Located in East Nashville behind the Shelby Park Community Center, this off-leash park is a lovely combination of open grassy areas and stands of trees. There is a doggy water fountain, a pavilion with a picnic table, and benches for pet owners. Open sunrise to 8 p.m.
We've got to give Vanderbilt special credit for wading into that time immemorial debate of, who is smarter, cats or dogs? Vanderbilt Associate Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences Suzana Herculano-Houzel says dogs. In a paper published in the Frontiers of Neuroanatomy in 2017, she explains it comes down to the number of cortical neurons in the brain, and it turns out that dogs have about 530 million, cats about 250 million. And on a side note, even though they have a smaller brain, raccoons have about the same number of neurons as a dog. We don't know what to do with that information, but there you have it.
If your pooch needs to stretch his legs, Nashville has a host of lovely dog parks. Centennial Dog Park is the park closest to Vanderbilt, but we also like Riverfront Park Dog Park, which is located along the Cumberland River and lined with artificial turf. Shelby Dog Park and Two Rivers Dog Park are also nice choices, with grassy expanses for your pup to run as well as stands of shade trees, for some relief from the sun.
If you're looking for a bite eat and maybe something a little bit out of the ordinary, try The Southern Steak & Oyster for the oyster bar and stay for its other tasty, southern-style offerings, like Bayou Crab Cake, Hot Chicken Salad, Fish & Grits, and Smoked Baby Back Ribs.
And if you want a place where you and your best friend can sit and watch the world go by, try Neighbors Sylvan Park Take a seat on their sidewalk patio, and relax. The menu is small but it satisfies, with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and starters.
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