Staff Picks: Getaway Weekend - Nashville
By: Paul Farnsworth/News 12 Digital
Last week, I gave you a brief snapshot of a great weekend getaway spot in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, I thought, how could I not do the same for another great Tennessee destination - Nashville!
A two-hour flight from New York City, Nashville is one of the up-and-coming travel destinations in the country.
Known as the Music City, Nashville is the second-largest music production center (after New York) in the United States.
The influence of country music can be felt everywhere in the city. The glittering skyline houses all the major recording labels, and the industry is said to generate nearly $6.5 billion.
For those who like history, there are must stops at the Johnny Cash Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry - The Ryman Auditorium.
The Grand Ole Opry is perhaps the city's most famous attraction. In 1974, it moved to the outskirts of town and into a glittering new home and has daily performances on its famous stage.
But the Gulch entertainment district in the city is where the action is.
Music streams from clubs at virtually every hour of the day, and many of country music's biggest stars have their names in blazing neon.
Dierk Bentley, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan all have bars playing their latest hits. But give me Robert's Western World, a classic honky tonk with traditional country, bluegrass, and western swing music.
But the city is much more than just country music. It's a major sports town with the NFL's Tennessee Titans, the NHL's Nashville Predators, and the SEC's Vanderbilt University.
With a great climate, the city also has numerous bike trails and parks. Nicknamed the "Athens of the South" in the 1800s, the city built Centennial Park, replete with a full-size replica of the Parthenon of ancient Greece. Like its counterpart in Athens, this Parthenon houses a 42-foot high statue of Athena. It also has plaster replicas, marbles and sculptures found on the original Acropolis. It now houses one of Nashville's best art galleries.
Foodies will love Nashville's restaurants, and its barbecue takes a backseat to no one. I'm all about cheap eats like Robert's Western World's famous "Recession Special" - a fried baloney sandwich, a bag a chips, a moon pie and Pabst Blue Ribbon for $6.
Hattie B's Hot Chicken is a must stop, and the biscuits at the Loveless Cafe have been known to cure hangovers.
As far as Tennessee is concerned, it’s a toss up as to which city is more fun - Memphis or Nashville. It probably depends on your taste for music - soul/blues or country. It's only an easy three hours between the two, so why not do both?!