Nashville is still the USA’s country capital, where music rules and hopeful singers and songwriters mingle with visitors on Honky Tonk Row.

The heart of Nashville’s music scene is downtown, where by day you can tour attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, and Ryman’s Auditorium. At night Broadway’s bars pound out live music, while the Grand Ole Opry country show takes place most nights at Opryland.

There are plenty of non-music attractions too, including The Hermitage (home of former President Andrew Jackson), the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, and the 1853 Belle Meade Plantation.

Things to know before you go

  • Take plenty of low denomination dollar bills for tips for bar staff and musicians. You can always break a large bill if paying for drinks but have something handy for the musicians too, who rely on tips.
  • Nashville might be in the south but it gets a lot of rain, all year-round. There’s no dry season so always pack some rain gear.
  • Book ahead if you want to see a live show at the Grand Ole Opry. It’s quite an experience, and covers a broad range of country music, but even midweek shows sell out in advance.

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About the author

Mike Gerrard

Green Valley, Arizona

Mike Gerrard is an award-winning travel writer who grew up listening to Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, and has been to Nashville many times.