Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and is legendary for its country music venues including the Grand Ole Opry House. The Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium and other country music icons also call this city home. But beyond the music, there’s also a beautiful city that’s well worth visiting and exploring.
I didn’t know what I’d make of Nashville as I’m not a huge country music fan – I don’t mind it, but I also don’t love it. I wouldn’t say Nashville is my favourite US city, but I did really enjoy spending some time there. Yes, there are lots of hen and stag parties, and yes it’s all a bit in your face, but it’s also FUN. So once I’d accepted that, there was no stopping me. Here were 5 of my favourite things to do.
1. The Honky Tonk Highway
The Honky Tonk Highway is the loud, garish, crazy backbone of the city. For those who don’t know, a Honky Tonk is an establishment that contains at least one performance stage, drinks and a party that lasts all day, every day. It’s a fun environment to be in, and a great way to see live music – but it’s also A LOT for the to take in!
2. The Nashville Predators
Away from the music, Ice Hockey is a sport not to be missed when in the US. Sport in America is so different to in the UK. It’s a night out; it’s entertainment. There’s music and the fans are all mixed together and the food is good. It’s also patriotic with the National Anthem played, and veterans honoured, and there’s Kiss Cam….The UK could learn a lot about putting on sporting events from America.
I watched the Nashville Predators take on the Chicago Blackhawks. And I drank beer and ate fries and had a lot of fun.
3. The Grand Ole Opry/Ryman Auditorium
It’s called Music City for a reason. The most famous of all music venues is the Grand Ole Opry. It began as a radio show in the 1920s and is now a world-renowned stage show. Get your tickets early. You can also tour the venue, which is well worth doing if you have the time. Another great music venue is The Ryman Auditorium, a huge concert venue, which was actually home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. This is an historic venue where Johnny Cash met June Carter, where country music found an audience, and careers took off. It’s open every day for tours and shows.
Like I say, I’m not the biggest fan of Country music, but even I had an amazing time.
4. The Capitol area
Another one to take in more of Nashville than just the music – these buildings were so lovely and nice to combine with a stroll down the riverfront. I also had them all to myself whilst everyone else was on the Honky Tonk Highway which was a bonus!
5. Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame is worth a visit even if you’re not a huge country music fan. This museum covers everything from the artists who have broadly defined the genre, to the history, to a rotunda honouring those in the hall of fame. If you’re in to country music you could easily spend the whole day here, and even if you’re not – it’s easy to spend a few hours learning.
Thank you for reading! Unfortunately, I only got to see the very main sights in Nashville in the short time I was there. Are you planning a longer trip? Have you already visited? Let me know in the comments below! Stay safe and happy travelling everyone.