Mention Nashville, Tennessee, to most Brits and they’ll turn up their nose, muttering comments about how they don’t like country music. To discount Nashville on this basis is a tragedy as this music-loving city is no country monogamist. Broadway is lined with innumerable bars and live music venues offering every genre of music from rock and pop to soul-wrenching country, but this city isn’t all about Music Row. You’ll find other great attractions in Nashville.
Below are three of my favourites that you should check out on your next visit.
Take a Backstage Tour of the Grand Ole Opry
Even if you hate country music, this venue is a national institution. Huge names such as Carrie Underwood, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton have graced the stage. To visit the city and miss out on a tour is to miss out on the soul of what makes Nashville amazing.
Follow in the footsteps of country superstars and find out what happens behind the scenes as the stories of music greatness entertain you.
Costs: Daytime tour, $24 for adults and $19 for children. You can also book VIP tours and after-show tours.
Stay: If you plan to see a performance at the Grand Ole Opry, you can stay at an Opryland hotel so that you don’t need to worry about driving.
Image via Flickr by Joe Shlabotnik
Visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Less than 90 minutes out of the city, you’ll find the quaint little town of Lynchburg, Tennessee. It’s a sleepy place with slightly more than 6,000 residents, known for being the hometown of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
A visit to the distillery is a great day. Animated tours allow you to see the making of this popular whiskey. You can now taste the amber nectar, which wasn’t possible on our visit. This dry county only begrudgingly allowed Jack Daniel’s to sell its whiskey during our visit.
Cost: $17 for the visit
If you become a friend of Jack Daniel’s, you also receive occasional, little mementoes of your visit by post, too.
Experience White-Water Rafting
If you want something to clear your head after an evening of pumping music washed down with Jack Daniel’s, then head to the Great Smoky Mountains for a smorgasbord of adventure activities. You’ll find enough to thrill even the most ardent enthusiast with white-water rafting, ziplining, and high ropes on offer.
White-water rafting in the Smokies offers hair-raising adventure with six ziplines, and two sky bridges dangling 60 to 80 feet above the ground, to captivate thrillseekers.
Costs: $30 plus taxes for white-water rafting and $42 plus taxes for ziplining. If you wish to do a few activities, you can check out a range of other combos.
How Long Do I Need to Visit Nashville?
If you have yet to visit Nashville, I urge you to allow at least seven days to experience the city and surrounding areas. This is my favourite city in the United States, even topping the big guns of New York, Miami, and Las Vegas. With its huge musical heritage and bags of things to do outside the city, Nashville makes the perfect U.S. destination.