While everyone has a busy week attending Drupalcon sessions and events (be sure to check out Mediacurrent’s afterparty) , if you find some extra time, Nashville has an eclectic mix of activities and places to go. Whether you're looking for great music in none-other than "Music City" or you're looking for a nice place to relax and grab a bite to eat, take advice from a Nashville native and check out my list of Nashville's must-see spots. When you're ready to take a break from drupalin', check out these suggestions and engulf yourself in the Nashville culture.
Image source: Wikipedia
Whether you enjoy country music or prefer other genres, Nashville offers something for every taste. Some nights you might need to venture outside downtown for more rock and roll. If music is at the top of your Nashville bucket list, here are nine spots you won’t want to miss:
- Visit the Honky Tonks on Broadway. Remember these are talented musicians playing for tips, so if you enjoy their work help support them. The guitarist could end up being a member of The Cure.
- The Ryman Auditorium - The “Mother Church.” Open for tours during the daytime too.
- The Cannery/Mercy Lounge/High Watt - Walking distance from the Music City Center area.
- City Winery - This is the location for the Drupalcon Trivia Night too.
- Marathon Music Works - If you go early you might be able to visit American Pickers’ Antique Archaeology store too.
- World famous Station Inn is the place for bluegrass. Allman Brother Jack Pearson has a regular appearance for some blues.
- Jack White’s Third Man Records - There doesn’t seem to be any announced shows (yet) but the store is open to grab some records or other merch.
- TPAC is hosting a touring show of Wicked The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz.
- There are other venues close to the downtown area too such as Exit/In, The Basement East, and 3rd & Lindsley.
There has been a huge number of new restaurants opening but here are a couple of classics and a newish one:
- Rotier’s Restaurant, the original Cheeseburger in Paradise? A Nashville classic and award winner, just be sure to get the burger on French bread.
- Family style southern food at Monell's. Dinner and breakfast are served to the table and passed around like a family holiday.
- Hip Pinewood Social attracts visitors any time of day, breakfast and Crema coffee, co-working spot during the day, and bowling on antique lanes in the evening.
- Need Barbecue? Martin’s, Peg Leg Porker, Edleys, or G’z BBQ are all good choices.
- Restaurants of award winning chefs include Sean Brock's Husk from Charleston, Tandy Wilson's City House, and the Catbird Seat. This year's James Beard semifinalists include Henrietta Red, Bastion, Josephine, and longtime East Nashville restaurant Margot Café & Bar.
- Nashville Hot Chicken is very popular with heat level choices for anyone. But pay heed if they warn you when ordering.
Don't forget about the famous Nashville Hot Chicken. A few favorites among many great spots:
- Princes Hot Chicken Shack. The original.
- The Tenders Royale from Pepperfire is a nice introduction along with a couple of local drafts on tap, and blues music in the background.
- Tenn Sixteen Great East Nashville Five Points restaurant. The hot chicken comes in one heat level, kind of a "Nashville medium". That is, it's usually pretty hot, unlike other restaurants that don’t specialize in hot chicken.
- Fannie Mae's, which conveniently just opened up a new restaurant location near the convention center.
- Another list hot chicken can be found here!
Source: George Jones Museum (Also known as the home of the Mediacurrent Afterparty!)
Nashville is rich with history and musical history is at no shortage. Most of these museums are an easy walk or bus ride downtown:
- The Frist Center - This art deco building was originally the post office. The current exhibition is the exclusive North American venue of Rome: City and Empire from the British Museum.
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum - Across the street from the convention center, you can also check out Hatch Show Prints or tacos from Bajo Sexto.
- Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum - This museum “honors the talented musicians who actually played on the greatest recordings of all time.” Additionally The Rolling Stones first ever major exhibition, Exhibitionism, is making its last U.S stop, taking on Music City at the Musicians Hall Of Fame and Museum.
- Lane Motor Museum - An amazing variety of the largest European collection of cars in the U.S. located a few miles from the convention center.
- The downtown Cumberland River Greenway connects to Bicentennial mall - This route can be varied for any distance.
- Another popular area for walking and jogging is to cross the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge to Cumberland Park and Nissan stadium.
- Warner Parks - Large wooded parks on the western boundary of Nashville has hills with a view of the city.
- B Cycle has bikes for rent by the hour with many locations to pick up or leave a bicycle.
Family and Kids Activities
- Adventure Science Center is a fun hands-on museum that the kids will enjoy.
- Cumberland Park is just a short walk across the pedestrian bridge downtown and has playground features.
- There is a free bus downtown to the Gulch or Farmer's Market and Germantown that has stops around the convention center. Look for the Green Circuit. This would be a good way to get to the AAA Nashville Sounds Baseball game in the evening.
- A couple of hints on street pronunciations beyond just a southern accent might help too:
Demonbreun Street - Pronounced da-mun’-bree-un.
Lafayette Street - Pronounced luh-fay’-ett. ( I know, I know)
Hopefully everyone has a great experience in Nashville and comes back for a more leisurely visit.