- Get your bearings and take a stroll along Broadway, a street lined with the famous Honky Tonks and bars blasting out live country music and shops with country music memorabilia and accessories such as rhinestone studded cowboy boots and Stetson hats. It’s like Temple Bar on speed! The Gulch area of the city is very cool and trendy with lots of great shops, restaurants and hipster hangouts.
2. Eating out in Nashville should come with a health warning! The Southern style of cooking is seriously delicious but extremely bad for your waistline (and I suspect your arteries!). You absolutely have to try crispy fried hot chicken, which comes with creative and witty names, depending on how spicy it is like “Shut the cluck up” and “Sign the Waiver”. I had a medium spicy fried chicken and even then, had to request a glass of milk to quench the fire in my mouth! Other staples of Southern cooking include fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, okra, corn bread (surprisingly sweet, tastes a bit like a fairy cake!), barbequeued ribs, collard greens and grits.
A very popular place for brunch (*expect to queue to get in!) and another unique staple of Southern cooking is Biscuit Love https://biscuitlove.com/. The ‘Biscuits’ here are not biscuits as you and I know them in the European sense but rather a mix between scones and muffins. They serve them with some sort of sausage mash (which doesn’t look very appealing, looks more like something your cat vomited up!) but I’ve been assured by those in the know (ie my brother and sister-in-law) that it’s delicious!
3. Do a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame and afterwards find the famous WhatLiftsYou mural in the Gulch area of the city and have your photo taken here. Here I am at the mural!
4. Visit the Grand Ole Opry,https://www.opry.com/, the home of Country music, established in 1925 where you can do a backstage tour and still see live contemporary country acts as well as bluegrass, folk, Gospel and Americana acts. Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and many other famous stars have performed here. Artists and musicians who have made a significant contribution to country music and are of ‘good moral character’ are invited to become members of the Grand Ole Opry, a huge honour, equivalent to winning an Oscar as an actor! Check out the photo below and see how many musicians you recognise who are now members!
5. You can’t come to the home of country music and not go out on the town to hear some live music in the Honky Tonks! Even if country music isn’t really your cup of tea, the atmosphere is great and there’s a wealth of talent with every aspiring country musician from Nashville to San Jose trying to make a name for themselves in this town. This is a whiskey town so be sure to order one or a whiskey based cocktail while bar-hopping.
6. Finish up your trip and blow off some cobwebs (and maybe your hangover!)the next day with a stroll in Centennial Park, home to the Parthenon, a replica of the original building in Athens. There’s also some statues of suffragettes as Centennial Park was the site of several suffrage rallies in the 1910s which eventually led to the passing of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution in 1920 which granted the right to vote to all citizens, including women.