About this article
This article was originally published in the November/December 2016 issue of M: North Atlanta, a publication of the Forsyth County News. To read the entire magazine, click here.
Oh, Nashville. How much I love you. Even if you are not a die-hard country music lover, Nashville still has so much to offer. Of course if you do like country music, even just a little bit, you will absolutely love Music City.
An easy four hour drive from Atlanta, Nashville is perfect for a weekend getaway, a girl’s getaway, or a place to get away to with the kids. If you are bringing the kids, plan to stop in Chattanooga on the way (just two hours from here) and visit Ruby Falls, the aquarium and the charming downtown area.
If you can stay in downtown Nashville, all the better, but if you want a more economical hotel, stay in Franklin or Murfreesboro, both are just a short distance from downtown. When you speak to locals or listen to the local radio, you will hear them talk about rush hour in and around the city. Don’t worry — their rush hour is actually cute when compared to what we are used to in Atlanta.
Now, what to do while you are there. Of course, you cannot visit Nashville without going to the Country Music Hall of Fame.The displays are fantastic and you can go at your own pace as you wander around and learn about the vast and long history of country music.
I love seeing the original outfits worn by country music stars from so long ago to now. Seeing Elvis’s limousine is a real treat. And there are plenty of interactive screens, short film clips and more. The gift store is great — you have to get a souvenir to commemorate your visit.
The Ryman Auditorium, also called the “Mother Church of Country Music,” is also a must see. This beautiful auditorium is home to The Grand Ole Opry show and has been around since 1892.
Speaking of music, you should definitely take the Music Row tour and visit RCA Studio B. This iconic recording studio is where Elvis recorded hundreds of songs and many other legends did as well, including Roy Orbison and Dolly Parton.
Of course, you have to wander around on Broadway, the main“drag” in Nashville. There are lots of Honky Tonks; live music can be heard in all of them all day long. There are a lot of gift shops and restaurants — trust me when I say the people watching is some of the best in the country. One of my favorite places to go is Union Station. The old railroad station converted to a beautiful hotel, the lobby is breathtaking the first time you see it.
The Parthenon is not something you expect to see in Music City.
The world’s only full scale reproduction of the real Parthenon in Athens, Greece, the Parthenon is larger than life and fun to explore. There is also an art gallery and museum where you can learn the history of this amazing monument. Great for pictures with the kids. Speaking of the kids, the Nashville Zoo is a good one, so if you have time, check it out.
There are many terrific restaurants in Nashville — a lot feature “a meat and three,” but there are many upper scale restaurants that also feature and highlight Southern fare. DeSano’s Pizza Bakery has some of the best pizza I have ever had. They import their ingredients from Italy each week and cook the pizza’s in three wood burning ovens, also imported from Italy.
The atmosphere is lively and casual. Be prepared for plastic cups, even if you get a glass of wine. But it’s a fun, bustling place and the food is awesome. The dessert, three different cannolis for us, was incredible.
Another favorite restaurant I enjoy is Husk. They change the menu daily in order to feature only what is at its peak freshness. I love that they have a garden right outside of the restaurant.
Every time we visit, we always find something else to do. All in all, I highly recommend you make a trip to visit Music City, Nashville.