Broadway#1 in Best Things To Do in Nashville
While many people come to Nashville to soak up the history of country music at the city's museums, others prefer enjoying the tunes in person. The best way to do that is to stop in to the many bars that line Broadway, downtown Nashville's main thoroughfare. Lower Broadway is nicknamed "Honky Tonk Highway" because of the numerous establishments that host live acts daily. What's more, there's no cover charge, so you can bar hop as you please.
While all the bars host live music acts, each venue has a distinct atmosphere that makes it stand out from other honky-tonks along Broadway. Some of the most popular bars include:
Legends Corner: The walls of Legends are adorned with country music records and memorabilia, and the bar features a stage and dance floor front and center, in addition to bar seating and tables. Visitors say the atmosphere at Legends is superb – lively but not too loud – and it's the perfect place to post up with a drink and enjoy the bands.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge: An iconic Nashville mainstay, Tootsie's is easily recognizable by its lavender facade. People love Tootsie's because it has three stories (including four stages) and features three bars. This honky-tonk can get fairly rowdy and crowded come nighttime, so many suggest a daytime visit to Tootsie's. To learn more about Tootsie's, check out the full U.S. News review.
Layla's: Layla's exudes a more relaxed, laid-back vibe than some of the other honky-tonks on Broadway, with musicians singing everything from old-school country and bluegrass to newer country and pop. The bar's rafters are decorated with license plates from across the country and you can even bring yours to add to the collection. Travelers say the musicians here are top-notch and the bartenders are friendly.
The Stage on Broadway: This bar draws visitors looking to let their hair down and dance it out. The Stage features a large stage and dance area, in addition to a popular bar and rooftop patio. Visitors say the bands at The Stage play all types of music – not just country – so it's a great spot for those looking for a little variety. Don't forget to check out the mural of country artists past and present.
Paradise Park Trailer Resort: This kitschy trailer park-themed bar offers a fun atmosphere for enjoying live music with a side of cheap beer pitchers and greasy grub like burgers, fries and tater tots. Bargoers also recommend perusing Paradise Park's "Mullet Hall of Fame" – framed photos of celebrities rocking the hairstyle.
Honky Tonk Central: A spacious bar, Honky Tonk Central boasts three levels of live music. Travelers say this is a great spot for visitors of all ages, adding that there's plenty of seating, ample space for dancing and the music acts are particularly talented. This spot also offers specialized bachelor and bachelorette packages that include an open bar and food.
For more information on the bars on Broadway, visit the individual websites or the tourism board's website.
More Best Things To Do in Nashville
#2 Grand Ole Opry
It was this radio show, which began broadcasting in the 1920s, that put Nashville on the map as the "Country Music Capital of the World." Although its venue has changed over the years, the Grand Ole Opry continues to host top country performers like Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. And a trip to Nashville isn't complete without stopping by the Grand Ole Opry House for a tour to look back through the ages. Get a behind-the-scenes look one of three ways: with a daytime backstage tour, a post-show tour or a VIP tour. During a daytime tour, your guide will share stories of music legends who have walked the venue's hallowed halls, show you photos from the Opry's venerated history and possibly bring you on to the iconic stage. Recent visitors were very pleased with the tours, noting the guides were energetic and offered many fun facts about the institution.
The Grand Ole Opry is located northeast of downtown Nashville and tours are offered seven days a week, although availability depends on concert schedules. For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit the Grand Ole Opry website. Admission for adults (ages 12 and older) for a daytime backstage tour costs $27, while children's (ages 4 to 11) admission costs $22. Post-show tours and VIP tours cost extra.
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