Nashville, Tennessee isn’t exactly seeing another part of the world, country, or even state for me. In fact, I’ve lived the majority of my life in the suburbs 20 miles down the interstate. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve appreciated just how great this city is. Here’s what you have to check out while in Nashville.
Live music. This should be a given in Music City. On Broadway, the street is lit up by honky-tonk after honky-tonk with country and rock music pouring into the street. It’s easy to find good music here, just about everyone seems to play the guitar, sing, and write songs. I’ve been in a couple bars where they’ll even bring the bartenders on stage to sing a couple songs. You can’t really go wrong with the bars off Nashville’s main strip from Legend’s Corner to Acme. Tootsies is one of the most famous spots being just across the alley from Ryman Auditorium.
Sporting event. There’s a NFL, NHL, and minor league baseball team all with stadiums downtown. My first choice is always a Nashville Predators game at Bridgestone Arena, located right on Broadway. The stadium has an electric environment packed with a sea of gold, chants, and concerts during both intermissions.
Breakfast restaurants. A restaurant with breakfast all day is always a winner in my book. The Loveless Cafe is special for endless reasons, but their biscuits alone will bring you to your knees. Pancake Pantry is another option, obviously for their great pancakes. It’s been around since 1961, so they know what they’re doing. Then there’s Monell’s, an all-you-can-eat southern restaurant serving food family style. I’ve honestly only went on the weekends for their country breakfast. You never know who will be sitting at the table with you, but don’t forget to pass the bowls to your left and be sure to schedule a long walk afterwards (the cinnamon rolls may put you over the edge).
Arnold’s Country Kitchen. While in the south, you have to experience a meat and three, and Arnold’s Country Kitchen is a great choice located in the Gulch. It’s a cafeteria-style restaurant that’s been around for 32 years. The menu of this “mom and pop” business changes slightly day to day. There always seems to be a line but don’t worry, it moves quickly. And don’t pass on the dessert!
Opryland Hotel. I’ve been going since I was a kid, usually during Christmas time. It’s a fun hotel to explore and even stay for a night, but it does have a high price tag. During Christmas time, the inside and outside is decked out with tons of lights and holiday decorations. There’s even an indoor wonderland with sculptures and slides carved out of ice. Also, if you’re a shopper, Opry Mills is right next door.
A country music museum/venue. It’s hard to make it to all of the historical country music spots, but it’s fun to at least get to a couple on a short visit. There are plenty to choose from, just depending on what you’re more interested in. The Country Music Hall of Fame is good for music lovers or those that want to get a taste for all the best country music over the years. There are even museums dedicated to specific artists, like Johnny Cash and George Jones. You can even take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry, “country’s most famous stage,” and Ryman Auditorium.
Get outside. If you get tired of the city life, you have plenty of options to get out in the great outdoors. There’s Radnor Lake State Park, where you can go for a relaxing hike. At Percy Priest Lake, you can camp, fish, cliff jump, or rent a boat. Cheekwood Botanical Garden is a beautiful 55-acre estate. If you’re just looking for a casual walk, you can take a stroll along the pedestrian bridge in downtown or Centennial Park.
What do you love about Nashville? Or what would you like to see when you visit?