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Nashville’s Music Row

I have a friend who lived in New York City for years.  She worked crazy hours and loved every minute of her time there, but after moving, she reported that she almost never did any of the “New York” things.  She’d missed Broadway plays, had only been to the Statue of Liberty on a college field trip and only “ran” through Central Park when she was late for a meeting.  It’s too easy to live our busy lives in amazing places and forget to take the time to actually enjoy them.

Show of hands… how many of you have actually done the “Music Row” thing here in our own hometown of Nashville?  Thousands of tourists visit our fair city each year to do just that, but many of us don’t make time to enjoy all that “Music City” has to offer.  After all, there are lots of other attractions in Middle Tennessee: gorgeous green spaces, historic Civil War battlefields and some of the best Southern cooking known to man.

But, if you move from Nashville and you haven’t experienced the vibe that makes this town so special, you’ll regret it.  So… pull on your cowboy boots and head down to Nashville’s Music Row for a day that you’ll never forget!
You’ll want to start your tour on Music Row, Broadway or 2nd Avenue.  Broadway and Second have plenty of live music venues and music themed shops, including Robert’s Western World and the world famous, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.  Before lunch, swing through Hatch Show Print.  It’s one of the oldest working letterpress print shops and, over the years, has provided posters and flyers for some of Nashville’s most illustrious acts.  What better way to pay homage to the town you’re leaving (or the town you’re getting ready to make home) than buying a vintage poster to hang in a place of honor?
By now, you’ll be hungry.  Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of restaurants on Music Row.  Younger tourists will love the twang-y touches of Nashville’s Hard Rock Café on Broadway.  I, personally, like less “marketed” dining, so I try not to miss Demo’s on Commerce Street when I’m downtown.  And, while Nashville doesn’t scream “sushi,” there is a fantastic sushi place called Ichiban on 2nd Avenue.

After lunch, you must, must, MUST make your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Whether you’re a born and raised Country Music lover or not, you will be amazed at their “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music” exhibit.   Other current exhibits include “Patsy Cline: Crazy for Loving You” and “The Bakersfield Sound.”
The Hall of Fame is open daily from 9 – 5, but if you plan on taking one of their guided tours (and I highly recommend doing so), you need to purchase your tickets in advance.

Treating yourself to a daytrip in your own town is a special thing.  Being able to call Nashville “home” is even better.  Happy stay-cation, friends!  Enjoy your honky-tonk home!

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