My Trip to Nashville, Music City
I recently took a trip to Nashville to see all that this fantastic city has to offer. I was last there 15 years ago and I couldn’t believe the transformation that has taken place! The city is booming right now with so many new trendy boutique hotels popping up while still staying true to the city’s rich musical history. Read all about my trip to Nashville, Music City below where I outline how to get to Nashville, top places to stay in Nashville and the top things to do in Nashville.
Flying to Nashville From Dublin
For our trip to Nashville we flew from Dublin to Heathrow and then from Heathrow direct to Nashville with British Airways. The flight time is 7.5 hours and we couldn’t have been more comfortable on board British Airways new Dreamliner aircraft. Alternatively you could fly with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, United Airlines or Delta Airlines if you wish to clear customs in Dublin prior to landing in the States.
Where to Stay in Nashville
We spent our first two nights in the Gaylord Opryland Resort, located just minutes from the airport and about 30 minutes from downtown Nashville. If a visit to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry is on your list then it’s a great spot as it’s right next door, as is Opry Mills Shopping Centre. This is a great family orientated hotel resort with a waterpark, Soundwaves, located onsite.
Our second two nights were spent in the Renaissance Nashville, a 4 star recently refurbished hotel with a modern contemporary feel. Location wise it can’t be beaten as it’s right in the heart of downtown Nashville. It will also be connected to the city’s new retail area ‘Fifth & Broadway’ when it opens in 2020.
During our trip we also visited many of the city’s other hotels. Nashville is a real up and coming tourist destination and there are lots of hotels springing up around the city, especially on 4th Avenue, known as ‘Boutique Row’ where the hotels really live up to the boutique style vibe. Many of them also back onto Printers Alley, historically the centre of Nashville’s nightlife and home to plenty of speakeasy bars, rooftop lounges and secret hidden bars you’ll have to find your way to!
Top Attractions in Nashville for Music Fans
Nashville is known as Music City and you can easily see why. Everywhere you turn there are opportunities to get up close to music and music history. One of my favourite things we did in Nashville was our visit to Grand Ole Opry. We did a backstage tour which I highly recommend as it’s a fantastic chance to get up close to the stories that make this venue so famous and see what goes on behind the scenes of the iconic shows we see there.
Another of my highlights was our visit to Historic RCA Studio where stars such as Elvis, Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers and many more laid down their tracks. Explore the studio against the backdrop of the famous songs recorded there playing out. I even got the chance to play Elvis’ piano! From RCA Studios I would recommend a walking tour of Music Row, home to many recording studios with history as rich as the famous music that came out of them.
We also paid a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, known as the Smithsonian of Country Music. Well worth a visit with plenty of music history and interactive exhibits. The Musicians Hall of Fame is another one I would definitely recommend where you can see the instruments the stars played at some of their most famous performances. There are special exhibits on also throughout the year, when we visited there was a fantastic Jimi Hendrix exhibition on.
A place known as Music City is always going to have amazing nightlife and we certainly weren’t disappointed. Broadway is lined with Honky Tonk bars where live music and a relaxed vibe are the order of the day! Wander in and out of the bars along the street and soak up the atmosphere. We paid a visit to some of Nashville’s most famous Honky Tonk bars including Tootsies and The Stage on Broadway where we danced and sang the night away!
For a change of pace we spent an evening at the Listening Room Café an intimate bar where singer songwriters take to the stage to talk about their songs and play them for you. It was a really beautiful experience – one singer, Jenn Bostic, left all of us emotional when she explained the meanings behind her songs and then sang them out in her beautiful mellow tones.
We also went back to The Grand Ole Opry for an evening show. We did the VIP experience where you mingle with the entertainers over drinks and appetisers before the show. It turned out we picked a great night to go as we got to see an Opry Induction when Luke Combs was inducted.
Other Nashville Attractions
Nashville has lots more than music on offer. We paid a visit to Belle Meade Plantation, located about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. We were transported back in time on a private tour of this stunning historic mansion ending with some wine tasting in the winery.
We also spent an afternoon at Nashville’s iconic Goo Goo Shop, an iconic Southern chocolate brand for over 100 years. We took part in a chocolate making class after which they will package up your creations for you to take home as a souvenir (if you don’t eat it first!)
Take a stroll across John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge where you can take in stunning views of the Nashville skyline and the Cumberland River in particular at sunset! It’s a great spot to get some fantastic pictures of the city.
Nashville’s brand new retail area will also be opening in 2020. Fifth & Broadway will have 200,000 square feet of shops, rooftop restaurants, world class entertainment options and the National Museum of African American Music will also be located there.
We spent a really exciting 5 days in this beautiful city and highly recommend it as part of any American Holiday. Pop in to see me or any of my colleagues in our Exchequer Street Dublin store or call our team who will help you tailor make your own Nashville Holidays