By JENNY PRUITT CLEVELAND
You’ve got friends coming into town who want to experience the It City. You’re on the spot for navigating them through the best that Nashville has to offer. It’s a predicament, to say the least.
Do you take them on a whirlwind tour that attempts to cover all the bases? There’s the music scene, the food scene, history scene, art scene, shopping scene. There’s the outdoor adventure angle that’ll have you up with the sun to lace up your hiking shoes. There’s the nightlife angle that’ll have you rolling out of bed just in time for brunch with matcha lattes (Nashville knows how to do brunch!).
You know your guests, so you’ll know how to tailor their experience to their preferences. But here’s a Top 25 List that takes a cross-section approach to all the “scenes.” Using this “photo scavenger hunt” list, my guests can choose to capture moments (mental or digital) in many of Nashville’s iconic locations or in some of my personal favorite spots. (Rabbit Hole Warning: There are over 35 links in this list!)
- Ryman Auditorium, aka the “Mother Church of Country Music” (on a hallowed church pew)
- Schermerhorn Symphony (inside the auditorium or in front of the fountain outside)
- Skull’s Rainbow Room in Printer’s Alley (on the black and white tiled stage)
- The Frist Art Museum (with your favorite piece of art)
- Thompson Hotel’s rooftop A. Jackson bar (with the tree, the skyline and an oyster)
- Country Music Hall of Fame (with a crazy-impressive artifact)
- Broadway Street, aka Honky Tonk Highway (from Acme Feed and Seed at the corner 1st to Tootsies at the corner of 5th)
- Rudy’s Jazz Room in the Gulch (on Monday, after they pull back the carpets and the Latin dancers start tearing it up to Giovanni Rodriguez & 12 Manos)
- Cheekwood Estates and Garden (with a “Paul Revere the Silversmith” piece or one of Mother Nature’s pieces)
- Music Row (in front of Musica, a 38’ sculpture in the Music Row Roundabout, or at the other end at Vanderbilt or Belmont Universities)
- The Parthenon (with Athena, the largest indoor sculpture in the Western world)
- 21c Museum (with the Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix or with a Penguin)
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park/Nashville Farmer’s Market (on the granite map, or with anything locally grown)
- Pinewood Social (with a bowling ball)
- “What Lifts You Wings” in the Gulch
- East Nashville’s jewel of a speak-easy, Rosemary and Beauty Queen (with a signature cocktail)
- Music City Center (in a glass lookout) or Ascend Amphitheater (on the lawn)
- Nashville Flea Market every fourth weekend (with something vintage)
- Bar Sovereign (with a mannequin, or whatever their latest art installation is)
- Hermitage Hotel (in the famous men’s restroom, ladies)
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (from the middle)
- Bridgestone Arena (with anything Predatorial)
- Franklin’s civil war sites (at Carnton Plantation, Lotz House, Carter House, Fort Granger Park, or the Circle of Franklin Square)
- The Listening Room Cafe of SoBro (mesmerized with the stories and songs from local talent)
- Radnor Lake State Park (with anything wild you’ll encounter on the trails)
What are your favorite Nashville spots?
Jenny Pruitt Cleveland is a Content Creator in Nashville, Tenn. She swims, bikes, and runs a lot. In former lives she’s been a middle school teacher, magazine reporter and editor, cycling tour guide, and underwater photographer.