Nashville, Tennessee

Feeling a little bit country? Oh, come on, we’ve seen you singing along to the song that you’d never ever ever admit to liking. How could you not know the words to these catchy tunes? They’re every third song on the radio. So maybe it’s time to embrace the banjos, the harmonicas, and the fiddles–and head to Music City.

Photo: The Hermitage Hotel
Photo: The Hermitage Hotel

Check into The Hermitage Hotel, which has been welcoming guests with Southern hospitality for more than 100 years. Named after Andrew Jackson’s estate outside of Nashville, the Beaux-Arts building has views of Tennessee’s State Capitol Building and War Memorial Plaza. The Capitol Grille serves sustainable Southern cuisine–vegetables from the hotel’s period garden and heritage-bred beef from a nearby farm. Freshly squeezed lemonade and cookies are offered in the lobby, which has stained glass ceilings. And fried pickles and granny’s deviled eggs pair with cocktails at the Oak Bar. Best of all, the hotel is just a quick walk from Second Avenue and Broadway, where the music plays 24 hours a day.

Start at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you’ll find Elvis’ golden Cadillac and Johnny Cash’s guitar. Visit country’s most famous stage, the Grand Ole Opry. Slurp raspberry-lime popsicles from Las Paletas. Shop for vinyl at Third Man Records. Sip coffee at CREMA. Take in the view of the Cumberland River and the city’s skyline on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. Feed the ducks at Centennial Park. Have a chocolate shake at Elliston Place Soda Shop. Eat BBQ, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and banana pudding. This is not a calorie-counting day. Tour the Yazoo Brewery. Shop for cowboy paraphernalia. You must be in the mood by now. And then go take a nap. You’ll be out late tonight.

Nashville

Make dinner reservations in advance. Don’t miss the chance to eat at The Catbird Seat. Watch up-and-coming bands at The Bluebird Cafe. Learn the two-step at The Wildhorse Saloon. Drink a whiskey ginger at No. 308. See live music at The Station Inn or Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge or Legends Corner. And cap off the evening with a late-night cheeseburger at Paradise Park Trailer Resort. You should be feeling more than a little bit country by now.

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