So you’re an aspiring country singer, arriving in downtown Nashville after days of hitchhiking, with nothing but your battered guitar on your back. Gaze up at the neon lights of Lower Broadway, take a deep breath of smoky, beer-perfumed air, feel the boot-stompin’ rumble from deep inside the crowded honky-tonks, and say to yourself ‘I’ve made it.’
This ain’t no country club baby, this is Nashville.
For country-music fans and wannabe songwriters all over the world, a trip to Nashville is the ultimate pilgrimage. Think of any song involving a pickup truck, a bottle of booze, a no-good woman, or a late lamented hound dog, and chances are it came from Nashville. Since the 1920s the city has been attracting musicians who have taken the country genre from the ‘hillbilly music’ of the early 20th century to the slick ‘Nashville sound’ of the 1960s to the punk-tinged alt-country of the 1990s.
Nashville has many attractions to keep you busy, from the Country Music Hall of Fame and the revered Grand Ole Opry House to rough blues bars, historic buildings and big-name sports. It also has friendly people, a lively university community, excellent fried chicken and an unrivaled assortment of tacky souvenirs.
Best places to stay in Nashville
America's legendary drives
With over four million miles of highway, the USA offers more road trips than anyone could tackle in one lifetime. Whether you’re itching to peek into Wild West history, or just longing for a big ol’ soulful dose of nature’s vistas, you’ll find them along America’s backroads and byways.
Nashville destination guides
10 best places to experience music
In an extract from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences, we take you to the ten best places on the planet to shake a tail feather. 1. Grand Ole Opry, USA This country-music phenomenon is actually a Saturday night, live radio broadcast that goes out on Nashville's WSM station.
Come along for an exciting 3.5 hour tour of Nashville, Music City USA! Travel in air-conditioned comfort to the best and most famous sites in town - The Ryman Auditorium (the one-time home to the Grand Ole Opry), The impressive Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and more.
Nashville Music Attraction Discount Pass
The Nashville Music Attraction Discount Pass is your ticket to the music history of Nashville. Get entry into 4 popular attractions in Nashville including The Country Music Hall of Fame.
Music City to Dixieland: a musical roots run
Waylon Jennings once said, 'I've always felt that blues, rock'n'roll, and country are just about a beat apart.' And a few miles. Get your motor runnin' on this musical tour of the South, where country, rock'n'roll, blues and jazz were all born within 500 miles of each other.