Home to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the famed “the Honky Tonk Highway” of downtown bars, Nashville is the center of country music
This music venue is hallowed ground for country music lovers. It was the home of the Grand Ole Opry (a live country music radio show that’s the longest-running radio broadcast in US history) until 1974 and has been the stage for legendary performers like Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and more. The self-guided tour is the best way to visit. You’ll get a history of the auditorium and the musicians that have played there.
116 5th Ave N, +1 615-889-3060, ryman.com. Open daily 9am-4pm. Tickets are $35.50 USD.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
With over 2.5 million items (including records, instruments, photographs, etc.), this is the biggest museum in the world dedicated to country music. There are over 500,000 photos, 900 instruments, and even some famous vehicles (such as Elvis’ solid gold Cadillac limousine from 1960). In addition to the exhibitions, they also host live music and workshops. Even if you’re not a huge country music fan (I’m not), the Hall of Fame is worth visiting as the genre has had a huge impact on American culture. The museum takes a couple hours to visit.
222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, +1 615-416-2001, countrymusichalloffame.org. Open daily 9am-5pm. Admission is $27.95 USD.