Places to Go in Nashville Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of the country music scene, offers tourists hearty southern cuisine, exciting musical performances and multiple historical venues to visit. Whether you’re a music history buff, looking for a place to relax with live music or you want to find fun attractions for the whole family, you’re sure to find something exciting to do while you’re visiting. While you’re in Music City, add the following attractions to your list of things to see and do.

1 – Head to Centennial Park

If you’ve always wanted to see the ancient Parthenon but you haven’t had time to make it to Greece, head over to Nashville’s Centennial Park. You’ll find a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon, which is a great place to take pictures. Inside the Parthenon, you’ll find a museum and art gallery, as well as the Western world’s tallest indoor sculpture, Athena, which is nearly 42 feet high.

2 – Visit the Bluebird Café for “Writer’s Night”

One of the most famous music clubs in Guitar Town is the Bluebird Café, where you can enjoy live music, great food and a longneck bottle. Drop in on “Writer’s Night” to hear some of Nashville’s best songwriters perform their own songs. This music venue also offers live performances from up-and-coming talent. Since the café is so small, don’t risk missing a seat – make reservations.

3 – Check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Of course, you can’t visit Nashville without checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This museum has a huge collection of country music artifacts and includes exciting exhibits, such as Reba: All the Women I Am, some of Elvis Presley’s Rhinestone costumes and lyric sheets from some of country music’s most prolific artists. Once you’re done, you may want to head to the Music City Walk of Fame, which is just a short walk away in the Walk of Fame Park.

4 – Take a Ride on the General Jackson Showboat

For a magical experience of music and food, take a ride on the General Jackson Showboat. It’s a great way to enjoy seeing Nashville from the water. You’ll enjoy cruising down the Cumberland River, you’ll enjoy delicious Southern cuisine and you’ll enjoy a great music show, including country, soul, gospel and bluegrass music.

5 – Enjoy a Performance at the Grand Ole Opry

Enjoy a performance as the famous Grand Ole Opry. After you enjoy the show, consider booking a Post-Show Tour so you get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on behind the curtain. The tour includes a look at the artist’s entrance, a chance to stand on a stage that has held some of the world’s best country talent and you’ll even get a glimpse at the dressing rooms used by top performers.

6 – Catch a Family Show at the Nashville Children’s Theater

TIME magazine ranked the Nashville Children’s Theater as one of the top five best children’s theaters within the United States, and it’s an exciting place to catch a family show with your kids. Professional actors put on plays for families and children regularly, and you can even send your kids to the year-round drama workshops the theatre holds for youth.

Find the Country Music Spirit in Nashville TN

LovelessNashville 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.

Honky Tonk

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.

Impressive Things to See & Awesome Places to Go in Nashville, Tennessee

legends cornerIf you want to see Nashville at her finest, try to arrange your visit during the Fan Fair X festival. This summer the downtown Nashville festival will be held June 5-8 featuring live performers on six stages, celebrity autograph signings and ‘meet & greets’ with your favorite artists.

Free music literally is in the air…the hot air. So, wear cool clothing, slather on sun screen and keep well-hydrated. Artists will perform on the Riverfront Stage all day. Here’s an advance peek at just a few acts: Marshall Tucker Band, Wynonna, Collin Raye, Clay Walker, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lonestar, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan and Terri Clark.

After dark, Nashville mercifully cools down and you can either head to LP Field and catch the evening concerts or get on your boots and go honky-tonkin’ on Broadway.

Tootsie’s (World Famous) Orchid Lounge is the spot to see and be seen. The exterior is painted a vivid orchid. Downbeat is around 10:00 a.m. until whenever the music stops. Doesn’t matter when you get there, Tootsie’s will be jam-packed. If you can make your way through the crowd, be sure to peruse pictures of famous artists on Tootsie’s wall of fame.

Legends Corner located on 5th & Broadway boasts their own wall of fame, with tons of album covers. Check out Johnny Cash’s 12-string that hangs on the wall too.

“Tip” From the Locals: These guys work hard to entertain you and don’t get paid. When the tip jar is passed around, just give what you can. Be mindful, you never have to pay a cover charge.

Robert’s Western World is known for multi-tasking. By day, it’s a boot shop; by night, a honky tonk. Sunday mornings Roberts becomes a nondenominational church.

The Bluebird Café on Hillsboro is not one of Nashville’s famed honky-tonks. It’s considered a listening room, where you’ll hear songwriters (who generally aren’t renowned for their singing voices) performing their wares. It’s great fun trying to guess which songs will hit the charts.

Nashville does culture! Directly across from the State Capitol is the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, (TPAC), which was inspired by the Kennedy Center in D.C. The Nashville Opera and Nashville Ballet perform here, as well as Broadway shows on tour.

“Eat more Pancakes!” That’s the slogan of David Baldwin, owner of Pancake Pantry, a “Nashville tradition” in Hillsboro Village. Locals eat here and you can expect a long line, but so worth it.

If you prefer secret-recipe biscuits and country breakfast fixin’s, The Loveless Motel and Café is a must-try. This establishment received the Best Biscuit award from the Food Network in 2010. Don’t miss “Music City Roots”, a Loveless adaptation of the Grand Ole Opry, happens every Wednesday night.

People watching will make time whiz by at these famous eateries. Keep your eyes peeled for your favorite country singers. They have to eat too!

Enjoy your time in Nashville. If you can’t see and do everything, then as we say in the South – y’all come back anytime!

Exciting Things to Do In Nashville, Tennessee

Ryman_AuditoriumIf you want to squeeze every ounce of fun out of your Nashville vacation, pre-planning is key to eliminating disappointment. Millions of tourists descend upon Music City USA annually, so that top attractions, such as the Grand Ole Opry sell out well in advance. Book your tickets online to ensure you’ll see the show of your choice.

In the beginning, the Grand Ole Opry was called the WSM Barn Dance, a radio broadcast. In 1943, it moved to the iconic Ryman Auditorium in order to seat the huge crowds. The Opry moved again in 1974, to the red barn-like structure, named the Grand Ole Opry House.

The energy levels onstage and in the audience vibrate so high, you’ll feel like you’re experiencing the very soul of country music. Sit back, enjoy and remember to breathe!

Try to spend at least one night in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center (formerly Opryland Hotel). The venue is so huge you will receive a hotel map when you check-in. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a tropical fairyland complete with gorgeous waterfalls, lush gardens with lime, orange and avocado trees and swaying fountains. Take the boat ride on the indoor Cumberland River. The Grand Staircase, inspired by “Gone with the Wind”, offers an awesome photo-op.

At Opryland Hotel you’ll be in close proximity to the Grand Ole Opry House, Opry Mills and the General Jackson Show Boat. This is another top Nashville attraction where you’ll want to make early reservations online.

We’d suggest the dinner cruise, which comes complete with Southern cuisine and a stage show rivaling Broadway. A live Dixieland band entertains while you board the stunning paddle-wheel boat. You will cruise on the Cumberland River to downtown Nashville and back.

While you’re in this area, pop into the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Music Valley Drive. Next door is the Texas Troubadour Theater and home of Ernest Tubb’s Midnite Jamboree, held by the record shop each Saturday at midnight. The Jamboree is broadcast on WSM radio, immediately following the Grand Ole Opry. If you’re an autograph hound, head back to the record shop after the show where the Jamboree artist’s traditionally sign autographs. All that and free admission too!

In the event you aren’t aware the beloved Opryland USA, theme park was demolished to build the mega-mall, Opry Mills. Nashville citizens weren’t pleased, calling it “one of the dumbest decisions in Nashville History”.

When flooding occurred in 2010, waters reached heights of 10-feet in Opry Mills. Many of the retail vendors have now reopened, including the IMAX Theater. Fashionistas will find the specialty shops visit-worthy.

Believe it or not, Nashville isn’t all about music. History buffs will resonate with President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. You’ll tour the mansion, guided by ladies in ruffled gingham dresses and old-timey bonnets. Most of the home is encased with glass walls to preserve the furnishings. You can take also a wagon driven tour of the manicured grounds and gardens.

So there you are – a little taste of Nashville. Have big fun and make long memories.

The Nashville Zoo

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t enjoy visiting the animals in a well kept and attractive animal park. The Nashville Zoo boasts not only the normal animal exhibits, but offers some animals that are not readily available in other zoos around the country. In addition the Nashville zoo is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day away.

An accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is more than just a zoo. It’s a zoo with a difference. The Nashville Zoo is a sprawling 200-acre park and plantation farmhouse that is rich in history. It is conveniently located just 6 miles southeast of downtown Nashville, making it easy to find and easy to reach if you’re vacationing in the Nashville, Tennessee area, or even if you’re a local area resident.

The Nashville Zoo offers programs for visitors, that excite tourism as well as programs for local residents that are designed to offer help to the community as a whole. For example, the zoo’s offerings include a Dino Trek that allows you to see 15 life sized dinosaurs that will walk, slither and hiss their way across your life. For a limited time during the summer, the Dino Trek, hugely popular, is available at the Nashville Zoo.

In addition, the zoo also hosts a day camp that is available to local residents for children who have special needs. The program is a big hit with kids and was designed for children who can benefit from one on one individualized interaction with adults in the program.

Throwback Movie Thursdays

Thursday nights are movie night. Called Throwback Movie Thursdays, there are classic music hits, old fashioned games and interaction before the movie and the movie is shown on a giant screen on the Festival Field every Thursday. The movies are major hits from the 80s and 90s, designed to be entertaining and fun for the entire family.

Thursday movies are 6 dollars for non zoo members and free to all those who have a zoo membership. Food and drinks are available for movie goers and parents are encouraged to attend the movies along with their children.

In addition to the special programs, hits at the zoo’s animal exhibits include:

African Crested Porcupine Exhibit
Lynx Exhibit
The African Savanna
The Bamboo Trail
Bairds Tapir Exhibit
The Unseen New World
Critter Encounters
Flamingo Lagoon
Pantanal Exhibit
Gibbon Island

Landers McLarty Subaru Review

Subaru LogoIf you are looking for a new Subaru, Landers McLarty Subaru in Huntsville is worth checking out, both in person and online. I know it’s a little way to drive but it was really worth it for me, enough so that I’m taking time to write this review. The dealership has a nice selection of new Subaru vehicles available. Sticker prices might be a bit high compared to other dealerships elsewhere so be prepared to negotiate.When you are negotiating on a particular vehicle, ask that it be held while working on a deal so you are not disappointed that the car you wanted was sold while you were negotiating or waiting on loan approval. This can happen with any dealership as more than one person may be interested in the same car.

Landers website does well in presenting all the vehicles available, both new and used. So it is wise to browse the site first, getting all the information you need to make a smart deal before going to the dealership. Then you can go with a list of features the site shows for the cars you are interested in and verify that those features are there and work properly. You can also have a printout of the CarFax with you. Not all dealerships have websites this complete so Landers McLarty Subaru does have an edge here.

Educating yourself on the vehicle you want to buy, what your trade in’s blue book value is and knowing what to look for that could indicate a problem with a vehicle before you go to the dealership is a good idea and that goes for visiting any dealership. Should you run into any problems during your dealings, contact customer service right away. They are responsive and can help resolve any problems.