Nashville, Tennessee has always had a very special place in my heart because a) I grew up in the area and b) the music! Nashville is THE destination for music lovers, particularly country music fans. If you are looking for some of the best spots in Nashville, I will let you in on where to go in Music City, USA to catch some live tunes and practice your Tennessee two-step.
One of the most iconic music venues in the world is the Grand Old Opry, where all the greats, like Loretta Lynn and Alan Jackson, have taken the stage. The Grand Old Opry also boosts current stars like Carrie Underwood and viral sensations like Mason Ramsey, who found fame yodeling in Wal-Mart. To find out who is playing and buy tickets, head on over to their website here.
Another classic venue in Nashville is the Ryman Auditorium. Located on the famous Lower Broadway, the Ryman serves as a church of sorts for music. The first concert connected to the Ryman took place all the way back in 1892! The building has been majorly updated over the years and now hosts a variety of artists, whether they’re just starting out or have done sold-out stadium tours. The schedule of performances and tickets for the Ryman can be found here.
Finally, we come to the Bluebird Cafe, a tiny venue where everyone who is anyone plays at some point of their career. Because of the small size, the Bluebird can be hard to visit, so definitely plan as far ahead as possible. A schedule of performers at the Bluebird can be found here.
Bars on Lower Broadway
Some of the best places around town to hear live music (and dance!) are the bars along Lower Broadway! In fact, many performers use these venues for major highlights in their careers. First up is Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge, a distinct purple building located near Bridgestone Arena. Tootsies, like many of the bars on Lower Broadway, is multi-level, with each level boasting a different band. Tootsies recently made headlines for being the place where Miley Cyrus launched her latest album! Find out who is playing at Tootsies here.
Next is The Stage, which has live music beginning when they open in the morning and continuing until close. Along the walls, you’ll see framed and signed pictures of all the country music greats who have graced The Stage over the years. If there’s a huge line out front, head through the alley beside the Ryman and go in the back door. You can find a list of upcoming performances here.
If you’re in the mood to party, head to Crazy Town, where the bands cover songs from every genre and there is often a DJ spinning on the third floor! The rooftop of Crazy Town offers some of the best views of Lower Broadway and the river flowing through the heart of the city. Upcoming artists can be found here, though Crazy Town isn’t the best about updating their website.
Finally, there is The Big Bang, a dueling piano bar. The Big Bang is perfect for visitors looking for something a little different. The bar typically has a $10 cover but it is well worth it! You can also request certain songs for a price. The Big Bang fills up fast, so get in early or be prepared to wait in line.
This post has barely scratched the surface of music venues in Nashville, but it is a great place to start for anyone visiting the city! No two shows are ever the same, which is probably why so many people visit these venues time and time again to hear the latest and greatest music in America.
About KB: Originally from Kentucky, KB Gamblin is a freelance writer and the blogger behind Her Life in Ruins. KB is a trained archaeologist, lover of history, and passionate traveler. When she’s not at work or on the road, you can find her hanging out with her dog, Indiana Jones.