My husband and I traveled to Nashville this past weekend in honor of our 1st anniversary! We did a lot of sightseeing and a good amount of walking around the city and just enjoying the atmosphere. If you’re interested in traveling there, here are the top 8 things I would recommend!
1. Visit The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson
This was one of our favorite things about Nashville. When I first pitched the idea to visit The Hermitage to my husband, he was less than pleased. While we were there, he said it was one of his favorite parts of the trip. It is about a half hour drive from downtown Nashville Upon arriving at the estate, you purchase tickets which include access to the grounds, mansion, museum, and store. The general admission includes a guided tour of the mansion and a self-guided audio tour of everywhere else. I wouldn’t recommend this without the audio tour. One would miss so many stories and details that make the visit worthwhile. The grounds and garden are so beautiful!
2. Visit The Parthenon
The Parthenon in Centennial Park is the world’s only full-scale replica of the original Parthenon located in Athens, Greece. It was so cool get a taste of what it would have been like to be able to visit the Parthenon when it was complete in Athens. There is a museum inside that costs $6 for adults to enter. I would save the money and skip going inside. There are only a few paintings, history of the construction of the structure, and a somewhat strange looking Athena statue. I did get a cute t-shirt from their gift shop though! (No admission fee needed to enter gift shop)
3. Stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
I could literally spend a few days here, and never leave. This is the most GORGEOUS hotel I’ve seen! We didn’t stay at this hotel, we only visited for about 30 minutes. I was super reluctant to go in because I thought it would just be a big hotel with a river in it. I said, ok a river in a hotel isn’t that special and rattled a list to my husband of other hotels with water ways in them. I was so wrong. This hotel is amazing. Next time we come to Nashville, this is the only place I will stay.
4. Take a tour of Nashville
Being a tourist and taking a guided tour around the city sounds so cliché I know. However it is a good way to get a quick feel of the city before you start walking around and exploring on your own. We took The Sound of Nashville Tour that we found on Groupon. It’s a relatively new tour and we had a great time! With the help of the tourists, the musician tour guide writes a song during the ride. The main tour guides also tell a lot of stories about different local celebrities, history, and happenings of the area.
5. Go to a rooftop bar
My favorite way of viewing any city, is on a rooftop. There are a few rooftop options like the view from the George Jones museum (pictured above) to my recommendation, UP a rooftop lounge, in the up and coming trendy area called The Gulch. It is a little outside the main downtown area which provides a great view of the skyline. We went at night and loved it!
6. Tennessee State Museum
Free yes, you read correctly, FREE museum right in the downtown area! We were just walking around and happened to stumble upon the Tennessee state museum and walked in! The museum, though a little dated, had a few cool exhibits! There were parts about how the land was formed, pioneer life, how Nashville was established, and more. They even have a REAL MUMMY. Not a cast or a replica. 100% REAL. It was really neat. I once went to a King Tut special traveling exhibit in downtown Seattle and they didn’t have a real mummy and one is laying to see for free in this museum! If there is extra time in the schedule, I would recommend seeing this museum.
7. Walk up and down Broadway
Nashville is famous for their honky tonk. Luckily, there is one street that is filled with food, music as well as these bars and establishments. There’s no better way to hear some potentially up and coming artists, or just local artists play some popular country music. Even if you’re not a fan, like me, it’s worth the time just for the experience.
8. Walk the streets
Walk around the city! There’s no better way to get to know a city than to leave it’s tourist trap areas. You never know what cute shop or coffee stop you could run into. You may even run into a celebrity like Taylor Swift who lives in Nashville, or a famous country music star there for work!
While you’re around town, see if you can find my favorite “secret” speak easy spot. 😉