12 Dec A Weekend in Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee is known as Music City, USA, and offers plenty of exciting and entertaining venues. Here are 4 things we recommend you hit up next time you are in Nashville.
1. The Grand Ole Opry
Whether you tour the Grand Ole Opry or see a show here, you’ll definitely want to make a visit to Nashville’s most famous venue. Hundreds of thousands visit the Opry each year, and there’s a backstage tour about every 15 minutes. The daytime tour costs $24 for adults (ages 12 and up) and $19 for kids (ages 4-11). The tour lasts about an hour and will place you in the footsteps of country music’s superstars and provide an exclusive look at what happens behind the scenes of the show that made country music famous. For more information on touring the Grand Ole Opry, including Post-Show Tours and VIP Tours, visit www.opry.com/backstagetours.
I visited the Opry this summer and was impressed with the tour. I was able to see many different dressing rooms used by the stars, the Opry post office, the wall of honor, the performers entrance, as well as the highlight for me, which was walking across the famous stage. The coolest part for me was standing center stage behind the microphone. The original opry floor was cut and placed here. Famous Brad Paisley quote.
The Stars and Stripes dressing room
A six-foot circle of wood sits center stage at the Grand Ole Opry House, removed from the Ryman Auditorium when the show moved from the historic Ryman in 1974.
The Wall of Honor in the Grand Ole Opry–so many amazing stars!
The Post Office at the Grand Ole Opry. If a country star has been inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, they’ll have a mailbox here where they pick up fan mail before each show.
I stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort which is just a short walk from the Grand Ole Opry. The Opryland is huge and offers great hotel rooms, amazing restaurants, and plenty of shopping. You’ll have all you need, and then some, at this resort. Not to mention that the Opry Mills mall is right across the street from the Opry.
For of a more detailed write-up and additional pictures of the Opry click here.
2. The Hermitage – President Andrew Jackson’s estate, mansion, and tomb
“I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me,” is a quote I love from President Andrew Jackson that perfectly describes his life.
Located 15 miles east of downtown Nashville, The Hermitage is one of the top-rated and most authentically preserved presidential homes in the country. During a VIP tour you will tour Andrew Jackson’s mansion, presidential museum, burial tomb, gardens, and grounds. Managed by the Ladies Hermitage Association, the Hermitage began as approximately 400 acres which quickly expanded into and the spacious plantation of more than 1000 acres, which makes it one of the largest historic site museums in America. The tour costs $20 for adults, $15 for students (ages 13 to 18), and $10 for children (6-12), and takes about 1 1/2 hours, although you can stroll at your leisure and take as long as you’d like.
History buffs will love the background and insight into “the people’s president.” I was reminded that Andrew Jackson’s success and rise to the presidency was truly remarkable as the deck was stacked against him from the beginning, being fatherless (his dad died before he was born) and an orphan at age 14 (his widowed mom died from cholera).
The Tomb of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel in the gardens near his mansion.
The 11,000 square foot mansion is surrounded by massive trees.
Guests tours the Hermitage mansion in groups of 30 or so. No photography is allowed inside. The high ceilings and original wallpaper make this an impressive mansion to tour.
So much land: The Hermitage quickly expanded to occupy over 1,000 acres east of Nashville.
See more Hermitage here.
3. The Ryman Auditorium
Known as the mother church of country music and located in downtown Nashville, this is where country music all started. A self-guided tour costs $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 4-11) and lasts approximately about an hour. I had about an hour before I had to get to the airport and really wanted to go inside, so I quickly toured the auditorium. I was impressed with its history, great acoustics, and impressive stage and seats. Considerably smaller than the Opry, the remains one of Nashville’s hottest venues, with its more cozy, intimate settings.
To learn more about the Ryman and different tour options, visit http://ryman.com/tours.
Such a cool venue. Pat Benatar’s crew was setting up for her show later that evening.
Center stage at the Ryman Auditorium! You can see where the six-foot circle once was before it was cut out and taken to the Grand Ole Opry.
4. The Honky Tonks on Broadway
The bar scene is alive and well on Nashville’s famous street, and you will hear tons of aspiring musicians and wannabe singers. It goes without saying that the Broadway scene is not for kids.