Nashville: No wonder they gave this city a TV show

The Country Music Hall of Fame opens an exhibit on Carrie Underwood this week.
The Country Music Hall of Fame opens an exhibit on Carrie Underwood this week.

Nashville is no longer just about country music. Home to indie acts like the Black Keys, this vibrant Southern city is a playground for music and art lovers, savvy style mavens and food fanatics, with plenty to do and see.

Eat and drink

Rotier’s is old school charm at its best. Consistently voted best milkshake and hamburger year after year, locals will tell you this family-owned place is not to be missed. For the not-so-health-conscious, the grilled cheeseburger (essentially a grilled cheese with a burger in it) is a solid choice.

Head over to Germantown for brunch in the beautiful garden at Monell’s, or an Italian dinner at City House. Then take a stroll around the neighborhood to check out the beautiful Southern homes before popping into The Cupcake Collection, which boasts a porch where you can enjoy your treats.

Raise your glass: Patterson House
Trendsetters, take note: Patterson House is an dream come true for speakeasy-loving travelers. Slip behind a velvet curtain to order inventive twists on classic cocktails from bartenders who look like they stepped right out of “The Great Gatsby.” This cozy, classy 1920s hideaway is adorned with chandeliers and antique books.

Shop

Shopaholics will love the 12th South District, where custom-made jeans can be scored — and handcrafted in front of you — at Imogene + Willie. Or stroll through Hillsboro Village with its eclectic mix of shops and coffeehouses, plus BookManBookWoman, a jam-packed used bookstore that bibliophiles can get lost in for hours.

Sightsee

You can’t visit Nashville without checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame, a winding three-floor collection that houses a wide array of historic memorabilia, including the MacBook Taylor Swift used to write some of her songs.

The Frist Museum, once a post office, has no permanent collection; the curatorial staff instead devotes their time and resources to bringing in exhibits from the finest institutes in the world. The museum is worth a visit for its art deco interior and Greco-Roman exterior alone. Free tours are offered on the first Saturday of the month at 4 p.m.

For a romantic nighttime jaunt, head to Cheekwood Mansion. It’s set just a short drive outside of the city. Make sure to go on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday night after dusk to catch “Lights,” an outdoor art installation by Bruce Munro.

Sleep

The eco-friendly Hutton Hotel  is the place to go to sleep in comfort and style. Hot tip for hoarders of travel-size hotel goodies: The boutique space offers Molton Brown toiletries in their ultramodern bathrooms.

For a truly luxurious experience, book a room at the sprawling Gaylord Opryland Resort, almost a city unto itself. It’s in a great location, too, for those looking to experience Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running radio show. It has hosted some of country music’s greatest legends.


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