Welcome to Nashville
Did you know that Nashville is within a day’s drive of half the population of the United States (and all the population of Toronto, although it’s a long day)? That being the case, the Tennessee Gesneriad Society is inviting you not just to Nashville, but to our entire beautiful state, with something wonderful to see and experience along the way, no matter where you start. From the southwest you drive through Memphis, city of Elvis, the blues, and great barbecue. From the northwest take the scenic route along Reelfoot Lake, formed when the land subsided during the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812. Since the area is a stopping point for migratory birds as well as an eagle habitat, over 240 bird species can be seen there. From the southeast you can stop in Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquarium. Originally built as a unique facility focusing on river life from the mountains to the ocean, the aquarium has expanded to include marine fish, invertebrates, and adorable penguins. Chattanooga is also home to Rock City of the painted barn roof fame, and for history buffs, remnants of the Civil War battles for Chattanooga dot the city and surrounding area. The entire eastern state line of Tennessee is defined by the Great Smoky Mountains, home to the largest old growth forest east of the Mississippi. And from the north you can linger at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area for some hiking through the gorges carved by the Cumberland River that also flows through...
...Nashville! So much more than Music City, USA! If the last time you visited us was when we hosted the convention in 1999, you have a whole new city to discover. Since then, the population of the greater Nashville metropolitan area has grown by 21%. A largely abandoned area of downtown has been redeveloped into trendy condos, restaurants, and retail near our brand new convention center. Perhaps due to our 21 colleges and universities, for many years Nashville has welcomed diversity which is reflected in our citizens, our signage, and our cuisine.
Our hotel, the downtown DoubleTree by Hilton, is within shouting distance of both Capitol Hill where the legislature meets to pass laws and Printers Alley where, during prohibition, the legislature met to drink illegal booze. Down the hill to the south you hit the touristy area with honkytonks and a dozen shops that sell cowboy boots (although about the closest you’ll get to horses in Nashville are the carriages for the aforementioned tourists and the occasional Ford Mustang). You can also visit the Nashville Farmers’ Market where you can buy a pita or a petunia, and there are over a dozen small restaurants, one for every palate. Neighboring Germantown, first settled in the 1850s, offers even more varied fare. If any of this is too far to walk or it’s too hot or too wet, the Music City Circuit bus stops right at the corner of the hotel to take all riders to fun locations all around downtown – for free!
With so much to see and experience and at a location close to so many members, we should have a wonderful show, a great sale, and fantastic convention. And your being there will make it so. Ya’ll come!
Carol Ann Bonner, Local Convention Chair