On your first day in Nashville, I recommend the all-day Nashville Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Tour. Stay on for all 15 stops and select your favorites. Then, at the end of the first circuit, venture back to your desired stops. Hopping off and on as often as you like all day long is a perfect way to get the layout of the city as well as its feel.
I like that the tours are 100% live in real time, no pre-recorded narration. If you get lucky like I did, you’ll get Sam as your tour guide. He is great – highly-trained, knowledgeable, and has a Master’s degree in history.
Best to start early. I didn’t start until noon, and maybe I should have purchased a two-day pass as I only hopped off twice. The next few days I walked or used Uber to see the sights.
They say Nashville is the Las Vegas of the East. I don’t quite agree. Let’s start with the weather. When I visited in June, Nashville was much more temperate than Vegas. You can walk around Broadway Street, 12 South, and the Gulch more comfortably than strolling the Vegas strip in early summer.
You will love the free live music on Broadway Street, or as some like to call it, “Honky Tonk Row.” Make sure to tip your bar waitress, since they don’t even make minimum wage. In addition, if you love the band, request they play your favorite song and tip them $20. Some people may think a $20 tip is generous for a song request; I think it is equal to a concert ticket.
If you love murals, you’re in luck. They are everywhere. I enjoyed tracking them down with my Uber driver. There is also a tour where they will take you to the most Instagramable places in town, or you can tour my Instagram page for a virtual tour.
For the bibliophile, the Nashville Public Library is a must. There is a grand staircase in the lobby, lots of skylights, and large windows providing a view of the State Capitol. Also, there is a beautiful courtyard at this library for quiet time or photo ops. Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York designed the three-story 300,000-square foot building in a Modern Classical style.
Later this fall, I will provide a list of libraries for you to visit. Be sure to keep an eye out for this post.
If music, art, and shopping are your thing, then Nashville should be added to your list. 12th Avenue South called “the 12South” neighborhood, is a half-mile stretch of pedestrian friendly neighborhoods with many pretty wall murals. I love the 12South, as it is steeped in Southern charm.
It was such a fun trip. I uploaded a variety of videos on Instastories and I can tell the audience enjoyed the entertainment. Happy to see that many are adding Nashville to their bucket lists.
Many folks were surprised when I shared the future growth of Nashville. I mentioned that the Four Seasons will build a skyscraper hotel in downtown Nashville. It will be the first Four Seasons Hotel in Tennessee. The building will be around 40 stories, standing at 542-feet tall. Check it out here.
I would love to revisit Nashville just to sit at a bar listening to all the great bands. Less touring like a tourist and more enjoying the moment.
If you are ever in the Washington, D.C. area, ping me and I can share my hidden gems off the beaten path. Definitely not your typical D.C. visit.
Have you visited either D.C. or Nashville? Let us know what you think.