Music City USA, Nashville is home to such celebrated locales as The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman, and The Grand Ole Opry. Street musicians decorate downtown, sending wafts of blues, country rock, and pop into the ears and hearts of passersby. An endless profusion of honky tonk bars and exclusively country venues adorn second avenue, where line dancers are known to enthusiastically kick up their heels. The city that has never met a stranger, Nashvillians are proud of their music scene, and that it consistently has had a history of including all genres. All walks of music are celebrated and explored, and everyone is welcome to join in the music.
Where there’s music, there’s almost always dancing, and in Nashville that’s for certain. Country music aficionados will find delight in Nashville’s famous honky-tonkin’ (also known as bar hopping). Heading over to a honky-tonk is one of the most popular past-times in Nashville. Word of warning to visitors seeking throbbing bass beats and flashing lights, more often than not, a dance club in Nashville will involve line dancing and sawdust. But there are a few typical dance clubs throughout the downtown area. The Lower Broad neighborhood offers the most impressive spread of honky tonks and late night music venues in the city. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Hillsboro Village offers great eats and drinks, just outside of downtown.
Southern food, there’s nothing like it, and in Nashville southern fares are synonymous with good eats. Music City is a banner city for “down-home,” old-fashioned Southern cooking. Here the stereotypical meat and three is challenged, revamped, and repersonified. Time-honored, time-tested institutions like Arnold’s Country Kitchen, with its outstanding fried green tomatoes and to-die-for meatloaf, will have mouths watering and bellies grumbling. Though Tennessee barbecue is more strongly associated with Memphis, it’s certainly a staple of the Nashville dining scene as well, as evidenced by authentic restaurants like Jack’s Barbecue (directly across from Ryman auditorium). Patrons should be sure to track down some genuine Nashville hot chicken (a local specialty), and indulge in the unforgettable home cooking of Loveless Cafe and Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant.
Nashville is a family-oriented town, and aims to please children of all ages. Whether families come to visit Universities and gain perspective of the collegiate life, or are interested in exploring a southern perspective of the Civil War, Nashville is a great destination for a family vacation. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a sprawling, state-of-the-art facility that encompasses a large plantation replete with a Greek revival mansion. From the giraffes to rhinoceros to Bengal tiger, the zoo offers a captivating walk on the wild side. The Valley Fair Amusement Park is another great destination night or day, known for their down-home, excellent customer service. If you’re looking for history to come to life, the Belle Meade Plantation, Carnton Mansion, and Adventure Science Museum are the perfect excursion for kids and adults alike.