November 18, 2012

Nashville, TN- The Music City

Thursday we drove from Knoxville to Nashville in just under four hours. It was just getting dark as we were pulling in and Nashville was lit up by a gorgeous sunset. Just off the highway we found gas for under $3/gl, which is the cheapest we've been able to find on this whole trip! We booked a KOA campground on the northeast side of town, right by the Grand Ole Opry, and after settling in we decided to take it easy and start our city exploring on Friday morning.

Gorgeous sunset over Nashville, TN
Gorgeous sunset over Nashville
Back when we lived in Memphis we’d made a trip to Nashville to run our very first half marathon, the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. This proved to be a great introduction to the city because the race course went 13 miles along downtown streets and through some of the nearby residential neighborhoods. That first race was a really positive experience for us and that lent a positive tone to our memories of Nashville from then on. We were excited to be back in the Music City!

Nashville is the state capital of Tennessee and it sits on the edge of the Cumberland River. The city has done a good job developing its riverfront and there are walking trails on both sides of the river. Friday morning we found easy parking downtown right along the river with a parking meter. We swung by the Capitol building first. The building was closed for renovations, so we walked around to the back and got great views of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. There is a huge map of Tennessee on the sidewalk there. Fall was still very much in full swing in Nashville, and the state park was abloom in bright colors.

The Tennessee State Capitol Building  in Nashville
The Tennessee State Capitol Building 
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, TN
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
On our way to Broadway, the main drag in town, we walked by the Union Station Hotel. The high-end hotel is housed in a restored 19th century railroad station. On the outside the building still maintains the quintessential Union Station appearance and you would not know that it is a hotel if there were no markings of such on the outside. I really enjoy exploring historic spaces that have been stylishly renovated into new uses, so we decided to peek in. The architects had converted the main station atrium into the hotel lobby, but left many of the historic features untouched. Behind the check-in desk we found the original Departures/Arrivals billboard. I made a mental note that the next time we came back to Nashville (sans the travel trailer), we would try and book a room in this hotel. And no, I am not getting paid anything to say this, I just REALLY liked that hotel :o)

The Union Station Hotel in Nashville, TN
Union Station Hotel
Inside the Union Station Hotel in Nashville, TN
Inside the Union Station Hotel
We continued our walk along Broadway, past the AT&T building. This is the tallest building in Tennessee right now and it is locally known as the Batman Building (you’d have to see it for yourself to see why). We strolled all the way down the street to the Cumberland River and walked out on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge offers access across the river for walkers and bikers, but also affords great views of the Nashville skyline. By then it was getting close to sunset, so we made our way back to Broadway, just in time to see it come alive for dinner and drinks time.

Broadway Street in Nashville, TN
Broadway during the day
Broadway Street in Nashville, TN
On Broadway Street
The Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, TN
The Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge 
Views off of the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, TN
Views off of the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
We spent the rest of the evening bar hoping, also known locally as Honky-Tonking. We started with listening to a live country band at the Whiskey Bent Saloon, then made our way further down the street and found another bar with a five piece band and a fiddle. For dinner we went to Rippy’s BBQ where we split a plate of pulled pork and listened to yet another live band, this one in the style of Jimmy Buffet.

Broadway street in Nashville, TN
Broadway at night
Whiskey Bent Saloon on Broadway street in Nashville, TN
Live music at the Whiskey Bent Saloon 
Live music on Broadway street in Nashville, TN
Band with a fiddle! 
Live music on Broadway street in Nashville, TN
The band at Rippy's BBQ
Rippy's BBQ on Broadway street in Nashville, TN
Sky enjoying the pulled pork platter
We had a great time again in Nashville. This is definitely one of the Need to Visit southern cities.

Rippy's BBQ in Nashville, TN
Let's go Honky-Tonking!
To see more pictures of Nashville, click here.

Happy Honky-Tonking,


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  1. So....what next??? You've circled the US at this point... found a home yet? I do love me some southern BBQ:)

  2. It's kind of a secret for now (mainly because we're not even sure of anything ourselves). I will post as soon as we've decided for sure. I'm kind of one those people who doesn't like to say anything until its FOR SURE, for sure, in case I change my mind (because invariably I tend to). BUT...right now we are heavily leaning on the West coast..I'll leave it at that. :o)