IN PHOTOS: Fall in Nashville

An exclusive look into why fall is the best time of the year at Vanderbilt.


Claire Gatlin

Bright leaves mark the fall transition at the Frist Art Museum, as captured on Nov. 2, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Claire Gatlin)

Claire Gatlin, Senior Staff Writer & Photographer

It comes as no surprise to me that Taylor Swift was inspired to write “Red” while living in Nashville. “Autumn leaves falling like pieces into place.” Yes. “Like the colors of autumn, so bright just before they lose it all.” Exactly what I was thinking. 

Whether you’re a Swifty obsessing over her newest release or not, Nashville is the perfect place to truly experience the changing of the seasons. Walking through our arboretum of a campus during the fall, it’s a bit like magic. With yellow leaves sinking slowly through the air and a blue sky overhead, you can’t help but forget about that paper you have due. 

Nashville captures the spirit of the season, with pumpkin patches at 12 South, Cheekwood’s Harvest Festival and an array of fall music events. Walking through the Edgehill and Hillsboro neighborhoods surrounding campus, it feels like you’re in a quintessential fall movie. 

In an attempt to capture this feeling, last year, I photographed the transition to fall all across Nashville, beginning at Centennial Park.

“Gold was the color of the leaves when I showed you around Centennial Park.” What more can I say?

Next, I ventured out to the Loveless Cafe, an iconic motel-turned-restaurant, known for its biscuits and ham. Just a few minutes away, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444 mile historic highway beginning in Nashville and stretching to Nachez, Mississippi. 

Then, I checked out Percy Warner and Radnor Lake State Park and enjoyed the beautiful scenery on a quiet afternoon, concluding my excursion around Nashville. 

This fall, I went back to Centennial Park to once again see the transition from summer to fall and the changes from last fall to now. By traveling around and enjoying the many sites of the city that I don’t typically see, I was able to experience fall in Nashville in its fullest form, making me all the happier that Nashville is the city I get to call home for four years. While every year brings new changes and experiences, it is always comforting to see the familiar colors of fall in Nashville.