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 Birthplace of Contemporary Country Music

Known as the birthplace of contemporary country music and unique architecture, Nashville Tennessee is one of the most exciting and dynamic places to visit in the eastern United States. Tourists will find not only great music, but great food, and a history that has deeper roots than what most people associate with the city. A trip through Nashville today can be a revelation to visitors who never imagined just how diverse this ‘Athens of the South’ really is.

The Home of More than Just Country Music

A love of music is the obvious reason to visit Nashville. The city is not just about country music, although there’s still no ignoring just how powerful an influence the genre has had on Nashville’s development and culture. The Nashville sound throughout the 50s and 60s is what turned country music into a multimillion dollar industry. Such production greats as Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley and artists like Patsy Cline and Skeeter Davis helped to shape that sound, which is the basis for modern country music today.

Aside from country styles, there is also a strong jazz and blues scene throughout the city. Tourists and musical pilgrims alike will be attracted to such features as the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Bluebird Café strip mall and live music venue. Visitors can even visit famed instrument maker Gibson USA’s factory, where they can watch guitars and other stringed instruments being handcrafted to perfection.

A Foodies Paradise

Maybe there’s something about music and food that goes together so well in a metropolitan area like Nashville, after all, they’re both good for the soul. Tourists looking for gastronomical adventures will be right at home in Nashville Tennessee.

There are plenty of places to eat around Nashville, and visitors will be able to sample some of the finest southern cuisine. Known for mouthwatering barbeque, hot chicken, hot fish, and the famed ‘meat and three’, there’s something for every taste.

One place that no visitor should miss is the iconic Pancake Pantry. Since 1960 this pancake house has been offering up huge stacked plates of pancakes to locals and food tourists alike.

Deep Historical Ties

Like much of the south, Nashville is steeped in American history. Visitors with an interest in heritage will find some in every corner of Nashville, from the historic buildings (even including the century year old glass and timber construction of the previously mentioned Pancake Pantry), to the rich university circuit including the historic Vanderbilt University.

Visitors interested in deeper American history should start off with the Nashville trolley tour. This is a great way to get acquainted with the city and see some of the famous sites like the Vanderbilt University, Ryman Auditorium, and Music Row. They could then move on to historical attractions based around the civil war and southern history in general with plantation and presidential manor tours, and tours through the civil war site of the Battle of Franklin.

A Dynamic, Diverse, and Thoroughly Interesting City

There’s something for everyone in Nashville, whether it’s the combination of different cultures including the largest Kurdish culture in the US, the history in music and visual arts, or the dramatic roles that nearby locations played in the civil war. There’s just something about Nashville that makes it one of the most special and unique places to visit in all of the United States, or even the world.

Finding the Top 5 Amusement Park in the Nashville TN Area

Looking for family fun and adventures is easy when you head for any one of these top 5 amusement park in the Nashville TN area. Summer trips, family vacations, and spring breaks are great amusement park opportunities.

Enjoy the two to three hour drive to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. Country singer Dolly Parton created this theme park that focuses on fun, exciting rides like Wild Eagle and Daredevil Falls, and music. Entertaining attractions like the Calico Falls Schoolhouse, The Wonder Wheel and the Parade of Lights make this adventure perfect for the entire family.

Beech Bend Park & Splash Lagoon is an hour and a half away from Nashville in Bowling Green KY. This water park provides fast-paced roller coasters and a grand carousel for spring and summer fun. Water rides have great names like the Lazy River, Lotta Watta Island, and Ragin’ Rapid water slides. A family-friendly area, it has provided family fun for years.

Take a two-hour trip past Chattanooga to visit Lake Winnepesaukah or Lake Winnie in Rossville GA, about two hours away. It has been in operation since 1925and has family-friendly rides for kids of all ages. Ride the Whale; the Bumblebees and the Wave Swinger. The 1916 carousel is as much fun as the paddleboats.

Right in your own backyard is the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Nashville. Make the visit part of a trip coming or going, with a souvenir bear each person gets to make.

Three hours from Nashville is Holiday World at Santa Claus IN. Featuring over 30 rides, most are perfect for all ages. Splashin’ Safari, the waterpark, is included with admission.

A short drive from Nashville provides memories and fun to last a lifetime. Take cameras and memory sticks for those great photo ops.

Art and Museums in Nashville

If you’re planning to vacation or visit relatives in Tennessee, be certain to add art and museums in Nashville to your wish list. Since Nashville is best known as Music City, USA, let’s start with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Situated on the bank of the beautiful Cumberland River, a few steps from the stretch of Lower Broad famed for live entertainment, the Hall of Fame Museum opened in May 2001.The museum houses a cache of invaluable artifacts that tell the history of country music through video, country music and awesome displays. Additionally, the venue features live country music and special programs.

Dedicated to the preservation of Nashville artists’ memories and to their fans, the mission is to inspire future generations of creators. Don’t miss the Rotunda’s awesome display of bronze plaques, which feature facial images and biographies of the Hall of Fame Members.

Before departing, you’ll want to pop-in the Museum Store for take-home souvenirs. Continue reading