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Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, Tennessee
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Nashville’s city skyline, Tennessee
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The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Tennessee
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Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee
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Boutique shopping in Nashville, Tennessee
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Browsing a record store in Nashville, Tennessee
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Music at Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee
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Nightlife in Nashville, Tennessee
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Destination Nashville, where the music and nightlife are hard to beat.

Arriving in Nashville, Tennessee, I couldn’t wait to be tapping my toes to some live music in Music City and drinking a cold beer with the friendly locals. This is a perfect place to get together with friends and family.

Nashville Icons: Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry

The first thing I did was visit the Ryman Auditorium, the “Mother Church of Country Music” and still home to the Grand Ole Opry at certain times of the year. It also hosts some of today’s most popular artists. Daily tours are offered of this ornate auditorium, and you can even go backstage for a photo opportunity that will make all your friends jealous! As I I watched visitors queuing up to have their official photographs taken on the famous stage, a couple walked up the steps, and the girl immediately posed for the photographer. Her boyfriend was fidgeting around for something in his pocket. Just as the girlfriend turned to scold him, he got down on one knee and asked if she’d marry him. Thankfully, she said yes. This is truly a place that inspires moments like this.

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Dinner and Music at the Bluebird Café

My next stop was for dinner and live music at the Bluebird Café. Located just outside of downtown in an unassuming strip mall, this 90-seat intimate venue has seen some of the best songwriters perform over the years. Photographs lining the walls include the likes of Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, James Taylor and Neil Young. People lined up an hour and a half before the first performance of the night in order to get a seat. A typical nightly performance is made up of three or four songwriters seated at the centre of the room, “in the round.” Each artist has a turn at playing their own songs, while the other songwriters accompany them, instrumentally or with vocals.
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Neighbourhoods: Nightlife on Lower Broadway & Lively Hillsboro Village

Music is the heart of Nashville, and with more than 120 live music venues in the city, there’s something for everyone. A brilliant place to check out during your stay is Lower Broadway. With plenty of live music to choose from, this vibrant downtown neighbourhood also boasts shopping and dining. Before leaving town the next day, I explored the lively neighbourhood of Hillsboro Village. This district is home to cafés, breakfast places, boutiques and restaurants, and is among the city’s trendy meeting places. With several restaurants offering outdoor patios, this is a perfect lunch spot. I browsed the numerous local boutique shops in this low-key and friendly neighbourhood, rummaged through a second-hand bookshop, tried on some vintage shirts next door and enjoyed homemade ice cream. What a great holiday! I learned so much about Nashville, both past and present. Be sure to include Music City on your next U.S. holiday.