Soul Of America




Enjoying Jefferson Street Jazz Fest in Nashville; credit Tennessee Tourism




    Renown as the Country Music Capitol, the savvy soulful traveler should also know that “Music City USA” also rivals Chicago as the home of Gospel music and so much more. A state capital with numerous colleges, downtown Nashville has many day and night attractions. A walker’s view of downtown should include Riverfront Park and the historic Hermitage Hotel and plenty of theme restaurants. Other noteworthy Nashville attractions encompass Belle Meade Plantation, a Greek Revival mansion known as the Queen of Tennessee Plantations; Cheekwood, home of the Museum of Art and the Botanical Gardens; the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with over 3,000 stage costumes, original song manuscripts, instruments and personal items on display; the Jack Daniel Distillery, the oldest registered distillery in the U.S.  XM Satellite Radio calls Nashville home.

    From the Visitor Center downtown, take a long leisurely stroll on the rejuvenated City Walk, which traces Nashville's urban history from frontier settlement to today. The Walk encompasses such historic sites as Fort Nashborough, the headquarters of the original frontier settlement, historic Market Street, Printer's Alley nightclubs, and Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry. The Parthenon in Centennial Park is the world's only full-scale reproduction of the famous Greek temple. Old buildings  downtown are being reimagined as boutique hotels and small office space that contribute to the vibrancy of nearby shops, restaurants and clubs. A perfect example is the historic Union Station Hotel which has just completed a major renovation that includes a fully restored grand lobby.

    For family fun visit Nashville Shores, located on 385 acres with white sandy beach and three miles of lakefront area; the Nashville Zoo; and the Imaginarium, one of Nashville's most unique, interactive children's experiences. Football fans also appreciate that Nashville is home to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

    Wow! That's the first thing you say when you walk into the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel. It’s like a city under one roof. Although hotel rooms extend to only five stories, hotel property includes over nine acres with 15 restaurants, 4 lounges, 27 shops, and 3 pools. The Cascades Conservatory is the most beautiful area of the hotel. Set under a stunning 15-story high glass dome roof, conveying the illusion of being outdoors, the Conservatory is part of a spectacular tropical garden with thousands of verdant, colorful flora and a four-story cascading waterfall as the centerpiece. You can spend hours wandering among the lush vegetation, fountains and ponds.

    Opry Mills, formerly called Opryland Theme Park, may be the ultimate in "Shoppertainment." At 1.2 million square feet, there are manufacturer outlets, off-price retailers, 200 stores, restaurants and an IMAX Theater. You can spend several hours here by taking a shuttle from downtown or the Opryland Hotel.

    You must visit historic Fisk University and Tennessee State University, and the Civil Rights Room at Nashville Public Library, whose exhibits remind us that Nashville played a key role in the modern Civil Rights Movement. Drive through Bordeaux, a beautiful, upscale African American neighborhood. Nashville is also headquarters of the National Baptist Convention, which has 8.5 million African American members. It has many restaurant, nightclubs and unique shops that have a special attraction to visitors. Better yet take an Authentic Tour Of Historic Black Nashville and Middle Tennessee with Dr. Tommie Morton-Young.

    Perhaps the thing big city visitors will observe as their initial impression, is that Nashville is like a town
town and capitol that grew up to be a nice city.  More than Country Music, it’s also green, clean and beautiful.

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