Nashville, the country music capital of the world. The fondly named ‘Music City’ has well and truly earned its title, with music roots that date back centuries. It’s the perfect destination to visit for not just music aficionados, but for those who are interested in seeing, learning and hearing more about America’s musical heritage. Here’s a few tips on how to spend a weekend in Nashville, USA.  

Photo by @visitmusiccity on Instagram

Friday evening  

Welcome to Nashville, the boot-stompin’, toe-tappin’ and hand clappin’ Music City! You’ve arrived just in time to head out to Honky Tonk Highway. This is Nashville’s music hub, with the very best honky tonk venues open from 10pm – 3am.  

Honky Tonk Highway
Photo by @moomin_moo.moo on Instagram

What is a honky tonk, you may ask? According to Visit Music City, it is a music venue that “must contain at least one rockin’ stage, cold beverages and a party that lasts all day, every day”. Hop through different venues until you find one that suits you. You may want to experience a skyline view at Famous Nashville, a rooftop bar; park up at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, an iconic spot that has seen famous musicians begin their careers here like Willie Nelson; or get boot-scootin’ with free dance lessons at the city’s largest dance floor at Wildhorse Saloon.  

To finish off your first night, you may like to wander down to the waterfront area to the John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. It’s a perfect photo opportunity with the city’s lights shimmering across Cumberland River. 

Saturday morning 

Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Photo by @stacey2701 on Instagram

After a rollicking good Friday night, start your Saturday off with a little more tranquillity at one of Nashville’s museums along the Honky Tonk Highway. Take your pick from:  

  • Country Music Hall of Fame Museum: dive into the world’s largest collection of country music memorabilia! There are also two hot spots to check out nearby – the (country) Walk of Fame stars in the next-door park, and Hatch Show Print who have been printing country music posters for decades as one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the USA 
  • National Museum of African American Museum: this is the only museum that heroes all music genres that have been created and influenced by African Americans. From learning about the origins of genres like the Blues to how American cultural movements impacted African American music, this museum is well worth a visit 
  • Johnny Cash Museum: as the name suggests, this museum explores the lifetime of Johnny Cash, one of America’s most loved musicians with strong ties to Nashville 

Saturday afternoon 

Photo by @615foodie on Instagram

After a morning of learning more about Nashville and its music history, we’re sure you would have worked up an appetite. We recommend heading to Assembly Food Hall, an upscale foodie space where you can choose from over 20 restaurants. How about some iconic Nashville fried chicken?  

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Photo by @monkeytrent on Instagram

After lunch, it’s time to stretch your legs and get some fresh air in the Downtown area. Head over to the Tennessee State Capitol, one of the oldest working capitols in the USA. The building itself is spectacular, designed by William Strickland in the Greek Revival Style and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. Onwards to the nearby Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park for a wander through its lovely grounds. Don’t miss the 200-foot granite map of Tennessee, a grandiose visual of the state.  

Saturday evening 

Grand Ole Opry
Photo by @opry on Instagram

It wouldn’t be a visit to Nashville if you didn’t attend a Grand Ole Opry show! Try tee up a backstage tour and show together for the ultimate event. The Grand Ole Opry began as a radio show in 1925, making it the country’s longest-running radio broadcast. From Johnny Cash to Blake Shelton, performing on stage and becoming a member is a revered aspiration for many country musicians.  

Sunday morning 

Photo by @biscuitlovebrunch on Instagram

Nashville has a bit of a reputation for its fun weekend brunches. For your final day, indulge in a boozy (or non-alcoholic) brunch of chicken and biscuits at Biscuit Love (initially a food truck) or Woolworth on Fifth (where civil rights protests were held in the 1960’s).  

Parthenon, Nashville
Photo by @lambb.jpeg on Instagram

Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely exploration of Centennial Park in Midtown. There are some walking trails, a lake, sometimes free concerts and even the world’s only full-scale replica of Athens’ Parthenon! This was built in 1897 to celebrate Tennessee’s 100th birthday and has assimilated itself into the city.  

Sunday afternoon 

12 South neighbourhood, Nashville
Photo by @wandering_wiezy on Instagram

Round off your weekend in Nashville with a visit to one of the city’s most trendy neighbourhoods, 12 South. Enjoy lunch at one of its many cafes or bars; admire the murals adorning its buildings’ walls; and indulge in some retail therapy at one of its vintage clothes stores. The perfect way to wind down after a weekend in the Music City!  

Nashville is just one of the Southern States’ many treasured cities. Get amongst its vibrant atmosphere and fascinating history on a Globus or Cosmos tour.  

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