Andrew Hetherington

These are the places you need to see at least once. 

May 22, 2017

Also known as Music City, it's no surprise that this Southern town city is great for travelers who appreciate music — especially country music. But you don't need to be a fan of whiskey and bluegrass to appreciate Nashville's Honky Tonk bars, fried chicken, and charming riverfront. Of course, the music here is some of the best in the world. These are the nine can't-miss points of interest every first timer needs to see in the Tennessee capital.

The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

Not to be confused with the popular Country Music Hall of Fame, this museum is the only one in the world that pays tribute to the lesser-known musicians that contributed to many of the albums that we all know and love (think: Garth Brooks' studio musicians, the G-Men). 

The Gig at Belmont

Guitar nerds, get excited. At the end of April in 2017, a new museum called The Gig (short for the Gallery of Iconic Guitars) opened on the University of Belmont’s campus. The small museum, which showcases an impressive collection of vintage instruments, including a Lloyd Loar-signed mandolin and a Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst from 1960, has only a $5 admission fee. 

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

At this pristine 55-acre estate, travelers can admire an impressive collection of 20th-century fine art, explore the contemporary sculpture trail, and peruse the botanical gardens. Cheekwood is especially beautiful in the spring, when the gardens are filled with more than 100,000 blooming tulips. 

Radnor Lake State Park

Join locals on the wide, unpaved trails surrounding Radnor Lake, which is best known for its wildlife-spotting opportunities. Visitors might be able to observe owls, deer, muskrat, bobcats, otters, herons, and other critters while enjoying this state park

 Courtesy of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Belle Meade Plantation

What started as a single log cabin in 1807 quickly became became a massive estate with a rock quarry, train station, deer park, horse farm, and a Greek Revival-style mansion. Today, visitors are welcome to tour the preserved 34-acres of the historic estate. Guests can even participate in a wine tasting.

Germantown

In the past 20 years, this once-drab suburb has developed into one of Nashville’s hippest neighborhoods. Grab a table at the lofty Rolf & Daughters (order a plate of handmade canestri), fuel up with a butterscotch iced latte at Steadfast, or shop for memorable souvenirs at the design shop Wilder. 

Bicentennial Mall State Park

Located downtown near the capitol building, this 19-acre park is best known for its 200-foot granite map of Tennessee, a World War II Memorial, a Pathway of History, and other attractions that give visitors a taste of Nashville’s culture and history.

Lane Motor Museum

Owned by only one man, this non-profit organization houses one of the largest collections of European cars in the country. Some cars are in showroom condition while others show typical aging, but all of them are kept in running order.

RCA Studio B

This historic recording studio is often credited with popularizing the “Nashville Sound,” and helped to establish the city’s musical reputation. Visitors are welcome to tour the studio that was responsible for recording more than 1,000 American hits.

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