Christmas at Gaylord Opryland 2011

This Christmas, we decided to take a little trip to Nashville to stay at the Gaylord Opryland. I had been there before (went with my mom and grandma for Thanksgiving in 2006) and really wanted to take David for a Christmas trip because the hotel always has amazing decorations and can really get you into the holiday spirit. This trip turned out to be kind of a celebratory trip, too, because I accepted a new job about a week before our mini-vacation.

We flew to Nashville on Saturday morning and were able to check in to our room early. We immediately headed out to eat a late lunch, and landed at Stax for burgers. We both enjoyed juicy burgers with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. (We skipped the fries because the burgers were huge.)


After fueling up, we went exploring. The hotel is humongous — we walked a ton while we were there (which is good because we ate a lot, too) — and every square inch was decorated. The Gaylord Opryland always has added fun for Christmas-time, and this year’s theme was “Shrektacular.” Because we went the weekend before Christmas, the hotel was packed with families with young children which made some areas very crowded, but that didn’t get in our way.

Tree gaylord

We stopped for a coffee break at the Cocoa Bean before heading back to our room to rest up before dinner.

We had hoped to go to Jack Daniels for dinner Saturday night, but the wait was 2 hours long so we decided to put our name on the 30-minute wait list at Findley’s Irish Pub which is located next door to Jack Daniels. That’s the only good thing about the Irish pub. The selection of food was not very good (neither was the food itself). If we weren’t hungry, I probably would have opted to wait 2 hours for Jack Daniels instead.

pork + beans

After dinner, we trekked outside to see the nativity scene and enjoy the lights. Apparently the hotel puts up 2 million lights every year. It takes them four months to decorate for Christmas (they start in July). Even though it was really cold outside, we enjoyed looking at the lights and the nativity scene, which featured an audio recording of the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2.


We ended the night with a boat tour through the hotel. Yes, you read that right. The hotel has a river inside. Mrs. Claus narrated the ride, and we got to see a lot of lights and decorations and learn more about the hotel.

River gaylord

falls at night

tree at night

On Sunday, we woke up and headed down to Cascades American Cafe for breakfast. We lucked into a table on the water and watched the dancing fountain while we ate a yummy breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit, bacon and hashbrowns. After breakfast, we headed back to our room to pack up. We were able to get late check out since our flight didn’t leave until 9 p.m. so we didn’t have to be out of room until 1 p.m. This gave us time to enjoy breakfast, pick up some post cards and Christmas gifts, pack up and check out before spending the afternoon enjoying the hotel.

We walked around some more after we checked our bags at the front desk and walked right into a table at Jack Daniels for lunch. I think this was the best meal we had at the Gaylord. I ordered the Jacks Burger which I topped with sweet barbecue sauce, and David had the chopped pork sandwich. Both selections came with yummy fries and both were delicious.

Jack's burger

chopped pork

We walked around different parts of the hotel for another couple of hours and took lots of pictures of the beautiful flowers. The hotel has a horticultural team that works every single day to keep the hotel’s greenery and flowers fresh and beautiful.


David - gaylord

Lyndsi gaylord

We ended our time at the Gaylord by enjoying hot tea with a great view at The Falls Signature Bar and Lounge.


Gaylord falls

All in all, we had a great weekend filled with lots of food, lots of walking and lots of beautiful decorations. We had put this on our list of places we wanted to visit, so it’s good to be able to check one off. 🙂

You can see more pictures from our trip on our Flickr account.



Filed under married life

3 responses to “Christmas at Gaylord Opryland 2011

  1. Pingback: From 24 to 25 | Lyndsi & David

  2. Leela Sud

    it is like heaven there at Christmas. The lights dazzle my eyes. It is out of this world!!

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