Nashville City Guide
Being the home to ‘County Music Hall of Fame’ and the unofficial ‘Music Capital’, Nashville is known for its contribution in music. Being the capital city of Tennessee, the city also hosts various other industries like health care, publishing, banking and transportation. It is home to several colleges and universities like Belmont University, Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University.
Tracing its history to 1925, when the world’s longest running live radio program, Grand Ole Opry, went on air to promote local music talent, music remains the most well known industry in Nashville
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Where to stay in Nashville
Nashville is made up of several distinct neighborhoods but the city is a lot like Los Angeles in its layout as it is spread out over miles of land that once hosted plantations and farms. Hotels and accommodation choices in Nashville can be found in every neighborhood and depending on your preference, you can elect to stay in any neighborhood that you choose. The city is easy to navigate as most of its attractions are located within a short drive of each other.
Downtown Nashville is famous for its many music venues, which include stores and cafes that feature live music performances too. Besides these venues, Downtown Nashville is also home to the District or an area that encompasses Broadway, 2nd Avenue/Riverfront and Printers Alley, which is the heart and soul of the city as it is populated with hotels, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and museums.
The hotels located within Downtown Nashville range from luxury hotels to discount hotels and budget accommodation and even if you don’t stay within the District area, it is worth noting that various hotels in Nashville provide free shuttle services to the District area bars and clubs on the weekends.
The West End of Nashville is home to Music Row and if you are a fan of country music then this is the area you must base yourself at. Every major recording label in the United States has an office here along with scores of recording studios. The chances of sighting a musical celebrity within the West End are, therefore, quite high.
You can base yourself at the various hotels located around the city’s international airport area known as Music Valley; for it once hosted the attraction of Opryland, an amusement park that was once the home of the ‘Grand Ole Opry’. Today Opryland has been converted to Opry Mills, the largest shopping center in the south and offers many great dining and entertainment options.
Places to see in Nashville
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
If you are a county music fan on vacations to Nashville then this downtown Nashville attraction is a must-do on your list. The permanent collection at this museum explores the history of country music through a display of exhibits that include noteworthy costumes (Emmy Lou Harris’s jeweled boots), memorabilia, instruments, photographs, manuscripts and other glamorous objects (Elvis Presley’s gold leaf covered Cadillac), which are supplemented by live performances and various other interactive exhibits.
The Ryman Auditorium
In 1943, when the crowds got too big and too rowdy for other Nashville venues, the Grand Ole Opry found a home at the Ryman Auditorium. This late Victorian Gothic Revival style edifice was once a church and served as the premier stage for Opry’s live radio shows for the next thirty-one years during which it threw up stars like Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline and Roy Acuff. The Ryman Auditorium remains a prominent attraction in Nashville until today; even though the Grand Ole Opry is now based at its own Grand Ole Opry House.
Grand Ole Opry
The Ryman auditorium was home to the Grand Olde Opry until 1974. The show then moved to the 4,400-seat Grand Ole Opry House located nine miles east of downtown Nashville on a new site that was part of the Opryland USA theme park.
Once the Opryland shut down in 1997, it was replaced by the Opry Mills mall, Opry House itself was left intact and incorporated into the new facility. Currently, the Opry plays several times a week at the Grand Ole Opry House except for an annual winter run at the Ryman Auditorium.
The Opry has been associated with a wide array of stars like Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks and a whole host of others. The show is broadcast live on broadcast live on WSM-AM at 7 p.m. Central Time on Saturday nights though Opry House offers a large number of shows and tours for Nashville vacationers all year long.
Belle Meade Plantation
The Belle Meade Plantation is one attraction in Nashville that is not related to music. The plantation, which hosts a restored 1853 Greek Revival mansion also has other structures like a log cabin that was built in 1790, a carriage house, a tearoom and a visitor center and gift shop. The Belle Meade estate was one of America’s finest thoroughbred breeding farms that pre-dates the American Civil war and provides a valuable insight into the lifestyle of America’s Deep South.
The Centennial Park is Nashville’s most prominent park located in Nashville’s West End neighborhood. This 132-acre verdant park features several attractions like the iconic Parthenon, which is an exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens complete with the statue of Athena that today hosts Nashville’s art museum, a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial
Art Center, historical monuments, a band shell, an events area, sand volleyball courts, two dog parks, and an exercise trail. The park is a hub of constant activity that attracts thousands of
visitors each year.
Best time to visit Nashville
Nashville has a moderate climate characterized by mild to cool winters, and hot, humid summers. Monthly averages range from 36.8 °F (2.7 °C) in January to 79.1 °F (26.2 °C) in July. The city also receives some snowfall mainly in the months of January and February and the average annual snowfall is about nine inches.Summers in Nashville can be quite humid.
It is generally believed that spring and fall are the best time to plan Nashville vacations.
Getting around in Nashville
The best to reach Nashville is by air, unless you stay close enough to drive down. With Fare Buzz and its umpteen cheap air flights, the ease of booking and dedicated customer care, you can surely save dollars on air flights. Do explore the options.
Moving around the city is slightly challenging though. For a city that is not well equipped with efficient public transport, it is best you explore Nashville car rental offers to maximize comfort of movement. Once you land at the Nashville airport, the best way to reach your hotel is cars. You can explore various care rental options on our platform to ensure smooth conveyance.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority of Nashville operates several bus routes and trolleys however for travelers with limited time, they might not be the ideal ones to move around.
However, if you plan to stay near the downtown area of Nashville, you can perhaps try the public transport since service here is more frequent than other parts. This is the place where you get to sample the famed Bus 34 or Music Valley Express bus that link downtown Nashville with Opryland and connects with the Music Valley Trolley that serves Music Drive; perhaps the most important attraction Nashville has.
Where to shop in Nashville
Nashville offers a plethora of shopping options at its many enclaves littered with, unique stores, malls and shopping centers that offer a bunch of well-known brands. The most eclectic destination for shopping in this music capital of the USA is Hillsboro Village. Located within close proximity to Vanderbilt University, the hip Hillsboro village hosts stylish stores and eateries, like Posh Boutique, Davis Cookware and Fido’s. A similar shopping experience can be had at the equally hip Five Points district located in East Nashville. Five Points offers an abundance of shopping and browsing opportunities, at its many trendy stores, restaurants and bars and antique stores and art galleries.
For a more ‘local’ shopping experience in Nashville, try the shops located on the city’s 12th Avenue. Located here are several home-grown stores like Katy K’s Ranch Dressing (western and vintage wear), the Corner Music Store and the 12th South Mercantile (lifestyle and home wares). The downtown area of Nashville presents yet another shopping option, for it is packed with many unique shops, boutiques, music stores and restaurants, largely located along the Second Avenue Historic district, popularly known as ‘the District’.
Aside from these local shopping experiences Nashville also offers much opportunity for mall-shopping at its many malls like The Mall at Green Hills, the Global Mall at the Crossings, the Opry Mills, the city-center 100 Oaks Mall, the Cool Springs Galleria, the Providence Marketplace and the Bellevue Center. These various malls offer a whole host of mid-market and upscale brands along with restaurants, food courts and diverse entertainment options.
If however, you would like to go outlet shopping on your visit to Nashville, then you need to drive twenty-five miles east of the city to the Prime Outlets Mall at Lebanon. This large outlet mall offers outposts of several well-known brands like Eddie Bauer, Gap, Coach, Samsonite, Loft, Kasper, and Jones New York amongst others.
Where to eat in Nashville
Nashville offers a vibrant dining scene that caters to varied tastes and budgets. Casual burger and fries, fine dining, southern eats, global cuisines the plentiful Nashville eateries offer them all and more. Some of the most popular restaurants in music-centric Nashville currently include dining-spots like Watermark (American-fine dining), Jack’s Bar-B-Que, Taqueria San Luis (Mexican), The Silly Goose (New American), Margot Café and Bar (French and Italian), Silos (Southern), the Southern Steak and Oyster Bar and Miel (French).
Nightlife in Nashville
Nashville’s nightlife scene centers on music and the city abounds with live-music venues like the legendary Bluebird Café , a prime performing spot for both well-known and up and coming musicians. Other much-frequented live-music venues in Nashville include joints like Exit/IN, Tin Roof, Mercy Lounge, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Wild horse Saloon and Legend’s Corner.
Aside from these live-music venues, the city also hosts many lively bars and dance clubs like Virago, Boundr’y and Whiskey Bent Saloon (all bars) and Seen, Play and Hollywood Disco (all dance clubs).