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Plumb-bobbin' Nashville

ORIENTATION
Most major airlines fly into Nashville International Airport, eight miles from downtown. It's a spread-out city, and although you can walk the streets of downtown, you'll probably want to rent a car. In spring you can expect temperatures of seventy degrees during the day and forties in the evening.

There's world-class golf at private clubs—if you've got an in. The best are The Golf Club of Tennessee, Belle Meade, Richland Country Club and The Governor's Club. But even if you haven't got an in, there's great public-access golf to be had. These are the top picks.

HERMITAGE GOLF COURSE
General's Retreat and President's Reserve courses, 3939 Old Hickory Blvd., Old Hickory. Two beautiful settings. The older General's Retreat is a tad easier. Par/Yardage: 72/6,773 (General's); 72/7,157 (President's). Green fees: $47–$55 (General's); $56–$64 (President's). Architect: Gary Baird, 1986 (General's); Denis Griffiths, 2000 (President's). Phone: 615-847-4001.
T&L GOLF Rating: **** (both courses)

LEGENDS CLUB OF TENNESSEE
Roper's Knob course, 1500 Legends Club Lane, Franklin. Undulating greens and immaculate conditions make this course a pleasure to play. Par/Yardage: 71/7,100. Green fees: $77–$88. Architects: Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, 1992. Phone: 615-790-1300.
T&L GOLF Rating: ****

SPRINGHOUSE GOLF CLUB AT OPRYLAND HOTEL
18 Springhouse Lane. A links-style layout with severely sloped greens, so play your shots below the hole. Par/Yardage: 72/7,007. Green fees: $70–$85 in season; $45–$60 off-season. Architect: Larry Nelson, 1990. Phone: 615-871-775.

T&L GOLF Rating: ****

GREYSTONE GOLF CLUB
2555 Highway 70 East, Dickson. Narrow fairways, small greens and lots of fun. Par/Yardage: 72/6,858. Green fees: $40–$50. Architect: Mark McCumber, 1998. Phone: 615-446-0044.

T&L GOLF Rating: ***

WHERE TO STAY

HERMITAGE HOTEL
231 Sixth Avenue North; 615-244-3121 (thehermitagehotel.com). A Nashville mainstay since 1910, the historic Hermitage was renovated in 1995. It has 120 one- and two-bedroom traditional suites with modern amenities. Suites: $129–$209.

LOEWS VANDERBILT PLAZA HOTEL
2100 West End Avenue; 615-320-1700 (loewsvanderbilt.com). This is where politicos and country-music stars stay. It's both elegant and relaxed. The 340 rooms and fourteen suites are comfortable and contemporary. Rooms: $169–$259. Suites: $395–$950.

OPRYLAND HOTEL
2800 Opryland Drive; 615-889-1000 (oprylandhotels.com). The huge, world-renowned Opryland has 2,884 rooms, three swimming pools and three indoor gardens. Rooms: $209 traditional; $259 garden terrace. Suites: $319–$3,000.

UNION STATION-WYNDHAM HISTORIC HOTEL
1001 Broadway; 615-726-1001 (wyndham.com/unionstation). Nashville's main train station was converted to a hotel in 1986 and renovated in 1997. It offers three restaurants and 124 modern rooms and suites, yet somehow retains a historic feel. Rooms: $139–$209; Suites: $265–$400.

WHERE TO EAT

CAFE 123, 123 Twelfth Avenue North; 615-255-2233. A hip restaurant offering continental food with a Southern influence. $$$

CARL'S PERFECT PIG, 4991 Hwy. 70 East, White Bluff; 615-797-4020. A half hour west of downtown for the best ribs in the country. $

THE MAD PLATTER, 1239 Sixth Avenue North; 615-242-2563. This new American restaurant is famous for its rack of lamb. $$$

MANUEL'S CAJUN COUNTRY STORE, 12026 Milton Street, Milton; 615-273-2312. The finest Cajun cooking around. $$

6° (SIX DEGREES), 601 Twelfth Avenue South; 615-244-3888. The place to see and be seen. Outstanding fresh seafood. $$$

QUAILS, 4936 Thoroughbred Lane, Brentwood; 615-376-2799. Game (ostrich, kangaroo, venison, emu) and fresh seafood. $$$

MUSIC AND MORE

Check the free local weeklies for updates on acts around town.

BLUEBIRD CAFE, 4104 Hillsboro Pike; 615-383-1461. The place to see rising-star songwriters. Look for local crooner Lonesome Bob.

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME, 222 Fifth Avenue South; 800-852-6437. Reopening in May after a $37 million renovation.

GRAND OLE OPRY, 2804 Opryland Drive; 615-889-3060 (opry.com). World's longest-running radio show. All the big acts play here: Garth, Vince and Trisha.

ROBERT'S WESTERN WORLD, 416 Broadway; 615-244-9552. Boots, beer, burgers and bands. BR5-49 was discovered here.

RYMAN AUDITORIUM, 116 Fifth Avenue North; 615-254-1445 (ryman.com). Where Hank Williams made his Opry debut in 1949.

STATION INN, 402 Twelfth Avenue South; 615-255-3307. Great bluegrass music.

THE VINNY CELEB-AM, 615-790-7755. Vince Gill's annual charity tourney takes place May 8.

WORLD FAMOUS TOOTSIE'S ORCHID LOUNGE, 422 Broadway; 615-726-0463 (tootsies.net). A honky-tonk dive offering live country music seven days a week.

WILDHORSE SALOON, 120 Second Avenue North; 615-902-8200. Live music nightly with free dance lessons during the day.

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