If 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!