Nashville for first timers. Not what I was expecting. What a wild place – crazy, historic, loud, interesting and delicious. Nashville for first timers can be a bit of a surprise though. At least it was for me!
My high school girl friends and I went a bit rogue this time in choosing our destination for our (almost) annual girls get away. Nashville made the cut and eight of us put on our mud kickers and headed out for a country music weekend.
We stayed at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Unfortunately we didn’t realize how spread out this city is. So my first bit of advice is be prepared to need to Uber and cab it all over town. We spent a ton of money on that – big surprise there. So if you are a Nashville for first timers virgin be prepared!
The Old Town Hop On Hop Off Trolley was a good investment though when you are doing Nashville for first timers. We bought the first day ticket for $35 and added the second day for an additional $10. I really loved the drivers of these trolleys who gave us great history, interesting stories all served up with southern charm and humor.
One of my favorite things we did from the Hop On Hop Off was visit the famous and historic Ryman Theatre where The Grand Ole Opry performed from for many decades. The theatre is really amazing and the tour was was interesting.
Also I loved our visit to the historic Marathon Motor Company building. Today it’s filled with funky shops including the Antique Archeology of American Pickers fame. Also on this same block is the Nelson Greenbrier Whiskey Distillery. The $11 tour was really fascinating and included a tasting of four different spirits they distill.
From the Hop on Hop Off we also found Music Row fascinating and surprising how these famous recording studios are mostly in tiny houses and not in huge skyscrapers.
The Honky Tonk scene on Broadway in downtown Nashville is way crazier than I imagined. It was Las Vegas with the volumn turned up to eleven. Wild. Thousands and thousands of people, hundreds and hundreds of bars and restaurants and every single one has live music blasting all day long.
Apparently Nashville is the number one destination in the USA for bachelorette parties. Young scantily clad brides and bridesmaid groups are whooping it up on the sidewalks, in the back of rented flatbeds and open top busses and on the cycle beer trucks. Loud and ready to party. Wow.
We took an Uber 20 minutes out to the Gaylord
Grand Ole Opry Hotel. This is also the place where the Grand Ole Opry now has its home. But the 3000 room hotel is a destination in itself. Again I was reminded of Vegas – ornate and over the top with waterfalls, jungles, orchids and a riverboat cruise.
Nashville knows it’s audience and country music fans are very loyal to this town. Fans can spend hours or days at the Country Music Hall Of Fame as well as many other museums including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones and others. Tennessee was also home to three US Presidents (Jackson, Johnson, Polk)and the area around Nashville is full of history relevant to our country.
I ate a ton – everything from corn cakes to steak, hot chicken, biscuits and macaroni and cheese. Southern comfort food as well as delicious alternatives are in abundance in this town of abundance.
You can spend a weekend or stay a week and still never see and do everything here. It’s a great town – alive! Nashville for first timers or do it again? So much fun!
Y’all should come now ya hear?