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Let Music City Move You

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You know it for its honky-tonks, bedazzled boots and soulful crooners, and there’s no doubt country music is woven into the fabric of Nashville. But there’s plenty more to this Tennessee destination that’s guaranteed to surprise you. Don’t sing a song of regret by missing out—let this guide help you plan a trip to Music City. 

 

STAY

The grande dame of Nashville hotels, the Hermitage Hotel has been a beacon of Southern hospitality for more than 100 years. It also boasts what might be the only men’s restroom that ladies would want to take a peek at—the green-and-black Art Deco–styled bathroom has served as the background for multiple music videos over the years. On the modern end of the spectrum, Hutton Hotel offers boutique luxury in an eco-friendly package, with electric car charging stations, biodegradable cleaning products and card readers that turn off lights when you exit the room. The beautifully sleek Omni Nashville Hotel, which opened two years ago to much acclaim, is located right downtown and conveniently attached to the impressive Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

EAT

Start the day off right with a plate full of pancakes at the Pancake Pantry, a Nashville institution dating back to 1961. You can’t go wrong with the best-selling Sweet Potato Pancakes topped with cinnamon cream syrup, but if you’re in the mood for a different flavor profile, there are more than 20 options to choose from, including Caribbean, Santa Fe Cornmeal, and Apricot-Lemon. At dinnertime, Urban Grub offers a smorgasbord of pretty much anything you could want, all with a bit of a Southern twist—save room for the Banana Pudding Pie to cap off the meal. For drinks, grab an artfully crafted cup of coffee at the über-hip Barista Parlor, an old-fashioned soda or milk shake at the Pharmacy, or a creative cocktail at the speakeasy-style Patterson House, a sophisticated hangout that’s worth the wait.

SHOP

If you’ve ever watched the History Channel’s American Pickers, or if you just have an appreciation for cool old stuff, you’ll want to drop by Antique Archaeology. Here, you can see some of Mike and Frank’s picks from the show and may catch live music. It’s set in the old Marathon Motor Works factory, where there are other shopping opportunities (and sipping ones, at Corsair Distillery, which offers worthwhile tours and tastings). For funky boutiques, East Nashville’s the place. A collection of shops called the Idea Hatchery includes a vintage Airstream trailer with arts and crafts, a gourmet oatmeal company and a contemporary men’s clothing store, among others.

SEE

Anchored by renowned sculptor Alan LeQuire, the LeQuire Gallery features contemporary figurative art from an array of artists. LeQuire is best known for his larger-than-life creations, including Musica—one of the largest bronze figure groups in the world—and Athena Parthenos, which you can see down the road at the Parthenon. A replica of the original Greek sculpture, erected in Athens in ancient times, LeQuire’s version is the largest indoor sculpture in the Western Hemisphere. For more art, visit the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located in a historic U.S. Post Office building, which hosts traveling exhibits throughout the year. Brimming with beautiful display gardens and an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, Cheekwood—a mansion owned by the Cheek family of Maxwell House coffee fame—is a lovely spot to while away an afternoon.

LISTEN

Music is a must in Nashville, and you’re unlikely to get very far without hearing some tunes—musicians perform in the airport while radios downtown blare songs. Lower Broadway teems with legendary honky-tonks, including the famously purple Tootsies Orchid Lounge and perennially popular Robert’s Western World. Nearby, learn about one of Nashville’s biggest stars at the Johnny Cash Museum, a comprehensive look at the life of the Man in Black. It’s worth a trip to the Bluebird Cafe, an intimate performance venue for singer-songwriters. Set in a strip mall, the outside doesn’t have the ambience of some of Nashville’s other venues, but inside, you’re guaranteed a memorable evening. Make reservations ahead of time since the space seats only 90. 

 

If You Go

Hutton Hotel
1808 West End Avenue
huttonhotel.com

Idea Hatchery
1108 Woodland Street
facebook.com/ 1108shopsatwoodland

The Johnny Cash Museum
119 Third Avenue South
johnnycashmuseum.com

LeQuire Gallery
4304 Charlotte Avenue
lequiregallery.com

Omni Nashville Hotel
250 Fifth Avenue South
omnihotels.com/hotels/nashville

Pancake Pantry
1796 21st Avenue South
thepancakepantry.com

The Parthenon
2500 West End Avenue
parthenon.org

The Patterson House
1711 Division Street
thepattersonnashville.com

The Pharmacy
731 McFerrin Avenue
thepharmacynashville.com

Robert’s 
Western World
416B Broadway
robertswesternworld.com

Tootsies Orchid Lounge
422 Broadway
tootsies.net

Urban Grub
2506 12th Avenue South
urbangrub.net

Antique Archaeology
1300 Clinton Street, Suite 130
antiquearchaeology.com

Barista Parlor
519B Gallatin Avenue
610 Magazine Street
baristaparlor.com

The Bluebird Cafe
4104 Hillsboro Pike
bluebirdcafe.com

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and
Museum of Art

1200 Forrest Park Drive
cheekwood.org

Corsair Distillery
1200 Clinton Street, Suite 110
corsairdistillery.com

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 Fifth Avenue South
countrymusichalloffame.org

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway
fristcenter.org

The Hermitage Hotel
231 Sixth Avenue North
thehermitagehotel.com

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