Country is king in Nashville, but music of all styles fills the streets. Book a Nashville hotel and hear music’s biggest names entertain thousands at Sommet Center. Or opt for the smaller but more famous Ryman Auditorium, where country’s legends first took the stage. The Grand Ole Opry has created country music stars since 1925, and visitors still flock to see the show made famous by legends like Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. After dark Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville’s most famous honky-tonks, buzz with more live music while visitors dance, Bud Light bottles in hand. Elvis’ golden, opalescent car, Mother Maybelle Carter’s guitar and Dolly Parton’s sparkling rhinestone costumes fill the halls of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum near downtown.
There’s more to culture on a Nashville vacation than country music. Impressionist paintings, Asian ceramics and contemporary sculptures draw visitors to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Advertisements for circus acts, magic shows and Louis Armstrong concerts cover the walls at Hatch Show Print, where posters have been printed by movable type since 1879. The Nashville Opera and the Nashville Symphony add classical music to the Music City’s repertoire.
A log reconstruction of Nashville’s 1780 original settlement, Fort Nashborough, sits on the banks of the Cumberland River. Learn about a farmer’s rise to the American Presidency at The Hermitage, the early 19th-century cotton plantation once worked by Andrew Jackson. Visitors relive the Civil War at the sumptuous Southern plantation Belmont Mansion.