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Nashville 2021? Will I experience Country music?

21 replies

Getitrightforonce · 03/10/2020 15:18

Desperate to go and experience the whole country music scene. Obviously Covid has impacted on how it would have been but surely all those Country singers must still be performing albeit differently? I’d hate to be disappointed but I really want to go next summer ! Any chance anyone has been this year or knows the location and can help please?

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anuffername · 03/10/2020 17:33

We did Nashville and Memphis a couple of years ago.

Nashville is full of history and has some great museums - allow twice as long as you think for the Country Music Hall of Fame. Grand Old Opry, George Jones Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum are all great too. I hated the main "strip" though. Full of bars blasting out heavy rock music (we arrived on the last night of the Country Music Awards so I guess all the country singers were elsewhere in a stadium somewhere!)

I found Memphis a lot more relaxed and it was easier to find "authentic" live music. Sun Studios was amazing and Graceland was ...well.....small, but very, very moving.

Driving between the two we made a detour to Loretta Lynn's ranch which was well worth it.

Hope you make it. Very jealous.

NotMoreFootball · 04/10/2020 14:59

I can't answer how it will be next summer but right now there is very little live music in Nashville. The major venues are not holding any events, the Grand Ole Opry has just reopened with a very limited, members only, audience, the bars are open and do have some performances but with a limited capacity and people queuing for hours to get in.
Nashville has a democratic mayor and is on a very cautious reopening plan so things will not go back to normal for a while yet. If you are able to postpone your visit for a year and come during CMA Fest 2022 then you will have a fabulous time. There will be major country stars all over the city, performing in a range of venues from rooftops to street parties to bars, culminating in a spectacular all-star event in the Nissan Stadium. It's my favorite week of the year and I don't even like Country music!

Getitrightforonce · 04/10/2020 16:08

Thank you both.
anuffername you made me feel all the excitement I had and NotMoreFootball you outlined my worst fears! I know nobody really knows but Nashville without the music ain’t Nashville!! I’m tempted to book and review nearer the time I need something to look forward to! Any other insight or Nashville highlights would be welcome because I will day !!

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anuffername · 04/10/2020 16:21

Sorry to get your hopes up OP. I realise I wasn't commenting on the covid aspect.

Glad @NotMoreFootball has offered a realistic perspective.

Guess we should have been at the Nissan Stadium the night we arrived then Grin

NotMoreFootball · 04/10/2020 17:08

If you're coming on holiday to Nashville, I would stay in one of the new hotels downtown that have rooftop pools, bars and restaurants. We often go downtown and buy a day pass for The Westin or JW Marriott, it's my favorite thing to lie by the pool with a cocktail, admiring the Nashville skyline!
Outside of Music, there's tourist hotspots such as The Loveless Cafe and Belle Meade Plantation House which are fun.
Downtown Franklin is about 20 minutes outside of Nashville and has one of the best preserved traditional Main Streets in the country.
There are several huge lakes nearby which offer day pontoon rentals which is a lovely way to spend a day (it regularly gets close to 100 degrees here June - August) and we also have a baseball team here if you want to try out a bit of Americana.
Having said all off that, I'd still wait until the COVID restrictions are fully lifted so you can really experience Nashville has to offer.

NotMoreFootball · 04/10/2020 17:10

Also, if you are in the UK, there is a direct British Airways flight to Nashville but in my experience, it's significantly cheaper to take a connection through Atlanta. The Atlanta - Nashville flight is only about 30 minutes so well worth saving the money!

anuffername · 04/10/2020 17:19

We went to Franklin - absolutely lovely place. Could have spent a fortune in the shops there, thank heavens for the limits of hand luggage!

The Carter House was amazing - and very, very moving.
Scary to think that the events there are relatively recent.

OH is a musician so I have to insist on some "music-free" days every so often Grin

MrsGrindah · 04/10/2020 17:46

Love Nashville but yes it needs the live music. I actually loved the bars on the main get so see so many different acts. Memphis was disappointing and it’s not such a country music destination..more jazz and blues as well as country so it depends what you like. I’m desperate to go back to Nashville but I resigned to the fact that it will be a while yet.

Whitney168 · 04/10/2020 18:20

We loved Nashville, live music everywhere from 10AM, free entry to bars so if you don't like one singer then just leave and find another - and we found some fabulous ones. Loads of live music in restaurants too. As above, great museums, and just a lovely feel to the place.

Just don't go to Kid Rock's restaurant, what a blot on the landscape and the eardrums that is!

LOVED Graceland too, definitely go there too.

Whitney168 · 04/10/2020 18:22

(Am a bit worried about references to CMA Fest week not being so great, as am hatching a plan to take husband for his 60th!)

We stayed in Dream Nashville, lovely hotel.

Whitney168 · 04/10/2020 18:26

Oh, re-read NotMoreFootball's post - CMA Fest 2022 is what I'd be aiming for. Glad you recommend it.

Can you confirm ticketing system for CMA Fest, @NotMoreFootball - does the ticket price include access to all stuff going on in the stadium, so you buy a seat and that's yours for the weekend, or do you have to book separately on top of that?

NotMoreFootball · 04/10/2020 21:12

@Whitney168 I'm lucky enough to get corporate tickets to CMA Fest so I can't be certain what you actually need to buy. Whatever package you do buy, I would highly recommend coming to the Stadium for the final night, it's such a spectacular show with all the big name performers.
I also love Dream, we often hang out at their cocktail bar on a weekend!

Getitrightforonce · 06/10/2020 23:08

@NotMoreFootball thank you! Top tips, I’m excited all over again ! Will definitely check out Franklin, sounds fabulous. Last cheeky ask, do you have any foody recommendations at all please ?

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NotMoreFootball · 06/10/2020 23:42

I have lots of restaurant tips! My absolute favorite restaurant in Nashville is Bourbon Steak, it's on the 35th floor of the JW Marriott with 360 degree views of downtown and floor to ceiling windows. It's our go to place for special occasions but you'll need to make reservations well in advance.
Nashville is famous for Hot Chicken and BBQ food. I think the best bbq place is Edleys and for hot chicken I go to Hattie B's, although Prince's is many people's favorite.
Downtown I like The Southern and Liberty Common for a reasonable price dinner, Mike's Ice Cream is really popular but I prefer Jeni's if you are near a branch.
In Franklin, Meridee's is lovely for lunch and Cork & Cow would be my choice for dinner.
The Loveless Cafe is 'world famous' and I do admit their biscuits are amazing but the queues during the day can be hours long. In my experience it's much quieter in the evening, I've walked in without waiting after 6pm several times.
I'm sure I'll think of more but those are my top recommendations!

Whitney168 · 07/10/2020 11:51

Can't remember many names, but I'll add Puckett's to food recommendations. Great food, great music and their smoking cabinet has to be seen to be believed LOL.

Loved the farmer's market for lunch too.

Getitrightforonce · 07/10/2020 12:27

Thank you all. I’m loving researching and planning on your recommendations! I will have a car and am keen to explore the best of Nashville. Downtown is where I want to stay, so I can stroll out to the music ! The Westin looks lovely, had looked at Double tree by Hilton but recent reviews putting me off a bit ! Any definite places to stay (budget permitting) any definite no goes ?! Thank you for sharing so far, I back to ’can’t wait to go’ mode !

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Whitney168 · 07/10/2020 13:24

We did the quintessential hop on/hop off bus, which takes you to a lot of the best spots.

Loved the 'timeline' and memorials/amphitheatre in the park outside the farmers market.

Johnny Cash museum I particularly liked.

We went to the Grand Ole Opry one night - it's a wee bit odd, early start and finish and very restrained, but a good fun night.

anuffername · 07/10/2020 14:44

If you have a car then it is worth the drive out to visit Johnny Cash's grave at the Henderson Memory Gardens.

It's not all hyped up as a tourist destination and when we went we were the only people in the cemetery. It's a lovely, peaceful place.

I will remain eternally grateful to the lovely people in the cafe we stopped at on the way who refused to let me pay for my diet coke as they said they had never seen anyone enjoy a cold drink quite so much (it was a very hot day!).

NotMoreFootball · 07/10/2020 15:17

The Westin is much nicer than the Doubletree but both are great locations for downtown. The Westin has a lovely rooftop pool and bar, I haven't been in the Doubletree but I think it is more of a roadside hotel

Getitrightforonce · 07/10/2020 21:30

@Whitney168 I fancy the bus tour proper tourist activity! Definitely will make the Grand Ole Opry that is iconic ! Not sure I would have considered Johnny Cash’s grave but I will now @anuffername! The Westin is sadly just a bit to pricey, The Omni is looking like the hot favourite right now !

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NotMoreFootball · 07/10/2020 23:28

The Omni is also really nice, good location and one of their restaurants has great live music most afternoons and evenings.

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