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Nashville, TN in a Weekend (8 things not to miss!)

How-dee!

Welcome to my first post for Kiss From the World, I couldn’t be more excited to be writing this post about my favourite place in all of the USA: Nashville, Tennessee!

I visited Nashville for a weekend back in April, it was my first solo-trip and this post will be all about sharing my experiences and recommendations.

Accommodation

I did my research before setting off on a solo trip and found that staying in hostels was definitely the best way to go. Nashville Downtown Hostel had great reviews online and if you look carefully on TripAdvisor you’ll find the glowing review I left after my own trip! Perhaps the most important part of any hostel for a solo traveller, there’s a really great common room downstairs with a beer fridge, pool table and guitars for the budding country musician, it’s a great place to meet new people! Location is also key when choosing a hostel for solo travel. Nashville Downtown cannot be beaten for being right in the heart of Nashville. I met some great people in this hostel, it really isn’t until you travel alone that you notice how many other people do it too! Hostels tend to cost around $30 a night, some cities can be a lot cheaper and some more expensive, but its certainly a budget way to travel. As a rule, the larger the room the cheaper the room and remember: the more people in your ‘dorm room’ the more chance you have to make friends!

Transport

Like a lot of travellers, I didn’t have access to my own transport and in Nashville I really embraced the public bus system. My main tip for using public buses around unfamiliar cities is just to be confident. The public buses in Nashville actually have very good online information, so it’s easy enough to work out which bus you need to take. Do research before hand so you know exactly where you’re getting the bus from in both directions and ask the driver when you get on let you know when your stop is coming up.

This post will outline the eight things that I believe no Nashville weekend trip should be without!

1. Country Music Hall of Fame

2. Cowboy Boot Shopping

3. Wildhorse Saloon (Line Dancing!)

4. Tennessee State Capitol

5. Vanderbilt University

6. The Parthenon

7. Gaylord Opryland Resort and Hotel

8. Ryman Auditorium

1. Country Music Hall of Fame

I am a really big country music fan, which is why the Country Music Hall of Fame is my recommended first stop on a tour of Nashville. The museum opens at 9am and I’d recommend getting there as soon after that as you can. Admission costs $25 and I think is worth it, as you can easily spend 4 or 5 hours in this museum! I really liked this museum because it was such a mix of classic country and modern “new” country so it’s perfect for country music fans of all ages. I especially enjoyed getting to see my girl Taylor Swift’s genuine rhinestone guitar!

2. Cowboy Boot Shopping

Okay, so maybe not every one loves cowboy boots as much as I do. But even if you aren’t in the market to purchase a pair I would still recommend doing some browsing and window shopping! Almost every store up and down Nashville’s main streets will sell an incredible array of cowboy boots. And just know, if you come home with any less than 3 pairs then you have much stronger will power than me!

3. Wildhorse Saloon

A Nashville staple, the Wildhorse Saloon is a bar and restaurant which also offers line dancing lessons. This is where I really benefited from the friends I met in the hostel! It’s a very easy thing to suggest to new people that you’ve met in Nashville that you all go line dancing together, who could say no?! They run lessons for beginners, every hour, every night, with live music in between where you can practice the steps you just learnt or else try to copy the line-dancing masters pacing around the floor!

4. Tennessee State Capitol

Whenever visiting a state capital city, I would always recommend visiting the State Capitol building. These buildings are almost always beautiful Grecian architecture and more often than not are located in a great area of the city for seeing other landmarks too. When visiting the Tennessee State Capitol be sure to pass by the Nashville War Memorial and the Tennessee State Museum, all beautiful landmarks of the city.

5. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt has a really beautiful campus, well worth the bus out from the main area of Nashville. The campus can also be used as a through-way to Centennial Park which is there the Parthenon (see below) can be found.

6. The Parthenon

A more unusual, but equally famous, landmark in Nashville is the Parthenon. Built in 1897, the Parthenon is a full scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The building now functions as an art museum with an entry fee of $6 and an ever-changing exhibit. It is located in Centennial Park, just a short walk from Vanderbilt’s main campus. Centennial Park is also an excellent place for a picnic, and what a view!

7. Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort

The best thing about Opryland is that you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy it! Now the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the hotel and resort is located about a 30 minute bus journey from the city centre. I met people in the hostel who took a taxi to Opryland instead and I think it cost them around $30, so not outrageous if you’d rather avoid the bus! The hotel is absolutely incredible, a must-see in Nashville. Even if you’re not a guest you can walk through all the main atrium areas and visit the countless shops, restaurants, cafes, ice cream bars etc until you jump on your bus home. There are fountain displays and gondola rides and no pictures I could take could even half capture the magic of this place! A must!

8. Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman is hailed as the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and can be toured daily for $20 self-guided or $27 with a provided tour guide. I would always recommend buying a guided tour. With a self-guided ticket you only get to see the main concert hall whereas the guided-tour takes you into the backstage areas of the auditorium. I would also never miss the amazing stories and personal anecdotes your tour guide will tell you of the time he was a driver for the stars! If you are a budding musician yourself I’d also recommend bringing your instrument with you as the Ryamn offers a photo opportunity on stage. For the price of a professional Ryman photo (around $20 I think) you get to play on the Ryman stage, a printed photograph of your experience and the opportunity to take as many personal photos as you want once the professional one has been paid for. A father and son played the stage while I was there, such a great idea!

My Nashville weekend was a dream trip for me, I hope everyone who visits will enjoy it as much as I did!


STATE


Profile photo of Georgia-Rose Johnson

Originally from England, I moved to Ireland at the age of 18 to study Creative Writing at University and planned to settle there. That is, until a study-abroad year in the USA introduced me to the amazing world of solo travel. Now I don't know where I'll settle or where I'll go in the next few years. Starting with a tour of the USA I'm hoping to expand my travels over the next few years, writing as I go. I'm mostly a solo travel blogger, sharing my adventures and tips for other on how to travel solo.



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