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The best way to get around Nashville is by car. The city is spread out and so are its attractions. So, if you aren’t driving down, it would make sense to rent a car. That being said, Nashville does have a public transport system, the MTA, but it’s not entirely conducive to tourists. MTA has buses that run through most areas of the city. Downtown circulator buses, called the Music City Circuit, also ply through the city and provide free transport from Monday through Saturday. Taxis are available in plenty as are Uber and Lyft vehicles. You could also try a pedicab - suitable for up to three passengers, and this is a great way for tourists to experience Nashville.
The Music City has much to offer the visitor besides music. Even so, you should probably begin your Nashville tour with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the world’s largest popular music museum. Music lovers can also opt for a walk through Music Row or even book a private recording session at one of the studios! Go on a guided backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House or visit the Musicians Hall of Fame and the interactive Grammy Museum Gallery or the famous Ryman Auditorium. To take a break from music-related stuff you could visit Belle Meade Plantation and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage or take a trip to Jack Daniel’s Distillery. You could also book a Discover Nashville City Tour to enjoy a narrated tour of Historic Downtown, Fort Nashborough, the State Capitol, The Parthenon, Vanderbilt University and Music Row.
Nashville may not be one of the first places that come to mind when you think ‘shopping destination’ but it the Music City does offer something for everyone – upscale retailers, unique boutiques, specialty stores and of course plenty of music-related stores. Lower Broadway is a popular destination for Music City visitors, especially because its where the Music City Shop is located. Other great places for shopping in Nashville are SoBro (South of Broadway), Marathon Village, 12 South, the Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Green Hills, and Opry Mills. While you are there do check out the Nashville Farmer’s Market for locally made goods, cool souvenirs and fresh produce.
Nashville is considered to be reasonably safe for tourists. Tourists visiting Nashville should always follow all the basic precautions that they would while traveling to any other place in the world. Stay away from rundown poorly-lit areas especially at night and while alone. Keep an eye on your surroundings and your things. Make sure that you lock your vehicle securely and keep valuables out of sight.
For first-timers in Nashville SoBro will be an ideal choice – it is in the City Center, is just a short walk from Downtown and is home to the hockey arena, cool museums, and shops. If you are on a budget Downtown, the economic center of the city might provide more options. Midtown and the Gulch are the places to consider if you are looking for exciting nightlife. Another area that music fans would enjoy is Music Row - the hub of country music moguls and famous recording studios. Music Valley offers great entertainment options for music fans and staying there could mean the chance to see live performances by country music’s hottest acts.
Nashville offers an eclectic mix of culinary options and an increasing focus on farm-to-table all topped with some good old Southern hospitality. You cannot leave Nashville without trying their iconic hot chicken. You can try Prince’s, Hattie B’s, Bolton’s and 400 degrees for this delectable dish. Other must-try restaurants in Nashville are Bastion, Pelican & Pig, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Hathorne, Dino’s, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Biscuit Love, The Catbird Seat, and The Farm House.
Nashville tends to be quite warm during summer, the peak tourist season. So, if you are not comfortable with hot weather plan to visit during spring or fall (April-October) when the weather is more favorable. Winters can get quite cold in Nashville, but that’s when you can find the best deals on rooms and airfare. If it’s music you are interested in you might want to schedule your visit in June (Country Music Fan Fair) or in August (Elvis Week).