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Nashville, Tennessee is bursting with culture, music, art and history. Nicknamed the “Songwriting Capital of the World,” musicians from all over the world travel to Nashville to learn the art and share in their passion for music. Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, which has showcased country music talent for nearly 100 years through its weekly broadcast. Stars like Etta James, Jimmy Buffet, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and many more have recorded songs and albums in Music City.
Nashville was founded on December 15, 1779, on the banks of the Cumberland River. Pioneers set forth from the Carolinas to found a new city, and discovered they were not the first European settlers, as a man from Quebec had been living there since 1769. Upon arrival, the pioneers began building Fort Nashborough. Among the pioneers was Rachel Donelson, who would later become the wife of President Andrew Jackson. Prior to the Civil War, Nashville was home to breeding and training grounds for thoroughbred horses and led the South in iron production.
FISK JUBILEE SINGERS & RYMAN AUDITORIUM The Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville introduced the world to the tradition of African-American music. Because of their successful tours during the 1870s, Nashville first became known for its music. In fact, the Fisk Jubilee Singers were among the first to perform at Ryman Auditorium, built in 1892, and later home to the Grand Ole Opry performances from 1943-1974. The Ryman was named the best theatre in the nation by Pollstar in from 2010-2014.
Where does the name “Music City” come from? WSM radio announcer David Cobb referred to Nashville with that nickname in 1950 on Red Foley’s NBC radio broadcast.
There are more than 180 live music venues throughout Nashville. Venues that play music 4 or more nights per week will have a guitar pick-shaped “Live Music Venue” sign.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is home to more than 2.5 million priceless artifacts, including recordings and photographs, stage costumes, musical instruments and more.
United Record Pressing, a vinyl pressing plant, is one of only 4 remaining vinyl manufacturers in the nation, operating since 1949.
Nashville has the highest concentration of people working in the music industry per capita than anywhere else in the world.
Nashville was granted the first FM-broadcasting license in the US.
Healthcare organizations are among the biggest employers headquartered in Nashville. These institutions include: Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, HCA Healthcare Inc., Saint Thomas Health, and Community Health Systems Inc.
Source: Visit Music City
Fall is a celebrated time throughout Tennessee. Visitors come to see the annual changing of the leaves in mid-October. Days are warm and pleasant. Evenings require a sweater or light jacket. Since the weather is changeable, layered clothes are recommended to accommodate sunny days and cooler nights.
September Average Temperatures:
Daily High: 83° F
Daily Low: 61° F
Bob’s Steak & Chop House | $$$$
A nationally renowned steak house specializing in the finest corn-fed, Midwestern prime beef. The menu formula is simple: incredible meat, gigantic shrimp, fabulous salads and decadent desserts.
Kitchen Notes | $$
Enjoy traditional Southern dishes handed down from generation to generation. The innovative farm-to-table concept incorporates the freshest ingredients to create great food and a casual dining experience.
Barlines | $$
Barlines is the perfect Nashville honky tonk to take in some live music or watch your favorite sports teams. Enjoy a tasty menu of Southern comfort food along with Tennessee libations. Catch live music 7 days a week.
Bongo Java | $
Bongo is Nashville’s oldest and most celebrated coffee company, supplying 100% certified organic coffee and gourmet baked goods.
Puckett’s Nashville | $$
Puckett’s roots stretch back to the 1950s and a little grocery store. Puckett’s has built a name on hosting live, local musical acts and serving Southern staples. Authentic comfort food classics like the meat & 3 specials and their famous slow-smoked BBQ, in a laid-back and downhome atmosphere is what they aim for.
Merchants | $$
Merchants is a lively 3-story restaurant situated in the heart of downtown Nashville. The building dates back to 1892, and each floor offers a different vibe. The street-level entrance leads to a vibrant black and white bistro with quality cocktails, comfort food, and impeccable service. The second floor is open for dinner and is more upscale, offering refined dishes, an expansive wine list and several top-tier steak options. The third floor is a private dining space.
The Stillery | $$
The Stillery is the kind of place you can relax, eat outstanding, fresh food, and a enjoy signature mason jar cocktail or local craft brew. They serve brick fired pies, juicy stacked burgers, fresh salads and tantalizing starters. Live music performers are on stage every Thursday-Sunday.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken | $
Hot chicken is a Nashville staple! Stop in at this no-frills establishment which helped put hot chicken on the map. Choose your meat, your heat (from “Southern” to “Shut the Cluck Up!!!”), and your classic Southern sides including Southern greens, baked beans, creamy cole slaw and pimento mac & cheese.
Catch a Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators Game
Are sports your thing? The NFL season will be in full swing by the time we’re in Nashville, and the NHL will be beginning its pre-season games! The Predators’ stadium, Bridgestone Arena, is just 2 blocks away from the Omni Nashville Hotel, and Nissan Stadium, home of the Titans, is just across the river.
Broadway Historic District & Honky Tonk Highway
The Broadway Historic District, known as Lower Broad and the Honky Tonk Highway, has attracted music fans to its honky tonk bars for decades. Several of the street’s furniture and hardware stores played a key role in Nashville’s economy in the late 19th century, and have been adaptively reused as restaurants. Wondering what a honky tonk is? An establishment with at least one rockin’ stage, cold beverages, and live music that lasts all day, every day. Notable honky tonks include (but certainly are not limited to): Whiskey Bent Saloon, Wildhorse Saloon, Tootsie’s Lounge, AJ’s Good Time Bar, and Honky Tonk Central.
Grand Ole Opry House
Experience a backstage tour at the Opry! Get up close and personal to where country music stars and legends perform every week, explore the American country roots, hang out backstage, and more. The backstage tour lasts approximately 50 minutes and includes the artist entrance, stories from country music greats, an immersive theater experience and more.
Tap into the spirit of over 130 years of iconic performances and pop culture moments on a self-guided tour through the hallowed halls of Ryman Auditorium. Included are a stop at Rock Hall at the Ryman, a powerful new exhibit with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a professional souvenir photo on stage, the immersive “Soul of Nashville” theater, the gallery of signed Hatch Show Prints, and seasonal exhibits.
The Belmont Mansion is an Italian villa style house constructed between 1849-1859. Through the years, it has been the summer home for Nashville socialite Adelicia Acklen and her family, temporary headquarters of the Union army, and a women’s college and seminary. The Belmont estate boasts extensive gardens, an art gallery, a bowling alley and a zoo. It is one of few 19th-century Nashville homes still standing, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Snap a Photo at the Nashville Murals
A slew of fun, unique photo ops await you at the murals that can be found throughout the city. Created by local and internationally known artists, murals can be found on the side of restaurants, shops, garage doors, water tanks and silos.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Visit The Hermitage and walk through President Andrew Jackson’s life and home, explore an historic Tennessee farm and experience an important piece of Nashville and our nation. The Hermitage Grounds Pass allows access to 1,120 acres of tranquil beauty, an historic garden, field quarters, historical markers, wildlife, hiking trail, historic buildings and more. The Mansion Pass allows you access to the grounds, and a tour of the mansion. Plus, enjoy a wine tasting at Natchez Hill Winery on the grounds!
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Spend time with your furry friends at the Nashville Zoo! Perfect for families, you can come face to face with a lorikeet, red kangaroos, Galapagos tortoises, goats, alpaca and a variety of birds. In addition, you can take a ride on the zip line, immerse yourself in the 4D theater, enjoy the carousel and wilderness express train, and horse around on the jungle gym.