Weekend in Nashville
Did you know that the first around-the-world tour musical act was by Fisk Jubilee Singers – an 11-member choral ensemble of students from Nashville’s Fisk University? Not only did their efforts help fund the school’s mission of educating freed slaves after the Civil War, they helped put Nashville on the map as a global music center. In fact, after performing for the Queen Victoria in 1873, the queen stated that the Fisk Jubilee Singers must have come from “Music City”. While the name certainly stuck, there has been quite a few changes since the 1800s, so use this site to discover more fun facts about Nashville!
If you’re looking to find southern charm (southern cookin’, too!), deep music roots and rich history, look no further. From the Grand Ole Opry and scenes down on Lower Broadway to Belle Meade Plantation, notably named the “Queen of the Tennessee Plantations" and the dinner-and-a-show hotspot, Bluebird Café, the saying “it all begins with a song” surely doesn’t disappoint! With so many exciting options, Great American Country wrangled up their top picks for experiencing the heart of Nashville.
Neighborhoods and Locations
- The District – lower Broad, aka Honkytonk Row, aka The Honkeytonk Highway, and 2nd Avenue. The classic downtown Nashville scene, stuffed full of honkytonks, restaurants, bars and souvenir stores. Everything from the venerable Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to popular newcomer The Stage.
- SoBro – Short for “south of Broadway,” SoBro merges with The District. It is geographically centered on the Country Music Hall of Fame with lots of upscale and fine dining options. Cannery Row, with the famous Cannery Row Ballroom and Mercy Lounge music venues, is on the western edge of SoBro.
- The Gulch – On the western edge of downtown, The Gulch is a young urban area and one of the city’s foodie hotspots, with lots of excellent restaurants at all levels. Home to 2 of Nashville’s craft breweries, Yazoo and Jackalope, as well as some unique shopping opportunities.
- Marathon Village – A turn of the century automobile factory, Marathon Motor Works, has been converted into an eclectic mix of boutique stores, music and art studios and industrial spaces, with displays of the old factory machinery scattered throughout. It is home to 2 craft distilleries, a winery, Antique Archaeology (from the American Pickers TV show) and Bang! Candy. It’s little off the beaten path, so you’ll definitely want to catch a ride.
- 12 South – A small, fun commercial district near Belmont University, 12 South has excellent restaurant options and quirky and vintage boutiques for clothing and home goods. The excellent fresh fruit popsicles at Las Paletas are a Nashville favorite.
- Midtown – Home of the Nashville Parthenon and Vanderbilt University. For art lovers, check out the Sarrat Gallery at Vanderbilt, as well as a few commercial galleries. Lots of casual dining and lively bars, catering to both professionals and the college crowd. Location of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, one of the Nashville classics.
- Germantown – Historic neighborhood named for 19th century immigrants. It has a great diverse historical architecture and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is designated as a City Arboretum due to the diversity of trees in the area. The neighborhood is walking distance from First Tennessee Arena, home of the Nashville Sounds.
- East Nashville – Affectionately nicknamed “East Nasty” it is a diverse and progressive neighborhood with a variety of unique restaurants and bars, artisan-focused shops and vintage goods stores. Lots of mixed use makes it a bit sprawling so you may need to have a destination in mind when headed that way.
If you are intimidated by discovering Nashville on your own, why not jump in on a stylish, safe and dependable tour and learn from local experts! Whether you’re searching for music, history, shopping, dining, art or crave a little taste of everything, you can tailor your experience by joining a number of tours, be it exploring by bus, bike, trolley or on your own two feet! No matter your preferences, make the most of your trip and enjoy your time in Music City by booking one of these top tours!
Music City offers live music 24/7/365. That’s right – you can enjoy Nashville’s live music scene for free every day. Check out the list of free music venues and decide which tunes you’d like to sway to! Nashville doesn’t only offer free music, it offers free opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Visit any of the area’s Metro Parks for hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking, and relaxing, or enjoy the fresh air while touring the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Music City Walk of Fame Park or Centennial Park & Gardens. If the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you’d simply rather stay indoors, be sure to enjoy Nashville’s art scene. For a helpful list of art galleries and studios, as well as even more free unique and exciting attractions, check out this must-see list!
Looking to splurge or shop on a dime – Music City has it all! From shopping malls and boutiques to specialty stores and record stores, you’re sure to find unique merchandise for you, friends and family. Shop by neighborhood, shop by item or shop by event, this must-visit list to plan your Nashville shopping extravaganza!
Not only does Nashville invest its talents and creativity in the music scene, it’s climbing its way to the top of the culinary scene, as well. Discover why Nashville has earned the nickname of “The Hot Chicken Capital”, the best sweet tea you’ll ever find, the irresistibly delicious Goo Goo Clusters, and literally everything in between. Your taste buds will not be disappointed!
Dive into these interactive maps to paint a clearer picture on all the unique and lively areas of town and discover first-hand what they have to offer! You can find all of the hidden gems – from attractions to restaurants, music venues and area parks – all within reach of your hotel!