Nashville Strictly for Tourists

First time in Nashville? Don’t skip the Broadway honky-tonks, historic music sites, and architectural gems that make the city a true destination.

Centennial Park and the Parthenon

Nashville’s most popular park, this is a haven for sunbathers, dog walkers, and kite fliers. In the warmest months you can watch Shakespeare in the park, or stop by the band shell for live music, weekly swing-dancing nights, food trucks, festivals like Musicians’ Corner, and more. The crown jewel of this green space, though, is the replica of the Parthenon, built in 1897. It’s worth the small price of admission to see the permanent collection of art inside along with the 42-foot-tall gold statue of the goddess Athena. West End

The Grand Ole Opry

Although the Opry moved from its original home at the Ryman Auditorium in 1974, it retains its charm with magical musical performances. The historic weekly country and bluegrass program lives on in this spacious building that also hosts its fair share of touring acts from around the country. They offer daily tours so you can take a peek backstage. Opryland Dr.

The Country Music Hall of Fame

Detailed rotating exhibits that explore the legacies of artists and musical movements—like the outlaw country of the ‘70s—give visitors a reason to keep coming back, but the expansive permanent collection of country music relics prove Nashville’s lasting reign as Music City. Downtown

Music Row

While many historic buildings and studios have sadly been razed in recent years to make way for condos and high-rises, you can still peer into Nashville’s past in this area between the Edgehill and Midtown neighborhoods. See where iconic records were born and take a few tours of studios like the famous Ocean Way or RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson recorded classics. Music Row

Honky-Tonks on Broadway

Follow the neon lights to find an array of Nashville’s lively honky-tonks that line the once-infamous and now just plain famous downtown street. Start at Robert’s Western World for a fried bologna sandwich and a cold beer and hear live country classics—nothing recorded past 1980! Work your way down to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge where the crowd gets a little more rowdy, then listen to bands at the three-story Nudie’s Honky Tonk, where Nudie Cohn’s legendary rhinestone suits adorn the walls. Lower Broad

The Bluebird Cafe

Located a little further off the beaten path in the Green Hills neighborhood is this intimate listening room that’s a rite of passage for any serious songwriter trying to cut their teeth in the city. Line up early for your chosen showtime to secure a seat. You’re likely to hear a top-notch song well before it hits the charts as many writers for big labels workshop here. Talking during performances is strictly prohibited, so avoid this spot if you’re traveling with a rambunctious group. Green Hills

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Tucked away near the rolling hills of old horse farms and plantations is this art-lover’s oasis. The lush botanicals, verdant trees, shimmering ponds, and scattered sculptures lend a whimsical quality to this space where rotating exhibits from renowned artists like Dale Chihuly can be found. In the historic mansion you can find a small permanent collection with pieces from Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. If you’re visiting during fall or winter, don’t miss their special holiday festivities or exquisite Christmas lights. West Meade

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

Located inside the Municipal Auditorium is another powerful testament to the musical legacy of the city. You’ll find special exhibits on the GRAMMY Awards, Motown, Stax, Muscle Shoals, and more, and, of course, some Nashville pioneers. Beyond big-name acts, you’ll also learn about the lesser-known session musicians who played on some of the most popular recordings in history. Downtown

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