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Nashville visit!

Ireland
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Nashville visit!

Hi all,

My mother and myself are headin to Nashville (from Ireland) in July for the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw concert. Staying for 5 nights. I know you must be sick of questions like this but ..... any suggestions as to what to do? Were big country music fans (hence the massive journey! ;) ) so we'll definately wanna check out some bars with live bands. Theres no denying we enjoy a couple of drinks, and we enjoy good food.

As I said, were staying for 5 nights so we have a good while to play around with. Id love a few tips on 'non-tourist' bars - you know, 'real' Nashville. One more thing, Im a big Elvis fan so Im trying to convince the mother to come to Graceland......were not driving so whats the story with getting there? Any tips on what days to go or not go etc?

Appreciate all your hlep (hopefully!!!!) and really looking forward to this trip of a lifetime!

Ireland
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1. Re: Nashville visit!

Sorry, meant to say.....were staying in the Doubletree and would also like info about stuff like what to wear. Like are there dress codes for any of the bars etc? Any tips you can tthink of would be greatly appreciated. Regarding the Opry, should i book tickets before i leave? And where and when should we go? Ive been looking up this and various other forums about stuff and theres some conflicting info. Wanna plan this trip well and make the most of it!

Thanks again

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: Nashville visit!

Since you're big country music fans, you'll like the bars on Lower Broadway. They all have good bands, and none of them charge a cover. My favorite is Robert's Western World--specifically the band that plays the late show on the weekends, which is called BrazilBilly. They play a lot of old country covers (by the way, all the bands downtown play covers, so you'll likely know the music you're hearing).

As far as the country bars go, they draw both tourists and locals. You might also check out the Bluebird Cafe (www.bluebirdcafe.com), which has Open Mic nights and In the Round nights (the latter meaning that they have four or five singers who take turns playing one song each, with each singer doing four or five songs total). It's a lot of fun and definitely an institution.

Most of the bars don't have dress codes. The ones that do specify things like no backwards baseball caps, etc. One common misconception is that we all wear cowboy hats and boots, and that's not how it is, so don't feel like you have to get anything special. While there are dressier bars in town, the bulk of them are casual.

You don't have to get tickets to the Opry before you come, but it's a good idea. My preferred show is the early show on Saturday night--the first and second shows usually have the same performers, but something about sitting in a concert so late on Saturday night just doesn't do it for me. : ) The schedule isn't solidified until a few days before the show, but you're sure to catch several good performances.

Hope you have a great time!!

Ireland
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3. Re: Nashville visit!

Hey dixiegirl, thanks so much for your reply, I reallly appreciate it! I kinda figured bout the cowboy hats and boots......bit like all the thatched houses in Ireland!! Thanks for the help!

Franklin, TN
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4. Re: Nashville visit!

As for the country bars, dixie pretty much hit it. I would stay around the Broadway area for the local portion of your visit. The Doubletree is about 4 blocks from this area, not a bad walk on a nice evening. Would probably be only a couple of $$ by taxi. Bluebird Cafe is also good, lots of good songwriters. Little ways away, would have to take a taxi. For the more touristy crowd, go the the Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Ave. You could actually pass that on your way from Broadway back to the hotel.

You mentioned Graceland. Memphis is a good 3 and 1/2 hour trip from Nashville. Unfortunately, our transit system is nothing to brag about. Without a car, your 2 options would be plane and bus. 45 minutes by plane, but outrageously expensive. Probably close to 6 hours by bus, may stops, would probably end up being a 2 day event. Unless you found a way to rent a car, probably not going to happen this trip.

You should enjoy your concert, saw them perform together couple of years ago. Also saw them at the movie theater about a month ago.

Welcome to Nashville and Tennessee. Hope you have fun.

Ireland
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5. Re: Nashville visit!

Thanks for that Volrichard, I really neede that Mamphis bit - looks like its rent a car or nothing so. Cheers for the info, if you think of anything else please let me know! Glad the concert was good!!

Nashville, TN
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6. Re: Nashville visit!

They have hit on a lot of the basics. As for the Bluebird - the early show is free and they charge a cover for the late show. You never know who will be there and hearing the songwriters perform the songs the way they wrote them is great. They accept reservations for the week starting on Monday and sell out quickly especially during the summer.

I advise getting tickets in advance for the Opry so you can get better seats. And there is usually a free show on the Plaza after summer shows.

You might venture down to the Farmers Market - they have some pretty good Southern cooking and a few surprises but I am not sure which of the cafes are still open as they are getting ready to renovate that part of the market soon. They have all sorts of festivals and live music on the weekends.

Margo Cafe across the river in East Nashville is one of the best restaurants in town open only for dinner.

Nashville's Downtown Public Library is a place not to be missed. The architecture is great. They have a nice Nashville history section. Special events and art showings as well as the permanent art. Provence Cafe on the lower level is great for getting a pastry and drink and then taking it out to the courtyard to enjoy.

The Frist Museum is a converted Art Deco style post office and also has a great little cafe for lunch. They host Frist Fridays one Friday evening a month with music, food and fun.

Country Music Hall of Fame is fun to walk through and SOBRO cafe is a great lunch spot that is run by the same people that own the famous Loveless Cafe.

I'll touch on the food part a little since that is my specialty:

Merchants on Broadway is good for lunch or dinner

Big River Brewery on B'way is also good and most portions are large. They make a pasta with chicken and porter beer that is great! And the hazelnut crusted chicken (or was it pork) is also very nice.

Wildhorse - just go for the entertainment - food is lousy and overpriced

BB Kings food is great Southern food about as good as my grandmother used to make but the prices are high

For a real lunch - go up to the Arcade on 4th Avenue and eat at Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish #2 - you can get the foods spicy or plain but it's great soul food - I love the pork chops! I just love Dottie and her daughter-in-law and the food is always cooked to order and wonderful.

There are lost of good eats in the Arcade - Maggies for a great burger or chicken salad sandwich. Their sister restaurant next door (can't remember the name of it but it's something Meat & #) is great for meat and three. The Greek Touch has good gyro's or chicken. Phillip's Deli makes killer potato salad. Nashville Wraps different and wonderful wraps, salads and soups. Mongolian Grill on 4th just past the Arcade is a good spot and Varallo's next door has been a Nashville staple for years for chili or meat & 3.

Cafe LeCrumb on Union near where you are staying is good for sandwiches but a little pricey.

Capital Grille is probably the top notch restaurant downtown although they just lost Chef Sean Brock that made it so famous so I don't know how it will fare but it's still a wonderful place to go.

A little treasure I just discovered recently is Parco Cafe in Printer's Alley among the bars and strip joints - they are open for lunch, tea and dinner Tuesday-Saturday and I hear reservations are recommended for dinner. Although they are Taiwanese, Chef Fu trained in Europe, mostly classical French. EVERYTHING is wonderful! Duck confit the way it should be. Baked seafood soup to die for. Mushroom pesto pasta. Desserts are not to be missed - this really shows off his talents.

If you want more advice about things outside of the downtown area, just let me know and I can expand on things to do and places to eat.

Ireland
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7. Re: Nashville visit!

Well MusicCityMissy - that was certainly comprehensive!! Thanks very much for the time and effort put into that reply, I really apreciate it. Ill take away the info, digest it (excuse the pun!!) and get back to you if I have any questions! Thanks very much though! Im starving just reading the post!!!

Nashville, TN
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8. Re: Nashville visit!

I posted more on the post for someone traveling with kids that was posted after your post. It didn't even mention food though.

A couple of other things you might want to explore are:

Nashville Trash Tours - catch them at the Farmers Market - a wild and wacky tour of downtown and music row with the Jugg Sisters including juicy gossip, cheap food, and lots of fun aboard the pink bus! Nothing serious here but a lot of crazy fun.

Tours of the stars homes - you can catch several at the hotels or the little 'trolley' booth down on 2nd at the corner of Broadway in front of Hard Rock Cafe. I will warn you that the tours are sometimes to homes the stars formerly owned only I don't think they tell you that. For instance - Tim & Faith used to live behind me and they STILL come around trying to show off their house (it's located on a closed off road behind bollards so a little hard to get to). But it can still be a fun thing to see and in some cases, like Kix Brooks, you might even get lucky if he comes out in his robe to get his newspaper (just a fun story he tells).

You would like some of the other recommendations I made and would probably love a little side tour to Franklin - the square has lots of good shopping, good food (Merridee's Bread Basket for pastries, Sandy's on Main for lunch or dinner, and Monell's is opening or has opened in the old pre-civil war jail on Margin street just off the square - good old fashioned southern cooking, all you can eat, served at communal tables which adds to the fun) plus all the antique shops and the civil war history. You might start a day by going to the famous Loveless Cafe for breakfast (avoid weekends especially for breakfast and try to call and get a reservation if going for breakfast) then hop on the Natchez Trace right there past the Loveless and ride down to the amazingly beautiful double arched bridge and get off and head over to Franklin. The drive is lovely. Then you can do lunch in Franklin and some shopping. The Factory at Franklin is just up Franklin Road and has some good shopping and several wonderful restaurants and a bakery. Then you can catch a little civil war history at the Carter House and Carnton Plantation before heading back to Nashville.

Ireland
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9. Re: Nashville visit!

Again, youre too good with all the help! I read about those Trah tours alright, they sound great fun - we've already decided that theyre a definate! As for the rest Ill certainliy try fit it all in!

I really do appreciate your help, cant wait to get there! July seems so far away!

glasgow uk
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10. Re: Nashville visit!

hepwick,

We were staying in nashville last year and against my better judgement, my husband persuaded me to go to Graceland. I drove and it was no problem(honestly). Once you're on the freeway, you're on it until you reach memphis. Graceland is not really in memphis downtown and is well signposted- we didn't even get lost finding it ( we got lost several times in Nashville). I really enjoyed graceland and it was much better than I expected. If you're Elvis fans, you'll love it.

in Nashville, I loved the music in most of the bars ( Good old pub crawl) but I hated Wildhorse Saloon. The Bluebird Cafe is worth a visit- great atmosphere and great music.- Enjoy Nashville We did