Nashville has a vibrant, well off, buzzing kind of energy. In the past it has been a country music pilgrimage destination but it has become newly fashionable and is attracting new people from all over with new and exciting events, places and buildings popping up everywhere.
I went for the music and it is happily unavoidable. On any one night there are 100’s of bands playing all over the city in tiny bars and big stadiums and everything in between. Your first stop has to be the Honky Tonks on Lower Broadway.
Every bar here has live music non-stop from early morning till early morning and the bands rotate every couple of hours – a never ending parade of hopefuls singing their hearts out waiting to be discovered. Two of the most famous are Roberts Western World and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge where many well-known Country and Western stars have gotten started. Check out all the famous faces in the photos lining the walls of the bars. When you get hungry right next door is Jack’s BBQ, it looks basic but be prepared to be wowed by the most tender ribs you will ever taste.
There are also great musical museums in Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum and the Historic RCA studio B and many more. All are fabulous and fascinating (even if you are not a huge fan of the genre) and filled with history and memorabilia and plenty of souvenirs!
There are also lots of colonial and civil war sights if you need a break from the music. I went to the Frist art gallery in the old art deco post office and there is a hop on hop off trolley to get you around the city easily.
You also have to allow a night to go out to the Grand Ole Opry. One of America’s longest running radio shows and a stage filled with musical legends and aspiring newbies.
It would be easy to spend a week in Nashville, hanging out and exploring the neighbourhoods. Seeing more music than you will remember and trying on 100’s of cowboy boots and Stetsons to find the perfect fit.
I loved it and am definitely planning to go back again and stay longer….
- Book concerts before you go – there is so much to hear you need to be organised so you don’t miss out on things you really want to see.
- Purchase your tickets to the Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry in advance to avoid queues.
- A taxi to the airport to anywhere in town is a set price of $25 and the same out to the Grand Ole Opry (which has a huge outlet shopping mall next door)