National Museum of African American Music
510 Broadway, Downtown
This museum opened in 2021 to honor music created by African Americans. Wind your way through the galleries, which are broken out by genre—they focus on jazz, R&B, hip hop, gospel, and the blues—and make a bit of your own music in the interactive exhibits.
501 Church St., Downtown
This is the best place in Nashville to grab a cold-pressed juice. They have smoothies, nut milks, salads, and wraps, too.
555 Church St., Downtown
The menu here changes seasonally, and everything is worthy: sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, genoises topped with fresh fruit, cream puffs, and buttery, flaky croissants.
116 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Downtown
The Ryman Auditorium is the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, and it's one of Nashville’s oldest music venues. It’s worth buying tickets if only to see the venue.
1 Hotel Nashville
710 Demonbreun St., Downtown
The 1 feels like a real escape: It’s airy and modern, and it has a really good spa.
401 Korean Veterans Blvd., Downtown
The Joseph is in SoBro, just steps away from some of Nashville’s best museums and music venues. The staff is attentive, the rooms are sleek, and there’s a pool with a bar and views of the city’s skyline. While you’re here, go for the Abruzzo-inspired tasting menu at the restaurant, Yolan, which is helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano.
Robert’s Western World
416B Broadway, Downtown
Our favorite honky-tonk for dancing, this low-key bar has live music every night, bringing couples young and old out to showcase their skills on the dance floor. It’s a great place to go on weeknights since it gets rowdier on the weekend as it is located right on the main strip. You can also buy cowboy boots here; one of the walls is lined in shelves full of pairs in every shape and size imaginable.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
422 Broadway, Downtown
The lovely Reese Witherspoon, a born and bred Nashville girl, gave us a list of some of the places she likes: At the top, the orchid-hued Tootsies, which is apparently the #1 honky-tonk bar in the world! (A fun historical fact: Artists performing at the Grand Ole Opry used to sneak to Tootsie’s through the alley connecting it to the Ryman Auditorium during the show.)
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 5th Ave S., Downtown
Not only is a visit to this museum a must for anyone with a passing interest in country music; it also provides a lot of context for the city as a whole. Every aspect of the industry is documented in painstaking detail. Standout exhibits include Sing Me Back Home, full of photographs and original recordings that go back to the nineteenth century. Kids get their own exhibits and programs—there are live instrument demonstrations, songwriting classes, and interactive galleries in the Taylor Swift Education Center.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Pl., Downtown
This neoclassical stunner looks straight out of the nineteenth century but was actually completed in 2005. And it’s so much more than a typical symphony hall. Aldridge is a fan of the movie nights, where feature films (like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Star Wars) are played with a live orchestral accompaniment: “It’s such a magical experience for families to hear the symphony play alongside classic movies,” she says. “We love watching Home Alone at Christmas. It’s fun for both grown-ups and kids.”