Nashville, Ten­nessee

You’ve seen the film and the TV se­ries; you’ve heard the mu­sic; you know the leg­end. A visit to the city syn­ony­mous with coun­try mu­sic re­wards the ears, the ap­petite and the soul.

Time Out (Sydney) - - TRAVEL - By Emily Lloyd-Tait

TEN­NESSEE’S MU­SIC CITY is a hot­bed of rock, coun­try, his­tory and cul­ture and an es­sen­tial stop on any tour of the south. It’s a city of dis­tinct neigh­bour­hoods, so for eat­ing and drink­ing head to Ger­man­town; cruise around 12South for shop­ping ad­ven­tures; hit East Nashville for a lo­cal’s ex­pe­ri­ence; the Gulch is the place for records, gui­tars and gigs; and spend time Down­town for honky tonks, mu­se­ums, bars and south­ern bar­be­cue.


Gay­lord Opry­land Re­sort & Con­ven­tion

Cen­ter (Opry­land for short) has to be seen to be be­lieved. It’s like a theme park for adults, or maybe a cruise on land is a closer de­scrip­tion of this jaw-drop­pingly huge re­sort. They have a river with boat cruises, an is­land vil­lage, wa­ter­falls and shops, all in­side the re­sort. Dur­ing Christ­mas they host an ice fes­ti­val with ice sculp­tures, shows, rides and lights that draw huge crowds. 2800 Opry­land Dr, Nashville TN. +1 615 889 1000. www. ex­pe­­tels-Gay­lordOpry­land-Re­sort-Con­ven­tion-Cen­ter-h21317. Ho­tel-in­for­ma­tion.

See and do

Give your­self a whole day to hit three Nashville es­sen­tials. At the Coun­try Mu­sic

Hall of Fame im­merse your­self in the his­tory of coun­try mu­sic as it de­vel­oped from folk, re­li­gious and African in­flu­ences in the New World to be­come the rhine­stone-studded in­dus­try it is to­day. You can see Elvis’s gold cadil­lac; the ac­tual Hall of Fame – a cir­cu­lar grotto where plaques of win­ners are in­stalled around the walls; and cos­tumes and mem­o­ra­bilia from Keith Ur­ban, Tay­lor Swift, Dolly Par­ton and the Carter Fam­ily. 222 Fifth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 416 2001. coun­try­mu­sichallof­ Daily 9am-5pm. US$24.95. Once you’ve fin­ished in the Hall of Fame you’ll want to visit Hatch Show Prints, an orig­i­nal let­ter­press poster print­ing shop in the same build­ing that to this day hand as­sem­bles gig posters for tour­ing artists. 224 Fifth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 577 7710. hatchshow­ Tours at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm. Avail­able in a pack­age with Hall of Fame en­try. US$18. The bus for the RCA Stu­dio B tour leaves from out­side the Hall of Fame and takes you to the stu­dio where Dolly Par­ton recorded ‘I Will Al­ways Love You’ and Elvis laid down ‘How Great Thou Art’. It’s a short tour but it’s a mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for any­one who loves mu­sic. 222 Fifth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 416 2001. stu­ Daily 10.30am-2.30pm. Only avail­able in con­junc­tion with a Hall of Fame en­try. US$39.95.

Mu­si­cian’s Hall of Fame

You can tour mu­sic mu­se­ums for days on end if you’re so in­clined (Johnny Cash and

Patsy Cline both have their own mu­se­ums on 3rd Ave South for diehard fans) but this mu­seum is worth a visit if you’re the sort of per­son who cares about how the mu­sic was made. There are ex­hibits on the great ses­sion bands of Amer­ica, like the Swampers in Mus­cle Shoals and the Wreck­ing Crew in LA, and the great song­writ­ers of our time like Roy Or­bi­son and Bruce Spring­steen. 401 Gay St, Nashville TN. +1 615 244 3263.­si­cian­shallof­ Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. US$20-$24.

Ry­man Au­di­to­rium

This fa­mous au­di­to­rium was built in 1892 as a place of wor­ship, then be­came a home for tour­ing acts and mu­si­cians, as well as the home of the Grand Ole Opry ra­dio and live TV show. It fell into dis­re­pair in the lat­ter part of the 20th cen­tury and was then re­stored to its for­mer glory. The hall still evokes the kind of hushed rev­er­ence from tour groups that you’d ex­pect in a cathe­dral. 116 Fifth Ave North, Nashville TN. +1 615 889 3060. www.ry­ US$15-$30.


If you’re plan­ning on splash­ing some cash while you’re in the US, 12South is a very easy place to drain your wal­let. Start at White’s Mer­can­tile ( 2908 12th Ave S), a for­mer petrol sta­tion that now sells hand­made, au­then­tic fron­tier goods like maple syrup in beau­ti­ful tins, thick woollen blan­kets, soft gar­ments made with nat­u­ral fi­bres and books on ev­ery­thing from log cabin build­ing to pick­ling and folk mu­sic. From here, wan­der back up 12 Av­enue South to­wards the city, stop­ping in at cloth­ing bou­tiques, vin­tage shops and denim em­po­ri­ums. 12th Ave

S, Nashville, TN. Any mu­sic nerd should pay a visit to Jack White’s record shop/ record­ing stu­dio Third Man Records where you can buy new press­ings of orig­i­nal Sun Record sin­gles from Johnny Cash and Elvis, plus mu­sic recorded on White’s la­bel from the Dead Weather, Wanda Jack­son, Sea­sick Steve and Margo Price. 623 Sev­enth Ave South, Nashville TN 37203. + 1 615 891 4393. third­man­­front/.


Brunch is an Amer­i­can in­sti­tu­tion they take very se­ri­ously at Josephine. Or­der up a cheeseburger, steak and eggs or a peach tar­tine to start. Don’t leave with­out a serve of bite-sized cin­na­mon dough­nuts, and book­end your meal with Bloody Marys. 2316 Twelfth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 292 7766. www.josephi­neon12th.

com/. If you’re go­ing to eat fried chicken in the US, do it at Hat­tie B’s. The meat is ten­der and juicy, the shell is crunchy and their sauces range from mild to a hot sauce so pow­er­ful you’ll feel like you can see through time. 112 Nine­teenth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 678 4794. hat­ Spend­ing a day in the top floor beer gar­den at Martin’s Bar-B-Cue

Joint should be on every­one’s hit list. They prime their pit bar­be­cues in the wee small hours to cook whole hog bar­be­cue that is juicy, ten­der and per­fectly smoky. 410 Fourth Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 288 0880.www.mar­tins­b­ Pinewood So­cial bust out some of the best mod-Amer­i­can din­ing in the city, and there’s a bowl­ing al­ley there too. 33 Pe­abody St, Nashville TN. +1 615 751 8111. www. pinewood­so­

Drink and lis­ten

There’s usu­ally at least one free gig a week at

Mercy Lounge, tucked away in the in­dus­trial back­streets. Play your cards right and you might be able to say you saw the big­gest names in mu­sic in this 500-per­son venue – Adele, Em­my­lou Har­ris and Alabama Shakes have all graced the stage here. 1 Cannery Row, Nashville TN. +1 615 251 3020. www.mer­cy­ Yes, it’s busy, sticky and neon lit, but no visit to Nashville is com­plete with­out a night at Robert’s West­ern

World for some live cov­ers, cheap beers and late-night danc­ing. Keep some small notes on hand to tip the band. 416B Broad­way, Nashville TN. +1 615 244

9552. robertswest­ern­ Since the re­lease of Nashville, the TV show, the Blue­bird Café can be hard to get into but the Lis­ten­ing Room Café is for peo­ple who love mu­sic but don’t like the crowds. They av­er­age two gigs a day and you can book tick­ets for as little as US$5. En­try en­sures you get a seat with ta­ble ser­vice for din­ner and drinks. 217 2nd Ave South, Nashville TN. +1 615 259 3600. www.lis­ten­ingroom­

Get there

Qan­tas ( www.qan­ flies to Nashville daily via Los An­ge­les or Dal­lasFort Worth, with in­ter­nal flights op­er­ated by Amer­i­can Air­lines (

■ Time Out trav­elled as the guest of Brand USA and Ex­pe­dia, and vis­ited Nashville courtesy of Nashville Con­ven­tion & Visi­tors Corp. www.visit­

Pay a visit to Jack White’s record shop

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