RCA Studio B
Many credit RCA Studio B with the revival of country music in Nashville in the ‘60s, which is why the spot remains a favorite with both history and music buffs. For the most adherent fans, being able to tour the studio where Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Don Gibson recorded is like stepping on hallowed ground.
Owned by Country Hall of Famer Barbara Mandrell, Fontanel Mansion is a 27,000-square-foot structure completely done in a log cabin style, with daily tours for visitors. The woods on the Fontanel grounds features a fun zip line and even hosts outdoor concerts at its own amphitheater, The Woods at Fontanel.
Johnny Cash Museum
A substantial amount of information and cool interactive exhibits chronicle the musician’s life from boyhood to his final years. At the Johnny Cash Museum, fans of the country music icon are treated to in-depth exposures of Cash’s life — as well as a great deal of music history — through memorabilia and multimedia.
Nashville has its own spin on fried chicken, and it’s to add a kick to the already tasty dish, in the form of cayenne pepper. Be prepared for long lines when you sample the original at Prince’s, which frequently leaves its customers breathing fire, as well as the super-popular Hattie B’s, located downtown.
When in Nashville, one must indulge in its most beloved breakfast item: biscuits and gravy. There are a number of places where you can start your day off right with a fluffy, buttery biscuit smothered in rich, made-from-scratch gravy; most iconic is the Loveless Cafe, whipping up decades-old secret recipes.
Not necessarily a food item, the bushwacker is a drink originally from Pensacola, Florida that has made its way north. The drink, often likened to a Wendy’s Frosty but with alcohol, is typically a mixture of dark rum, milk, ice, crème de cacao and an assortment of spirits — perfect for a hot summer afternoon.
Ryman Auditorium was built in 1891 as a church before becoming host to the acclaimed show Grand Ole Opry. Though the show has long since moved to a newer venue, the venerated stage of Ryman is still a requisite stop for well-established country music artists as well as hopeful up-and-comers.
Going strong since 1982, the Bluebird Cafe is a 90-seat music club that has minted its fair share of country music stars, from Garth Brooks to Taylor Swift. Aspiring artists and songwriters come from all over to try their hand at Monday’s open mic nights; the Bluebird also hosts two shows nightly.
Grand Ole Opry House
The Grand Ole Opry House has hosted the Grand Ole Opry show since 1974; the venue is a worthy home for the historic radio show, which has since expanded into dramatic lineups of multiple artists per show, giving audience members a taste of each musician’s style in a gorgeous and modern setting.