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There's no place in the world quite like Nashville. Tennessee’s Music City — home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry — has always had an ear for what travelers want, whether it’s late-night bluegrass jams or buttered biscuits and hot chicken. Honky Tonk Row is chockablock with live music venues, leading all the way to the river. But don’t mistake Nashville for being a one-trick pony. Outdoor activities abound at the Cumberland River, which cuts through town, as well as Percy Priest Lake. Neighborhood pride is strong here, and you’ll find plenty of boutiques, bakeries, and vintage shops. The city is also dubbed the Athens of the South, for its notable Greek Revival mansions that are immortalized at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and the Parthenon. And the food here — fried, yes, but also barbecued — is world-class.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) is located in the southeastern part of the city, 10 miles from midtown. It’s served by more than a dozen airlines offering nonstop flights to approximately 70 cities across North America and Europe. Rideshares, shuttles, taxis, and public buses are all convenient options for getting into town. John C. Tune Airport (JWN) is another airport option, located nine miles west of downtown. Cars rule the roads here, but rideshares and bike lanes are on the rise, and many neighborhoods are walkable.
Nashville receives a healthy dose of warm weather. From April to October there’s ample sunshine and warm air, though midsummer is hot and humid, with an average high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. April and October tend to linger in the low 70s, making it nicer for outdoor activities. Spring brings floral blooms and ideal T-shirt weather. You’ll need a light jacket in late fall, though cowboy boots are in season year-round. The tornado watchers are on high alert from February and April, so be sure to check local forecasts before traveling in those months. Winter is low season in Nashville, and less popular with visitors — although the city does boast some great holiday decorations.
Music lovers won’t want to miss the Country Music Hall of Fame, one of the largest music museums in the world. It boasts the world’s largest collection of country music artifacts, including guitars, sheet music for legendary songs, films, sound recordings, and stage costumes. Carve out at least two hours to explore the 350,000-square-foot space, as its galleries are crammed with items that will stop you in your tracks.
Located on Vanderbilt University’s campus, this sprawling urban park offers a breath of fresh air and a dash of history. Originally cultivated as farmland by some of Nashville’s founding families, it was turned into a 132-acre public park after the Civil War. Today you’ll find a pond, art museum, historical monuments, and free live events.
The 688-mile-long Cumberland River is one of the South’s major waterways, stretching from Kentucky to Tennessee and cutting through central Nashville. You can’t swim in it, but there are other ways to take in its beauty, from crossing it via the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge to renting a kayak or pontoon.