We land in Nashville on a perfect September Tuesday in search of Cleopatra. We missed her twice in Denver. But tonight’s the night. My husband and I have tickets to see The Lumineers and hear them sing Cleopatra, along with the rest of that amazing album at the Ascend Amphitheater on the river in downtown Nashville. We’ve flown in specifically for the show, but arrived early enough in the day to hit a couple of honky tonks as we wonder from the Vanderbilt campus where our hotel is in mid-town to the river and historical Nash-Vegas city blocks.
Fortunate for us, friends had recently moved from Nashville. We ran into them a few weeks before our trip. They gave us some great recommendations. So, in the spirit of Vacation Success, we pass those, and some of our own, on to you.
If you only have a day to spend in Nashville, may we recommend:
Sit a bit at Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge. The dank, dark first floor is stuffed with other tourist. There is years and years of photos, graffiti and dust on the walls. The music is amazing. As we sat at a high-top with a couple from Portland, a young woman walked through the door. It was 2 pm on a Tuesday. The singer on the itty-bitty stage to the left of the front entrance recognized her and invited her to join him for a few songs. Everyone on stage squeezed together a bit more tightly and this little thing belted out a couple of great songs. Then she hopped down and headed up the stairs for a drink. We followed her up the stairs to the rooftop bar. From there you can take in a great view of downtown Nashville. The Batman building. Ryman Auditorium. Titan Stadium. It’s a great town.
Peek into any venue on Broadway. We strolled closer to the river, listening to music spill out of several bars on Broadway. The big garage doors were open at TinRoof, and we liked the sound from the band, so we dropped in for a cold, sweaty bottle of beer and a few tacos. I know I keep telling you it was a Tuesday afternoon, but that was part of what made this trip so much fun. TinRoof was full of 50 & 60-somethings singing along with the band, drinking beer and dancing.
Before the Lumineers show, we ate at the bar at The Acme. Our friends from back home had recommended it. The food was good. It was a fun, young, after work, happy hour crowd. A terrible, country duo from Australia was on the main stage. But, it didn’t matter. We were there, in the moment, enjoying all that touristy Nashville had to offer.
Knowing that we’d be back, we’ll plan a visit to The Bluebird Café’s listening room and hopefully The Ryman too. What else should we experience next time we go in search of music in Nashville? Send us your best suggestions.
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