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Nashville City Guide

The Music City where legends perform.

The Ryman Auditorium Photo by Gina Duncan
Nashville, Tennessee’s capital city is called the "Music City." It is home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. Music fuels the culture of the city. You can literally hear it pouring out the doors in downtown. Country music legends like Johnny Cash, Reba McEntire, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, and Charley Pride started their careers performing here. Elvis Presley recorded more than 200 songs at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio B.
Nashville has much to offer. The city's hotels and Southern cuisine make it a top destination to visit. Check out the recommendations of our Senior Contributor Stokes O'Shields.
The Parthenon in Nashville Photo by Stokes O'Shields

Must Do’s

Visit the Parthenon

A full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens is in Centennial Park in downtown Nashville. For a small fee you can go inside to see artwork from 19th and 20th century American artists, and there is a reproduction of the Athena Parthenos statue. If nothing else, grab some lunch, sit in the park around the structure, and take in the impressive architecture with relief statues along the top of the temple. It is a great experience.

The Country Music Hall of Fame Photo by Gina Duncan

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame

Doesn’t matter if you listen to country music or not, you will find the Country Music Hall of Fame interesting. The Music Hall presents a comprehensive history of country music and holds many pieces of memorabilia from iconic musicians. Spend an afternoon having a great deal of fun here.

Visit Local Art Galleries

Galleries pop up near one another all over the city. Don't miss what's showing in these downtown galleries.

Find Live Music

Walk around the downtown area, keep an ear out for live music, and follow it. I can guarantee you will find a good time.


Top 3 Cheap Places to Eat

Greko Street Food is my absolute top pick. Their Greek food is amazingly flavorful. Homemade pita, tzatziki, open fire meats, delicious olive oil, and some of the freshest vegetables I have had in a restaurant in a long time. I recommend getting the lamb pita with Greek potatoes.

Try to find some Nashville Hot Chicken. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken consistently has a line out the door, but it’s worth the wait.

Another one with a line out the door, The Pancake Pantry, famous for its breakfast, especially the pancakes. Get there early and be ready to wait, and by early, I mean early; they open at 6 am.

Check out the local breweries. This is a recommendation I will have for any major city nowadays. If you are into craft beer at all, it’s always cool to visit breweries. The two I have visited in Nashville are Bearded Iris and Southern Grist. Both have great taprooms where you can enjoy all kinds of brews on tap, or cans to take home with you. Most breweries have events going on some evenings. Make friends with the bartenders and they just might share tips and recommendations on places to eat or visit in the area, too!


Places to Stay

If looking for a high-end place to stay, the Union Station Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel experience. A former train station from 1900, the gothic design of the structure was an architectural marvel at the time of its creation, and they have done a great deal of work to preserve and highlight the history of the building.

I am a big fan of Airbnb, and recommend looking around in the suburbs for a carriage house or apartment to stay in. Nashville is a driving city (be prepared, Nashville drivers are notoriously aggressive), but if you are willing to have a 15 minute drive into the downtown area, you can find some great little places for an excellent price.

We welcome you to share your Nashville recommendations in the comments. We are always looking to enhance the city guide experience for our readers. So please tell us your favorites.

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