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Nashville is all about music - country music and more. With dynamic energy it threads its way throughout this city where music is written, recorded and performed. Live music is everywhere, day and night, 365 days a year, in well over 130 music venues, from large, packed arenas, concert halls and amphitheaters to intimate cafes and clubs. Museums, iconic music venues and attractions celebrate the history and evolution of the art form and its influence on the "Music City."

From its roots in American folk music played on string instruments, and in the ballads of traditional country music first broadcast live in 1925 on radio station WSM's "Grand Ole Opry," the Nashville sound has evolved. Today, country rock, country rap, country pop and a new traditionalist movement draw music legends and emerging artists.

Nashville's music scene is more than performing. Talented singer/ songwriters from all over the world come here to write and record music of all genres - country, pop, rock, bluegrass, jazz, contemporary Christian, blues and soul. Adding to its position as the epicenter of writing, performing and touring, what began with pioneering RCA Studio B turned into a mass migration to Nashville of major recording studios, record labels, and entertainment and music related businesses, including the largest volume-producing vinyl record pressing plant in America.

While music dominates, the city on the banks of the Cumberland River has a rich cultural and historical heritage. There are art museums and galleries to enjoy, architecturally beautiful historic mansions and expansive plantations to visit and, following Tennessee's rich, folkloric moonshine history, fine whiskey distilleries, craft beer breweries and wineries offer tours and tastings.

Old Town Trolley Tour
Park your car and get around to all the music sites and more on an Old Town Trolley Tour. Fifteen great stops along the route and hop off/hop on privileges get you where you want to go to see what you came to Nashville to see. Fun, knowledgeable guides point out sights, highlighting them with engaging stories and interesting facts. Hop off at Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, Johnny Cash Museum, George Jones Museum. Travel along Music Row; walk the beautiful, shady campus of Vanderbilt University; visit Belmont Mansion, one of the most elaborate anti-bellum homes in the South. Check out thought-provoking contemporary art at the Frist Center for Visual Arts and the Arts Company.  Admire iconic original posters of favorite artists at Hatch Show Print; browse unique art galleries in the Arts District. Nashville has no lack of photo ops - grand Greek Revival State Capitol, on whose grounds President James Polk is buried; the Parthenon replica in Centennial Park; massive eye-catching public art installations by local sculptors. You can't miss Alan Le Quire's Musica and Christian Moeller's Stix. Look for bronze statues of music greats. Sit on the empty stool beside Chet Atkins, legendary guitarist and music producer or at the piano with county music's greatest producer, Owen Bradley.

Legendary Music Places

Take a guided tour of Ryman Auditorium, the "Mother Church" of country music, where music greats of all genres have performed since 1892. It was here the live radio show "Grand Ole Opry" was first performed, propelling Nashville and country music into the spotlight. Recently transformed into a modern facility, the Ryman's history and marvelous acoustics continue to make it a favorite venue of music greats and touring concerts. Book tickets for Opry Country Classics at the Ryman for a celebration of music led by celebrity hosts and performed by guest stars. Take a photo of Opry legends Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl, realistically captured in bronze.

After years of broadcasting live from the Ryman, the Grand Ole Opry moved to its own venue in 1994. Attend a live radio show performance featuring country legends and today's hot stars. Take a Back Stage Tour for a look behind the scenes of the stage where country music superstars, past and present, have performed.

The dramatic architectural exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum hints at the scope of what's inside exhibitions of two centuries of America's unique music genre. Memorabilia, historic video clips, recorded music, dynamic exhibits, live performances and live satellite radio broadcasts create multiple immersive experiences.

Feel the presence of the Man in Black inside the Johnny Cash Museum. A wonderful collection of memorabilia, video clips and more chronicle the life and music of the singer/songwriter whose rockabilly-gospel-blues music, distinctive baritone voice, and storytelling gifts have given him mythical status.

Other music touchstones to check out Music Mile, running from Music City Walk of Fame Park, where music greats are honored, to Downtown, where music is performed, and along Music Row, where music is made. Visit legendary RCA Studio B; venture into one of several Honky Tonk clubs on lower Broadway where legendary performers got their start. Check out what's happening in Roberts Western World. Experience the musical diversity of talented musicians across all genres at Musicians Hall of Fame.

Historic Tennessee Mansions and Museums

In Nashville and the surrounding area, several historic log cabins, mansions and plantations are open to the public. Experience the Southern anti-bellum elegance of Belmont Mansion. Drive a half hour to tour the house and grounds of Belle Meade Plantation. Visit to The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson.

Nashville Parks and Riverfront

Stroll along walking trails in Centennial Park, centered by the Parthenon. Don't miss 42-foot tall Athena inside. Discover Tennessee history in the monuments of Bicentennial State Park. Look for your favorite music artists from all music genres in Walk of Fame Park. Cruise on the meandering Cumberland River, past historical sites, the city skyline and countryside on a 2.5 hour lunch cruise aboard the General Jackson, a 300 foot-long paddle wheel riverboat. Amazing sights, delicious Southern-style buffet, music and comedy, all on one great boat ride.

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