THINGS TO DO IN NASHVILLE WHILE YOU’RE IN TOWN FOR THE COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS
We all know the Country Music Awards are Country Music’s Biggest Night™. The performances are awesome, the pageantry is terrific and the mix of young and old stars is awesome. Of course, if you have tickets to the show, November 5th will be filled with getting ready and getting your sweet self down to the Bridgestone Arena for the awards ceremony and the after parties, but you might want to hang around for a few extra days. Nashville has a lot to offer even the most discriminating country music fan.
• Hit the Strip. The downtown Broadway Strip is about as exciting as any two blocks in these United States. You can check out the famous honky tonks where the likes of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and hundreds of other stars lubed their chassis before walking down the alley to the Ryman Auditorium to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is probably the most famous, but The Stage Lounge and Robert’s Western Wear also have some of the hottest swing pickin’ in town. As you walk down the street, country music literally pumps out of nearly every building. Souvenir shops abound, and there’s some excellent dining.
• The Good, the Bad and the Famous. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has too many exhibits to mention, but we’ll list a few. The new ACM Gallery has artifacts from the hottest stars in the business. The Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery is an interactive wonder with a 40-foot guitar, replica tour bus, songwriting stations, recording booth, and dozens of technology-enhanced activities that will leave you “Certified Country.” The Taylor Swift Education Center was endowed by the talented singer/songwriter herself. The 7,000-square-foot addition includes classrooms and a learning lab with built-in technology to facilitate distance learning and outreach programs. Plus, you can wander through the Hall of Fame Rotunda, which was designed to recognize Hall of Fame members in a style befitting the high honor of membership. Everyone recognized here is an equal. The room is round to ensure that every Hall of Fame member has a place of equal importance.
• Gruhn’s Guitars George Gruhn wrote the book on Guitar Collecting–literally. His field guide to buying vintage guitars, basses and mandolins is the Bible for guitar traders. His store boasts an incredible collection of instruments. The store was always awesome, but after moving off the strip to 2120 8th Ave South, it’s even better. If you’re a picker, do yourself a favor and check out Gruhn’s.
• Music Row. Yes, it is the music business, and Music Row is where the business is transacted. The major publishing houses are there. So are the record labels, big and small, where the stars are discovered. It’s inspiring to walk down 16th and 17th Avenues and see all the companies that make the music that makes the world go round.
The first step is to get your tickets to the CMAs right here at VIP Concierge. Book yourself a nice room for a few days and rent a car. Then enjoy the Country Awards Show and some of the most amazing country music-related bars, museums and music shops. It’s all Nashville, and it’s all over the place.