Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Nashville, TN!
Welcome to Nashville, TN! Known as The Music City, this Southern metropolis is packed full of music venues, and has earned a reputation as a haven for musicians of all genres. Gospel, jazz, and country music all have deep roots in this city, and on any given day, you’re likely to hear live performances in one of Nashville’s eclectic bars and clubs. Nashville is also the capital of Tennessee, and several historic landmarks add to the city’s cultural charm. Several prestigious colleges and universities call Nashville home, and have attracted numerous skilled professionals, intellectuals, and researchers to live and work. Today, Nashville has evolved into a cosmopolitan city, and has become one of the premier destinations of the American South!
1. The Music City
Nashville is one of the most prominent musical cities in the United States, and rivals other musical hotspots like New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Since the 1960’s, Nashville has been the second-largest music-production center after NYC, and the music industry contributes 10 billion dollars a year to the city’s economy. Musicians of all genres have flocked to Nashville to record and collaborate, most notably, country musicians. The CMA Music Festival, one of America’s biggest country music festivals, in held annually in June.
Nashville has become synonymous with country music, and several major country record labels have their headquarters here. Arguably, the most famous country music venue is the Grand Ole Opry. A Nashville staple since 1925, the Grand Ole Opry has expanded from a one hour radio broadcast, into a four hour show with millions of listeners around the world. If you want to see a live show at the Opry, make sure to book your tickets in advance! Other popular music venues include The Bluebird Cafe, and The Music of Nashville, which performs songs from Nashville greats like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Hank Williams.
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2. Yee Haw!
As you can imagine, many of Nashville’s top tourist attractions are related to country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame has been called the “Smithsonian of Country Music” and showcases the best artists of the genre. The museum features over 2 million artifacts, and is a must-see for country fans and music lovers alike. The museum also houses Hatch Show Print, one of America’s oldest print shops. Since 1879, Hatch Show Print has been making posters, prints, and apparel that showcases Nashville’s unique style and culture.
Nearby in Nashville’s Music Row neighborhood, the historic RCA Studio B is an extension of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The studio has hosted famous musicians like Elvis, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, and has become a popular attraction. Visitors can tour the studio to learn more about the history, and all the famous musicians who have recorded there.
3. More History to Explore
If you’re not a fan of country music, don’t worry! Nashville has more to offer than just honky tonk. The city is teeming with historical sites and one-of-a-kind landmarks. The Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park is a full scale replica of the famous Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, celebrating 100 years of statehood. Today, the Parthenon houses traveling exhibits and art galleries, but the main highlight is the 42-foot replica statue of the Greek goddess Athena guarding the interior.
Another famous historical site is Andrew Jackson’s former estate The Hermitage. Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, built the estate and plantation in 1804, and lived there until his death in 1845. You can tour the estate and the grounds, via a self-guided audio tour. You can also enjoy a wine tasting from Natchez Hills Winery, the local winery on site. They specialize in small-batch old-world style wines, and it’s the perfect way to cap off your visit!
4. But Wait, There’s More!
Feeling overwhelmed? This town has top-rated attractions everywhere you turn! The Gaylord Opryland Resort is more than just your average hotel. This hotel features 9 acres of lavish indoor gardens, with more than 50,000 tropical plants, waterfalls, and a boat ride! Plus, you don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the gardens! The Nashville Zoo is also loved by tourists and locals alike. Some of the animals at the Nashville Zoo include Clouded Leopards, Red Pandas, and even rare White Rhinos. The zoo is one of the most-visited attractions in the entire state, and is a national leader in conservation.
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Opened in 1873, Vanderbilt University has been an integral part of Nashville for over 100 years. The campus is well worth visiting – as the grounds are classified as an arboretum, with over 300 different varieties of trees. The Dyer Observatory is also worth visiting, although it’s not a part of the main campus. The observatory is a national historic landmark, and is surrounded by the scenic Radnor Lake State Park! It’s a great place to take a walk and get some exercise!
5. Food and Drink
Being a culturally southern city, it’s no surprise that Nashville specializes in southern comfort food. Meat and Three restaurants are the traditional go-to for many Nashville residents. You choose a protein, and three mouthwatering southern sides, like mac and cheese, collard greens, and fried okra. Johnny Cash’s Kitchen and Saloon is one of the best Meat and Three establishments in town. Plus, they have live music, and lots of memorabilia from Johnny Cash’s life.
Hot chicken is another Nashville favorite, and there are plenty of places to try it! Prince’s Hot Chicken is the one that started the trend, serving hot chicken for almost 100 years now. Party Fowl is the spot to be if you’re looking for a fun night out. They’re the only hot chicken restaurant that also has a full bar! Whatever hot chicken eatery you choose, you’re definitely going to spice up your lunch or dinner!
For drinks, the options are endless. Nashville has developed a reputation as a party town, and it’s quickly becoming a premier destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties. Start by checking out the Honky Tonk Highway, a collection of country-themed bars and restaurants with local live music. Popular watering holes on the Honky Tonk Highway include The Stage on Broadway and the Wildhorse Saloon. If ten-gallon hats and line dancing aren’t your thing, stop into the Ole Smokey Distillery, where they specialize in craft moonshine and whiskey. It’s a great neighborhood gathering place, with outdoor seating and lawn games.
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