdoor theater, trails and water features.
There is a walkway that takes you out over the river. In the picture above I am shooting toward the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge.
It gives you a different perspective of the Riverfront.
If you cross under the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge you will see this enormous bright red sculpture. It is called Ghost Ballet.
This 100 x 100 x 60 foot sculpture was installed on the riverfront in 2007. “The artwork references the site’s industrial past and visually echoes current surroundings, including nearby bridges and the NFL Titans stadium. Its dynamic form conveys a sense of the area’s evolution from an industrial working river to recreation and entertainment.”
It will definitely create a conversation!
I hope you have enjoyed my view on the Cumberland River. Perhaps you would like to check it out yourself. Day or night, it will be a beautiful sight.
Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!My best to you,Terri
- **All photos in Focused On Nashville are taken by Terri Watson.