Guide to Visiting Nashville Tennessee

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How can you beat viewing old southern elegance, zip lining, hot honey spiced fried chicken and partying at the Redneck Riveria, listening to blues and country and some good old rock and roll at Kid Rock’s. Nashville has something for just about everyone.

A recent adventure took is to the following accommodations, restaurants and venues.  Also be sure to check out our posts on Belmont Mansion, The Hermitage and The Johnny Cash museum.

Accommodations

Nashville

There are so many great hotels in Nashville.  Here are two to check out for an upcoming stay that provide a Nashville downtown experience and alternative suburban experience.

Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University  

Marriott Nashville at Vanderbilt University is one of the premier destinations in the West End of Nashville. It is located on the Vanderbilt University campus. It is within convenient proximity to some of the best entertainment in Nashville. In fact, you can walk to attractions like The Parthenon and Centennial Park.  Its also very close to downtown and other popular Nashville destinations.

Marriott Nashville at Vanderbilt University is equipped with 11,000 square feet of event space, unique-in-house dining, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. A morning buffet is available with standard fair of scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, etc.  There is also dining and room service available including the Park25 Bistro and they have Starbucks to go at Park Bistro to Go.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville South Cool Springs 

Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville South Cool Springs is a hotel located in Cool Springs Corporate Center in Franklin, Tennessee.  It has access to Interstate-65 which is just minutes from Nashville International Airport and as well as from downtown Nashville attractions.

As with all Embassy Suites their suites have private bedrooms, separate living areas with sleeper sofas, and HD LCD televisions. If you have pets with you, you don’t have to worry because it is a pet-friendly hotel.

They also have the standard Embassy Suites hall that has a waterfall, fountains, and greenery. It is where you can have their made-to-order breakfast and complimentary evening reception.

This hotel also offers a PURE Wellness room. That room uses a patented 7-step purification process, treating every surface, as well as the air, removing pollutants and allergens so that you can breathe easily and have a peaceful rest. This hotel also has an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, and sauna.

Dining

Nashville has great dining options which of course includes fantastic BBQ and southern cooking.  Here are a couple of restaurants to consider for some great dining.

Burger Up 

Burger Up is a restaurant located in 2901 12th Avenue South Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 2010 on the concept of thoughtful consuming. This means that the meat they use to make their burgers and other foods they serve come from local farms that practice sustainability and humane treatment of animals. Burger Up is a community-driven restaurant and a place where people of all ages would feel welcome. It is also a great venue for business lunch, celebrations, and even your first date.

You can enjoy here different kinds of burgers. Aside from burgers, they also serve salads, soups, appetizers, sides for snacking, and delectable desserts. Burger Up also has another branch in East Nashville which was opened in the Five Points area in 2016.

Tupelo Honey Café  

Tupelo Honey Café is a restaurant located in Franklin, Tennessee. This restaurant is a revival of Southern food and traditions rooted in the Carolina mountains. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you visit Tupelo in Franklin, you will be able to enjoy foods like their famous fried chicken that is brined for over 18 hours then cooked to perfection. You can choose from a dark meat quarter, white meat quarter, or half-bird. They also serve chicken in different styles such as buffalo, sweet and spicy, and honey jalapeno lacquer roasted.

Aside from chicken, they also serve shrimp and grits, salmon, ribs, sandwiches, vegetables, and soups. And of course, they also have desserts like banana pudding, chocolate cake, cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, and brown butter pecan pie.

Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse 

Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll and Steakhouse is the biggest honky tonk in Nashville as its very long name suggests. It is owned by Robert Ritchie who is known popularly as Kid Rock, an American singer, rapper, record producer, and actor. This honky tonk is located on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Broadway in the heart of party central in Nashville. It has five floors, four stages, and six bars that can accommodate almost two thousand people. Its first floor and mezzanine overlook its lavish, 2-story main stage and some of Broadway’s brightest stars perform here daily. And if you want to see the most spectacular views from downtown Nashville, go to their sky-high 5th story rooftop.

Aside from the enjoyable music and stunning view, Kid Rock’s also serves steaks daily including their signature 36 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye. Aside from steaks, they also serve chicken wings, nachos, potato skins, baked potatoes, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and some desserts like the bourbon butter toffee banana cake.

Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk and Steakhouse is open daily from 11 am to 3 am. You can also contact them if you want them to host a private party or corporate event on one or all of their unique floors and rooftop.

Entertainment

There is so much to do in Nashville including outdoor activities, music of course and much more!

Soda Parlor 

The Soda Parlor is an apparel store, soda shop, and arcade that was established in 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. It outgrew the original location in Marathon Village in 2016 and moved to its current space in Five Points East Nashville. It has expanded into a highly rated Nashville Experience. The new space of Soda Parlor opened in late 2017 at 966 Woodland Street.

If you’re looking for delicious desserts and some fun, The Soda Parlor is one of the must-visit places in Nashville for you. You can enjoy playing vintage console arcade games here like Asteroids and Galaga

The Soda Parlor is owned by Olan Rogers who is a storyteller, comedian, voice actor, writer, business entrepreneur, and dimple-faced Nashville, TN wonder child. He has a YouTube channel which he started in 2008 and it has reached over 85 million collective views.

Adventure works Zipline Forest at Nashville Fontanel 

If you are looking for something outdoors and adventurous to do in Nashville, then isit the Adventureworks Zipline Forest at Nashville Fontanel. It is located at 4129 Whites Creek Pike, Whites Creek, Tennessee. It is just minutes from downtown Nashville.

Adventureworks is a company that started creating teambuilding programs and adventures in 1987. They offer teambuilding programs, zipline, and aerial adventure courses in their five different southeastern adventure parks. Their team is composed of skilled professionals with years of group leadership experience and have credentials in education, training, business, and mental health.

Their Canopy Zip Tour will give you a thrilling adventure with a bird’s eye view. It will enable you to sail through the air on steel cables. Don’t worry because you will be secured in a safety harness and attached to a zip pulley system.

Broadway 

Nashville’s Lower Broadway is an entertainment district renowned for honky-tonks and live country music. It is also a street which is home to retail shops, restaurants, dessert spots, tourist attractions, and a few hotels. In 1980, the entire Lower Broadway district was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

There are plenty of honky-tonks and restaurants along Lower Broadway. It is also known as the Honky-Tonk Highway. The place is always loud and packed and one of the best parts is that it doesn’t cost a thing to just watch and look.

Venues Throughout Nashville

Here are some of the different venues you can visit:

Rippy’s Smokin’ Bar and Grill

Rippy’s is located in the Fifth Avenue and it is a favorite spot of Preds fans and concert-goers. Its front door may be packed with a crowd but just politely push your way through towards the stairs because it has a second floor that is ideal for breezy evenings where you can simply watch the crowds below if you do not want to be a part of them. It is a great spot to sip your favorite drinks as you listen to the tunes of Nashville’s finest musicians.

Honky Tonk Central

 

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Honky Tonk Central will give you an authentically Nashville honky-tonk experience. It has three floors of live music, ranging from old school country to ‘90s jams. If you want to have a drink and see local talent show off their fiddling skills, then the first floor is the best place for you. The second floor and the third floor are for those who are willing to commit to a drink or two and both of them are more crowded. But it’s also worth it to visit each floor to hear each band and see the scene.

Acme Feed & Seed

 

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Acme Feed & Seed is a full-service restaurant that has a modest country store setting during the day. But at night, its first floor is similar to its neighbors but it is more upscale with local draft beers and a live Americana band. On its second floor, there are ample games and comfortable seating if you are looking for a casual night on Broadway. It is also a great spot to bond with friends. Acme also has a rooftop that offers an incredible view of the Cumberland River and as well as the honky-tonk strip below. You can enjoy sightseeing there while enjoying wonderful drinks.

Crazy Town

This is a great girls’ night destination. You can enjoy live music in its first and second floors. But if you want to party, then go straight to their rooftop where a DJ plays a mix of top 40 hits and classic throwback tunes. There’s a large stage around the DJ booth where you can dance or watch. It is a great place to visit with your friends. You can spend an hour or two here belting out lyrics to songs that you didn’t know you still knew. This place might not be for everyone, but it is definitely part of a well-rounded Broadway experience.

The Stage

The Stage offers a big dance floor where you can dance to your favorite songs. Aside from dancing, it is also a great place to watch. It is a popular place for those who are in larger groups that are searching for a great time. You should add The Stage to your Broadway bar crawl list whether you want to dance your heart out or just watch the fun from afar.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

This is truly a historic location.  Check out their vintage web site and all the history of famous acts who have played there and discovered including Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson and many modern acts as well.  It has four stages and three bars spread across three floors. It is an orchid-colored honky-tonk that is possibly the most popular on Broadway. In fact, it has been featured on TV programs and different articles. It has a rooftop that offers an impressive view of Broadway and Nashville’s downtown. Tootsie’s is known for its music and as a haven for artists down on their luck. It is a landmark that tourists and locals can appreciate.

Robert’s Western World

Robert’s Western World

This honky-tonk is located in a historic building that was used for different purposes over the years. It started out as a western clothing and boot store in the early 1990s before it eventually evolved into a live music venue with a bar and grill. Until now, they still offer boots and apparel for sale alongside the bar-style menu items. Aside from traditional country music, they also play country music with a Latin flavor.

Aside from the bars and restaurants, there are also various souvenirs and specialty shops in the Lower Broadway area and many of them are western-themed.

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

This shop was founded in 1947 by Ernest Tubb who is known as the Texas Troubadour. This historic shop is also the broadcast site of the Midnight Jamboree on WSM 650 AM. Here you can find autographed photos, records, sheet music, and some memorabilia on their shelves.

Savannah’s Candy Kitchen of Nashville

This is a sweet shop that makes and serves everything sweet. You can buy here some chocolate candies, homemade ice cream, candy apples, and more.

Cotton Eye Joe’s Gift Shop

This is the shop in Lower Broadway that sells typical souvenirs like t-shirts and other western-themed items. If you want to buy some souvenirs for yourself or you want to give some to your friends when you go back home, you can find lots of options here.

Music City Showcase

This shop offers music memorabilia. Aside from that, they also sell hats, t-shirts, novelty items, and other types of tourist souvenirs.

Nashville History

Nashville History

Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the most populous city in that state. It is located in northern Middle Tennessee and it is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. Nashville was founded in 1779 and was named for Francis Nash who was a general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Due to the city’s strategic location as a port and railroad center, it grew quickly.

During the American Civil War, Nashville separated with Tennessee and it became the first state capital to fall to Union troops in 1862. When the war was over, the city reclaimed its position and developed a manufacturing base. Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government since 1963. It includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. It is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and 40 metropolitan council members.

Nashville has become a center for music, healthcare, publishing, banking, and transportation industries. There are also many colleges and universities here such as Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, and Belmont University.

Nashville was founded in 1779 by James Robertson and a party of Wataugans. It was formerly called Fort Nashborough, after the American Revolutionary War hero Francis Nash. The city quickly grew and in 1843, it was named the permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.

When the first roars of secession began to be heard across the South by 1860, eighteenth-century Nashville was a thriving city. Since the city is a shipping port, it made it an anticipated prize as a means of controlling important river and railroad transportation routes. In 1862, it was the first state capital to fall to Union troops. Even though the Civil War left Nashville in terrible conditions, the city quickly recovered.

After a few years when the war ended, the city had reclaimed its important shipping and trading position. Aside from that, it has also developed a solid manufacturing base. The late 19th century post-Civil War years brought new success to Nashville. It has left the city with a legacy of grand classical-style buildings which you can still see around the downtown area.

In 1925, at the beginning of Grand Ole Opry, the country’s longest-running radio show, combined with an already flourishing publishing industry, Nashville was named Music City, USA. Nashville consolidated its government with Davidson County in 1963 and thus became the first major city in the United States to form a metropolitan government.

Nashville has experienced incredible growth since the 1970s particularly during the economic boom of the 1990s when landmarks are constructed and renovated including the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nissan Stadium, the Sommet Center, and the Nashville Public Library downtown.

In the present time, Nashville is a crossroads of American culture. It is also the fastest-growing part of the Upper South and the territory between Atlanta and Texas.

Nashville’s Culture

Nashville’s Culture

The cultural life of Nashville has revolved around its large university community. When you visit Nashville, you will be able to enjoy some of their local cuisines like hot chicken, hot fish, barbecue, and meat and three. Aside from the foods, Nashville also has a vibrant music and entertainment scene covering a variety of genres. The major performing arts center of the city is the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. It is the home of the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Repertory Theater, the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Nashville Opera.

Nashville is also popular for the country music industry. Some of the famous tourist attractions for country music include the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Ryman Auditorium, and Belcourt Theater. Aside from these, there is also a multitude of music clubs and honky-tonk bars that can be found in downtown Nashville, particularly in Lower Broadway, Second Avenue, and Printer’s Alley which is often called the District. Nashville is known to have the highest concentration of music industry employees of any city in the world. In fact, there are nearly 60,000 in total.

Nashville is indeed a wonderful place to visit. There are many things to do here such as taste the Southern cuisine they offer, visit museums and historic places, and as well as go to the district and enjoy country music while drinking and having fun with your family and friends.

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