• Go into the trip with eyes wide-open. The Christmas holidays are Gaylord Opryland’s busiest time, so just relax if things don’t go exactly as planned.
• When you arrive, valet parking can take a very long time. (It’s not uncommon to wait 30 or 45 minutes; I’ve waited an hour before.) Two options: Have your family hop out of the car and head inside, while one person waits, or skip the valet parking altogether and save a few bucks.
• If you have young kids, head to the Delta Island restaurants near the indoor boat tour that loops around the Delta Atrium. It has all the players your kids will love. You’ll all be more relaxed, and it will be easier on your pocketbook.
• Call ahead to make sure all the advertised activities are still happening. Sometimes event details can change.
Gaylord Opryland Resort: 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214; www.christmasatgaylordopryland.com or 1-888-999-6779. Special holiday packages, including accommodations and tickets to several attractions, begin at $335 for a two-night stay.
"Weekend: Nashville" is from the December 2008 issue of Southern Living.