2 Days in Music City: Nashville, Tennessee

GetCurrentFast.com Travel Guide™

General Jackson Showboat seen at the Riverfront in Nashville, Tennessee (Courtesy)

General Jackson Showboat seen at the Riverfront in Nashville, Tennessee (Courtesy)

This travel guide presents the top things to do in Nashville during a 2-day trip at a leisurely pace any time of the year. However, unless you like to battle huge crowds, for your first visit it may be best to avoid dates on which there is a big music awards event, or when the NFL’s Tennessee Titans play at home.  Although it is filled with many practical travel tips, we wrote this guide to be “A good read even without the going,”™ so enjoy this virtual trip.

Using this guide, you first take a guided tour of the town known as Music City. On your second day, take a tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, historic RCA Studio B, and The Johnny Cash Museum. If you opt for a third day, you could visit Carnton Plantation and the town of Franklin in the morning with an optional afternoon stop at The Hermitage of President Andrew Jackson, and end the trip with a show at the Grand Ole Opry. You could visit the honky tonks and clubs at night, or when time allows during the day since some of them never close their doors. 

—GCF—

Sculpture at Ryman Hall of Bill Monroe and Minnie Pearl (GCF) sm

Sculpture at Ryman Hall of Bill Monroe and Minnie Pearl (GCF)

Travel to Music City, stay at anyone of many nice hotels or B&Bs near Lower Broad (the honky tonk district), enjoy the live music, food and drink in abundance, and relish the distinctive vibe of modern Nashville, and you should have a great time —without travelling much more than a few blocks in either direction. But you would miss so much of what makes Nashville one of the top U.S. destinations. While honky tonkin is fun, be sure when you visit Nashville, you fully savor this charming southern star.

For instance, you can take a short walk across the Cumberland River on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, and look back at the city the Union prized so much during the Civil War, it was one of the first Southern cities to fall.

As you tour the city on foot or by coach or bus, you’ll pass some of the churches and ministries that have helped Nashville earn a reputation as the Vatican of Protestantism. On the other side of the denominational aisle, you’ll also pass by a Catholic church, the oldest surviving church in the region, which was pressed into service as a hospital during the Civil War.

If you’re up to a stroll, you could walk up the Riverfront, through the capitol mall area, saunter through a portion of Millennial Park, and return to Lower Broad by way of the downtown in just a few hours.

Wall of record covers at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville (GCF) sm

Wall of record covers at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville (GCF)

And, while it does take some planning, music lovers the world over take the time for a short tour of historic RCA Studio B on Music Row before or after they visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. (Tours are made through the Hall of Fame.) By visiting the famed studio, you may never again listen to Elvis Presley’s hit song, Are you lonesome tonight, without recalling how the lights in the studio were turned off at the King of Rock & Roll’s request so he could capture just the right mood as he recorded it. You’ll see some of the original recording equipment that helped create “The Nashville Sound” as well as many pop classics. And that’s to say nothing about the music treasures found in the Hall of Fame’s museum.

The Grand Ole Opry, a cultural institution since 1925, and the various music awards and events held in Music City, have helped make it one of the most beloved towns in America. However, even if you’re not a country music fan, but enjoy site-seeing, shopping, dining, and live music, Nashville, beyond the honky tonks, should be in your travel plans.

During the day in the honky tonks, smaller crowds hear some of the best talent trying to break into the big time (GCF) sm

During the day in the honky tonks, smaller crowds hear some of the best talent trying to break into the big time (GCF)

After all, long before Elvis and Johnny Cash helped establish it as Music City, this lively and energetic city was known as the Athens of the South. It earned this moniker by the number of colleges started there as well as having the first public school system in the South. While its economy grew, so did its appetite for fine arts and the performing arts along with other cultural refinements common to metropolitan areas.

While you could easily spend a long time exploring all that Nashville has to offer, if you have only a few days, this guide helps you make the most of them including our Editors’ Choice attractions and restaurants in the itinerary below.

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