Nashville is Americana at its best. The city's down-home country flare and vibrant music scenes that encompass many genres of musical taste warrant its reputation as "Music City." When one thinks of Nashville, they automatically think of country music, the Grand Ole' Opry, Hee Haw, and a whole host of national favorites that have captivated tourists and television viewers for decades. Downtown Nashville has also grown through the years and has become known by many as the "Southern Boomtown."
The Grand Ole Opry House is one of the most notable tourist attractions in downtown Nashville. It's the city's premier country music stage and concert hall. The Opry House plays host to weekly performances by top country musicians from the country. A visit to Nashville, Tennessee is certainly not complete without a stop at this iconic Opry House that has had its roots in the city since 1925.
The Tennessee State Museum is located in the Capitol Mall State Park and houses exhibitions, artifacts, and other mementos chronicling the state's development and history. Permanent exhibits such as "The First Tennesseans" highlight the lives of the indigenous peoples who lived in the area 12,000 years ago; other exhibits include the Civil War and Reconstruction and one focused on Andrew Jackson. When in downtown Nashville, this museum is a must-see.
For an incredible architectural experience, the Tennessee State Capitol is a must-see when visiting downtown Nashville. Besides the stupendous architectural features of the capitol building, there are numerous statues honoring notable persons from the past, such as Sam Davis, Sgt. Alvin York, Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Johnson. On the capitol grounds lies the burial site of President James Polk and his wife.
When visiting Nashville, if you're a Johnny Cash fan, then a visit to the Johnny Cash Museum needs to be on top of your itinerary. The museum houses a lot of Cash memorabilia, including instruments, stage costumes worn by Cash, handwritten songs, letters, and lots of photographs of the "Man in Black."
The Nashville Farmer's Market is a must-stop destination for fresh produce, with an abundance of producers, artisans, and handcrafted goods. The market is open year-round. At the market, you'll find Farm Sheds local products and vendors selling their specialty products, such as Josie's Teas, oil and soap products from Jasmine Fashion, and many other wonderfully unique products.
When you're visiting downtown Nashville and you're in the mood for honky-tonk music, then The Second Fiddle is the place to go. The Second Fiddle has been known for its live county music, which attracts country stars such as Tim McGraw, Larry the Cable Guy, and Trick Pony. Rock it out to country tunes at the Fiddle!
The Bluebird Cafe is an intimate and very cozy music venue that can seat up to 90 people. It is one of Nashville's favorite places to go to listen to live music by local Nashville musicians. The Cafe is known for its "in the round" style, where musicians and songwriters are seated in the middle of the cafe. All in all, it will be an enjoyable experience not soon to be forgotten.
If country music is your pleasure, then a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum should be on your list of must-visit places. The Hall of Fame and Museum houses unique artifacts, cars of the stars, and also contains a permanent exhibition highlighting the roots of country music to the present day.
If you are into spooks, then a Nashville Ghost Tour is a ghoulishly necessary experience! Tour-goers will meet up with a costumed tour guide, who will walk ghost seekers around downtown to the Ryman Auditorium, which is said to be inhabited with spirits of former employees and Hank Williams Sr. The tour also includes a walkthrough of Printer's Alley, where the ghost of a neighborhood notable and his dog have been seen walking around.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is Nashville's premier cultural arts complex containing three theaters named after ex-Presidents—the James K. Polk Theater, Andrew Jackson Hall, and the Andrew Johnson Theater. All sorts of performances are held at the center, including ballet, live theater, and concerts. For an exhilarating cultural experience, make sure the Tennessee Performing Arts Center is on your list to visit.