Nashville is one of my favorite cities to visit. In the past year, I visited 3 times just for fun: my first ever visit to Nashville was a spontaneous road trip with girl friends following the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, the second was with girl friends during the CMA Fest in June 2017 and the third was with my daughter sharing a glimpse of the Nashville experience during a college road trip in June 2017. Each visit I experienced something different and will definitely be back again! If you haven’t been to Nashville, I’ll share the highlights of our experiences and places you may want to visit the next time you’re in Nashville.
Music is the soul of Nashville: the foundation and almost 24/7 celebration, and definitely was the reason I was interested in visiting! So if you love country music; Nashville is a must! It seems live music is playing all day and all night long. (Some tips: during the day, at least when I visited, under 21 year olds can visit to eat and see the music at various establishments, but in the evening, people need to be over 21 years old. Also, there is no cover charge at the door to see the bands, but bring cash to donate to the bands performing, they usually have a collection area by the stage.)
Some of the fun places we visited on Broadway were: Tootsies, Tin Roof, Crazy Town, Honky Tonk Central, The Stage: all of these featured live bands, are multi-level (with multiple live bands) have food and beverages and were places I visited each time because they were so much fun. I haven’t checked all of them, but Tootsies, Crazy Town and the Stage all have outdoor rooftop entertainment too; it’s so nice on a beautiful day or night!
If you are interested in music history, stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame, we were told most people spend about 3 hours visiting. We had a short window of opportunity and made it through in about 45 minutes!
2017/2018 NEW PLACES
During the CMA Fest, we decided to check out (Florida Georgia Line’s) FGL’s new restaurant, but that was virtually impossible to get in because the line was well over a block long, but we had much better success getting in later in the month traveling through Nashville. Very cool place, also multi-level with a rooftop bar!
In 2018, when it opens, we plan to visit Blake Shelton’s new restaurant, Ole Red, which is just slightly down the street from FGL’s. (Blake Shelton has another location which already opened in 2017 in his hometown of Tishomingo, OK)
On my second trip, we ventured a little further east on Broadway and found this place; I love the tree lined streets and historic brick buildings! My favorite place here was the Wildhorse Saloon. We stopped in for lunch and happened to see Sandra Lynn performing, she was great and just recently launched “Hey California.” There is also a great boot shop on this street, you can smell the leather as you walk by in the summer. One evening we were able to catch Doug McCormick at the Wildhorse Saloon.
The evening before we left for Nashville, I found an online article written about Sofar Sounds, this company was started by two men who loved music but preferred an intimate setting/venue experience, and since there aren’t that many out there, they created this concept. I was intrigued by this and saw that there was a “secret concert” happening in Nashville during our visit, so of course I had to check it out! I signed up and paid for the event without knowing who we were going to see or where it was going to be (it ended up being at Warner Brothers Studio) , it was an excellent surprise experience! We saw Morgan Evans, a “new” artist from Australia, and absolutely LOVED his music. We all believe he is going to be a headlining artist very soon. Ironically later this summer, while I was attending Kelsea Ballerini’s concert I found out she is the one he is engaged to and was speaking of when he talked about “this amazing girl” he met after moving to the US on that concert day in Nashville. She happens to be another favorite Country Music artist of mine, so happy for them!
MUSIC ROW/ 19TH AND BROADWAY
This is another area that you should check out!
THE LISTENING ROOM
This venue has moved since June 2017, I know from following them on Instagram, but this was an excellent experience too. I found this place after checking out my BandsinTown app for bands playing that day, Brennin was recommended from other artists music I have downloaded on iTunes, so we went to see him at the Listening Room Cafe and, once again, I didn’t even know that Smithfield was going to be there, and was surprised again. I love their music and we heard a new one, co-written with Brennin: Gone! Emily West has the most amazing voice and such a humorous person, this was our first introduction to her. The music and their discussion really made for a humorous and enjoyable night of entertainment with food and drinks in a small venue. I’ll definitely visit the new location in the future!
I hope you find these tips helpful but if you are a Nashville regular, or live there, please let me know other places we should visit in the future!