This six-acre atrium was added to Gaylord Opryland Hotel in 1996. This expansion increased the number of guest rooms in the hotel to 2,881. In my diligent research for these posts, I learned that this hotel is the largest non-casino hotel in the world. No wonder my feet are tired!
This sight awaited us as we strolled in through the Magnolia entrance to the gardens.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a full-size building inside the atrium. This houses the award-winning restaurant Old Hickory Steakhouse. Unfortunately, we decided that eating here was out of the question as it was out of our budget.
And look, there is even an island with several buildings in the center of the atrium. We counted six bridges to this island.
No matter where you look, there is something interesting to see.
Local photographers bring clients here to take their pictures. Point in case: I had to hurry and snap this picture so that the professional photographer could do his job.
Delta River tours are available for a nominal fee ($9 for adults). Sorry, but the hotel had already gotten enough of my money. I'll just watch from the shore, thank you very much.
Ooh, there's a swamp monster...
When Delta River was constructed, water from rivers and lakes from all over the world were collected and poured into the river.
They even got some water from our own Lake Monroe. And they correctly identified it as Lake Monroe, rather than the government's moniker of Monroe Lake. Who ya gonna believe: the government or the good people who actually live here?
I want to go on record as saying that I had nothing to do with this ship wreck.
Waterfall in Delta.
The shops on Delta Island.
The entrance to Old Hickory Steakhouse.
Another view of the dome. Can you believe that they have a catwalk up there? You simply could not pay me enough money to go up there.
There's that wrecked boat again. I repeat, I am innocent.
I know this is all touristy, but it is still nice to wander among the buildings and plants.
These are the expensive rooms overlooking the atrium.
There's that catwalk that you can't pay me to get on w-a-y up there.
Sadly, the early-in-the-week-visitors don't rate having this fountain running. (Stay tuned for a late-in-the-week showing.)
I love waterfalls. The water flows to the edge of a cliff and then it falls over the edge (a la Anthony Bourdain).
There's that expensive restaurant again. My husband and I did eat here (in its old location in the Magnolia section) when we were at Opryland 20 years ago. Of course, it did help that someone else was footing the bill that night. I do recall that the food and service were exceptional. However, we were on a bit of a budget this time around. Oh, and we had already spent our money at the spa.
What more could you ask for than a climate-controlled atmosphere, beautiful plants to admire, musical waterfalls and ample opportunity to exercise by walking the paths?
Old Hickory Steakhouse at night.
Not to worry. There will be more posts to come, highlighting the food and plants and other interesting items.
And just in case you are wondering, we made it safely back home to Southern Indiana today. It's always nice to go away, but it's always much nicer to come back home.