Nashville TN is without a doubt country music’s Mecca. So much of country music’s history was made here. The top two places for people to see for country music are the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry
More Must See Places
These two places are just the tip of the iceberg. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge should be on your list of must-see places. A montage of country music history is within the walls of this place. It was a hangout for songwriters in the early 1960s when such legends as Roger Miller, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson could be found spending some time here jotting down lyrics on napkins.
Want to hear some real honky tonk country? Stop in at Robert’s Western World to have a cold brew while you listen to some of the best musicians in Nashville. Once the place where the Sho-Bud Steel Guitar Company made and sold their pedal steel guitar, it now serves as a place where people soak up the old sounds of authentic Nashville honky tonk.
Remember those old advertising posters for shows that were completely hand designed, cut and inked? They are still made that way at Hatch Show Print. This company has been in business since 1879 and has printed show posters for such clients as the Ringling Bros. Circus, Garth Brooks and Elvis Presley. Because they are individually done by hand, each poster is one of a kind. Getting one of these as a souvenir will give you something beyond the typical vacation memorabilia.
Of course, you are going to want to know where to get the best down home southern cooking. No place does better than the Loveless Cafe. Stop in for breakfast and enjoy their sweet potato pancakes, grits, country ham and biscuits and gravy. Be sure to come back in on a Wednesday night when they have their own small version of the Opry with a variety show called Music City Roots. This cafe was opened by Annie and Lon Loveless in 1951 and has become a Nashville tradition.
Walk into nearly any restaurant or bar and you could hear someone playing guitar and singing one of the latest country hits. Walk into the Bluebird Cafe and you could be hearing the latest country hits being played and sung by the person who wrote the song. The Bluebird started the “writers-in-the-round” tradition with four songwriters who take turns giving the audience a thrill as they listen to the best music from these musicians.
No visit to Nashville can be considered complete without spending some time in Printers Alley. This block long alley went from being the red light district to being the home of great country music. Clubs here have booked such country music stars as Kenny Rogers, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton and George Jones. What many may not know is that even Jimi Hendrix worked a few gigs here when he was young and Paul McCartney penned a song here. If you think this place looks familiar, you have probably seen Carrie Underwood’s music video of her hit “Before He Cheats”, which was shot in Printers Alley.
With so much to see and do in Nashville, it is hard to cover in one visit. You will want to come back many times to see other places Nashville has to offer as well as revisit your favorites. Of course, don’t forget to visit Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry each time.