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Nashville, Tennessee

Music City beckons with true Southern charm.

By Misty Milioto

Nashville, or Music City as it is known, is a place where not only songwriters and performers flourish, but also a destination where visitors can relish in creativity. Whether that means discovering new artists at one of many musical venues, checking out a museum, trying a top chef’s inspired dish at a happening restaurant, or shopping at unique small businesses, Nashville is a city that has it all. Here’s a look at what to discover now.

Where to Stay

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center (a Marriott Bonvoy property) is a destination in and of itself. With nine acres of airy, indoor garden atriums, the sprawling property features 50,000 tropical plants, rare international blooms, and towering palms (with 20 full-time horticulturists on staff), 11 restaurants and bars, the stunning Relâche Spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, retail shops, and 2,712 guest rooms and 176 suites. The property also is home to SoundWaves, the city’s premier aquatic attraction. 2800 Opryland Drive, 615.889.1000, gaylordopryland.com

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Nashville

Located in the heart of downtown’s dynamic SoBro (south of Broadway) area, the brand new Four Seasons Hotel Nashville is just steps away from the city’s music, sports, and entertainment districts. The luxury hotel features 193 guest rooms, 42 suites, 144 residential units, Mimo Restaurant and Bar (an Italian concept led by Executive Chef Aniello Turco), an indulgent spa with six treatment rooms, a fitness center designed in partnership with celebrity trainer and Four Seasons Global Fitness Advisor Harley Pasternak, a hair and nail salon, and a rooftop pool that overlooks the Cumberland River and Riverfront Park. Chicago-based architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the environmentally advanced 40-story glass tower, with interior design by West Palm Beach, Florida-based Marzipan and St. Louis-based HOK. 100 Demonbreun St., 615.610.5001, fourseasons.com/nashville

Hotel Fraye Nashville, Curio Collection by Hilton

Opened in 2022, Hotel Fraye Nashville is located in the city’s buzzy Midtown neighborhood just steps away from Music Row, Vanderbilt University, and downtown Nashville. The 200-room hotel features Gathre, a signature ground-floor restaurant; Eddie Ate Dynamite, a swanky rooftop bar and lounge offering live music nightly; a cabana-clad pool; and an oversized fitness center. The chic guest rooms feature industrial accents like high concrete ceilings, exposed brick, and uniquely curated furniture. Glamorous chandeliers and funky light fixtures vary by room, while public spaces and guest rooms boast graffiti murals, fashion editorial-style photography, and abstract art pieces. 1810 Broadway St., 615.321.1007, hotelfrayenashville.com

Conrad Nashville

Part of the city’s new Broadwest mixed-use development, Conrad Nashville is a 13-story luxury retreat ideally situated in the heart of Midtown. Designed by New York-based Champalimaud Design, the hotel features 234 guest rooms (including 24 suites) with floor-to-ceiling windows, local artwork throughout, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spacious terrace pool, three food and beverage concepts, and more. Book one of the signature King Wellness Rooms, which include a Peloton bike, an Echelon Reflect Fitness Mirror, air purification machines, and a customized aromatherapy bathroom amenity. Or, book one of the one-, two- or three-bedroom Grand Suites, which range in size between 2,105 and 3,008 square feet, featuring a theater room and stunning views of Music City. 1620 West End Ave., 615.327.8000, hilton.com

Where to Eat & Drink

Henrietta Red

Located in Nashville’s charming Germantown neighborhood, Henrietta Red is a great place for vegetable-forward dishes, daily cava and oyster happy hour, and natural wines and craft cocktails. Led by Nashville-native and chef Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red was named one of GQ’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2018. The same year, Sullivan was named one of the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine. 1200 4th Ave. N., 615.490.8042, henriettared.com

Etch

Award-winning chef Deb Paquette is the brainchild behind the globally-inspired restaurant, Etch. In addition to two private dining rooms, the restaurant features a full bar and a chef’s bar where guests can interact with Paquette (the first woman in Tennessee to qualify as a certified executive chef). Try the Argentinian beef with fried potato salad, zucchini fresca, greens, and rojo and verde sauces. 303 Demonbreun St., 615.522.0685, etchrestaurant.com

Tennessee Brew Works

Independently owned and operated craft brewery Tennessee Brew Works offers high-quality craft beer that pays homage to the land, traditions, and culture of Tennessee. In fact, the brewery introduced the state’s first all-Tennessee grain beers in 2018 with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Try the all-Tennessee grain State Park Blonde Ale, which benefits the TSP Conservancy for the preservation of the state’s 57 State Parks. 809 Ewing Ave., 615.436.0050, tnbrew.com

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, opened in 1870 by Charles Nelson, was one of the nation’s most prolific whiskey producers when it closed in 1909 during Prohibition. In 2014, two young descendants of Nelson (brothers Charlie and Andy Nelson) reopened the distillery to continue the family’s legacy. Check out the modern-industrial distillery space in Marathon Village and try the award-winning small-batch Belle Meade Bourbon, the limited edition Belle Meade Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish, and Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey. 1414 Clinton St., 615.913.8800, greenbrierdistillery.com

Black Rabbit

A popular downtown Nashville restaurant, Black Rabbit pays homage to the storied past of the historic Printer’s Alley neighborhood in which it resides. Reminiscent of the early 1900s speakeasies that permeated the area, Nashville chef Trey Cioccia’s cocktail bar and restaurant attributes its name to a bygone New York cocktail bar. In addition to the gorgeous space with 16-foot ceilings, exposed brick, and original hardwood flooring, Black Rabbit boasts a large bar, spacious banquettes, a living room area, and an adjacent patio with open-air seating. Try the half-chicken with mole, kale, quinoa, jalapeño, radish, pickled onion, and carrot, and don’t leave without the skillet cookie dessert. Black Rabbit also hosts several weekly events and live entertainment. 218 3rd Ave. N., 615.891.2380, blackrabbittn.com

Nearest Green Distillery

Located 50 miles southeast of Nashville in Shelbyville, Nearest Green Distillery honors the world’s first-known Black master distiller, Nathan “Nearest” Green. He is credited with perfecting the Lincoln County Process, a requirement of Tennessee Whiskey that involves filtering the whiskey through—or steeping it in—charcoal chips. Nearest Green Distillery’s portfolio is the most-awarded American whiskey or bourbon of 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 with more than 380 awards and accolades since the brand’s 2017 launch, including 68 Best in Class honors. The 323-acre property also features Philo + Frank’s (the world’s first non-alcoholic speakeasy), Barrel House BBQ (try the Grilled Cheese on Crack), the Family Tasting Room, the Single Barrel Warehouse (where the rarest of Uncle Nearest’s whiskey ages before being bottled), the Bottling House, an expansive retail area, and more. 3125 US-231, Shelbyville, 931.773.3070, unclenearest.com

Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Lynchburg, home to Jack Daniel’s Distillery, is located 70 miles southeast of Nashville in the hills of south central Tennessee. The distillery, registered by Daniel in 1866, is the first registered distillery in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The distillery tour includes the barrelhouse (holding more than 20,000 barrels of whiskey), the rickyard (where cords of hard sugar maple wood are burned to make the charcoal for the Lincoln County Process), the underground cave spring (the source of the iron-free water used to make the whiskey), Jack Daniel’s first office (including the infamous safe that caused a leg injury that eventually led to Daniel’s death), and the White Rabbit Bottle Shop (a reconstruction of a saloon that Daniel operated in Lynchburg before Prohibition). 133 Lynchburg Hwy., Lynchburg, 931.759.6357, jackdaniels.com

Where to Shop

ABLE 

This sustainable company offers high-quality leather goods, handmade jewelry, apparel, denim, and shoes. ABLE prioritizes quality and longevity, while using the most eco-conscious materials that stand the test of time and wear. Here, leather goods are upcycled from discarded animal hides, and the majority of ABLE’s sterling silver jewelry is made purely from recycled silver. The company uses sustainable denim and donates denim scraps to the government for housing insulation, while ABLE’s partners use a 100 percent recycled, closed-loop water system. The company also is moving toward 100% recyclable packaging materials and tags. Additionally, women comprise more than 90% of the staff, and the company partners with vendors around the world that provide women with safe and dignified jobs. 5022 Centennial Blvd., 615.250.7216, ableclothing.com

Nisolo

Nisolo, a local company that offers fashionable and eco-friendly shoes, bags, wallets, belts, socks, and jewelry, operates under the Nisolo Sustainability Framework. This standard works toward building an ethical fashion ecosystem that uplifts people and the planet, starting with the pursuit of 100%  living wages that cover the basic needs of people within supply chains, and 0% net carbon footprint through the reduction and offsetting of carbon emissions. In a bold move to provide transparency to consumers and be accountable to the planet, the company also includes a sustainability facts label with its products to help consumers make better choices and invite like-minded brands to strengthen their approaches to sustainability.

1803 9th Ave. N., 615.953.1087, nisolo.com

What to Do

National Museum of African American Music

Newly opened in January 2021, the National Museum of African American Music is the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the more than 50 music genres and styles created, influenced, or inspired by African Americans. Anchoring the new downtown mixed-use development Fifth + Broadway, the immersive museum combines history and interactive technology through its many expertly curated collections. 510 Broadway, 615.301.8724, nmaam.org

Lower Broadway

Follow the neon signs along Lower Broadway, Nashville’s main drag, to find free live music 365 days a year. Bars owned by big names in country music include Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa, Alan Jackson’s AJ’s Good Time Bar, and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

A must-visit for any trip to Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum features state-of-the-art galleries, archival storage, education classrooms, retail stores, the 800-seat CMA Theater, the legendary letterpress operation of Hatch Show Print, and the Taylor Swift Education Center. The newest major exhibition, Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock, on view through May 2025, traces the Los Angeles-based communities of visionary singers, songwriters, and musicians (such as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Eagles, and Linda Ronstadt) who, between the 1960s and 1980s, created and shaped the musical fusion of country-rock. Other temporary exhibitions include Bill Anderson: As Far as I Can See (through March 2023), Chris Stapleton: Since 1978 (through May 2023), and Martina McBride: The Power of Her Voice (through July 2023). 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S., 615.416.2001, countrymusichalloffame.org

The Listening Room Cafe

The Listening Room Cafe has all the makings for a fun night out to enjoy dinner and a live musical performance together. This Nashville hotspot features local Nashville and East Tennessee bands, as well as national acts, and up-and-coming and number-one songwriters performing top hits as they were originally envisioned by the writers themselves. Pair a show with dinner and drinks ($15 food and beverage minimum per person) or dine sans the show inside the venue’s front bar and dining room. Try the meatloaf sandwich or the smoked barbecue platter. 618 4th Ave. S., 615.259.3600, listeningroomcafe.com

Grand Ole Opry

Nothing says Nashville like a night at the Grand Ole Opry, the country’s longest running radio show. The show began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 and today is host to new country music stars, superstars, and legends. The Opry has had six homes throughout its 90-plus years and now resides at the Grand Ole Opry House (with seating for 4,400 fans). 2804 Opryland Drive, 615.871.6779, opry.com

For more information, visit visitmusiccity.com 

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