A Long Weekend in Nashville: More Than Just Music
When you think of Nashville Tennessee, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably country music. Not to diminish Nashville’s music scene because it is amazing, but there are also a host of other things to do on a long weekend in the city.
Take a stroll down Nashville’s main road, Broadway, as is lined with restaurants and bars that host live acts. “Honky-tonk” from bar to bar and enjoy the outstanding live music. Among the most famous local place is Tootsie’s featuring three stories, three bars, and four stages. It offers an authentic Nashville experience, especially for those who are experiencing the city for the first time. Legend’s is another Nashville favorite, a classic dive bar with some great live music nightly. If you are looking to dance, head over to The Stage on Broadway that plays more than just country music. There is also a rooftop patio to enjoy the nice weather.
Country Music Hall of Fame
Even if you are not a country music buff, a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame is warranted when in Nashville. Chartered in 1964, this museum has one of the largest music collections in the world. Renovated a few years ago to double its size, there is now 350,000 square feet of galleries, classrooms, retail stores, and an event space. There are rotating current exhibits as well as a calendar with events for the whole family. From Elvis Presley to Dolly Parton, only the best of the best has been inducted into the Country Hall Music Hall of Fame.
Listening rooms are places where singers and songwriters play their lyrics, often acoustically. Yes, you can go to a restaurant or bar on Broadway to hear all the music you want, but open mic night at listening rooms will give you the stories behind the songs. The Listening Room Café provides an opportunity to hear showcase songs with a dining experience. It offers a more intimate experience than that at the bars on Broadway.
Grand Ole Opry
Take a tour of the place that made Nashville the “Country Music Capital of the World”. The Grand Ole Opry started as a radio show in the 1920’s and now hosts some of country music’s top performers. It is the longest running radio broadcast in U.S. history. A daytime backstage tour will give you the history of the Opry and the music legends that have performed there. Only regular performers can be inducted as a member of the Opry.
There are plenty of great places to eat in Nashville, but make sure at least one of your meals is at Hattie B’s, which is famous for their hot chicken choices. Beware that one menu item is hotter and spicier than the next. There is often a line outside this Nashville institution, but it moves quickly.
Tennessee State Museum
Take a break from the music with a trip to the Tennessee State Museum, right in downtown Nashville. The museum features permanent exhibits of the state’s natural history, as well as its Native American background, and contributions to the Civil War. It also has rotating cultural and art exhibitions. The museum is in walking distance to the Tennessee State Capitol and shops and restaurants.
Keep your stamina up by grabbing a cup of joe at the unique coffee shop, Frothy Monkey. Try the Monkey Mocha, which is espresso, steamed milk, house-made chocolate, and banana syrup. The coffee shop services breakfast through dinner and late-night snacks in case you get hungry after hitting the bars.
Belle Meade Plantation
The Belle Meade Plantation is not too far from Nashville and worth the trip. Built in 1853, Belle Meade Plantation is a historic mansion that is now a museum in which visitors can take a guided tour to learn about its heritage. The plantation is the country’s first thoroughbred breeding farms, supplying many of the horses for the Kentucky Derby. Not only will you learn about the plantation, but you can also sample four different wines in the Belle Meade Winery. Try the blackberry dessert wine.
Nashville is one of the most haunted cities with a great nightlife. What could be better with Nashville food combined with learning about Nashville’s creepy history? Before you hit the bars, take the Haunted Nashville Food Tour for the best food, and ghosts in the city. The tour begins at the Benchmark Bar and Grill, which has a long reputation for spiritual activity. Enjoy Tennessee BBQ, pub fare, gourmet tacos, hot chicken, and sweets along the tour as well. There are also all ages ghost tours available.
Did you know that the Parthenon isn’t only in Athens? Nashville has a full-scale replica of the Parthenon, which was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. The Parthenon boasts a 42-foot statue of Athena, along with historic paintings. It also serves as Nashville’s art museum with 63 paintings.
Radnor Lake State Park
If you are looking to spend an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville, Radnor Lake State Park is right outside of the city. Visitors can jog, hike, walk, or bike the many trails in the park which have great views of the lake. You might see owls, waterfowl, and herons along the way.
You can enjoy many of these activities during a long weekend in Nashville, whether you want to soak up the music scene or enjoy some of the non-music events the city has to offer.