Kick off your Nashville experience with a day at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. The world’s largest popular music museum offers ever-changing exhibits featuring the legends of country music past and today’s hottest stars.
You’ll find the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece located in Nashville’s own Centennial Park. The Parthenon houses an art gallery and museum as well as Alan LeQuire’s Athena Parthenos. Standing at almost 42 feet in height, Athena is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world.
Take a tour of Music Row and visit historic RCA Studio B, the famous recording studio where Elvis recorded more than 200 songs. Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, and many more also recorded classic hits here. Not surprisingly, the heartbeat of Music City is driven by music — from country to classical.
One of the most unique ways to hear music in Nashville is at a songwriters show. Typically called a “writers night,” these evenings place songwriters where they are not used to being — in the spotlight. Several singer/songwriters will play ‘in-the-round’ as they sit on stage accompanied only by a microphone, a guitar, and their immense talent. These shows can be found in small, intimate clubs all over town, including the famous Bluebird Cafe.
Since 1892, The Ryman Auditorium, also called the “Mother Church of Country Music,” has hosted artists from every genre on its legendary stage. You can take a backstage tour and record your own song in the Ryman studio. The stars of the Grand Ole Opry take the stage every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday night (at the Ryman Auditorium November-January; at the Grand Ole Opry House February-October) with guest appearances by the biggest names in music.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Legends Corner, The Second Fiddle, The Stage, and Layla’s Bluegrass Inn are all renowned for serving up cool longnecks and hot country music. You never know who you’ll see in these Lower Broadway clubs in the shadow of the Ryman.
Eat It, Nashville!
For more than 50 years visitors have made the trek south down Highway 100 to the Loveless for some of the best scratch biscuits and crispiest fried chicken in Tennessee. Located at the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace, the cozy eatery serves hearty, country-ham-adorned breakfasts, as well as classic meat ’n’ three lunches and dinners daily.
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
This is the granddaddy of them all. Prince’s is the original ‘Hot Chicken Shack’, serving legendary fiery chicken for over 70 years and taking home a James Beard Award along the way.
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
You will need to try Martin’s signature West Tennessee-style whole hog (cooked in one of four cinder-blocked pits), plus killer wings, live music, and over 30 types of beer. The sprawling space is ginormous—500 seats over a multilevel 13,000-square-foot former warehouse space. It’s like a BBQ-themed amusement park.