Nashville is a city in Davidson County and the capital of the American state of Tennessee. It is sometimes called the "Country Music Capital of the World" or more often "Music City, USA"; however, in recent years, Nashville has done much to escape its country music image and become a regional center of culture and commerce. In fact, Dell, Nissan, and Saturn have all moved some operations to or near the city. The music is various; major rap artists and rock bands (Young Buck, Haystak, Kings of Leon, Paramore, and Ben Folds) claim Nashville as their hometown.
Nashville has been the home of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry since 1925. The Opry has been located in the Grand Ole Opry House in eastern Nashville since 1974. From 1974 to 1997 the Opry House was part of a theme park called Opryland USA, which closed due to low attendance and was subsequently torn down and replaced with a mega-shopping mall called Opry Mills. Rumors that the Opry is haunted persist to this day as more than 35 people closely associated with the Opry have been met with untimely deaths. These country stars have been burned to death, have been beaten, robbed and shot, have been victims of car and plane crashes and have perished from alcohol and drugs. Nashville is also a great bar scene. If you like to drink,you can go "Honky-tonking" or also known as "bar-hopping"
Nashville was founded in 1779 and it grew rapidly because of its excellent location on the Cumberland River. It was incorporated in 1806 and became the county seat of Davidson County. Nashville was named the capital of Tennessee in 1843.
Like many Southern cities, Nashville was not immune to the economic woes of the post-Civil War South but it quickly rebounded. It only took a few years for the city to reclaim its important shipping and trading position and to develop a solid manufacturing base. The post-Civil War years of the late 19th century brought a new found prosperity to Nashville. These healthy economic times left the city with a legacy of grand classical-style buildings, which can still be seen around the downtown area.
Since the 1970s, the city has experienced tremendous growth, particularly during the economic boom of the 1990s under the leadership of Mayor (now-Tennessee Governor) Phil Bredesen, who made urban renewal a priority, and fostered the construction or renovation of several city landmarks, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Public Library downtown, Bridgestone Arena, and LP Field.
Nashville sits in the middle of a geographic region known as the Nashville Basin. It is surrounded by the Cumberland Highlands and is bordered by the Cumberland Plateu to the east. The Nashville Basin is characterized by rich, fertile farm country and high natural wildlife diversity.
Nashville has cool, relatively short winters and hot, humid summers, with long spells of spring and autumn in between. Winter temperatures commonly hover slightly above freezing, and a fair amount of light snow generally falls throughout the months of December to February, though large storms of 6-plus inches in a day do occur every few years. Nashville can be prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes during the spring and fall months. Summers are hot, but no more than the rest of the southeastern U.S. with temperatures around 90F (32C) during the day.
Nashville International Airport (IATA : BNA), . Is about five miles from downtown. The most inexpensive way to travel to and from the Nashville International Airport and downtown Nashville is to ride the Nashville MTA's Route 18 Airport/Elm Hill bus, which serves the airport and downtown on an hourly basis, from about 7AM to about 10PM, seven days a week. Schedules are located at the Welcome Center located on the baggage claim level of the airport. There are non-stop flights to Nashville International Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Cancun, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis St Paul, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oakland, Ontario, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence, Raleigh Durham, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, Toronto and Washington .
American Charter Express, 4432 Airport Rd., Springfield, +1 615 384-4181.
Nashville is a nexus of several interstate highways, including I-65 (north-south), I-40 (east-west), and I-24 (northwest-southeast). The various highways sometimes merge and split without the typical exit-offramp design, so travellers should consult maps before attempting to navigate the area. There is easy access to/from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Louisville, among others.
Nashville's bus system is designed around a central station. The schedule accommodates a 9AM-5PM schedule with limited late night service. Route maps and schedules are subject to change but are available from the Nashville MTA website. .
The Music City Star, +1 615 862-8833, . Commuter train runs Monday - Friday. The train runs from Lebanon to Downtown's Riverfront Station. One-Way tickets purchased at the platform are $5 each. There are two shuttle services that transport people for no extra charge, passengers use their Music City Star ticket to board. Shuttle 93 goes up Broadway, West End, and around the Vanderbilt area. Shuttle 94 loops through Downtown. If you wish to go to any other place in the city, you can catch the Downtown Shuttle at the Riverfront Station and exit at the downtown bus mall then catch the bus that is going to your destination.
Car is always your best bet. Average speed on highways ranges from 55-70 mph, while city streets are generally 35 mph unless otherwise posted.
I-40, I-65, and I-24 are the major interstate highways that run through Nashville.
All major national car rental agencies operate in Nashville.
Taxis are also very prevalent in Nashville, especially Downtown. Taxi companies that operate in Nashville are:
Allied Cab, +1 615 885-1499
Music City Taxi, +1 615 262-0451
Checker Cab, +1 615 615-256-7000
Metro Cab, +1 615 615-365-3434
If you are looking to park Downtown in a lot or garage, be sure to have a good idea of where to park. The Metro Owned Facilities managed by the Nashville Downtown Partnership (branded as ParkIt Downtown) seems to be the best deal. For example, the Metro Courthouse/Public Square Garage is just $3 after 5pm & on weekends. This is much cheaper than nearby private lots.
Nashville is a very historic town and as such, many of its attractions are restorations or museums.
AT&T Building, An instantly recognizable downtown Nashville landmark, the AT&T Building, built in 1994 at 333 Commerce Street, is the tallest building in the state of Tennessee and can be seen from quite some distance if the hills aren't in your way. Its two tall spires on the building have earned it the nickname,
Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, Built between 1907 and 1909, the bridge was used for automobile traffic between East Nashville and Downtown. The bridge has recently been converted to a pedestrian bridge, and offers a spectacular view of the riverfront and downtown skyline. It is a very popular and convenient route to the Titan's football stadium.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum , +1-800-852-6437, Daily 9AM-5PM except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days., 222 Fifth Ave S, Regularly changing exhibits and live performances make this Nashville landmark someplace to visit often. The original Country Music Hall of Fame was built in 1967 and lasted until 2000 when they moved into their new $37 million dollar location. Ticket packages for guided or audio tours also available, as well as combining a tour with the RCA Studio B and the Ryman Auditorium.
Music Valley Wax Museum, +1-615-883-3612, Between Memorial Day and Labor Day hours are 9AM-9PM, otherwise they are 9AM-5PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's., 2515 McGavock St, See over 50 country music stars dressed in their stage outfits as well as hundreds of autographs on the
Belle Meade Plantation , +1-615-356 0501 (group sales: 1-800-270-3991), Tours by costumed guides available M-Sa 9:30AM-4PM, Su 11:30AM-4PM, 5025 Harding Road, Featuring the mansion built in 1853 and restored, as well as the carriage house from 1890 and one of the oldest log cabins in Tennessee, built in 1790. There is a great deal of history associated with the plantation starting from before the American Civil War. Excellent, highly interesting guided tours of the plantation mansion are offered by the local heritage society.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park , 615-741-5280 , 600 James Robertson Parkway, A fascinating state park stretched out in front of the state capital building. Features a giant map of the state, monuments recounting the history of the state since prehistoric times, a carillon, and more. In the summer, the fountains are often filled with splashing kids. The park is located right next to the farmers market, which includes a food court, fish market, nursery, as well as the expected vendors hawking fruits and vegetables. The Nashville Business Journal's Book of Lists ranks Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park as Nashville's #1 Tourist Attraction.
Belmont Mansion , +1-615-460-5459, M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Closed Memorial Day, 1900 Belmont Blvd, An approximate one hour guided tour of 16 rooms in the mansion. Also walk the grounds to examine the marble statues and cast iron ornaments in the gardens.
Fort Negley, A civil-war era fort partially reconstructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Taken by Union forces early in the war, Nashville quickly became second most fortified city in the US during the Civil War because it was seen as crucial to supplying troops engaged on the war's western front. The 1864 Battle of Nashville -- a failed attempt by the Confederate army to retake the city -- raged throughout what are now the residential and commercial districts on the fringes of the city. Fort Negley is one of the few remaining reminders of this time period. Much of the work on the fort was done by slaves and freed blacks who were rounded up and forced to work on the structure. The fort was closed for years (allegedly because it reminded many Nashvillians of the Union occupation), but reopened in 2004 with new boardwalks and interpretive signs.
The Hermitage , +1-615-889-2941, Daily 9AM-5PM, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and the 3rd week of January, 4580 Rachel's Lane, The former home of US President Andrew Jackson is full of his family's personal possessions, and is adorned with much of the furniture that they personally purchased. It was one of the first historic preservation projects in the state of Tennessee. This was accomplished by the Ladies' Hermitage Association which was modeled after the Mount Vernon Ladies Association that had restored George Washington's home. Plan for a two hour tour with a moderate amount of walking. No cameras, video cameras, food, or drink are allowed within the Hermitage or the exhibit gallery. Security precautions are taken and the Hermitage asks that all backpacks or large bags be left in your vehicle.
Tennessee State Capitol (Union Fort Johnson), Guided tours available M-F 9AM-4PM. Closed all holidays
Tennessee State Museum , +1-615-741-2692 or +1-800-407-4324, Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, 505 Deadrick St, With over 70,000 square feet of exhibit space, this is one of the nation's largest state museums. Its permanent exhibits are split into several categories, including: **Prehistoric**, **Frontier**, **Age of Jackson**, **Antebellum**, **Civil War**, and **Reconstruction.**
Yazoo Brewery , +1-615-320-0290, 2:30PM, 3:30PM, 4:30PM, 5:30PM, 1200 Clinton St, Nashville, TN 37203, Yazoo Brewing Company is brewed and bottled in downtown Nashville. The Brewery offers tours ONLY on Saturdays, when they're not brewing. You'll get to walk through all parts of the brewery and learn how the beers are made. With your admission you'll also receive a complimentary Yazoo pint glass and samples of beers during the tour.
Adventure Science Center , +1-615-862-5160, Formerly the Cumberland Science Museum, it's been remodeled recently. You should be able to get in for under ten bucks, and they have a lot of interesting exhibits which change every few weeks.
General Jackson Showboat , +1-615-458-3900, 2800 Opryland Dr, Get a meal and a show on this classically styled 300 foot long paddlewheel boat. Midday cruises, including buffet and show, $38.95 plus tax for adults and $21.95 for kids 4-11. Dinner cruises range from $44.95 to $74.95 for adults and $27.95 to $42.95 for kids. Shows and schedules vary throughout the year.
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere , 615-833-1534, April through October from 9AM-6PM. November through March from 9AM-4PM. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Inclement weather may cause an unannounced closing for safety., 3777 Nolensville Rd, Displaying many animals and hosting activities for the family, including a large playground with two-story netting that you can swing onto (off a rope), or just jump and roll around on. The zoo is getting bigger and better every day. Two recent additions include an aviary where you can feed lorikeets nectar by hand, and an amazing hand-carved wooden carousel.
Grand Ole Opry , +1-615-889-9490, 2812 Opryland Dr, . The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music radio program and concert broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee, every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Tuesdays from March through December. It is the oldest continuous radio program in the United States, having been broadcast on WSM since October 5, 1925.
Ryman Auditorium , +1-615-889-3060, Daily 9AM-4PM for tours. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, 116 5th Ave N, Completed in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle as commissioned by riverboat Captain Thomas Green Ryman, a newly converted southern evangelist. The Ryman has earned its mark in history by hosting the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 and is now a fantastically intimate setting for concerts of all genres. It has been named Pollstar's
Bluebird Cafe , +1-615-383-1461, 4104 Hillsboro Pike, With its unlikely location in a strip mall in Green Hills, has long been the destination of choice for local and national songwriters, fans of songwriters, and label scouts. Expect schmoozing, sets in-the-round, and lines around the block. Keep in mind, though, that quiet is requested at all times during a performance.
Nashville Symphony , +1-615-687-6500, One Symphony Place, The Nashville Symphony is in the newly built Schermerhorn Symphony Center and offers a variety of concerts throughout the year. For those on a budget be sure to visit the Free Day of Music offered by the Center in early October.
Some of the highlights of Nashville Parks and Recreation:
:*The Parthenon , Tu-Sa 9AM-4:30PM. Also Su 12:30PM-4:30PM from June to August., located in **Centennial Park**, Originally created for Tennessee's Centennial Exposition, this monument was such a well-received attraction that a permanent form was constructed. It maintains the dimensions of the original Athens Parthenon to within a quarter of an inch (at 2/3 the scale), though constructed mainly of concrete as opposed to marble. Inside stands a replica of the statue of the goddess Athena thought to have existed in the original Parthenon.
:Harpeth Hills Golf Course , +1-615-862-8493, 2424 Old Hickory Blvd :McCabe Golf Course , +1-615-862-8491, 46th & Murphy Road :Percy Warner Golf Course , +1-615-352-9958, Forrest Park Drive :Shelby Golf Course , +1 615'' 862-8474, 20th & Fatherland :Ted Rhodes Golf Course , +1-615-862-8463, 1901 Ed Temple Blvd :Two Rivers Golf Course , +1-615-889-2675, Two Rivers Parkway :*VinnyLinks, +1-615-880-1720, 2009 Sevier Street
Centennial Sportsplex , +1-615-862-8480, 222 25th Avenue N, . Located in Centennial Park. Featuring two indoor ice skating rinks, two pools, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a fitness room. Call or check online for the schedules, as they vary from month to month. The Sportsplex is also a practice location for the Nashville Predators professional hockey team.
Nashville Predators , . The local NHL hockey team plays their home games at *Bridgestone Arena* (previously Gaylord Entertainment Center and Sommet Center), which is on Broadway in the heart of downtown. In May of 1998 the Predators were named the 27th franchise in league history and their first playoff game came in 2004.
Tennessee Titans , The local NFL football team plays their home games at *LP Field*, **(formerly Adelphia Coliseum)**, which is located across the river from downtown (it's big, you'll see it). Once the Houston Oilers, the team was reborn as the Tennessee Titans in 1999.
Vanderbilt University Athletics , The Vanderbilt Commodores are one of Nashville's great sports attractions. As members of the Southeastern Conference they compete with a wide range of colleges and universities throughout the southeast United States. The Commodores consistently hold their own in the SEC despite being the perennial underdog.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts , M-W 10AM-5:30PM, Th 10AM-8PM, Fr 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, shortened hours the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, 919 Broadway, Featuring 24,000 sq. feet of gallery space with exhibits from local through to regional and all the way to international artists. The Frist strives to be a family friendly museum and as such has created ArtQuest, a colorful space with 30 interactive stations.
Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) , +1-615-782-4000, 505 Deaderick St, TPAC, as it is known, is home to HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and other special engagements.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art , +1-615-356-800, Tu-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11AM-4:30PM. Closed on every Monday except for Memorial Day and Labor Day. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's day, as well as the second Saturday in June, 1200 Forrest Park Dr, A 55 acre estate built by the founders of Maxwell House coffee on the fringes of the city featuring an art museum and a beautiful botanical garden. The art museum features American and Europeans exhibits.
Hatch Show Print, +1-615-256-2805, 316 Broadway, Visit this traditional printing shop that uses letterpresses to create posters for entertainment events to see them prepare some posters. As the Hatch brothers allegedly put it,
Monell's, +1-615-248-4747, Lunch: Monday - Friday 10:30AM - 2:00PM; Dinner: Tuesday -Saturday 5:00PM - 8:30PM; Country Breakfast: Saturday 8:30AM - 1:00PM, Sunday 8:30AM - 11:00AM; Sunday Meal: 11:00AM - 4:00PM, 1235 6th Ave North Nashville, TN 37208, Located in historic Germantown, Monell's is a Nashville tradition. They serve different meals every day and the good ol' home cookin' is sure not to disappoint! Seating and serving are done family style, 13-14 per table. More than likely you will sit with people you don't know. It is expected that you enjoy the company and meet new friends. First come, first serve. No reservations and no cell phones allowed.
Hermitage Cafe, +1-615-254-8871, Open 24 hours, 71 Hermitage Ave Nashville, TN 37210, Just south of downtown on Hermitage Ave, This diner-coffeeshop is divey, friendly, cheap, greasy, and as southern as white gravy on fried chicken. Perfect if you're drunk or a night owl, which most of the other customers here are (except at breakfast, which draws a mix of polite older couples and hungover kids). An ancient cigarette machine and a well-stocked jukebox.
Bobbie's Dairy Dip, +1-615-292-2112, 5301 Charlotte Ave Nashville, TN 37209, An endearingly dingy 50s ice cream stand on Charlotte Ave., recently revived into a popular summer mainstay that's popular with every demographic. Their hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries are some of Nashville's favorites, and the strawberry shortcake's great.
Las Palmas, A pretty good Mexican place. You can get a nice filling meal here for under ten bucks. There are several locations: 2615 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN +1-615-292-1902, 1905 Hayes St, Nashville, TN +1-615-322-9588, 15560 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN +1615-831-0432, Ste 105, 6688 Nolensville Rd, Brentwood, TN +1615-941-4756, 5511 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN +1-615-352-0313
Las Paletas, +1-615-386-2101, Tue-Sat 12PM-7PM, 2907 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204, On Kirkwood, in the Cypress Building, Save room after your Mexican meal for Las Paletas' homemade popsicles in exotic flavors! The Paz sisters ate them often when growing up in Mexico and have now brought us their own take on the treats. Hibiscus, basil, chocolate jalapeno, and rose petal are all delicious; so are the tamer versions, like mango, raspberry, chai tea, chocolate chip cookie, and Mexican caramel.
Taste of India, +1-616-327-5400, Mon-Fri 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM, Sat-Sun 11AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM, 1805 Church St, Nashville, TN 37203, If you're in midtown at midday, check out this little Indian place. Its $6 lunch buffet is cheaper than that at Sitar down the block, and is more varied. Sitar's buffet is slightly more expensive but has a better reputation in the community and has won numerous awards.
Swagruha, +1-615-736-7001, Same Hours as Farmer's Market, 900 Rosa L Parks Ave, Nashville, TN 37208, Just north of the Capital Building in the Farmer's Market, They have a basic menu that would satisfy most any Indian food craving and at $6.49 for a plate FULL of food, you won't go wrong.
La Hacienda Taqueria , +1-615-256-6142, Mon-Thurs 10AM-9PM, Fri 10AM-10PM, Sat 9AM-10PM, Sun 9AM-9PM, 2615 Nolensville Rd. Nashville Tn 37211, This popular restaurant serves some of Nashville's most authentic Mexican food. The tacos and shrimp cocktail are very popular. They also offer two local Mexican supermarkets in the area if you prefer to cook.
Rotier's , +1-615-327-9892, Mon-Fri 10:30AM-10PM Sat 9AM-10PM Closed Sunday, 2413 Elliston Place Nashville, TN, near F.Y.E., An old, friendly neighborhood joint whose hamburger and milkshake are consistently voted the best in Nashville. Get the grilled version of the cheeseburger -- basically a grilled cheese with a hamburger in it.
Pizza Perfect , +1-615-329-2757 (21st Ave) and +1-615-646-7877 (Bellevue), Fabulous pizza, quite simply. Nashville isn't much of a town for pizza, but this place more than makes up for it. The plain slices are great, but even the fancier ones (like the Fantasy) don't gild the lily. Free liva jazz Thursday nights at the 21st Ave. location (between Vandy and Hillsboro Village); there's another smaller shop on Granny White/12th Ave. across from Lipscomb.
The Arcade, It's an open-air 2-level arcade that runs between 4th Avenue North and 5th Avenue North. The Arcade primarily caters to the local downtown workers during the work week, but many great lunch restaurants can be found here, including Manny's House of Pizza, Phillip's Deli, and others. There are also several hairstylists, jewelers, florists, and other businesses. Be sure to visit the historic Peanut Shop.
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian, +1-615-463-3005, 3415 West End Ave Nashville, TN 37203, On West End between the exits from I-440 W and I-440 E. It's in a condo building and almost obscured by trees., Amazing southern Indian food. Very long menu, but the servers are helpful. The specials are a good sampler.
Demos', 300 Commerce Street, (615) 256-4655, . Located in Downtown Nashville, this steakhouse is named the best in Nashville by Reader's Choice. A 6-ounce with any side or a bowl of a special spaghetti is around $10, and 10 & under meals are around $4. Drinks are $1.80. Comes with unlimited bread refills. No special dress code.
Cafe Nonna, 4427 Murphy Road, +1 615 463-0133, . Another well-liked Italian restaurant, this intimate neighborhood place keeps its menu small and its dishes impeccably prepared. With the fresh ingredients and simple preparation, you might as easily be in some Tuscan hill town. Located in Sylvan Park.
French Quarter Cafe, 823 Woodland Street, +1 615 227-3100, . Located in East Nashville, this cafe tends to lean more towards being a bar with its billiards table, live music, and blacklights, but thats not to say the food isn't any good. Reasonably authentic cajun and creole dishes severed in reasonably sized portions, instead of those chain restaurant portions that one person can't possibly eat. Muffulettas, po' boys, as well as red beans and rice are the big features. Average prices between $6 and $15.
Goldie's Deli, Murphy Rd, +1 615 292-3589. One of Nashville's best (and only) Jewish delis, located in Sylvan Park. Similar to Jersey Mike's, though a bit more expensive.
Jack's Barbeque , 615-254-5715, 415 Broadway, Don't miss this authentic Tennessee barbecue joint right beside the Ryman Auditorium. Located on Lower Broadway -- just look for the neon sign featuring flying pigs! Also at 334 West Trinity Lane, **+1 615** 228-9888.
Maggiano's Little Italy, 3106 West End Avenue, (a few blocks south of Vanderbilt University), +1 615 514-0270 (fax:+1 615514-0271, carryout:+1 615514-0275, banquet:+1 615514-0280), . A busy Italian restaurant, serving Southern Italian meals, most famously in "family style", portions that are more than large enough to share. Reservations recommended for parties of any size. Open for lunch and dinner, seven days.
Pancake Pantry, 1796 21st Avenue South, +1 615 383-9333, . A Nashville landmark and basically the best place in town for breakfast, anytime before 3PM. The frosted haired waitresses will call you "honey," and the pancakes will be better than you'd ever realized pancakes could be. Don't be daunted by the line snaking around the block on weekends; it moves quickly, and you get free coffee while you wait.
Rosepepper Grille and Cantina, 1907 Eastland Avenue, +1 615 227-4777. A neighborhood favorite for several years now, this popular and upbeat nouveau Mexican place is in East Nashville, a bit off the tourist's beaten path.
San Antonio Taco Company, or SATCO, 416 21st Avenue South, +1 615 327-4322. Always a favorite with Vandy kids, offering reliably so-so Tex-Mex food (very little meat on the tacos, and the guacamole has tons of pepper) and cheap buckets of beer. Right off the Vanderbilt campus. Stop by Ben & Jerry's next door for dessert. Caveat: Towing in this area can be ruthless. Check the signs wherever you park. If you go, get the queso and chips for around $3. It's the best thing on the menu and is enough for 2.
Sole Mio, 311 3rd Avenue South, +1 615 256-4013. Long considered one of Nashville's best Italian restaurants, this place excels even in its new, viewless location on 3rd Ave - and, impressively, manages to keep its prices low. Subtle variations on traditional dishes keep things interesting, and the service is great. Seafood dishes and homemade ravioli are great.
Sunset Grill , (615) 386-3663, Lunch, Tues-Fri 11-3; Dinner, 5-10PM every night; Late Nite, 10-midnight (M-Th) or 10-1:30AM (Fri&Sat), 2001 Belcourt Ave, Consistently voted one of Nashville's best restaurants, this friendly place in Hillsboro Village has an excellent, inexpensive late-night menu. Focuses on Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, and has a large selection of fine wines. Best dessert and wine list!
F. Scott's. Usually ranked as one of Nashville's best restaurants. If you go after 9PM on any night, all entrees are half price, which makes it quite affordable - not to mention atmospheric, as by that time there's a jazz band playing in the other room. Occasionally the chefs get overambitious and fall short, but most dishes - especially appetizers, vegetables, fowl, and beef - are fantastic. Dress smartly - F. Scott's is a popular destination for the upper crust of the area.
Margot. This quirky local restaurant at Five Points in East Nashville is considered by many to be Nashville best local chef owned restaurant. It features a seasonal menu that is frequently changed. Don't miss the hot chocolate topped with a homemade marshmellow for an after-dinner treat.
Saffire. Relaxed, upscale, and well worth the fifteen minutes on I-65 South, this restaurant in the Factory shopping center in Franklin has a reputation for excellent food. It's not too expensive, either, and often has live music.
The Big Bang , (615) 242-9131, Tuesday - Thursday, 7 p.m. - 3 a.m. / Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. - 3 a.m., 701 Broadway # B20, Nashville, TN, Directly across the street from Honky Tonk Row and the Ryman Auditorium in the heart of Music City, Decent piano bar, but can be very rowdy at times.
, Located in the Five Points area of East Nashville is the linchpin in a cluster of bars all within a stone's throw of one another: *Red Door Saloon*, which also has an outpost in midtown; *The 5 Spot*, a pleasant nonsmoking spot that often books local bands; *Beyond the Edge*, a large sports bar; *the Alley Cat*, a popular neighborhood hangout with good food selection; and more.
, 3rd and Lindsley offers loud country- and blues-rock from local and touring performers.
, Isn't a bar, per se, but it does serve beer and remains open 24 hours every day. Expect to find studious Vandy kids, scene-making hipsters, and drunk everybody at night. Located just off Elliston behind the Exit/In.
, Another major venue for songwriters hoping to be discovered as well as established songwriters revisiting their old haunts. Open mic nights every week.
, A standby for mid-level touring bands of all varieties for decades. Check out the names of past performers over the bar.
, Huge assortment of beers available here.
, A multi-level complex of a dance club right downtown.
, Initially opened as a lesbian bar, the lipstick lounge now considers itself
, A welcome new addition to the bar scene. Its many red pool tables, large deck, friendly vibe, and live band karaoke nights add to its charm. Often hosts nationally-known indie bands.
, Located next to Centennial Park, this is one of Nashville's most reliable dive bars and often hosts underground and noisy local and touring bands. Once a speakeasy, later a hangout for Jimmy Hoffa, now host to a strange mix of local drunks, slumming Vandy kids, and musicians. Pool table, arcade games, good jukebox, good booker, a cheap beer-only bar, and a large screened-in cement block porch. Don't miss its regular Working Stiffs Jamboree.
, A bit of a time warp, especially located in the middle of the now trendy Gulch area of 12th Ave. Its excellent bluegrass and old-time Americana shows have drawn loyal patrons for decades.
, Intimate (read: cramped); owner and man-around-town Mike Grimes books everything from country singer-songwriters to young noise bands. Above the venue is Grimey's, his record store that consistently is voted best independent record store in Nashville. A non-smoking, 21+ club.
, Located downown this is a fun place; it sometimes has all-you-can-drink evenings for around $20. Go for their wide selection of beers.
, Located just across from Exit/In, it regularly books reliable indie rock bands, both local and nationally known.
, Good music nightly on the stage at this spacious two-floor honky tonk in the center of downtown Nashville.
, Tootsie's is one of the few denizens of lower Broad that looks like it's been there for half a century - and it has. An old honkytonk where many major country stars got their starts.
, Located downtown, it offers line-dancing lessons during the day. It is conveniently located near quite a few other bars and clubs aimed at country music fans and tourists downtown, most of which tend to be bustling on weekends.
, Offering a good beer selection, a great view of the river, and even better live bands, especially jazz.
, Relatively new Cafe about a mile south of downtown. Known for its made-crafted coffee creations and their wide selection of baked goods. Wifi friendly.
Bongo Java, +1-615-385-JAVA (5282) url=, 2007 Belmont Blvd. Nashville, TN 37212, across from Belmont University, The first and most relaxed in a very successful local mini-chain of quirky coffeehouses, Bongo Java is a meeting place for the young, the arty, and the students at Belmont University just across the street. Linger for hours on the huge porch over several cups of their incredibly strong, flavorful coffee, and take advantage of the free computer, wifi, and chess set use.
Drinkhaus Espresso & Tea, 500 Madison St., Nashville, TN 37208, A relatively new coffee house in Germantown, just north of downtown. Known for it's Panini sandwiches and Gelato, as well as smooth, rich espresso. Wifi for you and toys for any kids you might bring.
Alexis Inn & Suites Nashville Airport-Opryland, 600 Ermac Dr, +1 615 889-4466. $50-$109. Great amenities, Free Hot breakfast, Free Hi-Speed internet, Airport Shuttle. All non smoking hotel and location.
Club-Hotel Nashville Inn & Suites, 2435 Atrium Way, +1 615 883-0500. $50-$109. Deluxe Hot breakfast, Free Hi-Speed internet, Airport Shuttle, Fitness Center, great outdoor pool and evening manager's cocktail reception. Meeting rooms available for meetings and training. Fully smoke free hotel and facility.
Best Western Suites - Opryland, 201 Music City Cir, +1 615 902-9940, . All-suite hotel with refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker in rooms. Free breakfast, pool, sauna and fitness center. Approx $100.
Comfort Inn Downtown Nashville, 1501 Demonbreun Street. Pet-friendly downtown Nashville hotel with microwaves, refrigerators, coffeemakers, and free wireless high-speed internet in all rooms. Approx. $79-$100.
Country Inns & Suites - East Nashville, 3423 Percy Priest Dr, +1 615 277-1099. Clean and quite hotel just 10 mins from almost everything. Across the road from the beautiful Percy Priest lake. Free breakfast, pool, fitness center. Approx $80.
Country Inns & Suites - East Nashville, 3423 Percy Priest Dr, +1 615 277-1099. Clean and quite hotel just 10 mins from almost everything. Across the road from the beautiful Percy Priest lake. Free breakfast, pool, fitness center. Approx $80.
Gaylord Opryland Resort, 2800 Opryland Dr, +1 615 889-1000, . Featuring 9 acres of indoor gardens, rivers and pathways, all under climate-controlled glass atriums! Built on the site of the Opryland Theme Park, the Opryland Resort is located right next to Opry Mills mall. The hotel itself is a wonderful attraction, even if you aren't staying the night. $139-$179.
Guest House Inn and Suites, 1909 Hayes Street, 615 329-1000, . Located off of West End Ave. convenient to downtown, Vanderbilt, West End area restaurants and hospitals. Free shuttle, 108 rooms and suites.
Hampton Inn and Suites - Nashville Downtown, 310 4th Avenue South, . Located across the street from Country Music Hall of Fame and Music City Convention Center site. Complimentary breakfast, high-speed internet, 154 rooms and suites, Walk to everything! From $119.
Holiday Inn Select - Vanderbilt, 2613 West End Ave, +1 615 327-4707, . Located across the street from Centennial Park and only 2 miles from the city center. 300 rooms, pet friendly, outdoor pool and high-speed internet. $110-$145.
Homewood Suites Nashville Downtown (Homewood Suites Downtown Nashville) , 615 742 5550, 706 Church St, Corner of Church St. and 7th Avenue., Located in the historic Doctor's Building, right in the heart of downtown Nashville. An all suite property with full functioning kitchens, free high speed internet, and complimentary hot breakfast bar. Beautifully restored in 2007 and only upscale, extended stay in downtown area.
Hotel Preston, 733 Briley Parkway, +1 615 361-5900, . Hotel Preston is an attractive hotel that is well located. Outdoor pool, pet friendly, high-speed wireless internet. Room prices can range between $86-$130.
Millennium Maxwell House, 2025 MetroCenter Blvd, +1 615 259-4343, . $130-$150. Make sure to get your "Goo Goo" cluster candy bar, a Nashville production, at check in so you can thoroughly enjoy this "Country Music" themed hotel!
Ramada Limited - Coliseum, 303 Interstate Dr, +1 615 244-6690, . Located right next to the football stadium. Limit one car per room during football games and special events. Guitar shaped outdoor pool. $80-$200.
The Hermitage Hotel, 231 Sixth Ave N, 1-888-888-9414, . An upscale hotel with a beautiful lobby and rooms, as well as fantastic dining. Be sure to check out the famous men's room near the lobby. Approx $300.
The Hutton Hotel, 1808 West End Ave, 1-615-340-9333, . A new 4-Star hotel in Nashville's West End district. The on-site restaurant serves new American cuisine with an emphasis on sustainable seafood entrees and farm fresh produce from local growers, and an expansive wine list. Approx $225.
Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, Reservations: 888-777-6779 | Main Hotel Line: 615-889-1000 | Sales Office: 615-458-2800 | Address: 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214 . Rooms around $200 but if you get the special for the shows sometimes you can get a Room for $99. If you really want to splurge ask for the Cascades' or the Delta's Presidential Suite which has a rack of $ 3500 per night.
Popular tourist souvenirs include cowboy paraphernalia (boots, hats, etc) as well as any and all music themed items. Expect to find many local shops selling these items. Some downtown shops offer "buy 1, get 2 free" deals. Be sure to shop around.
Major shopping malls include:
: Mall at Green Hills, . I-440 exit 3 (Hillsboro Pk), located in Green Hills. This mall is Nashville's most over-priced and contains several high-end vendors. Dillards and Macy's are the anchor department stores. Other stores include Betsy Johnson, Apple, Gap, Burberry, Sephora, BCBG Max Azria, bebe, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Tiffany, Benetton, and Swarovski, : Hickory Hollow Mall, . I-24 exit 59, located in Antioch. Antioch was once a nicer area of town, but has more recently become a higher crime area. It's best not to visit this mall in the evening hours. Senior Citizens in the area enjoy mall walking at this mall. : Opry Mills, . Former location of the Opryland USA Theme Park, includes mostly outlet stores, specialized clothes shops like Brooks Brother and Forever 21, and a IMAX and a Regal Cinema. : Rivergate Mall, . Located in Goodlettsville. : Bellevue Center Mall, . Located in Bellevue. Sears remains, but this mall is otherwise shut down entirely, waiting to be demolished. : 100 Oaks Mall, I-65 near exit 78. Formerly a mall, 100 Oaks's shopping options are the street level vendors. The building now houses new clinic facilities for Vanderbilt Medical Center. Remaining shops remain open.
For a less generic shopping experience: :* 12 South District. Several fun (though pricey) vintage stores, including Katy K's Ranch Dressing (awesome country-western outfits), Savant, and Local Honey (on a side street, also has clothing by local designers). Also home to the Art House gallery.
:* Hillsboro Village, . Short section of 21st Ave. just south of Vanderbilt. Home of Nashville's most popular used bookstore, BookMan/BookWoman; A Thousand Faces (jewelry and local art); Pangaea (quirky gifts); and a well-stocked kitchen goods and coffee store.
::* Peabody Shoe Repair Located in quaint Hillsboro Village, this shoe repair shop offers great deals on secondhand cowboy boots. Great place to find a bargain.
:* Grimey's, . The best independent record store in town. Cramped, but has a good selection of vinyl and "pre-loved" music. Hosts free in-store performances by both local and nationally-known bands, usually in the afternoon or early evening.
While Nashville is generally not thought of as a dangerous city, crime is a growing problem in some districts.
In 2009, Nashville was ranked by Forbes one of the top ten most dangerous cities in USA due to higher than average murders, forcible rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.
North Nashville, especially the Bordeaux and MetroCenter districts, should be avoided by foot. Use caution when driving through the district at night.
Gang activity is present in the South and East Nashville districts. Use caution when driving through these areas at night.
Use caution when walking around Downtown Nashville at night, especially along the South Avenues of Broadway. Use designated parking and avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle. Panhandlers do exist around these areas as well.
Vanderbilt University, . One of America's top 20 universities, Vanderbilt is home to just over 11,000 undergraduate and professional students. Vanderbilt offers 66 major fields of study in the arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees.
Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd, +1 615 460-6000, . A private university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in over 65 different studies. Belmont University hosted the United States Presidential Townhall debate on October 7th, 2008 .
Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave N, +1 615 329-8500, . Fisk University has a long history. It is a liberal arts college that was founded in 1866 to educate freed slaves and has since then seen many distinguished graduates.
Lipscomb University, Physical Address: 3901 Granny White Pike. Mailing Address: One University Park Drive, +1 615 966-1000, . Lipscomb University is a private coeducational institution whose principal focus is undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, combined with a number of pre-professional fields and master’s degree programs. Its primary mission is to integrate Christian faith and practice with academic excellence.
Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, 227 French Landing Dr., Suite 100. +1 615 741-7579, . One of a kind state-supported language institute offering classes on site and in the workplace in up to 141 languages, including ESL, and interpretation and translation services to government, business and the community at large.
Unlike the more conservative suburbs surrounding it, the city of Nashville has a more relaxed atmosphere when it comes to dealing with alternative sexualities and lifestyles. Also, it should be noted that while Nashville is liberal compared to neighboring regions, homosexuality in general is still a subject of much distaste for most residents. Gay and lesbian travelers will probably be better received if they are discreet in public.
In Nashville there is a growing gay entertainment district featuring a number of gay clubs, dance halls, lounges, restaurants and sex clubs on Church Street between 12th and 22nd Avenue with very chic spots offering lively, classy entertainment. LGBT individuals are mostly accepted in the areas of Downtown, West Nashville, Hillsboro, and in some areas East Nashville, with South Nashville (and especially North Nashville) being less friendly.
Nashville Scene, . Nashville's oldest and largest weekly, now run by the Village Voice, . Excellent entertainment news and reliable features, plus useful special issues (Annual Manual, Dining Guide, You're So Nashville If..., College Guide, Best of Nashville, etc.): very biased.
Jack Daniel's Distillery, . Located an 1.5 hours away in Lynchburg, the distillery still makes Tennessee Sour Mash Whisky the way Mr. Daniel did. Tours are available, but don't expect a tasting; the distillery is in a dry county! (The lemonade given out out the tour's end, however, is held in high esteem.)
George A. Dickel, . Located about an hour from Nashville in Tullahoma, this distillery has been making whiskey since 1870 from a "secret mash of corn, barley and rye" that is barrel-aged for about 12 years!
Natchez Trace Parkway, . The 444-mile long parkway follows the same path used by travelers from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi during the early 19th Century. It begins in the southwest part of Nashville along Highway 100 about 10 miles outside of the city. 8 miles south from the parkway entrance in Williamson County is the nation's first segmentally constructed concrete arch bridge. The parkway provides spectacular views of the rolling hills in Tennessee.
Franklin, Tennessee. Fifteen miles south of Nashville. A Historic civil-war town.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve that straddles the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. The park is about a 3 1/3 hours drive east of Nashville, so it would be more than you could do in a day, but certainly worth a weekend trip!
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