THE ULTIMATE 3 DAYS IN NASHVILLE ITINERARY
A trip to Nashville will get you in the mood to create your own Music City legend as you discover the city’s welcoming, exciting, and diverse neighborhoods. The city’s rich musical history, dramatic civil wars, and fascinating culture can all be explored at your leisure.
Here’s how to make the most of your three days in Nashville so you can share your own unique travel experience with the world.
DAY 1 OF 3 DAYS IN NASHVILLE
CHECK INTO THE BEAUTIFUL CONRAD NASHVILLE
Nashville’s downtown is a short 15-minute drive from Nashville International Airport. Every type of traveler can find a suitable hotel in the city. There are many different options for places to stay, including 19 brand-new boutique hotels and a wide variety of B&Bs and vacation rentals.
Nashville’s new Conrad hotel is worth a visit. Champalimaud Design’s 13-story glass skyscraper includes a tasteful reference to music’s elegance.
The hotel’s 234 spacious guestrooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows that provide spectacular panoramas of the surrounding area. After a day of sightseeing, dining, and listening to music, you’ll be glad to return to its laid-back atmosphere.
WHISKEY, BARBECUE AND MUSIC
Get things going with a culinary exploration of the Mint Julep. The family-run business caters its tours to each client. There is a tasting room at the Nashville Barrel Company where patrons can sample a flight of three different high-quality spirits.
After that, stop by Edley’s Bar-b-que for a plate of their award-winning low and slow smoked meat. Try a sampler plate with three different types of smoked meat; the white Alabama sauce on the chicken is a must.
Green beans cooked in bone broth with bacon, onions, and seasonings are one of four homemade sides, along with sauces, cornbread, and pickles. Milkshakes with alcohol are also available.
Drop off at the Lower Broadway Honky Tonk Highway in Nashville after dinner. It’s the most well-known thoroughfare in town, and it’s where stars like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson got their start.
There is always fantastic music coming from open windows and doors on this vibrant neon-lit street. Entering bars and restaurants with live music inside does not cost anything. Just remember to leave gratuities for the performers, wait staff, and bartenders.
DAY 2 OF 3 DAYS IN NASHVILLE
TAKE A CITY BUS TOUR
Your day in Music City should begin at the Bridgestone Arena Visitor Center, located on the corner of Fifth and Broadway. The helpful staff can provide directions, show tickets, discounts, and advice on where to find the best Music City souvenirs.
Take a Gray Line bus tour from this terminal to see the city’s top attractions. The Country Music Hall of Fame, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and Union Station are all within easy driving distance (now a beautiful hotel.)
There is also Centennial Park, with its verdant lawns and full-size Parthenon replica, and Vanderbilt University. Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, this structure is known as “The Athens of the South” due to its 42-foot-tall golden statue of Athena.
The Tennessee State Capitol, Bicentennial Park and Farmers Market, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, the GRAMMY Museum Gallery, and Printers Alley are just some of the other stops along the route. This path concludes in the vicinity of the Ryman Auditorium.
TOUR THE RYMAN AUDITORIUM
Ryman Auditorium was constructed by Captain Thomas G. Ryman in 1892 and is well worth a visit. An interactive multimedia presentation narrated by a hologram of Ryman’s former manager Lula C. Naff kicks off the tour.
The Gothic-style structure was originally a church but has since played host to everything from boxing matches to political rallies. Helen Keller and Booker T. Washington both gave inspiring speeches.
Later, when it housed the Grand Ole Opry for its entire run from 1943 to 1974, it became known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” The theater is regularly sold out thanks to a schedule that features over two hundred different performances each year.
The lobby features a statue by Russ Faxon depicting Roy Acuff, the King of Country music, with Minnie Pearl, the Queen of Comedy and Song, nearby. They performed at the Grand Ole Opry almost every weekend for many years.
Crowds of fans sat in the original wooden church pews as Elvis walked onstage, shifting his hips. This is where June Carter first met Johnny Cash, and it was also Dolly Parton’s first performance venue when she was just 13 years old. Those with tickets can take pictures of themselves on the legendary stage.
The National Museum of African American Music is relatively close. It’s an interactive music museum that spans 56,000 square feet and takes guests on a journey from the dawn of music to the present day. There are listening stations, concert videos, and replicas of famous costumes and instruments belonging to some of the most well-known musicians in the world.
INDULGE AT HATTIE B’S
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, conveniently located in the area, serves up fried chicken in a variety of spiciness levels, making it an ideal choice for a satisfying lunch. Get the black-eyed peas and pimento Mac and cheese; they’re made from scratch and delicious.
Customers wait in a moving line, but they get their food quickly because they order at a counter and wait for it to be brought to their table. The app also allows you to place your order in advance, allowing you to avoid the wait.
The father-and-son duo of Nick Bishop, Sr. and Nick Bishop, Jr. now run three locations across the Music City. 5209 Charlotte Avenue, 5069 Broadway Place, Suite A-103, and 112 19th Street South are addresses for such locations.
SO MANY MUSIC MUSEUMS
When you’re ready, head to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum to learn more about your favorite session players, sound engineers, and record producers.
Exhibit after exhibit tells the fascinating backstory of the legendary musicians who contributed to the greatest albums ever made. Learn more about the short life of this talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter at the Jimi Hendrix exhibit.
The Johnny Cash Museum, dedicated to the country music icon known as the “Man in Black,” is another must-see. The building is significant because it houses the largest and most extensive collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world.
Pieces of this legendary performer’s personal history include handwritten lyrics, marriage certificates, outfits, albums, instruments, and stage props.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and should not be missed. This monument honors all musicians, regardless of genre, who have made significant musical or cultural contributions to the world and have ties to Music City.
The Taylor Swift Education Center and the CMA Theater both have seating for 800 people. The Music City Walk of Fame is located on the open terrace directly outside the museum.
The Farm House, located just south of Broadway, is a great option for a nearby dinner, with a menu that emphasizes excellent Southern food and cocktails made with local ingredients.
Pimento cheese beignets, fried green tomatoes with pepper jam, and roasted buttermilk chicken with white beans, ham, and arugula are just a few examples of the creative dishes created by chef and owner Trey Cioccia. Eat a slice of fried apple pie or a plateful of cookies drenched in milk jam for dessert.
DAY 3 OF 3 DAYS IN NASHVILLE
TAKE A HISTORICAL JOURNEY
Drive yourself or hire a car service to visit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Known as the People’s President, the 7th President of the United States resided here. The White House he lives in is one of the most popular presidential attractions in the country. Also, it’s conveniently close to both downtown and the Gaylord Opryland Resort, making it a must-see while you’re in Nashville.
Visitors can explore the president’s 1,120-acre home at this National Historic Landmark. More than 30 historical buildings and slave quarters can be explored via the trails. The cemetery where President Jackson, Rachel Jackson, and some of Jackson’s staff are buried is also open to the public.
After that, you can go to the sites of some of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. Franklin, Massachusetts, was established in 1799 and named for Benjamin Franklin. The Carter House, nearby Carnton, and the site of the Battle of Franklin draw tens of thousands of history buffs annually.
The Carter House, constructed in 1830 by Fountain Branch Carter, was in the path of fighting during the Battle of Franklin on November 30th, 1864. Captain Tod Carter, a native of the area and a participant in the conflict, was fatally wounded.
Over a thousand bullet holes can be seen even today in the home and outbuildings, evidence of the fierce battle that took place there. Those who served their country, both Union and Confederate, are honored here alongside the Carter family. Artifacts and information about the Carter family and their slaves as well as the Battle of Franklin can be found in the museum.
Carnton, the residence of Carrie and John McGavock, is a moving historical site. Following the Battle of Franklin, the upstairs of their home became the largest Confederate field hospital. The blood of dead soldiers still stains the wooden floors.
The New York Times best-seller “The Widow of the South,” written by Robert Hicks, forever memorialized Carrie McGavock. The property includes the recently renovated garden and slave quarters in addition to the sprawling McGavock Confederate Cemetery.