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> Nashville Starter Kit
post Feb 5 2009, 09:58 PM
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Nashville Starter Kit

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Welcome to Nashville, Music City USA

Nashville is the capital city of the state of Tennessee. Located in "Middle Tennessee", Nashville is also a regional hub of commerce and tourism. All of that aside, Nashville is probably best known for being the Country Music capital of the World. Countless artists make it their home and Music Row has some of the most well known recording studios in the country.

Nashville is also home the Grand Ole Opry, a famous music show where countless country stars have performed over the years.

Nashville isn't just about country music though, it has a wide variety of fun, educational, and tasty features as well! So come on over and sit a spell with us here in the great American South.

General Information
Get in
Entering Nashville from abroad is best done by plane. More adventurous international travelers (or domestic visitors) may choose to drive to Nashville, but it is the major population center in Middle Tennessee, so any drive will be 2-3 hours from the next major airport. As with most of inland America, train travel is sporadic at best.

The weather in Nashville is comparable to most of the Upper South with mostly mild winters (lows around 15oF) and hot, humid summers (highs in the upper 80's). As such, the best time to visit Nashville is probably the Spring or Fall. The Fall is a truly unique time to visit Nashville because the trees have started to change color and the views are truly spectacular!

As with most American cities there are a wide range of lodgings in Nashville. Budget hotels cost in the range of $30/night yet some of the most expensive can run as high as $250 or $300/night. Most hotels are in the $70-100 range. Again, as with most of America, hostels are far less common. There is one hostel that I know of (Music City Hostel).

For those that enjoy the great outdoors, camping is always a viable option, however, most campgrounds are far from the city of Nashville itself and can only be reached by car.

Once you are in Nashville, the best option for travel is by car. There is a local public transportation system (buses only) and it may be a more economical option, but if you prefer to set your own schedule and travel beyond the range of the buses, a car is a must.

Cell phones: Nashville is on par with most US cities in that there is fairly ubiquitous cellular coverage by the American carriers. European cell users should follow guidelines for traveling to the US in general when considering Nashville cell service.

Internet: There is some public wifi in the local libraries, parks, and cafe's, but on the whole be prepared to pay for internet service through your hotel. Some internet cafe's exist, but they are rare.

Things to do
1. Music Row, a street lined with all of the top recording studios in the city
2. Grand Ole Opry, a weekly country music radio program and concert broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee, every Friday and Saturday night, as well as Tuesdays from March through December. It is the oldest continuous radio program in the United States.
3. Ryman Auditorium, a large concert hall in downtown Nashville that used to host the Grand Ole Opry, tours are available.
4. Bluebird Cafe, a small cafe/bar where up-and-coming singer/songwriters can play their songs. Reservations recommended 1-2 weeks in advance.
5. Nashville Symphony, a symphony center that offers a wide variety of concerts and performances throughout the year.
6. Country Music Hall of Fame

1. The Hermitage, The former home of US President Andrew Jackson.
2. Tennessee State Capitol
3. Tennessee State Museum, this is one of the nation's largest state museums. Its permanent exhibits are split into several categories, including: Prehistoric, Frontier, Age of Jackson, Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction. Entry is free.

Sports and The Outdoors
1. Centennial Park and the Parthenon, a local park and a 2/3 scale model of the Parthenon created for Tennessee's Centennial Exposition, tours available.
2. Radnor Lake, often called "Nashville's Walden," Radnor Lake was formed when the railroad companies dammed up a small stream to provide a reliable water source for their railroad yards. Although it is located in the heart of a residential suburb south of town, hikers on the miles of trails around the pond feel like they are in the heart of the wilderness. $3 daily or $30 annual parking fee.
3. Sports: Nashville Predators (hockey), Nashville Sound (baseball), Tennessee Titans (American Football)

1. Yazoo Brewery, a locally owned and operated brewery. Tours are offered on Saturdays only.
2. Nashville Zoo
3. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, an art museum with exhibits from local through to regional and all the way to international artists. Family friendly.
4. Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), home to HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and other special engagements.

Eat & Drink
As part of the American South, Nashville has a great tradition of good home cooking and hospitality. There are many local resturants that serve family style meals true to their southern roots. One will often find fried chicken, fried catfish, or a Nashville staple, quality barbecue. There are a wide variety of techniques to prepare and serve barbecue and you'll surely find something that suits your style in Nashville!

There are also a variety of good Indian, Thai, Japanese, and Italian establishments in Nashville.

Like many cities in the world, Nashville has a vibrant night life. Downtown Nashville lights up with life every night and the world famous honky tonks are a great place to relax with some friends and enjoy some music. The world famous Wildhorse Saloon is located in the heart of Downtown and locals and tourists alike crowd its floors to line dance the night away.

If country bars aren't your forte, there are plenty of lower-key bars and pubs in the area. There is also a large club scene in Nashville, although most of these are not in the Downtown area.

Author Note: This is a work in progress. Please feel free to post any comments here. If you live near Nashville (or have visited) and feel that I've misrepresented something, please, let me know! Thanks!

Second Author Note: I've lived in Tennessee most of my life, if you have questions about visiting any part of the state, please feel free to ask! If I don't know the answer I'll find someone who does!


"Be a traveler, not a tourist."
"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Give Life

My upcoming trips:
1. A week at the Outer Banks, NC; June '10
2. Somewhere in South America, Early 2011
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post Aug 1 2011, 03:47 AM
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Yes Nashville is a nice city
thank you for the list of entertainment by the way clapping.gif
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