Jill Riley's Nashville Travel Guide

honky tonk venue in Nashville
Live music in Nashville, Tenn. (Wolf Hoffmann/Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation)
Jill Riley describes her visit to Nashville
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Jill Riley recently returned from her fourth visit to the Music City — Nashville, Tenn. If you would like to visit Nashville someday, here is Jill's list of must-sees:

Country Music Hall of Fame

222 5th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37203
To me, this is the country music version of Mecca.

Stage costumes, instruments, handwritten lyrics, Web Pierce's silver-dollar convertible, Gram Parson's Nudie suit. I cried when I saw the pedal steel used on all my favorite Tammy Wynette songs.

RCA Studio B - Music Row

1611 Roy Acuff Pl, Nashville, TN 37203
This studio is where the "Nashville Sound" was developed: Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Skeeter Davis, The Everly Brothers, Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison and many others recorded here.

Don't just walk up and expect a tour, you have to get your tickets at the Country Music Hall of Fame. I just parked in front, took pictures and touched the walls. I could still feel the energy. Music students from Belmont University use the space to learn basics in analog recording! What a great education. While you're in the neighborhood, take a cruise up and down Music Row.

Ryman Auditorium

116 Fifth Ave. North, Nashville, TN
Home of the Grand Ole Opry, before it was moved to the Opry House. Called "The Mother Church of Country Music," you even sit in pews! Try to get tickets for a show, the sound is amazing. Otherwise, they do daily tours.

Johnny Cash Museum

119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
Nashville's tribute to the Man in Black. Containing artifacts from his childhood, to instruments belonging to the Tennessee Two, stage costumes, personal photos and even handwritten notes by Johnny Cash describing the items on display.

Third Man Records

623 7th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Jack White's studio, performance space and record shop. The store isn't huge, but it's full of Third Man singles and LPs. There's also an interesting collection of novelty antiques like a recording booth (you can cut your own 6-inch), a monkey animatronics machine and an old photo booth.

Grimey's New and Preloved Music

1604 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
The hippest record store in Nashville. New vinyl, used vinyl and a huge collection of books (lots of music biographies). It's kind of like the Electric Fetus of Nashville.

Nashville Biscuit House

805 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
This diner specializes in Southern home-cooked, comfort food. Hands down, the best biscuits I've ever eaten — served with enough sausage gravy to cut a year off of my life. They also serve the popular Tennessee dish, "Meat & 3." Pick your meat and three sides. Wear loose pants.

Robert's Western World, Nashville
Robert's Western World, Nashville (Sean B. spablab via Flickr)

Robert's Western World

416 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
If you do any honky tonkin' on the Broadway strip, this is the place to go for country music. You can even try on some boots while you're in there. They have a small grill behind the bar where the cook is flipping burgers and fried bologna sandwiches; PBR seems to be the popular beer at this joint.

Mercy Lounge/Canary Ballroom

1 Cannery Row, Nashville, TN 37203
I consider this the First Avenue/7th Street Entry of Nashville. Expect to see a lot of artists you've heard on The Current booked at this place. Check the calendar before you plan your trip!

For Craft Beer lovers

This is not all inclusive, but these are the brewery tap rooms I visited. The local craft-beer scene is growing at a fast pace in Nashville. Plan an entire day of brewery hopping.

Hear Jill Riley describe her recent Nashville visit by listening to the audio above.

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  • Nashville skyline
    Nashville skyline at dusk (Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation)

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