Home to the world’s most legendary country music venues, Nashville draws music lovers from all over the globe. As one of the most vibrant cities in the US, it is abuzz with a unique culture and exciting things to do. The Music City has grown quite rapidly, and if you are planning a trip to the home of country music but are confused about what should be on your itinerary during your visit, then we have got you covered. Whether you are a die-hard country fan or just looking to explore another wonder of the world, these tips will help you plan the ultimate Music City Experience and get the most out of your adventure.
As with any trip, the first and foremost element one must figure out is where to stay. Nashville boasts an array of marquee hotels, boutique properties vacation rentals right in the center of all the major attractions. The downtown area is undoubtedly the ideal place to be if you like the hustle-bustle as it exudes an electrifying atmosphere. Being the cultural, economic, and tourism hub, staying in downtown Nashville will allow you to access the city’s most iconic entertainment and cultural venues at a few minute’s walk. For a luxurious experience coupled with utmost convenience, consider staying at the Omni Nashville Hotel, Renaissance Nashville Hotel, or the Thompson Nashville and be at the heart and soul of all the action during your stay.
For a budget accommodation that offers the ideal combination of price, location, and amenities, then you may consider a place on the west end of the city, around the bustling Midtown neighborhood. With just a few minutes’ walk to Music Row, The Parthenon, and Vanderbilt University, it is known for its buzzing nightlife and surrounded by various cafes and restaurants, lush parks, and unique landmarks. Homewood Suites Nashville Vanderbilt offers decent accommodation facilities, with a plethora of activities within a short distance.
Once you have decided upon where you would be staying and finally step foot into the home of country music, you might seem bewildered as to where to begin your trip. With so many splendid activities to indulge yourself in, it can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-timer. Therefore it is crucial to devote a few days leading up to your trip and do some homework before kicking off your adventure.
With the city brimming with music in every corner, it is near impossible to avoid it. Immerse yourself into Nashville’s undisputed and bustling music scene by hitting the Honky Tonk Highway located on Lower Broadway. As the epicenter of Nashville’s nightlife and musical hub of the city, it is a strip packed with Honky Tonks playing live music 365 days a year. The vibe and atmosphere at this junction are unparalleled, and you do not want to miss out on rolling on the beat of rock, blues, and pop.
Nashville is home to some of the most scintillating musical adventures one could experience, and it is not surprising that it is known as the Music City. Take a tour of the exemplary Country Music Hall of Fame that showcases the evolving and growing history of country music. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, it houses more than 2.5 million priceless artifacts like musical instruments, photographs, vintage videos, sound recordings, and more. As such, this historical and cultural landmark is a must-see for all music lovers.
After immersing yourself in the history and traditions of country music, it’s time to head down the block to the Ryman Auditorium. Originally built as a place to worship, it served as a venue for numerous events. Its stage was graced by various iconic figures like Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Marian Anderson, and US President Roosevelt. It was not long before the Ryman became home to the Grand Ole Opry for the following 31 years. As the longest-running radio broadcast in American history, it hosted megastars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, and Hank Williams, to name some.
Despite moving to several different locations, the Grand Ole Opry continues to be Nashville’s major tourist attraction. It hosts the top country performers weekly to honor the legends that are synonymous with country music. Experiencing a live show at this crown jewel of music venues is a MUST during your trip to the Music City. With a capacity of 4400, you can expect a full, energy-filled house whenever you plan to go there. Therefore, it is a good idea to book your tickets well in advance to avoid any disappointment at the last minute.
After taking a tour of these breathtaking attractions, you may make your way to the Johnny Cash Museum, honoring the life and career of one of America’s greatest icons. Located at a 4-minute walk from the Ryman Auditorium, it features the world’s biggest collection of artifacts and memorabilia of the music legend.
From a walk through the Country Music Hall of Fame or Ryman Auditorium, to an evening show at the Grand Ole Opry, you cannot forgo these quintessential Nashville experiences. These iconic establishments regularly host musical acts by some of the best performers in the business and make Nashville the ultimate Music City.
For a city built on music, there is an unending list of musical attractions that await you. You may wish to click here to discover more music-related hotspots to enhance your Music City experience. The best spots are always hidden away from tourists’ eyes.
Arts and Culture
While it is hard to get by Nashville without immersing yourself in music some way or the other, the Music City has far more to offer than what it is known for. The city celebrates a rich artistic environment and offers vibrant cultural offerings for one to experience. The Frist Center for Visual Arts should be at the top of anyone’s to-do list. Housed in the classic Art Deco building, the fine art museum features rotating visual exhibitions from some of the world’s most prestigious collections. Also, it has the exemplary Martin ArtQuest Gallery featuring interactive art-making stations to promote hands-on learning, allowing visitors of all ages with a unique environment to bring out their inner creativity.
Another landmark you cannot miss out on is The Parthenon. A replica of the Greek Parthenon, it is located in the center of Centennial Park and houses a 42-foot long statue of Athena. This awe-inspiring Greek architecture is one of the city’s top attractions and features a thriving art museum comprising a collection of 63 American paintings from the 19th and 20th Centuries.
To further enhance your experience, do not miss out on a walk through Cheekwood. A botanical garden & an art museum spanning over 55 acres of land, it offers spectacular views of the natural landscape and world-class exhibitions. Also, Nashville is home to the Tennessee State Museum, which depicts the history of the state of Tennessee. It houses artifacts like battle flags, uniforms, and weapons from the Civil War.
Music is what defines Nashville at its heart and soul. With that said, it is home to plenty of other iconic attractions that are a must to stop by to make the most out of your getaway to the Music City.