Recently, I stopped by a hotel’s front desk to find out what their guests’ most frequently asked questions are. Since I’ve spent more than a decade living in and around Nashville, I had a list of my own, but after brainstorming with several concierges, we came up with this list of 25 popular FAQ about Nashville. Hopefully, you’ll find the answers to your questions here, but if you have a question we left off the list, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
1. What’s the difference between the Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry?
Simply put, The Ryman is a building and a significant one at that. Make visiting the Ryman a top priority when you come to Nashville. It’s a must-see for so many reasons.
The Grand Ole Opry, on the other hand, is a show. The Grand Ole Opry started at the Ryman, but now the show is still primarily held at the Grand Ole Opry House. Check the Grand Ole Opry’s schedule. Sometimes the show goes home to the Mother Church, and experiencing the Grand Ole Opry where it began inside the Ryman is extraordinary.
2. Where can I find good music?
What kind of music are you looking for? Nashville is full of good music. It is Music City. While some bands are better than others, good music can be heard in all of the bars on Broadway. Other music venues around town have shows frequently, but I recommend checking their calendars to see who’s playing. Then, you can go onto the band’s Facebook page or find them on YouTube to learn if you like their sound. Use Bandsintown to find out which bands are playing where and the showtimes.
3. Where is Music Row?
Music Row is near Midtown off of Demonbreun.
4. Where are good city parks?
Nashville is home to quite a few parks, but the two most interesting parks that are close to the downtown area are Centennial Park and Bicentennial Park. Centennial Park is located on West End Avenue, and Bicentennial Park is on James Robertson Parkway.
5. Where is the closest Starbucks to downtown?
A Starbucks is located downtown at 424 Church Street. However, I highly recommend trying Frothy Monkey or Bongo Java instead. Bongo Java and Frothy Monkey both have locations downtown, and those coffee shops are locally owned. Their beans are roasted in Nashville, too.
6. What’s the difference between Broadway and Music Row?
Broadway is also known as Honky Tonk Row. You can’t miss it. Music Row is off of Demonbreun, and there’s not much to see except a lot of buildings that house record labels. I recommend taking the historic Studio B Tour. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Studio B is located on Music Row.
7. Where are stars playing?
Unless there’s a special event for which country music stars are slated to perform, you probably won’t find them playing a stage downtown. Check the Grand Ole Opry’s schedule, and you may catch some of your favorite acts performing there. Also, keep an eye on the Ryman’s calendar, and of course, big names usually have Bridgestone Arena as one of the concert venues for their tours.
Other places you might find stars playing are 3rd and Lindsley, Exit/In, City Winery, and Marathon Music Works. Check their schedules to see the lineups. Sometimes, however, well-known performers make surprise appearances during their friends’ shows. You never know.
8. Where can stars be seen?
Stars typically don’t hang out around town, and when they do, no one bothers them. Even though their occupation puts them in the spotlight around the world, these celebrities are our friends and neighbors. We grew up with them. We go to church with them, and their kids go to school with our kids. They lead normal lives in and around Nashville, and we’d like for them to be able to keep it that way.
9. How do you pronounce Demonbreun?
De – like delicious
Mun – like money
Bree – like breeze
Un – like unlikely
10. What’s inside Music City Center?
Music City Center is Nashville’s convention center. It’s huge. There isn’t anything special to see inside Music City Center except the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and that’s not impressive. It’s a fairly small display. However, seeing that is free.
11. Where can I go and not hear country music?
Believe it or not, Nashville is home to a lot more types of music than just country. Your best bet to not hear country music is at venues like Exit/In, Marathon Music Works, 3rd and Lindsley, and The Basement.
12. What restaurants stay open late?
Cafe Coco is open 24/7. It’s a coffee shop near Vanderbilt. They serve food until 11:00 PM, but they have prepared gelato, desserts, salads, and sandwiches in a cooler that are for sale until they’re gone.
Paradise Park on Broadway is open until 4:00 AM. It’s been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Paradise Park is a great place to grab a greasy burger and sweet potato fries late at night.
Hermitage Cafe on Hermitage Avenue downtown is open especially for late night eats and lunch only.
Luigi’s downtown on 3rd Avenue is open late. They serve great pizza, salads, and Italian food.
Sun Diner slated to open in a few months will be open 24/7.
Barlines inside the Omni serves food late.
13. What is there to do at night besides go to bars?
The Johnny Cash Museum is open until 7:00 PM, and the George Jones Museum is open until 10:00 PM. Shopping malls stay open until 9:00 or 10:00 PM depending on the day, and you could always catch a movie at a theater. Opry Mills has an iMax theater, restaurants, and a large arcade that’s also a bar and restaurant called Dave and Buster’s. It’s family friendly and stays open late.
The General Jackson Showboat runs at night.
There are several places to race go karts and play putt putt late at night, also.
14. Where are gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan restaurants?
Cafe Coco, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Fido, Sole Mio, and Maggiano’s are some of Nashville’s restaurants and coffee shops that offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items on their menus.
15. Where can we go to eat dessert late at night?
Cafe Coco has cake, cookies, gelato, and pie. It’s all made locally, but the desserts are not made to order.
16. Where can I find good boutiques?
You can find good boutique shopping in the Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Green Hills, and East Nashville.
17. Where can we rent a boat?
18. What outdoor activities we can do in Nashville?
There are a lot of things to do in Nashville for outdoor enthusiasts. Nashville is home to a lot of parks. We have bike rentals, an aerial obstacle course, Segway tours, a water park, and water activities on lakes and the Cumberland River. Also, several waterfalls are a short drive away.
19. Where can we watch fireworks?
The Tennesseean recommends these locations: Riverfront Park, East Park, East bank of the Cumberland River, on the Cumberland River, on the General Jackson, and Shelby Park.
20. How should I keep my things safe while I’m downtown?
The best way to keep your things safe is to take the bare minimum, and keep it close to you. Ladies, wear cross body bags if you need a purse, or if you can get away with lip gloss, ID, and cash or a credit card, put those in your bra. Seriously. Other ways to keep your things safe are to keep your belongings in your front pockets or in zipper bags that fit close to your body underneath your clothes.
21. What should we plan to do for a bachelorette party weekend?
Bar hop, shop, eat, have a spa day.
22. What are the best things to do in Nashville in 24 hours?
Tour the Ryman; walk up and down Broadway; go on a hop on – hop off bus tour; take a picture at the Parthenon; stop into Robert’s Western World because you’ll never experience another bar like it; see the State Capitol building.
23. What are the best restaurants in Nashville?
Nashville has a great foodie scene. The answer to this question depends on what you want to eat and how much money you want to spend.
24. Where should I go to drink in Nashville?
Pick a spot. Nashville is a drinking town with a music problem.
25. What can I do in Nashville that’s handicap friendly? Where can I rent a wheelchair, electric wheelchair, or scooter?
Visit Broadway during the day. It would be really difficult to navigate a wheelchair through the crowd downtown after 6:00 PM. It’s a challenge for people who aren’t in a wheelchair to get through that madness.
All of the music venues and museums are handicap friendly.
The Country Music Hall of Fame has on-site wheelchair rentals.
Wheelchairs and scooters may be rented through this website.