I wrote about Days 1 & 2 here if you’d like to read about what we did.
DAY 3: Our Grand Ole Opry tour was in the morning. We were there early (as always) so we took our time exploring the outside of the building. The tour itself was really cool. They have a studio in the back where Howdy Doody and scenes from the tv show Nashville have been recorded. We got to look into a lot of the dressing rooms and each one had its own theme so it was cool to peek into as many as we could. We got to hang out in the ‘living room’ where artists, their bands, and their families can hang out until the show starts. We walked on stage and had our picture taken inside the circle (taken from the stage of Ryman Auditorium when this building was built – there’s a lot of history that’s stood on that circle).
One of the things I wanted to see while in Nashville was Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage – his 1,000 acre homestead where he lived after his presidency. We got to walk through a museum that mapped out Andrew Jackson’s life, we toured the home itself (although we weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside…), we walked around the gardens and grounds, and we got to see the burial place of the former president and his wife. Even though this was something I was excited to see because of the history, I just wasn’t impressed during our visit. I’m not sure if it was the weather since it was a little gloomy and chilly or if
we I just had higher expectations.
Another item on our list for Nashville was to see a replica of The Parthenon in Centennial Park. When we went, the park was undergoing major construction. It was muddy and difficult to find parking. We got there about 15 minutes before The Parthenon closed so we didn’t pay to go inside. We walked around the outside of the building and took a lot of pictures. It really is amazing how big the pillars are and how large the whole building is. Overall, it was cool to see but I had much higher expectations for the park as a whole (I had imagined seeing the Parthenon and then strolling around the park but we weren’t able to do that – I assume it will be beautiful when the construction is done though).
We also made sure to stop by The Goo Goo Shop. We passed it every time we walked from our hotel so we couldn’t leave Nashville without stopping to see what it was all about. According to the website, a Goo Goo is “the world’s first ever combination candy bar.” We bought two each of the ‘original’ flavors and then one specialty Goo Goo – we saw dark chocolate and coconut so we had to. All of the specialty candy bars are made on premises and they give out samples for the batch they’re making that day – yummy!
We ended our last day in Nashville with live music at a no-cover-charge bar.
WHERE WE STAYED: Holiday Inn Express – directly across the street from The Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville.
WHERE TO EAT:
Funny story – Forest got a side of coleslaw with every dinner. It didn’t matter if he ordered ribs, a BBQ sandwich or just a club sandwich and fries (at the Hard Rock Café), he had a side of coleslaw. And in case you’re wondering, not all coleslaw is made the same. The best coleslaw we tried was at BB Kings.
- BB Kings
- Wild Horse Saloon
- Hard Rock Café (nothing special but it’s a Hard Rock in a new city so why not?)
WHAT TO DO:
I made a list of things I wanted to see/do while we were in Nashville (here) and we were able to do most of them. Here are the things we would recommend you see & do on your trip:
- Live music. Make sure you go to more than one bar – there are seriously so many. There are even a few that don’t have a cover charge!
- Country Music Hall of Fame.
- Tour of Historic Studio B. This is one of the coolest things we did. The only way to tour the studio is through the Hall of Fame – make sure you buy the admission to the HoF that includes the tour for the studio.
- Line dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon. They have line dancing lessons so you can learn each step and then do the whole dance to a song. But they also have a live band playing and the instructor spends this time out on the floor so you can just follow her lead and line dance the night away. It was seriously so much fun.
- Tour the Grand Ole Opry.
- See The Parthenon. We did and the building was cool but if you can’t squeeze it into your schedule, or if the park is still under construction, don’t feel like you missed out on anything.
- Stroll down Music Row. There actually isn’t too much to see. It’s in the middle of a residential area so all of the studios are just houses. The only thing that makes them stand out are the signs in the lawn (whether it’s the name of the recording studio or a banner congratulating an artist or song writer) and occasionally a group of people hanging out on the porch. We definitely think we saw the next up-and-coming country star on one of the porches. It was a really nice day so we enjoyed the walk through music row.
- Buy some Goo Goo’s.
- Tour Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. We did and I enjoyed it, because of all the history, but it wasn’t anything super special. Maybe it was the time of the year and the weather that day (it was chilly and overcast while we were there) but you can’t take pictures inside the house, every room is blocked off for preservation purposes (although you can look inside each room through the thick Plexiglas), and the grounds aren’t as impressive as I imagined 1,000 acres would be. If you have the time, the weather cooperates and you’re a history buff – do it.
We left Nashville the next morning and headed for Louisville, KY for a stop at the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. I’ll be back with a post about our next 2 days of vacation (Louisville Slugger museum & Creation Museum).
Until next time — Cindy
*all images are original to A View from the Shore