Better late than never, I can’t believe it was almost a month ago that I went to Nashville. I was having some issues with getting photos up so I apologize for the delay.
I went to Nashville over Canada Day (and 4th of July). I’ve always wanted to go to Nashville, I’m a huge fan of country music and “cheesy” and sparkly things so Nashville was the place for me.
My boyfriend and I decided to make it a little roadtrip – although Google says it’s 12 hours, with all the construction on the interstate, it was really closer to 14 hours. We split the trip up into two days on the way down. We stopped in Ohio on our way there and spent the night, carrying on the next day.
We arrived in Nashville around 3pm, we checked in to our beautiful Loews hotel room – which we somehow got upgraded, for free (funny story about that, I made the BF cancel and rebook like twice because it saved us $400 – and then we ended up getting the same room anyways #winning).
Our first Nashville stop was The Bluebird Cafe, I’ve never watched the show but yes, it’s a real place (a lot of people seemed to think it was just created for the show). It was extremely small and probably not what you would expect – it’s basically in a small plaza across from a Cheesecake Factory (which we later ate at) and no where near downtown. We were there on ASCAP night, which is the song writers night. And when I say small, I mean tiny – it holds about 100 people and you get cozy with your neighbours. You can also get cozy with the performers.
The next morning, on the advice of a very lovely Blue Jays’ wife (I’ll let you guess who, you never know who you’re going to meet when volunteering!) – we headed a little outside the city to The Loveless Cafe. An area that used to be a restaurant and motel until the interstate was built and people stopped using the road as a way into Nashville. It was adorable and they gave us so many buiscuits – the theme of the trip was definitely TOO MUCH FOOD. Also, so many fried foods – I don’t want to think about the amount of fried chicken I had (totally worth it).
That afternoon, we took a very hot and humid walk downtown (after that, it was UberX every where, 90% humidity is just not reasonable to walk in). We went to the world famous Tootsies (on the advice of my grandfather and the border guard). This is the bar where all the famous singers used to drink in between sets at the Opry, you can still go through the back alley. The downtown “Broadway” strip reminds me a bit of Fremont Street in Vegas, big giant neon lights straight out of the 40s and 50s. Every bar there has live music, I think all day every day. It was 1pm on a Thursday and you could hear live country music everywhere.
We also went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. They have so many outfits, lyrics and various nick nacks from the beginning of country music. It was great – I loved the outfits and seeing the handwritten notes and lyrics.
Thursday night, despite the rain – we headed to a AAA baseball game. It was “TBT” at the ballpark and the beers were only $3 – God Bless America, you would never see that here. We also got free America sunglasses because it was leading up to 4th of July. The coolest thing about the park is the fun scoreboard, which is of course, shaped like a guitar.
Friday morning, we went back downtown and checked out the Johnny Cash Museum. It is fairly new and quite nice. They have so much from his life, from paystubs to outfits to items from his home. It was a neat museum. I also wanted to go to Opryland, which no longer has an amusement park but I wanted to see the big resort and the atrium.
Well.. there is very little photos of that because we ran into something that my cheapness would just not allow. The first 20 minutes of parking were free, after that $23 – with the dollar what it is, that just wasn’t possible. So – we saw it in 15 minutes. The atrium was quite elaborate and I’m sure there was more to see but nothing worth $23 for me. We would have been there max an hour. So we checked out the Opry Mills mall, which was almost identical to Vaughan Mills. But that day’s highlight was definitely the Grand Ole Opry.
The Grand Ole Opry relocated from the downtown Ryman years ago to the Grand Ole Opry House. They don’t announce the musician until a week or so before the show and there’s usually about 12 performers. I was so excited when they posted that Vince Gill was going to be there – I loved him as a kid. It was a strange set up, they have each performer do 2-3 songs and they’re in sets and in between there’s commercials because it’s aired on the radio so you can tune into the Opry anytime it’s on.
The Saturday, it rained again (it rained the whole time). We took it easy, went shopping, ate a bunch and went for a fancy dinner – where we had the biggest piece of carrot cake I’ve ever seen in my life. We debated going down to the fireworks but 100,000 people is just not my scene and I was convinced we could see it from our room. And I was right, it was a little foggy and we couldn’t see the bottom but it was enough for me.
It was a great trip. I think 4 days is the perfect amount of time in Nashville. There wasn’t anything that we really wanted to see that we missed out on. There’s definitely lots there for country music lovers but even my boyfriend who isn’t a big fan had a great time. If you drive, once you get there unless you’re going out to the opry or bluebird, I’d just uberX everywhere – it’s so cheap and parking in the city is very expensive. If you fly, same thing – I wouldn’t bother renting a car, and if you stay even closer to downtown than we did (we were near Vanderbilt University), you definitely won’t need a car – it’s not a huge city. The people are great, the food is great and I think the music is great! Its a great trip for couples and I think it would be a fun place for a bacherlorette or girls weekend, if you don’t want to do Vegas.
Have you been to Nashville? Where should I go to next?