On Saturday afternoon we arrived in Nashville and quickly decided to get out on the town. We stayed in the Hampton Inn right across from Vanderbilt, about a mile and a half from the downtown honkytonk streets.
This area of Nashville is super cool (although probably not if you actually live there). There are probably between 40-50 bars or honkytonks that play live music 24/7. Although there is no cover at the door, drinks are pretty pricey (just like with most cities).
A mile and half really isn’t that long of a distance and (shockingly!) looked deceivingly closer on our trusty phones. Maybe you shouldn’t assume that something a millimeter on your phone is actually a short distance. Anyway, I digress, as soon as we started walking, we realized the Tennessee heat ain’t no joke. WE WERE BLAZIN’!
This next picture is kinda gross – but we had such a fun time walking throughout Nashville that I don’t want to ever forget it! Our feet at the end of the first night..
I could easily chronicle each and every day we spent in Nashville, but I’m sure you’d get a little bored. So instead I’ll just highlight some of the fun activities we did!
Before I hop to it: If you ever decide to head to Nashville and want to really see the city (the tourist side of the city at least), stop by the Visitor Center right when you get there. There are a TON of touristy things in this city and you could easily miss them! At least while we were there (it might change in the future), you could purchase a pass for $50 a person and it would get you into five attractions (you can pick 4 out of 15 or so and you get the fifth (the same for everyone) fo’ free). Additionally, you’ll get a couple discount coupons.
The Hermitage (President Andrew Jackson’s home)
This is an audio walking tour around the grounds. You’ll start indoors with a quick video before you make the trek outside. In addition, you get to walk through the inside of the home. Really neat. Tons of information. However, if it’s rainy or super hot out, pick another day. You’ll spend the majority of your time outside. If you like to learn on vacation as we do – hit it up.
I mean, really, who doesn’t look fantastic with headphones on?
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg
About an hour outside of Nashville lies the Jack Daniel’s distillery. You may (or may not) know that we’re big Jack connoisseurs at our home, so this seemed like a no-brainer when it came to vacation activities. There is less walking with this tour (about .5 mile), half of which being outside. As with most tours, the more you get out of it depends on your tour guide. Ours was only adequate – but we still managed to have a great time! It was still great to see how and where our alcohol of choice gets made.
While you’re in Lynchburg, definitely check out the small market square about a block from the distillery! That’s where you’ll find the gift shops and quaint little restaurants.
Oh, have I mentioned that I’m kinda pale? No. Okay, I’m kinda pale.
Opryland Hotel and Gardens
The Opryland Hotel is absolutely huge. It has something like 9 acres of garden inside the hotel. We went to the Grand Ole Opry one night and explored the gardens before the show started. Beautifully manicured. Awesome flowers. AND a “river” right there inside the building. Shopping and fancy pants restaurants all in one spot. Booyah.
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a historic landmark of country music. One thing I didn’t realize was that it’s a live radio broadcast (in fact, the longest radio broadcast in history!). Typically, the show will include 8-12 artists all playing about 3-4 songs. Between each set, you’ll even hear some quick commercials. It was something that I wasn’t expecting at all!
The night we went we got to see some country music hall of famers like Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Anderson. Some of the newer acts included James Otto (you’ll recognize this song) and Gloriana (you know this song too).
However, the act that stole the show was the Charlie Daniel’s Band!
You’re allowed to walk right down to the stage to take photos! SO COOL.
We had a great time!!
This was right next to our hotel and it came free with our passes. If I were to go back, I probably wouldn’t spend money on going inside (although it is pretty neat). It’s a full scale model of the actual Parthenon and sits on a great park. We actually went for our morning run through the park and stopped for quick push-ups and stair running on the outside of the building.
General Jackson Showboat
Although we spent part of our evening docked due to bad weather, we both had a great time the night we went on the General Jackson. The show was entertaining and the food was pretty good (for a showboat at least!). Unless you go with a big group of people, you’ll sit at a table with other people – but we enjoyed chatting with the other couples at our table!
The Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman was the original house of the Grand Ole Opry show and it’s where all the history was made until the 1970s. We toured through the auditorium, but I’d love to go back to see a show! Apparently, the acoustics are second in the world (beat by the Morman Tabernacle)! Pretty neato, if ya ask me.
You know Johnny Cash stood right here, right?
Some of the activities we did throughout the week were only captured on my phone. Sometimes carrying a giant camera around can be a pain. BUT I’m planning to do an photo phone dump soon, so you can see some of our restaurant outings as well as other unpictured activities.
Other notable things we did:
- The Country Music Hall of Fame
- Redneck Comedy Bus Tour
- Ate at the Loveless Café (GO THERE. like now.)
And you know that we spent plenty of time wandering all the bars listening to live music.
Anywho – now you know all about our little vacation down to the wonderful state of Tennessee. I would 100% recommend visiting Nashville to anyone. There are also plenty of kid friends tours (zoo, science center, etc). If you love music – think about heading to Nashville one of these years!
Have you taken any vacations lately? What are some things you have planned for this summer?
P.S – am I allowed to say y’all now? Alex says no. Obviously, I disagree.