Known worldwide as the home of country music, Nashville also boasts significant contributions to the rock, rap, and the blues. While it’s certainly “Music City USA,” Nashville is also a center of education, culture, and big business. Spend a few days in the dazzling “Athens of the South” and you’ll be charmed for life.
Grand Ole Opry. On Friday and Saturday nights, spend a few hours on country music’s front porch. As the nation's longest running radio program, The Grand Ole Opry is country's most famous stage. Endless surprises await you at the Opry, where you’ll see both up-and-coming stars and legends perform. Tours of the Opry House offer a behind-the-scenes look at the magic. www.opry.com
Country Music Hall of Fame. A must-see for all country music fans, the Country Music Hall of Fame boasts a monumental collection of memorabilia and media that traces the history of country music. Visitors can also tour the legendary RCA Studio B, where more than 35,000 songs were brought to lif—including more than 150 recordings by Elvis himself! www.countrymusichalloffame.org
The Hermitage. The home of President Andrew Jackson, this dazzling Greek Revival mansion re-creates plantation life in the 19th century. A visit will include a film, museum displays, a tour of the house, and even a trip to Jackson's tomb. The main tour is complemented by changing special exhibits. www.thehermitage.com
General Jackson Showboat. This 300-foot long paddlewheel riverboat ushers guests back to the heyday of Mark Twain and gambling on the mighty Mississippi. Evening cruises feature live entertainment ranging from country music concerts to Broadway-style performances. Scrumptious Southern cooking completes the evening. www.generaljackson.com
The Parthenon in Centennial Park. A tribute to the classical structure in Athens, the Nashville’s Parthenon houses one of the South’s premier art museums. The collection not only boasts notable works from Bierstadt, Church, and Thomas Moran, but also contemporary work from local Nashville artists. Friezes cast from ancient Greek ruins add to the Hellenic splendor. www.conservancyonline.com