Taking a trip to Music City – Nashville, Tennessee
Tennessee is one of my favorite places. It’s a gorgeous area with a lovely southern charm. I’d even considered it as a retirement place but the no beach aspect might cause it to lose. The Hubs and I chose Gatlinburg and Nashville to honeymoon. We adored it! And I wanted to share a few tips for visiting Nashville.
If you’re able to splurge a bit on lodging the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is worth it! Seriously, click the link and just flip through some of the photos. This is where we stayed 2 nights on our honeymoon. They offered a package deal that included tickets to the Grand Ole Opry. Of course you HAVE to visit the Opry if you get to visit Nashville. These two places are just a parking lot apart and there is a shuttle from the hotel to the Opry. This place is simply breathtaking. It’s definitely a you have to see it to believe it experience. First, you should absolutely pay the extra $$ to get an inside room with a balcony. I can’t even understand why you would stay here if you aren’t able to see the inside from your room.
There are several wings in the hotel and they each have their own charm. When you stand on the balcony of your room you get to look out across an enormous atrium full of trees, flowers, shops, restaurants, “rivers” and waterfalls. It’s like the outdoors were brought in and it’s amazing. One of the wings offers gondola rides! I mean, c’mon how cool is that?! We ate at the cascades restaurant and it landed in my top three best places I’ve ever eaten. Be sure to try the thyme mushrooms, wow! We were able to stop on our cross country trip and show the kids around. They were in awe of this place but experiencing this as a couple the first time was incredibly romantic.
Walking in to the Opry for the first time was surreal to me. I’ve watched the Opry from a T.V. set most of my life but to walk in and see that stage was magnifiscent. A few tips. If you aren’t doing a package deal on your tickets make sure that you order tickets ahead of time. It really was packed when we went. Next, be sure to go a little early. I wouldn’t say there are bad seats but I do wish we would’ve sat closer and not under the balcony. Also the shows are recorded so maybe you’ll get on camera, smile! There are drink vendors but have dinner ahead of time as there is no food. Also, after the show the gift shop is going to be packed! They have a lot of really cool souvenirs so well worth going in but if you have the chance to go before the show you’ll avoid a very long check out line.
You might not believe me on this one but we waited outside of the Bluebird for 2 hours and did NOT get in. This is no joke. We got to the building almost an hour early and the line was already 40ish deep on the sidewalk. The Bluebird is super tiny so there is such limited seating/standing inside. No complaints on that because isn’t that part of the charm? It’s such an intimate atmosphere, that’s why we all want to be there. This is my warning not to make my mistake. They offer reserved seating but you will need to check out how that works on their website here. It takes a little pre planning but do it. I wasn’t successful when I tried. We stood in line outside and watched through the window for an hour. By the time we left there were only 5 people ahead of us but the employees were great about being honest and keeping us informed of our chances of actually making it inside. They were really cool and let us step inside to buy a super cute tee shirt at least.
Ok, my kids gave this a 5 on the 1-10 scale. Hubby and I enjoyed it way more. There is everything from cars to guitars and everything in between.How cool to see the original paper that some of your favorite song lyrics were scribbled on. Or the gorgeous yellow dress and pink heels (with the gun holster) that Miranda Lambert wore! I may have geeked out over the Miranda exhibit. There are so many older country artists displays too. Johnny Cash, Elvis, Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, Reba, Garth even The Beatles. You can spend hours inside of the museum and it’s pretty popular so anticipate a crowd.
We attempted to go out to the strip one night on our honeymoon when we realized I had not planned for it. The night life was a happening place. People and lines everywhere. Looking for parking was a little crazy too. The lots we found where $30+ to park at night. It probably would’ve been a better idea to uber into the city from the hotel. We chose to come back during the day and that was a much easier/cheaper adventure. We stopped and had lunch at a little bbq joint with live music, walked down Printers Alley and bought both of us a pair of cowboy boots.
Here is were we won with the kids. This place is inside of the mall and the line was a bit long for an early dinner. You walk into what feels like an underwater hideaway. There are tanks full of colorful fish from the moment you walk in to wait for a seat. Once you are seated you will that the center of the restaurant is one large fish tank with huge marine animals to watch while you eat. The atmosphere was so engaging. It was a cool experience to end our day in Nashville, TN.