Nashville is music’s hometown. From writing, to recording, to producing, music has always been the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people for over 200 years. Home to the Country Music Association, Gospel Music Association, Barbershop Harmony Society, International Bluegrass Music Association and a host of other pop/rock and jazz organizations, the city’s musical diversity invites all music lovers. Visitors can take in the world’s longest running radio show, the “Grand Ole Opry,” which has been broadcast over the airwaves from Music City for over 80 years, or hear the Grammy awardwinning Nashville Symphony which performs 200 classical, pops and special concert events each season in the city’s worldclass Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Sitting just across the street is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The facility is not only an architecturally impressive home for country’s colorful past, it’s also dedicated to the preservation of music history and education. Close by is the legendary Ryman Auditorium, also known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” This acoustical masterpiece is one of Music City’s most prized possessions and has been home to musicians, actors, comedians and the Grand Ole Opry for more than 100 years. Open during the day as a museum, the Ryman pays tribute to its glorious past—from its humble beginnings as a religious revival tabernacle to its magnificent modern-day life as the place for musicians to perform.
Another downtown gem is The Frist Center for the Visual Arts. For an affordable and creative experience spend time at the Frist Center, where kids 18 and under are always admitted free! Enjoy the world-class, rotating exhibits in the gallery space and then head upstairs to experience ArtQuest. This inter-generational space offers 30 hands-on stations which relate to the gallery exhibitions. If history peeks your interest spend some time at The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson. The Hermitage mansion has been meticulously restored to its 1837 appearance and today looks much as it did when Andrew Jackson returned to it after finishing his second term as President. Costumed historical interpreters are stationed throughout the house to tell you about Jackson, his family and his home.
History and culture also come together to tell fascinating stories at the Belle Meade Plantation, Belmont Mansion, Travellers Rest, Tennessee State Museum and The Parthenon. Visitors looking for a unique outdoor outing for the family should make plans to stop at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum where each summer a special garden exhibition is created for children.
Then round out your day at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere which features a wide variety of exotic animals from around the world housed in beautiful, natural habitats. Families can also schedule a behind-the-scenes tour that lets you get up close and personal with the animals! Look no further than the Adventure Science Center’s Sudekum Planetarium and Space Chase if exploration is what you crave. Visitors can embark on a simulated moon walk, launch rockets, learn to work in a weightless environment and view 6.5 million stars under a 63-foot planetarium dome. There are many other options for fun in Music City. A stellar European car collection can be found at Lane Motor Museum. And, of course, fabulous musical experiences also await visitors on the General Jackson Showboat, and at The Bluebird Café, Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum and Wildhorse Saloon.
With an orchestra of options to satisfy every taste, you’ll be encouraged to dance to the beat of your own drummer. So whether it’s listening to live music, soaking in the art scene, exploring history or just relaxing, we hope you’ll find many ways to enjoy Music City and learn for yourself why music calls us home.
Call us at (800) 657-6910 or visit us on line - www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors.