Where to stay:
Opryland Gaylord Hotel – This is the Disneyworld of Nashville, complete with gondola rides through the inside riverways, 17+ restaurants, and a quaint little village where you can do everything from get a mani to buy overpriced souvenirs. Situated next to the Grand Ole Opry, an enormous mall and across from the Willie Nelson Museum one would assume that the location is superb, but this is the one downfall with the hotel. It is a drive to the action of Broadway Street and the main heart of Nashville. That being said, there are shuttles and ample parking. And you really can’t beat the price. (normally under $200/night, but they are always running special promotions.)
If you’re keen on staying in the action, opt for the OmniNashville. Try to get as close to Broadway as possible and avoid staying near Vanderbilt (unless of course that is the purpose of your visit).
What to do:
1. You have to see a show at the Grand Ole Opry. It is imperative. If you’re not a country fan then I’m concerned you chose the wrong weekend vacation destination. BUT even if you don’t love the
banjo, you will not leave a show at the Grand Ole Opry disappointed. There is enough variety and excitement to keep even anyone engaged.
2. Broadway Street. Plan on spending a half day and at least one full night here. During the day, hit the historical sites, visitors center and museums in the area. When night falls, this one main strip is where all of the nightlife you came to Nashville for is condensed. It is a few blocks of country bars with live musicians and bud light specials on three floors. The music and people spill onto the streets in warmer weather, making it feel almost like a baby Vegas strip. One big difference is that the Broadway bars close obscenely early (1AM) …and that you will only hear country music. All country bumpkins are welcome, regardless of age (over 21), appearance and blood alcohol level. No, really, people get incredibly intoxicated every night of the week on Broadway St. Also worth mentioning that there is nothing healthy to eat anywhere in Nashville, so be prepared to order fried food, and enjoy it.
3. Rent a car and drive to GRACELAND. Maybe you’re not as much of an Elvis fan as I am (which just leads me to suggest you reevaluate your idols), but you will not be disappointed with a trip to Memphis. The Kings house is still entirely intact and available for walking tours. Plus you can see his impressive car collection, airplanes, awards, and most elaborate costumes.