Rocking Around Nashville

As expected, this place has rhythm — the good kind that keeps you up at night. Decked out in legendary honky-tonks and history, Nashville was a blast. With live music and homey cookin’, this little city has heart.


My group and I made sure to check out plenty of restaurants and bars for some barbecue, original tunes, local beer, party bikes (I call them beer trolleys) karaoke, bull-riding, and line-dancing to get the full experience of Tennessee’s capital. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge was a great spot for wings, drinks, and music, and the same goes for the Wild Beaver Saloon, which has a mechanical bull that will hate you. And if you’re into multitasking and would like to tour the city while getting your drink on, Nashville Pedal Tavern is the way to go (it’s a “beer trolley”).

Taking on the bull.

Not only is Nashville a hotspot for fun nightlife, it’s also a fantastic place to learn about the culture that breathes so much life into this city. It’s loaded with history — from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music to the Parthenon, which is a realistic replica of the original in Athens — there is much to feed your brain. Though small, the Johnny Cash museum is an excellent place to learn about the man behind such catchy music, and there’s also a cafe inside.

The many musical adventures of Johnny Cash.
The many musical adventures of Johnny Cash.

Speaking of music, you can’t forget about King Elvis.

Everybody loves the King of Rock and Roll!
Everybody loves the King of Rock and Roll!

Also, what I’m about to tell you is a definite must. To get a real taste of the American south, Hattie B’s will leave you satisfied and full but wanting more. This fried chicken restaurant has people lining up at the door before it opens — yes, it’s that good. Sundays are the best days at this hoppin’ little joint, because that means chicken and waffles.

Hattie B's chicken and waffles on a splendid Sunday...morning.
Hattie B’s chicken and waffles on a splendid Sunday…morning.

Another great thing about Nashville is its location. To my surprise, and speaking of fried chicken, Kentucky was right there. My group and I took an hour road-trip to good ol’ Bowling Green, Kentucky to take a boat tour through the Lost River Cave. It’s a great activity if you’re into the outdoors, and there are plenty of trails to explore.

Entering the Lost River Cave in Kentucky, where there was also a wedding going on (obviously for awesome people).

To come to a close on my journey to Nashville (and a few hours in Kentucky), I say it’s a trip that’s worth it if you’re up for not worrying about making a fool of yourself (karaoke and bull-riding, which has to happen), eating some southern fried goodness and saucy barbecue, and if you’ve got a passion for the arts. It’s a real finger-lickin’ mighty fine spot that I like to think of as the heartbeat of the southern U.S.

Music City in all its glory.
Music City in all its glory.
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