Ever since Nashville was settled, residents and visitors alike have appreciated the love of music in the city. Between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Honky Tonk Highway, everywhere you turn features something related to music. But that’s not all the Music City has to offer. You might not know this, but Nashville has a lot of rich history in its DNA. If you are visiting Nashville for the first time, make sure you check out these five things.
The Country Music Hall of Fame
Even if you aren’t a fan of country music, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a museum that can’t be missed. Filled with rare memorabilia from some of the world’s biggest musicians, the Country Music Hall of Fame is sure to please any fan of history or music. Not into contemporary country? There is plenty of Hank Williams and Dolly Parton information and memorabilia to check out. Big fan of Tim McGraw? Contemporary country is well-represented at the museum, and tour guides are more than willing to teach you things you never knew about some of your favorite musicians.
Nashville Hot Chicken
There’s hot chicken, and then there’s Nashville Hot Chicken. Coated in cayenne filled breading, Nashville hot chicken is probably going to be one of the spiciest and tastiest things you ever have the pleasure of eating. Warning: this stuff isn’t for the faint of heart. When they say hot, they mean it. Be sure to check out Hattie B’s, Nashville’s most famous hot chicken joint.
Ryman Auditorium has hosted some of the biggest names in all of music over the years: Neil Young, Louis Armstrong, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, just to name a few. First opened in the 1800s, Ryman Auditorium is most famous for being the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 – 1974. Check out the calendar next time you are planning a visit to Nashville and you are sure to find someone you recognize playing a show at the iconic music venue.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Just a short drive from Nashville, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is a historical plantation and museum that was once owned by President Andrew Jackson in the 1800s. With 30 historic buildings that attract more than 200,000 visitors per year, the Hermitage is one of the most well-known Presidential homes in the entire country. Visitors can take tours of various historical buildings and can even see re-enactments of iconic scenes in history.
This gorgeous, full-sized replica of the Parthenon in Athens is one of the most unique replicas of any building in the world. Located directly inside Nashville’s Centennial Park, the Parthenon functions as an art museum and is visited by thousands of people every year. More than 60 pieces of art are on permanent display in the museum, and there are many rooms that house temporary pieces and exhibits from around the world.
Belle Meade Plantation
Once one of the largest private estates in Nashville encompassing 5,400 acres and home to five generations of the Harding-Jackson family, Belle Meade Plantation today is a 30-acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. Before the Civil War, Belle Meade flourished; today bullets from the Battle of Nashville scar the house, used as Confederate Gen. Chalmers’ headquarters. Known as “Queen of the Tennessee Plantations,” Bell Meade was known world-wide for its thoroughbred horses.
Ring of Fire Trail
The Ring of Fire Trail is waiting for you: a trail of music, history and landscape that will capture your soul like a heart-wrenching country ballad. You can almost hear the music as you drive through the lush Tennessee landscape dotted with wineries, small towns, farms and villages. The area’s rural roots continue to emerge as you pass by local berry farms, roadside markets and fresh produce stands. Stop off at a trading post, watch a craft demonstration, or cast your fishing line into a quick running stream and hook yourself a bass, bluegill, catfish, or crappie. You can take in beautiful scenery and make a splash at the renowned Dale Hollow Lake. Go off the beaten path to discover some of Middle Tennessee’s most unique experiences and rich history — from settlers and Civil War soldiers to the Bell Witch and underwater ghost towns.
Nashville thrives with an ever-present creative vibe and entrepreneurial spirit. Its roots are deeply felt throughout the street artists, creative culture and award-winning food. This spirit extends to family-friendly fun, fan-filled sports, and unforgettable historical attractions.