Top Ten Things To Do In Nashville

Music City it is called, and justifiably so. Live bands and singers are on show in almost every Nashville bar and honky-tonk you could care to wave a guitar at. The people (those who aren’t tourists) are friendly, relaxed and helpful and this is one city I could live in quite happily. Probably, to appreciate this all properly you’d have to be a real country music fan, but there is something for everyone. Some folks are clearly just living it up and getting drunk at 12 midday. (Not us, you may be surprised to learn….) Here is a top-ten list of things to do in Nashville, Tennessee in no particular order. The ones we haven’t done yet, we are doing tomorrow.

1) Visit The Country Music Hall Of Fame (And Museum)

It’s not even necessary to be a country music fan. This place takes you on a journey through the whole of country music history and has orginal lyrics to some songs by Dylan and a whole host of other memorabilia. Do that thang.

Oh how I love guitars

Oh how I love guitars

 

2) Buy Cowboy Boots

Ok, so they’re expensive, corny, probably damage your feet, and are of little practical use if you don’t own a horse, Buuut, they are cool. Try and get respect in Nashville without ’em…. These are the third pair of my life, black, simple, real made-in-America, and look “good” with jeans or with smart clothes. And they’ll last. And you can go line dancing in them. There is one real expensive place to buy them in town: Nashville Cowboy, on 2nd Avenue and the folks in there were great. However, unless you want to pay 800 dollars for a pair, you’d better try someplace else. A good shop was Trail West — also on 2nd Avenue. They were less frills and spills than the other place, but still far better than the “buy three pairs of boots for 50 bucks” shops that plagued Commerce Street and broadway.

Mah boots!

Mah boots!

 

3) Get Tattoos

I’m just going to put these up, then sit back and wait for the shocked, scandalized and reproachful phone calls from my mother.

My ragged pirate flag tattoo

My ragged pirate flag

Nick's "To Dare is to do" tattoo -- motto of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and worthy advice in life always

Nick's "to dare is to do" tattoo -- motto of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and worthy advice in life always

 

4) Get Drunk In A Honky-Tonk

Well, we weren’t hugely drunk, but I’m afraid, a bit drunk, I really was. the band was loud, the food was spicy and completely unhealthy, the staff were refreshingly irreverent (though very friendly), the drinks were strong and the girls were easy (though, before you ask; no, I’m taken). It was a perfect place, but Nashville is full of perfect places. Our bar of choice was the Tin Roof on Demonbraun Street. Recommended.
Just a small sample of what you can drink

Just a small sample of what you can drink

 

5) Appreciate The Old Architecture
I don’t even know what this building is, but it’s great. Just sitting there on Nashville’s Broadway, about a stone’s throw from the honky-tonks.
Old and Beautiful

Old and Beautiful

 

6) Appreciate The Modern Architecture

I don’t even know what this building is. But it’s modern and beautiful and about a stone’s throw from the honky-tonks. (Yes, I will admit my ignorance regarding architectural matters. If anybody wants to enlighten me, then I’m very willing to listen.)

New and Beautiful

New and Beautiful

 

7) Listen To A Cowboy Radio Station

So they’re rough-and-ready; they make on-air mistakes, but they’re entertaining and if you like that kinda music, it’s great. And sure, I like that music. The conversation went like this: (both speakers are male, mid-fifties, with deep southern accents).

speaker 1: So I know you’ve got us a story bout good ol’ jack…”

speaker 2: Well, yeah I do. Y’see, he used to drive a hearst, filled up in the back with Jackie D and beer the whole time.

speaker 1: A “hearst”?

speaker 2: Yep, a you stab ’em or shoot ’em, we pack ’em, slab ’em and bury ’em kind of a hearst. He made one of my favourite songs too.

speaker 1: Well, why don’ you jes play it for us cowboy?

It happened exactly like that. And the song was one helluva tune too.

 

8.) Take Pictures Of All The Elvises On Broadway

There are loads of them. All different and with their own particular style, but all, nevertheless, quite similar. Here’s a sample of two of them. I’ll leave to you the thrill of photographing all the others. The legs always seem to be the same while the torso is in different positions — maybe they’re moldable or something. If you wanted to kit out the trashiest lounge room in the world, one of these would have to be on the to-buy list.

Elvis number 1

Elvis number 1

Elvis number 2

Elvis number 2

 

9) Visit Johnny Cash’s Grave

He was the man in black; always fighting for the poor and beaten-down, never stopping in his path to make a few things right, and his songs have that timeless quality that will ensure he lives on throughout the ages. A real legend, not just in country music, but in music in general. Johnny had a few problems in his time and if you haven’t yet seen “Walk the Line” I thoroughly recommend it. We had to go and pay our respects. Not actually in Nashville, but in Hendersonville which is close by. And, of course, we wore black.

And a white horse approached him

And a white horse approached him

 

10) Go Horse Riding

We actually have this booked for Monday, not tomorrow, but I figured it deserved a mention. The old trusty beast on which the west was won, the land discovered and the wars battled. Which other way is there to discover the real feel of the freedom of the great frontiers?

Get on your horse and... no, that's not right...

Get on your horse and... no, that's not right...

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11 Comments

Filed under Places Visited, USA Trip

11 responses to “Top Ten Things To Do In Nashville

  1. Mum

    Hi boys, wont bother with a phone call to discuss ‘tattoos’. I intend saving it for when you get home!!!

  2. Dad

    Boys, I fear that she means it, so, therefore, all in all, you’re on your own – y’all.

    Nick – your tat did the trick – got a very respectable draw at Chelsea.

  3. sophie

    oooh i like your tattoos they are great,….dont really think mum is one to talk tho really seen as she has her own!

  4. Kelly who is thinking of changing her name to Ivyanna or some such silliness.

    Wow, tats! :) I am already planning my 3rd, 4th and 5th guys so you’ll have to catch me up ;) That is if you can still make it down the tattoo parlour when your Mum’s finished with you!

    I am so so jealous that you got to visit Cash’s grave. I still listen to him every damn day. Legend.

    Miss you big.

    p.s Yes, I am thinking of changing my name. Mum is.. well she’s not best pleased.

  5. americanfootsteps

    I knew a girl who changed her name to something really, really far out…. it was like “Snoogle woogle pudding” or something. Then she had 30 days to change it back or was obliged to change her passport to reflect her new name. She changed it back. It’s easy over the internet, and only cost like 30 quid…

    Best not to do when drunk…

  6. Stephanie

    …just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying reading about your travels. You crack me up!! And trust me, no map will help you drive in the south. Those crazy highways that are 10 different highways at once…. I fell victim to those this summer on my road trip down there. Nuts.

  7. Dani

    Cool tattoos!

    Hey, can you continue the blog only with images? Because I’m too lazy to read your bla bla bla at the end of the day…

    :D

  8. americanfootsteps

    Heathen….

  9. Alessandra

    nooo way, two friends of mine live in nashville and I promised them to come for a visit!!!

    Miss you crazy man!!!
    Ale (Wall Street )

  10. Thelma & Louise

    We’re headed to Nashville on the 26th of March/09. We will be there for 5 days, you got anything else to recommend for us to do,..gonna try and tackle your top ten list. That’s if we make it past the first bar,……… Thanks for the ideas

    Thelma & Louise

  11. Ohioan

    What place did you go to for your tattoo? A friend and I are going in November and are looking for a good spot that comes recommended. Thanks!

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