The mall has dozens of features that celebrate Tennessee and Tennesseans, including a 200-foot granite map of Tennessee embedded in concrete; a River Wall with 31 fountains, each representing one of Tennessee’s rivers; and a timeline with Tennessee events, inscriptions, and notable quotes from 1796 to 1996. A one-mile path that circles the mall’s perimeter is popular with walkers and joggers, and a 2,000-seat amphitheater is used for special events. The park may be a civics lesson incarnate, but it is also a pleasant place to pass the time. Ninetyfive carillon bells (for the state’s 95 counties) play “The Tennessee Waltz,” “Rocky Top,” and other Tennessee-themed songs every hour on the hour.
To the west of the mall is the amazing Nashville Farmers’ Market (900 Rosa Parks Blvd., 615/880-2001, daily 8am-6pm), where you can buy fresh produce, flowers, gourmet breakfasts and lunches, and locally made crafts. Locals often picnic in the mall with goodies from the market. There’s plenty of free parking here, but don’t speed. Because this is a state park, tickets come from the state police, and they’re pricier than metro Nashville tickets.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Nashville.