Nashville is Music City, and you can’t walk the streets without feeling the chords, beats, and falsettos of the music greats who walked them before you and still do today. Nashville is home to some of the best country cooking in Tennessee and nightlife that attracts party animals from around the globe, but it’s the music that really makes this city feel alive. These five musical attractions will encourage you to feel and hear the true spirit of Nashville.
Walk the Honky-Tonk Highway
Nashville locals know that a honky-tonk is a bar or restaurant that features at least one stage and plays music from open to close every day of the week. Few cities house as many honky-tonks as Nashville, and the place to find them is on Lower Broadway, an area affectionately known as the Honky-Tonk Highway. Choose to stay at a Nashville hotel near the highway, and pop into the clubs where American music greats like Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson started their careers.
Iconic Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
You don’t have to be a fan of Kenny Chesney or Miranda Lambert to be wowed by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This must-visit Nashville attraction will take you through the lives and careers of country music’s greatest stars, from Hank Williams to Garth Brooks to the Oak Ridge Boys to Reba McEntire. As the world’s largest popular music museum, the hall of fame also includes numerous exhibits that change throughout the year.
Cruise Along Music Row
No trip to Nashville is complete without cruising down Music Row. Just southwest of downtown, this area is a place that hundreds of music businesses and record labels call home, including RCA Studio B, where Elvis recorded more than 200 songs. Every big-time country music artist has spent time here on 16th and 17th Avenue South. Sony Music Nashville, Curb Records, Warner Brothers, and Ocean Way Recording Studio are just a few of the many labels you’ll find on The Row.
Peruse the Johnny Cash Museum
The Johnny Cash Museum continues to wow Nashville visitors, even those who have never heard the artist’s name. You’ll spend two hours completely engaged in Johnny Cash’s life, from his early days until he died on Sept. 12, 2003, at 71 years old. The world-renowned museum, authorized by the Estate of Johnny Cash, features the largest collection of memorabilia from Johnny and June Carter Cash’s lives, as well as a themed cafe and museum shop.
See the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry has been on the radio since 1926, but it’s difficult to understand the extravagance of the show until you’ve seen it in person. What began as a radio “barn dance” has since brought generations of Nashville music stars together on one stage for an unforgettable weekly performance. The Opry is dedicated to showcasing the works of legendary country singers and contemporary favorites to create a performance that’s worth scheduling your visit around.
A trip to Nashville is incomplete without a taste of the city’s music scene. Add these attractions to your Nashville itinerary, and get ready for some toe-tapping fun.