DISCLAIMER: We tried to get out to the Smokies. We we really did! But there is something magical about this city.
We wanted to do something a little different for March break 2018 so we decided to book Nashville. I hate cities but I love country music so I figured we’d spend a few days in the city before heading out to the Smokies. A few days later, the city had captured a special place in my heart and I’d happily return any time.
Here’s a quick guide of what you must experience in Nashville:
This is where all your action is. Broadway is the heart and soul of Nashville. Each bar features the live music of “up and comers”, newcomers trying to make a name, and the Nashville vets that just sing for the love of music. The spirit of true country music still lives on in these honky tonks as every singer shares their story and if you’re lucky you’ll find the singers featuring their own original content. You could literally spend your entire trip on Broadway and not get tired of it. Grab Nashville hot chicken, drink moonshine, listen to music, hit up the Johnny Cash museum, and maybe catch a Preds game all in one street.
Jay Edwards at Tin Roof
Country Music Hall of Fame
Standing in the shadows of a giant.
If you want to gain a true appreciation and pay your respect to the roots of country music, then you need to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. The museum is essentially a giant time capsule of all the influences that have made country music what it is today. Country music is about storytelling and the hall of fame does it justice. Everything from old cars, to on stage outfits, to drafts of original songs can be found here. Take some time and pay your respects to the legends that built this town.
The Grand Ole Opry
Country music is all about storytelling and this building has storytelling in its heart. We were originally skeptical of paying the money for a tour but it’s worth every penny you pay. The sheer amount of stories that can be told from the history of this building is truly mind blowing. Learn about the origin of the Opry, the wooden circle cut from the original Ryman theatre, favourite dressing rooms of the stars, the recent flooding, and much more. Who knows? You might just see one of your favourite stars while you’re there!
The Capitol Mall
As a Canadian, I often take pride in having the country with the friendliest people. Nashville may be a close second and they most definitely take the prize for southern hospitality. People are friendly wherever you go and are generally extremely helpful. You don’t find that in many cities these days and is a huge part of what makes the Nashville experience such a great one.
If you want the pinnacle of southern hospitality, then I highly recommend you visit one of the Monnell’s locations in Nashville. You’ll find out what southern hospitality is all about. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is served in a family seating arrangement. You and your company join other guests at the same table and share the same delicious food. Serving are passed around the table like you’re family. Before you know it, you’ll be chatting away with your table mates like you’ve known them for years. The experience embodies everything that makes Nashville a great place. Make sure to go with empty stomachs because you’ll eat some of the best food you’ll ever have. Walk off all of those calories later at the nearby Capitol Mall.
Too Much Fun For Just One Visit
Nashville packs too much fun for one visit. We were only there just a few days and we barely scratched the surface. The rest of Tennessee also packs a plethora of things to do so it’s only natural we’ll be returning to Music City again some day!
Things to Know
- Accommodations can be very expensive in Nashville. Especially the closer you get to downtown. AirBnB was our best friend.
- Book tickets for the Grand Ole Opry and BlueBird Cafe early in order to not miss any shows. This is something we wish we had done way ahead of time.
- The wait time for a tour of the Opry can be long. Stop by the Smith Creek Moonshine store in the mall next door for free samples.
- Be wary that some more popular venues will overcharge for food or drinks. The better music is in the smaller bars with artists that play their own original music. Pay attention to how the venue treats the artist.
- Uber is a very useful way to get around town. Nashville is very spread out.
- Don’t hesitate to stop by The Ryman theatre. We passed by every day and then before we knew it we never had the chance to tour the original Opry!
- Tip the artists!!!!