Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

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


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


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.


Ryman Auditorium


View of Ryman Auditorium


Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee

Tour the Ryman Auditorium


The auditorium opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. Its construction was spearheaded by Thomas Ryman (1843–1904), a Nashville businessman who owned several saloons and a fleet of riverboats. Ryman conceived of the auditorium as a tabernacle for the influential revivalist Samuel Porter Jones.[3] Ryman had attended one of Jones’ 1885 tent revivals with the intent to heckle, but was instead converted into a devout Christian, and soon after pledged to build the tabernacle so the people of Nashville could attend a large-scale revival indoors. It took seven years to complete and cost US$100,000 (equivalent to $2,638,148 in 2015).[4] However, Jones held his first revival at the site on May 25, 1890, with only the building’s foundation and six-foot walls standing.[5] Architect Hugh Cathcart Thompson designed the structure. Exceeding its construction budget, the tabernacle opened US$20,000 (equivalent to $527,630 in 2015) in debt. Jones sought to name the tabernacle in Ryman’s honor, but Ryman denied the request several times. When Ryman died in 1904, his memorial service was held at the tabernacle. During the service, Jones proposed the building be renamed Ryman Auditorium, which was met with the overwhelming approval of the attendees.[4] Jones died less than two years later, in 1906.

The building was originally designed to contain a balcony, but a lack of funds delayed its completion. The balcony was eventually built and opened in time for the 1897 gathering of the United Confederate Veterans, with funds provided by members of the group. As such, the balcony was named the Confederate Gallery.[5] Upon the completion of the balcony, the Ryman’s capacity rose to 6,000. A stage was added in 1901 that reduced the capacity to just over 3,000.


Ryman Auditorium upstairs hallway

Portrait of Thomas Ryman


Thomas Ryman (1843–1904)

Stage at Ryman Auditorium


Downtown Nashville, Tennessee


How WE do the Grand Ole Opry! 8 things you’ll discover at Nashville’s most famous venue

A trip to Nashville isn’t complete without a tour or a show from the famous Grand Ole Opry. Built in ??, this ?? -seat venue has the acoustics that make a music fan …Grand Ole Opry






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  1. In 201?, Nashville was underwater. Big time. Unfortunately for country music fans the sacred Opry Showhouse was severely damaged. At least four feet of water poured into the Opry which closed for nearly a year to undergo a massive restoration project. The Opry
  2. The Opry does not valet and stars must move their own cone when entering their vehicle into the parking lot.
  3. The Grand Ole Opry Post Office. Write to your favorite country artist and mail it to the Grand Ole Opry and the letter will be delivered to the star’s mailbox. Box # ? is Brad Paisley. #? Is Garth Brooks. #? Is …..
  4. How many stars are members of the Opry….how often do they induct… and what does it all mean…
  5. The 6 feet circle from the Ryman… Brad Paisley quote “The dirt from Hank Williams’ boots has fallen into the cracks.
  6. How it all started… NBC ….
  7. What is the capacity of the Opry?


Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

8 Interesting Facts about Andrew Jackson and The Hermitage — a Nashville must see!

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage


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1. Andrew Jackson wanted his name to be remembered. Born in … Although you could say the deck was stacked against him: Jackson was fatherless his entire life and an orphan at age 14. His story of perservance and making the most of his life even when it looked like he didn’t stand a chance to amount to anything is inspiring.  He was known as the people’s president because he….


2. Built the Hermitage in ? months/years


3. Hermitage property began as 425 acres but ended up into a 1,000+ plantation when all was said and done.


4. Use all of the pig, but the “squeal”


5. Wallpaper in The Hermitage is more than 185 years old.


6. Interesting fact about the Tomb/Buriel


7. Made others call him General rather than President, he was a true soldier.


8. Jackson owned more than ??? slaves, which lived in houses on the plantation.