Nashville Travel: A Guide To Music City

« Back to Travel Guide Main

Nashville's Top 10 Attractions

  • Grand Ole Opry

    2804 Opryland Drive
    Nashville, TN 37214
    (615) 871-OPRY (871-6779 local)
    800-SEE-OPRY (800-733-6779 toll-free)
    View Website »

    Watch the Opry on GAC »
    Opry Photo Gallery »

    "Country's most famous stage" has been the destination for top country talent and die-hard country fans for over eight decades. The Grand Ole Opry started as a radio show in a Nashville office building back in 1925, and then hop-scotched around different venues over the next 50 years before settling into its 4,400-seat permanent home at Opryland in 1974. Performances take place every Friday and Saturday night and an additional Tuesday night performance is added from March to December.

    With an ever-changing line-up that blends together past, present and future stars, you can be guaranteed each show is one-of-a-kind. If you're traveling to Music City in January or February take note: the Opry's winter home is the legendary Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.

    NIGHT AT THE OPRY PACKAGES FROM $106
    See the show and stay the night! Experience the world-famous Grand Ole Opry® - the show that made country music famous - with Gaylord Opryland's Resort's popular "Night at the Opry" package. Your getaway will include a preferred seat ticket to the Opry and room accommodations at this landmark resort featuring 9 acres of lush atriums, uniquely themed restaurants and a luxurious spa. For a limited time, packages start at $106 per person based on double occupancy for select dates through May. Additional dates are available from only $132 per person based on double occupancy. For reservations and a schedule of upcoming performers, call 1-888-677-9872 or visit www.GaylordOpryland.com

  • Nash Trash Tours

    Tours leave from:
    The Farmers Market
    900 8th Avenue North
    Nashville, TN 37208
    View Website »
    (800) 342-2132 or (615) 226-7300

    Looking for a dose of the nitty gritty in Music City? We've got two words for you: Think. Pink.

    Sheri Lynn Nichols and Brenda Kay Wilkins (a.k.a. the Jugg Sisters) have been dishing out the dirt on country stars in their signature Big Pink Bus since 1997. The 90-minute tour takes you past the standard legendary landmarks like the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and up and down Music Row. The ladies, however, have a delightful tendency to gloss over any boring facts and figures and get right to the gut-busting gossip. Adding to the adult-oriented atmosphere: alcoholic beverages are allowed in lap-sized coolers and children under 13 are a no-no. And because Sherri Lynn and Brenda Kay are known to improvise, no two tours are ever alike.

  • Schermerhorn Symphony Center

    1 Symphony Place
    Nashville, TN 37201
    View Website »

    If you've had all the honky tonkin' you can handle on Broadway, a change of pace is just a few blocks away. Nashville might be famous around the world for its country music, but the Schermerhorn Symphony Center provides a world-class facility for classical music. Its timeless design is influenced by many of Europe's finest concert halls, including the custom-built 3,600-pipe concert organ, but it's the high-tech attention to the acoustical details that allows for an unparalleled musical atmosphere. The Schermerhorn is home sweet home for the Grammy® Award-winning Nashville Symphony, so there's a great chance to catch a concert all year round.

  • Belle Meade Plantation

    5025 Harding Pike
    Nashville, TN 37205
    (615) 356-0096
    View Website »

    After soaking in Music City's rich history at the Hall of Fame, consider taking the 20-minute drive into the Nashville suburbs for another trip back in time. Built in 1853, this "Queen of the Tennessee Plantations" was once a world-renowned thoroughbred farm. During the Civil War, the Battle of Nashville spilled over in the mansion's front yard, and scars of that skirmish are still visible today.

    Over the last century and a half, the one-time 5,400-acre property has slimmed down to 30 acres, but the majesty of the Greek-revival mansion remains intact. The absence of red velvet ropes give the tours of the antebellum home a surprisingly intimate feel. With an excellent restaurant on site, you can plan on leaving the brown bag lunch at home.

  • RCA Victor Studio B

    1611 Roy Acuff Place
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 416-2001
    View Website »

    Inside the simple, one-story building on Music Row is the room that launched a thousand hits. Built with the help of Chet Atkins and now a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, a visit offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes at one of the key contributors to the legendary Nashville Sound. Elvis Presley mastered over two hundred records at the facility, and country royalty ranging from Eddy Arnold to Waylon Jennings to Dolly Parton have all used the studio to record. For tour information, contact the Country Music Hall of Fame at the number above.

  • Honky Tonkin' on Lower Broadway

    You're only cheating yourself if a trip to Nashville doesn't include a sampling of the live sounds that help give Music City its name. The joints down on Lower Broadway are always jumping. In fact, most bands count off their first song as early as 10 a.m. Locals tend to favor Robert's Western World, where you can order a cold PBR or buy a pair of boots while listening to a live jukebox of country classics. For music history buffs, Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge is a must. Little has changed in this dive bar since it regularly served Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson and Roger Miller.

    For the younger generation, there's a new kid on the Honky Tonk block. Paradise Park Trailer Resort is a 21st century dive that likes its live country music turned up to 11. A diner on the property offers fried Spam sandwiches and Moonpies twenty-four hours a day.

  • Hatch Show Print Shop

    316 Broadway
    Nashville, TN 37201
    (615) 256-2805

    Even though you might not be familiar with the place, you know its work. The business began making posters for vaudeville, circus and minstrel shows, but after the likes of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Bill Monroe began to use their prints to promote concerts, the unmistakable look of a Hatch Show Print poster became the signature style for music posters for generations of artists and bands. Handmade posters are still being made inside the cramped downtown location, and you'll find dozens of posters for sale at a very reasonable rate.

  • Bluebird Café

    4104 Hillsboro Pike
    Nashville, TN 37215
    (615) 383-1461
    View Website »

    There's a saying in Music City: "It All Begins With A Song." The Bluebird Café is where many of those hit songs are born. Nestled inside a shopping center in Nashville's Green Hills commercial district, the intimate, 100-seat venue is a place where veteran and up-and-coming songwriters test new material on a live audience.

    There are typically two shows a night, with a cover-free show starting around 6 p.m. Writers with a few (or a few dozen) cuts under the belt usually take the stage after 9 p.m. It's an atmosphere that honors the songwriter and songs, so be sure to save your hootin' and hollerin' for the honky tonks or you may hear "Shhh!" from the staff. Space is limited, so making a reservation is usually a must to secure a spot.

  • Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

    222 Fifth Avenue South
    Nashville, TN 37203
    800-852-6437
    (615) 416-2001
    View Website »

    Without question the first item on any visitor's to-do list in Nashville is a trip to the building that is home to more country music treasures than anywhere else on the planet. The $37 million landmark takes up an entire city block. The main exhibit inside, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, is state-of-the-art interactive tour that features artifacts from country's past (Bill Monroe's 1923 Gibson F-5 mandoin), present (Keith Urban's and Brad Paisley's guitars) and future (a Taylor Swift mini-exhibit on using social media to communicate with fans). Be sure to stop in at the gift shop, where you'll find an impressive selection of CDs, one-of-a-kind souvenirs and Hatch Show Prints for sale.

  • Ryman Auditorium

    116 5th Ave North
    Nashville, TN 37219
    (615) 889-3060
    View Website »

    If these walls could sing…

    Home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974, an eye-popping list of country legends have performed on this legendary stage. Unbelievably, this Nashville landmark stood mostly vacant before being restored in 1994. Now the outstanding acoustics draw a wide variety of acts, ranging from Aretha Franklin to Yo-Yo Ma. Originally built as a house of worship, the building earned the nickname "The Mother Church of Country Music" and audiences today continue to enjoy a wide variety of acts while seated in pews.

    Fans can have their photo taken on the historic stage, cut a CD in the Ryman studio, or take a guided Backstage Tour through dressing rooms once used by Hank Williams and Minnie Pearl years ago, or Coldplay or Brad Paisley last week.

« Back to Travel Guide Main