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Travel Talk – Nashville plays to tune of many interests (March 25, 2015 issue)

As the capital of Tennessee and the home of country music, Nashville has a lot to do and see. While it may be a necessary trip for country music lovers, it’s also a great place for a family weekend vacation and a good place to enjoy a hopping nightlife with a diverse music scene. It has much to offer musically and historically. Downtown Nashville is a great place to visit. You will find several restaurants, eye-catching architecture, and peaceful parks.
For the country music lover, a trip to Nashville should include a visit to the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry house, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Before it became the home to the Grand Ole Opry in 1943 until 1974, the Ryman started as a church, giving it the name of the “Mother Church of Country Music.” While it no longer hosts the Grand Ole Opry, you can still find a performance schedule that includes country singers, comedians, and modern pop artists.
If you’re more interested in the rich history of the Ryman, you can do a behind the scenes tour during the day. To continue your Grand Ole Opry tour, you can visit the Grand Ole Opry where the show currently takes place. If you’re not able to go for a show, you can also do a daytime backstage tour. To learn even more about the history of country music, check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
In addition to its musical history, Nashville has a number of other historical attractions including the Hermitage which was the home of President Andrew Jackson. The house has been beautifully restored. This lovely house with is well-kept grounds will be fun for the family to explore and a good place to learn about our Tennessean president nicknamed Old Hickory.
In addition to learning more about our former president, you can also catch a peak of state government by visiting the Capitol building. There are free tours for the public every hour. These tours will give you an overview of the interesting history and architecture of the building and will also point out statues of influential Tennesseans. Close to the Capitol is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, which is our version of DC’s grassy mall and is a peaceful area to walk around.
The Centennial Park is perhaps more well-known but is also a good place for a walk or jog. However, I highly recommend Centennial Park in order to visit the Parthenon. The building is the only full scale replica of the ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess of wisdom and war, Athena. Every detail of the replica is symbolic and was carefully recreated. The building is two stories. On the second floor, you will find the stunning replica of the statue for the goddess Athena.
As a music capital, visitors (particularly visitors who are of age) will enjoy seeing Nashville’s music scene, which is not just limited to country. To see Nashville’s nightlife, head to Broadway street where most of the bars have live music on the weekends.
You also might want to check out Nashville’s preeminent listening room, the Bluebird Café. The Café celebrates songwriters who perform their original music here, and it’s been the starting place for many aspiring Nashville musicians. There is different music every night. It’s a tiny space, so you will need a reservation.
Nashville favorites for food include the Loveless Café and Puckett’s grocery and restaurant. The Loveless is famous for its homemade biscuits and Southern food. Because it is quite well-known, its prices match its fame but the food is good. Puckett’s is another busy Nashville eatery. You can get good Southern food here as well at a reasonable price. It’s a great place for lunch. During the evenings, it frequently has live music as well.
Whether you go to Nashville to enjoy music, have fun, or for a family vacation, you are sure to find something that will match your interests. Be sure to check out downtown. No matter where you go in the evening, it will be easy to find enjoyable live music since many Nashville artists are there to make it big.
You can also enjoy a number of historical and musical attractions, including many that celebrate our state’s colorful history. Nashville is a great city with a lot going on and is well worth a visit.