Nashville, Tennessee offers more than 120 venues where you can listen to jazz, country, bluegrass, rock, pop or classical music.
And beyond the music, there’s so much more to see in this thriving city. Experience the unique attractions of the world music capital, also known as Music City, in person. Nashville is a perfect place to get together with friends and family – where you can tap your toes to some live music and drink a cold beer with friendly locals.
Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry
The first thing to do in the city is visit the Ryman Auditorium, the “Mother Church of Country Music” and still home to the Grand Ole Opry at certain times of the year. It also hosts some of today’s most popular artists. Daily tours are offered of this ornate auditorium, and you can even go backstage for a photo opportunity that will make all your friends jealous! Official photographs are present to take your picture on the famous stage. This truly inspiring place has even been the location for marriage proposals. If you’re lucky, you might witness one on your visit!
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
You can’t say you visited Nashville without saying you saw the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This tremendous and gorgeous structure is known as the world’s largest popular music museum, and you won’t doubt it after visiting! You can easily spend several hours (and even longer) exploring the museum.
There are loads of exhibits to view, a restaurant and several great shops to find that perfect music memorabilia from your visit.
If you’re looking for a fantastic music tour, the RCA Studio B tour departs daily from the museum. RCA Studio B is often considered the cradle of the “Nashville Sound” and it’s where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 of his songs. Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, Willie Nelson and many more have recorded classic country and pop hits here.
Centennial Park and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
On your next stop, visit Nashville’s Centennial Park, located in West End/ Vanderbilt, where you can stroll among colorful flowers and over small bridges to the Parthenon, an impressive building and the world’s only replica of the iconic Greek landmark. There are maintained pathways to walk, run and cycle on. This is a great place to picnic with the family.
Afterward, drive to the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a 55-acre pristine landscape and home to an art museum, formerly the mansion of Leslie Cheek Sr. and Mabel Wood Cheek. There is an amazing David Rogers’ BIG BUGS exhibit in the gardens, which includes enormous wooden insect sculptures of ants, spiders, a praying mantis and more. There are also 12 themed gardens to explore. Enjoy the peace and quiet in the Japanese garden.
Dinner and Music at the Bluebird Café
For dinner and live music visit the Bluebird Café. Located just outside of downtown in an unassuming strip mall, this 90-seat intimate venue has seen some of the best songwriters perform over the years. Photographs lining the walls include the likes of Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, James Taylor and Neil Young.
A typical nightly performance is made up of three or four songwriters seated at the center of the room. Each artist has a turn at playing their own songs, while the other songwriters accompany them, instrumentally or with vocals.
Tour the Local Breweries
Don’t miss visiting a couple of Nashville’s local breweries. At the Black Abbey Brewing Company, tour the brewery and learn about its history. Make sure to sample the Belgian-style ales they’re known for. Another favorite is Tennessee Brew Works, where you can kick back in their taproom and enjoy beers and beer-inspired food in true Nashville style – accompanied by live music from local artists.
Neighborhood Nightlife on Lower Broadway & Lively Hillsboro Village
Music is the heart of Nashville, and there’s something for everyone. A brilliant place to check out during your stay is Lower Broadway. With plenty of live music to choose from, this vibrant downtown neighborhood also boasts shopping and dining.
Also explore the lively neighborhood of Hillsboro Village. This district is home to cafés, breakfast places, boutiques and restaurants, and is among the city’s trendy meeting places. With several restaurants offering outdoor patios, this is a perfect lunch spot.