Nashville is the home of country music. This city of 600,000 on the banks of the Cumberland River is where tomorrow’s hits are made and where you can hear them performed on the stage of the longest-running live radio variety show, the Grand Ole Opry.
There is a twang in the air all around the city—in the honky-tonks along lower Broadway, on the streets of downtown Nashville, and in Music Valley, modern home of the Opry. During the annual Country Music Association Festival in June, the whole city is alive with the foot-tapping rhythm of country music.
Nashville is also the city where performers and songwriters come to make it in the music business. Listening rooms and nightclubs all over the city are the beneficiaries of this abundance of hopeful talent. There is no excuse to stay home after night falls.
It is wrong to think that country music is all there is to Nashville. After the Civil War and Reconstruction, Nashville became known as the Athens of the South because it was a center for education and the arts. Still today, Nashville offers visitors much more than a night at the Opry. Excellent art museums include the Frist Center for Visual Arts and the Cheekwood. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra plays in the elegant and acclaimed Schermerhorn Center downtown.
Come to watch the Tennessee Titans play football, or to play golf at one of the award-winning courses nearby. Admire the Parthenon in Centennial Park, or drive to the southern outskirts of the city for a hike at Radnor Lake State Natural Area.
Downtown is dominated by tall office towers and imposing government buildings, including the State Capitol. Meat-and-three restaurants serve irresistible Southern-style meals, while eateries along Nolensville Pike reflect the ethnic diversity of the city.
Nashville is a city that strikes many notes, but sings in perfect harmony.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition