Music. Whiskey (Canada’s whisky cousin to the south). Hot Chicken, Southern BBQ. More music. If any of these things sounds good to you either on their own or in any combination then you definitely need to check out Nashville, Tennessee. While it’s true that Nashville’s roots in Country music run deep, there is so much more to Nashville; and it’s the best kept secret that it’s the one of the best bachelor and bachelorette destinations in the US. With incredible live music and night life and activity that runs 24 hours a day it’s time to get to know some of the best (and most iconic) stops to make in this incredible city to the south.
Nashville has so many iconic venues and locations that make the city what it is, but most people think of the Grand Ole Opry first. Whether you love country music or not, this iconic venue in Nashville is one-of-a-kind. Take a tour backstage to see the dressing rooms and photos of the stars – past and present – that have walked the halls and gotten ready before a big show. A little tip if you’re looking for a unique souvenir. Right after the show, stop by the gift shop and they will have a limited number of posters showcasing the artists that played that night. But you have to get there fast because they go quickly!
The “Mother Church of Country Music.” The “Carnegie of the South.” The Ryman Auditorium is known by many names. Whatever you call it, this award-winning live music venue is one of the best in the world; partially because it has some of the best acoustics and partially because it holds so much history with some of the greatest musicians of our time gracing the stage. While bluegrass was born at this venue, The Ryman features musicians from all genres and comedians appealing to a wide audience. Take a tour backstage or take in one of the nightly shows.
Whether you are a history buff and you know all there is to know about The Man In Black or you are just curious, The Johnny Cash Museum is a must while you are in Nashville. Officially endorsed by the Cash family, it’s a small venue, but it’s packed with the largest collection of Johnny Cash photographs and artifacts in the world. After you take a walk through the museum, you may have a new appreciation for The Ryman Auditorium as that is where Johnny Cash met June Carter!
Among all of the incredible live music venues, stop in at the Country Music Hall of Fame – the “Smithsonian of Country Music”. It is a great place to learn about the history behind so many of the iconic locations in Nashville from its collection of over two million historical items. In addition to the sprawling, modern, and interactive exhibit and special event spaces, The Country Music Hall of Fame has preserved some of the incredible history of Nashville with Hatch Show Print – one of the oldest letterpress shops in America, dating back to 1879 – and Nashville’s oldest recording studio, Historic RCA Studio B.
If you find yourself just wandering in downtown Nashville, you will easily see why it’s such a hot spot to visit, and you can feel the rich and vibrant history coursing through its veins. Make sure to walk through Music Row. From record labels to recording studios and radio stations and everything in between, it is a colourful highlight to Nashville’s music heritage.
Entertainment & Nightlife
In addition to all of the iconic venues in Nashville, the city has an electric live music scene and nightlife that just doesn’t quit. The best place to find a good party is on Broadway on a strip best known as “Honky Tonk Row.” Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and the Nudie’s Honky Tonk are two of the city’s most famous “Honky Tonks,” but any night of the week it’s easy to hit up multiple bars in one night – the perfect Bachelor/Bachelorette activity. From rooftop patios to multi-level dance venues to late night diners for the perfect snack, Nashville will not leave you disappointed.
There are just too many live music venues to name, and you can either see where the night takes you or plan the night out. If you are a planner, the Nashville Live Music Guide App is the perfect way to find out exactly what is happening in the city on any given day. If you want someone to do it for you, there are even party buses that will take you around the city for a perfect night out on the town with your friends.
If you are hoping to brush up on your line dancing skills, why not take a private group class before heading out on your whirlwind tour for the night?
For something a little unique, the Nashville Pedal Tavern is a 15-passenger, BYOB party bike. Photo ops, booze, music, and a huge bicycle that is also a bar – you can’t go wrong!
Stay over at the center of it all at Hilton Garden Inn Downtown/Convention Center. Best of all, the next day you can take it easy and lounge by the rooftop pool and grab some good, southern eats to replenish you for the night ahead.
When in Nashville, you MUST try some hot chicken. While the city is known for other southern comfort foods like biscuits and gravy, Southern BBQ, and gourmet mac & cheese, hot chicken is where it’s at. And there are a number of places you can go to get some of the best you have ever had. Whether you want mild or five alarm fire in your mouth spicy, consider checking out Party Fowl and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, two of the top places to get the best hot chicken in the city.
Your visit to Nashville isn’t complete without stopping in at the Goo Goo Shop. Home of the first combination candy bar in America in 1912, it has become synonymous with Tennessee and what the city has to offer. You can even take a group chocolate making class on site! And if you want to visit the official home of the famous DoubleTree cookie, it’s right here in Nashville. Christie’s Cookies makes them for ALL of the DoubleTree hotels in North America.
Wash it all down
Ah, Tennessee Whiskey. For the perfect Tennessee experience, take a day trip to Lynchburg for a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery and taste why it’s some of the most well-known whiskey in the world. On the tour you can sip 5 different Jack Daniel’s products or enjoy a full dinner and Whiskey flight pairing. If you wanted a closer option, consider Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville.
There is so much to see and do in Nashville that you absolutely don’t want to miss. Whether you are looking for something a little more low-key with roof-top patios, live jazz, and historic venues or you want to mix things up with a little more excitement and take in the vibrant night life the city has to offer, consider Nashville for your next trip.