10 things to know about NASHVILLE before you visit

Nashville-streettrotter

Nashville, or Music City USA, is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the nation and is a haven for people of all nationalities and lifestyles. Oftentimes shadowed by larger cities in the US, Nashville is home to a warm and distinct culture that is unlike that of any other city in the world. The southern hospitality, history, and music business is the thread of the fabric that makes up this city, and Nashvillians are extremely proud and supportive of their home. It is a hidden gem in the United States that has just recently started to truly sparkle and receive the national attention that it has deserved for so long.

We are the friendliest city in America, consistently!

Welcome to Nashville, the city voted #1 Friendliest city year after year. Nashville is a haven for newcomers and tourists, and we love to show off our fair city. Don’t be surprised if a stranger stops to start a conversation with you. Whether you’re looking for the best place to eat some local cuisine, or you’re feeling up for seeing the most touristy sites in the city, we’re more than happy to accommodate you during your stay! Oh, and don’t be offended if we call you “ma’am” or “sir”, we can’t help but use our southern manners.

Country Music isn’t the only thing we know.

While we are known for the Grand Ole Opry, the music scene expands much farther than just country music. Not only do bands such as Kings of Leon and Paramore call Nashville home, but you’ll also find that many other artists thrive in Nashville. Not to mention, we’re the healthcare capital of the world and are home to some of the best and brightest healthcare professionals that you can find.

No pictures, please!

One of the most blissful, unspoken rules about Nashville is that if you see ‘someone’ out and about, you do not approach them, or ask for photos and autographs. It is not uncommon to casually run into Keith Urban, Fergie, Tom Petty, or Taylor Swift when you’re at whole foods or grabbing coffee, but the reason that celebrities love Nashville is because there is no paparazzi and the locals know not to bother them. While we know you’re excited, please help us keep Nashville cool and save that behavior for Los Angeles.

This is a hockey town.

Because we are in the south, most visitors overlook what a staple the Nashville Predators are in Nashville culture. Recently the location of the Stanley Cup Finals, Nashville has been rallying behind the Nashville Predators through thick and thin for decades. If you’re in town, be sure you budget some time to attend a hockey game. Even if you don’t follow hockey, the food at Bridgestone is amazing, and sports analysts are all in agreement that there is no other sporting event in the world like Nashville Predators game.

Drinking booze on a pedal tavern? You’re doing it wrong.

As the #2 city for bachelorette parties (Vegas being the first), Nashville has become a breeding grounds for these pedal taverns that parties can ride around town on while drinking beer and celebrating their trip. If you’re getting your drink on, there are dozens of far more local and original ways to do so in Nashville! Nashville has tons of local breweries, my favorites including Yazoo and Jackalope Brewing Company. If you’re not big into beer, jump on the interstate and head towards Arrington Vineyards for some wine, or even a few more miles south to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg. Trust me- you will be so grateful that you skipped the pedal tavern.

Unless your name is Tim, Garth, or Kenny, leave your cowboy hat at home.

Nashville is a very casual city, and you’ll see locals and celebrities alike out and about in yoga pants, jeans, and a baseball cap. While we appreciate the enthusiasm, if you want to blend in with the locals, just leave it at home.

We know how to throw a party!

Between hosting CMA Music Festival every year, the Stanley Cup Finals this past summer, and being the largest city within total obstruction for the solar eclipse this August, Nashville sure knows how to celebrate. Not to mention, any concert you could ever want to see will always make a stop in Music City USA. We have a lot of pride in our city, and residents tend to rally behind any sort of celebration. Don’t be surprised if you see lower Broadway shut down for a celebration or a country music artist spontaneously performing in public.

If you’re a history buff, this is the place for you.

Nashville is home to some of the most beautiful plantations, the Grand Ole Opry, and several Civil War sites. Whether you decide to visit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, The Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, or The Carton Plantation and Carter House in Franklin, you are guaranteed to enjoy some of the most picturesque sites of American history, and learn quite a bit in the process.

You can travel the world without leaving the city.

Ever dreamed of visiting Greece but don’t have the budget to make the trek? Head to Centennial Park to experience the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens! Inside, you can view art exhibits and the full-scale Athena statue. Have you been dreaming of India? The Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple in Nashville will not only make you feel like you’re really there. The temple exhibits great attention to detail on the outside, including all 16 forms of Ganesha, and is open for tours and celebrations throughout the year.

You are doing a disservice if you eat at a chain restaurant.

From Nashville hot chicken at Hattie B’s, to the biscuits at The Loveless Café, I promise that you will eat well here. Southern cooking isn’t the only cuisine that we are known for, and Nashville has rapidly become a haven for foodies. Whether it’s a nicer dinner, a food truck, or a unique ambiance that you’re after, there’s really no reason to ever eat at a chain restaurant when you’re in town, and Nashville is regularly featured by experts including the Food Network and Anthony Bourdain.

Regardless of what you choose to do when you visit, you will come back for more, and will have a unique experience every time. Nashville is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the United States, and with that brings newer and more unique people, new restaurants, more concerts, and bigger festivals. We are a city – and people – that welcome growth, culture, and diversity. It’s no wonder that celebrities and job seekers continue to move here!


About the Author: Danielle is one of the few original Nashvillians and has lived there for 18 years. When she is not gallivanting around the world, she works as an ICU Nurse in Nashville, Tennessee and keeps busy with photography, blogging, attending Nashville Predators hockey games, and posting pictures of her two bulldogs to her snapchat and Instagram stories. You can read more about her adventures and passion for food, culture, and language on her blog, www.daniellefarideh.com