COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Help me get excited about my trip to Nashville.

Help me get excited about my trip to Nashville.

Old May 1st, 2007, 07:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 689
Help me get excited about my trip to Nashville.

It is my parent's 30th wedding anniversary and we want to take them on a trip. While my tastes run more into adventure travel (India, Africa, etc.) they have always wanted to go to Nasvhille. While I like country music, I just can't seem to get excited about going. So for all you Nashville lovers out there, what should we do for our one week stay? Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame is on our list but what other places shouldn't we miss? Is there a hotel that you recommend? Are there day trips we could take outside of Nashville? Any bus tours in Nashville? What are your thoughts on going to is worthwhile? Any help is appreciated!
loru100 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,312
Be aware that Graceland is in Memphis, not Nashville. You'll probably find stuff related to Elvis in Nashville, but Graceland isn't one of them.

Nashville has the Hermitage (home of Andy Jackson), a nice zoo, the Parthenon, and a museum of tobacco art.

If interested in American Civil War history, there were several battles fought in the area that can be visited on day trips.

Also check out day trips to distillers. Although I have no taste for liquor, I found the tour of the Jack Daniels distillery fascinating.
PaulRabe is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 15
The Country Music Hall of Fame is fantastic. I'm not a huge country music fan, but the museum is very well done... Informative and visually interesting.

I also second the Jack Daniel's Distillery. It's about a hours drive from the city. It's free and the tour guides are incredibly funny!
tigerlilies is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,881
Do whatever your parents want to do. 30 years is a big deal and if they've always wanted to go, it is going to be special for them even if you'd rather be in Kenya. The joy is being with them.
MikeT is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,722
If you are there on a night when the Grand Ole Opry performs, it's an enjoyable show. Several local clubs like the Bluebird Cafe have intimate settings and great music. The Opryland Hotel is a fine destination with good restaurants. River cruise is an option. Not so far from Mammoth Cave for a day trip. Nashville is a fine city. I think you'll enjoy the visit.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 736
Loru 100,
If you go to the distillery, make a reservation to eat at Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House. The food is okay and the people and history are fascinating. There is also a huge outlet mall adjacent to Opryland if shopping is your thing. We also enjoyed going into the various honky tonks downtown to listen to the musicians trying to break into the business. The Hermitage Hotel is beautiful. We stayed for several days at Opryland and then moved to The Hermitage for a few days. We loved both but preferred The Hermitage.
japw82 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
I've heard great things about the Hermitage (the hotel) - since I live here I've never stayed there, but it's downtown and close to lots of things. The Vanderbilt area also has several hotels and is close to downtown.

Others have covered a lot of great options. What to do depends a lot on what you (or, perhaps more importantly, your parents) like. If they're into history, someone mentioned the Civil War battlefields; there are lots of historic mansions around (Belle Meade, Cheekwood, Carnton in Franklin). The Frist art museum could be good - the exhibits rotate, so see what's on when you'll be there. There's tons of live music all the time, and contrary to popular belief, not that much is actually country. It's more geared toward rock and singer/songwriters, although you can find whatever. The Rage or Scene newspapers will have listings. I know there are bus tours, but I'm uninformed - hopefully someone else can point you to good ones. I've heard the trash tour is great!

Day trips... Franklin is another popular one. It's a "small" town (not really that small anymore) with a great downtown area, about 20-25 minutes south of downtown outside rush hour.

As someone else pointed out, Graceland is in Memphis (about 3 hours away). Memphis is fun as well; I found Graceland tacky beyond belief, but fun for a one-time visit. Especially if y'all like Elvis (in which case, you may not find it tacky).
jent103 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 144
Nashville has so much to offer beside country music. You have received some very good suggestions already, but one of my favorite parts of town is Green Hills. It is to the south, not very far from the Vanderbilt area and the mall at Green Hills has some stores that are harder to find (at least around here) like Kiehl's, White House Black Market, Sephora, etc. Another hidden gem is Hatch Show Print...great if Johnny Cash is more your speed than Billy Ray Cyrus. Go to and click on the travel section and you will find a very nice guide to the city that gives you some great out-of-the-way ideas that might make your trip more memorable.
bethmac is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,566
If your parents are fans of the Cracker Barrel restaurants, their flagship store is just outside Nashville in Lebanon, TN. It is neat!
ChristieP is offline  
Old May 1st, 2007, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 59
There are See the Stars' Houses tours. I see the vans all the time in front of
Dolly Parton's house.
gaegrand is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 43
Get excited about the food! I live in Ohio now but I still dream about the food. Here are some places I liked (most are on the cheap end b/c I was a student when I lived there):
Tin Angel
Hog Heaven
Loveless Cafe
Pancake Pantry
Fat Mo's

I was not a country music fan (though after 4 years in Nashville it grew on me), but I've always thought Nashville was a lively, fun town no matter what your interests.
jubil is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 576
Go see the Parthenon replica just up the street from fabulous Vanderbilt University.
Abby43 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 689
Thanks so much for all of the tips...okay, maybe I can get a little excited! The food sounds good (and I loved the Cracker Barrel in Orlando!) I'm sure my parents will want to do the "typical" Nashville things (Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, stars homes) but you've given me some great ideas for other things to do.

Is it necessary to rent a car or do most of the tours pick you up at your hotel? Any hotel recommendations?

And yes, I know Graceland is in Memphis...I'm assuming that could be done as a day trip?

Thanks again!

loru100 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
I would definitely rent a car. Even if the tours do pick you up at the hotel, if you want to eat, go outside the area you're staying in (and you will), etc., you'll definitely need a car. For example, the Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame are a good 15-20-minute drive apart.

I personally wouldn't do Memphis as a day trip - it's a good three-hour drive there, plus three hours back. My parents have been married 32 years (so, I'm assuming they're around the same age) and they would not be OK with that. Plus there's enough to do in Memphis other than Graceland to warrant at least an overnight, I think.
jent103 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:54 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5
i live here; it is alot of fun; what do you want to do?
shop?eat?museum? let me know & i will give you all details.
you will have fun, where do your folks live?
booboo23 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:01 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5
if you stay @ opryland, you are in a good location; there is shopping & a mall & the Gen Jackson cruises depart from there as well, that is a nice thing, my mom&dad loved it, a variety of cruises; evening, dinner, etc.
i suggest a car for sure to drive to:
Franklin Main Street, West End, Frist Museum, and some good restaurants for dinner would be: Sambuca (music), Tin Angel, Saffire (in franklin, in an old factory refurbished with shopping).
near the opryland hotel is all sorts of country music places. Second Ave in downtown nashville is a must-see; it offers music all over the place. i also suggest one evening at the bluebird cafe; a concierge at the hotel can assist with that. the weather is great. there are water taxis from opryland to 2nd avenue. have fun

booboo23 is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,190
Nash Trash tour -- a couple of wacky women giving a bus tour of Downtown Nashville sights. Can be a little raunchy, if your parents are easily embarrassed, but if they have a good sense of humor it will be something they'll remember and talk about afterward.

Ditto the recommendations for the Hermitage Hotel (have stayed there, and it's wonderful) and Frist Museum and Bluebird Cafe. You'll need advance reservations at the Bluebird and their recording tells you what to do. It's a tiny club with four songwriters sitting together in the middle, singing (and most of them play guitar) playing the songs each of them wrote, no covers of someone else's song allowed. An authentic and intimate music experience.

You do need a car.
bakerstreet is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 452
One week is a long time in Nashville, so if your parents have an interest in going to Memphis for the night, why not? You could drive down early one morning, tour Graceland, stay at the Peabody Hotel, eat at Rendezvous(awesome ribs!), and walk around Beale Street that night.
Becca is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 144
If you come to Memphis (my fair city) I don't recommend staying at the Peabody. Sorry. It's a great visit, but you can come to the lobby and see the ducks do their thing, save your 200 bucks, and stay at the Hampton Inn located adjacent to Peabody Place instead. You'll save about 100 dollars. Just DON'T stay near Graceland. It's not a safe area except for going to Graceland itself. I think if you like to eat and shop, you'll have plenty to fill your week (unless you like a marathon vacation) but if you do come to the Bluff City, eat some BBQ at Corky's (the fast food version of Rendezvous)and wave at me as you drive down Poplar.
bethmac is offline  
Old May 4th, 2007, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3
Nashville has a world class symphony hall that offers a wide range of programs.

Cheekwood botanical gardens are a nice option.

Franklin, TN (15 miles away) has several historic homes to visit, a nice old downtown to stroll. You could spend the afternoon seeing the homes, browsing downtown and then go to an early dinner at the Red Pony.

Jack Daniels tour is an interesting daytrip

The Frist Museum is an option

Lots of music...pick up a copy of the Rage to see what's playing

Margot's is a great restaurant in East Nashville

Stroll the Vanderbilt campus

Do a tour of the starts home offered by the 2 sisters - the chamber of commerce or your hotel would know how to get in touch with them

Walk around Radnor Lake if you like strolling or want to take a hike
cel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information