10 Prime Spots: Nashville

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10 Prime Spots: Nashville

Published on June 01, 2012 by CMT News

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Half of the U.S. population lives within 600 miles of Nashville, according to the city’s Chamber of Commerce. As for the other
half, Nashville’s conveniently located airport has its own Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. So, if you’re ready for a vacation, or
just want to be a tourist for a long weekend, here are 10 travel ideas (listen in alphabetical order) to make the most of
Music City.

Arrington Vineyards
Kix Brooks of Brooks
Dunn
founded this vineyard about 25 miles from Nashville. Crack open a refreshing Stag’s White, spread out a picnic
lunch and enjoy the sprawling view. Check the calendar if you’re interested in cigar night or catching a live band during
Music in the Vines. (6211 Patton Road, Arrington, Tenn.)

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
This is the
ultimate destination for country fans, whether you’ve been listening for decades or you’ve just discovered the music. The
top floor explains the origins of the music while the lower exhibits show memorabilia from current superstars like Brad
Paisley
and Carrie Underwood. (222 Fifth Ave. South)

Fontanel
Mansion

The former log cabin home of Barbara Mandrell is decorated
with dazzling platinum plaques from the current owners, whose management clients include Kenny
Chesney
, Big Rich and Gretchen
Wilson
. Check out the concerts, restaurant and hiking trail, all on the property. (4225 Whites Creek Pike)

Grand
Ole Opry

An essential stop on the Nashville package tours, the Opry remains a favorite among older generations. However,
contemporary fans may be delighted to find Vince Gill, Alison
Krauss
and Martina McBride in the mix. Blake
Shelton
is the new virtual tour guide on backstage tours. (2804 Opryland Drive)

Loveless Cafe/Music City Roots
You’ll
need a car to get to the Loveless Cafe and probably a nap after you eat. Their biscuits are nationally famous, although some
locals prefer the delicious dinner menu. On Wednesday nights, the barn out back hosts Music City Roots, a neat radio show
with a satisfyingly diverse roster. (8400 Tennessee Highway 100)

Lower Broadway
The weekends can get crazy
downtown, especially in the Lower Broadway honky-tonks. You’ll hear “Family Tradition” everywhere you go, except at Robert’s,
where the bands often reach farther back in the country canon. Pick up classic country CDs at the Ernest
Tubb
Record Shop. (Downtown Nashville)

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
After an expensive
remodel following the flood of 2010, this sprawling hotel site is now a worthwhile destination for everyone — not just for
weddings, conventions and tourists. The restaurants are impressive and the décor is impeccable. It’s a “can’t miss”
destination over the holidays. (2800 Opryland Drive)

Ryman Auditorium
To see a show at the Ryman is to step
back in history. Countless stars from the Grand Ole Opry sang here, including Hank
Williams
, Patsy Cline, Johnny
Cash
and Dolly Parton. It’s also the birthplace of bluegrass music.
Following an extensive renovation, the acoustics are incredible. (116 Fifth Ave. North)

Songwriter Nights
To
see songwriters in action, catch an “in-the-round” show at a small club. Usually three or four writers sit on stools and swap
songs while everyone listens politely. The Bluebird Café (4104 Hillsboro Pike) is famous, but it tends to get crowded.
A laid-back option is the Listening Room Café (209 10th Ave. South, Suite 200). They both serve food, too.

Station
Inn

For years, the
Station Inn
held court in a seedy side of Nashville. Now it’s an authentic jewel in a hip district known as the Gulch.
Bluegrass fans from around the world come here for fiddles, mandolins, banjos and super-fast picking. Dierks
Bentley
, Vince Gill, Joe Nichols and Keith
Urban
have all been spotted here. (402 12th Ave. South)

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