Sunny days, fabulous food, outdoor music and beer festivals are just a few reasons why Nashville is a great summer destination. Although the city is known as the Mecca of country music, you don’t have to be a fan of twangy tunes to have a rip-roaring good time. But one trip to any of honky tonks around town and we swear you’ll want to two-step the night away. To make the most of a trip to Music City, we’ve listed some must-dos that ensures one memorable experience.
Pay Homage to the Legends of Country
While in Nashville, you must visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, whether you’re a country music fan or not. Over 2.5 million priceless artifacts are on display, including Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes, Elvis’ gold piano and Hank Williams’ Western-cut suit. Not too far from Lower Broadway is the Johnny Cash Museum, which holds the largest collection of memorabilia dedicated to the “Man in Black,” and inside the same building is The Patsy Cline Museum with never-before-seen artifacts from the legendary singer. Of course, you should also consider a night at the Grand Ole Opry, which provides a tribute to classic country music every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night.
Bring an Appetite for Hot Chicken & BBQ
Condé Nast Traveler recently noted that in Nashville, “there’s enough going on food-wise to warrant a trip solely for eating.” But what Music City is most known for is hot chicken, which is fried chicken that is breaded and coated with spices (typically heavy on cayenne pepper) and traditionally served with white bread and pickles. The initiated consider this Nashville specialty more of an emotional experience than just a meal. There are plenty of very good hot chicken joints around town, like Hattie B’s and Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish, but the original is Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Their signature dish is marinated in buttermilk, breaded and then sauced with a super-secret paste spiced with cayenne peppers and pan fried in a cast-iron skillet. You can order it mild, medium, hot and extra hot, but first-timers are encouraged to order mild. Don’t bother ordering hot – they won’t sell it to you.
Listen to Live Music on Lower Broadway
Take a stroll down Honky Tonk Highway on Lower Broadway and expect to hear live music strumming from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. every single day. Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Gretchen Wilson began their careers here, and they won’t be last music legends to do so. Some of the most famous spots are AJ’s Good Time Bar, Layla’s and the world-famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, with its three stories, four stages and three bars. The best part about Honky Tonk Highway: No one charges a cover.
Take in Some History
Nashville has plenty to offer when it comes to learning about our nation’s past. Hermitage is Andrew Jackson’s former home and considered one of the most accurately preserved presidential homes in the U.S., where you can view a Federal-style brick mansion, Jackson’s original 1804 log cabin and his slave quarters, with a special exhibit telling their stories on the 1,150-acre plantation. Fort Negley is a Civil War fort built by former slaves and free blacks for union forces during the occupation of Nashville. Then there is Stones River National Battlefield Park, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Find a Festival
Summer in Nashville means festivals. In June, the Brew at the Zoo allows you to get a taste of Music City’s exploding beer scene at the town’s zoo. Bonnaroo is a popular four-day music festival held 60 miles southeast of Nashville, and the CMA Music Festival draws more than 87,000 country music fans every year. During July, you can catch the Hot Chicken Festival celebrating the famous dish with plenty of local brewers there to help you wash it down. August is when the Music City Brewer’s Festival begins with more than 50 microbreweries at Walk of Fame Park, as well as the Tomato Arts Festival, an eclectic experience featuring a parade and tomato paintings.
Are you ready to #GetAway #YourWay to Nashville? Book your trip now at allegiant.com!