Country music is the lifeblood of Nashville, home of several landmarks where the greats of the genre have played over the years – and in some cases, continue to play. Musical attractions include the Grand Old Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Long before the music gained fame though, Tennessee was already putting together a long and storied history, some of which can be explored at the state Capitol building and the state museum.
Grand Ole Opry – The Grand Ole Opry is a milestone venue for any country music artist who hopes to someday make it big. Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tex Ritter and Minnie Pearl all performed here making it as much an entertainment venue as a historical artifact. Today, the Opry is still a launching point for careers, much as the Apollo Theater is for rhythm & blues performers.
The General Jackson Steamboat – Spend an unforgettable evening on the historic 300-footlong General Jackson Showboat. Styled in the grand tradition of the paddlewheel riverboats that cruised the great Southern waterways in the 1800s, the General Jackson was named after the first steamboat to operate on the Cumberland River in 1817.
Country Music Hall of Fame – On May 17, 2001, the CMF held the grand opening of its new $37,000,000 facility ten blocks away in downtown Nashville. Inside, the Museum presents its collection to illustrate country music’s story as told through the turns of two centuries. Included are historic country video clips and recorded music, as well as a regular menu of live performances and public programs, a museum store, and on-site dining.
Belle Meade Plantation is a 30 acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. The centerpiece of the property is the Belle Meade mansion built in 1853. This Greek revival house was home to five generations of the Harding-Jackson family, original owners of the Belle Meade Farm. In the late 19th century, the farm encompassed 5,400 acres and was one of the largest private estates in Nashville.