My years as a college student at Vanderbilt University were some of the most fun of my life.
Still, when I returned to Nashville, Tennessee, as a travel blogger, I was blown away! This charming southern town has changed dramatically. Maybe, like me, it has grown up a lot!
Historic Sites, Museums, and Other Places of Interest:
The Country Music Hall of Fame
One of the best things to do in Downtown Nashville is visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This attraction was built in 2001 — well after my college years — and I didn’t know what to expect.
Y’all… I was simply blown away! I could have spent HOURS looking at all the artifacts from country music artists both past and present, including photographs, instruments, documents, walls of CDs, clothing, and even vehicles.
I was overwhelmed with childhood memories when I stumbled upon the display of original costumes from the TV Show “Hee Haw” and was mesmerized by the three-story wall filled with gold and platinum records from county music artists.
You don’t have to be a country music fan to appreciate The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Spend a minute walking through this space…you will feel the importance of country music in our American culture strongly here!
Frist Art Museum
If art is more your speed, make a visit to the Frist Art Museum.
The Frist first welcomed visitors in 2001 — another cultural institute borne long after my college years.
This excellent museum is housed at Nashville’s former main post office, built from 1933 to 1934.
As a student, I frequently explored parts of Nashville far away from campus. It wasn’t long before I was making yearly visits to The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s home. I loved visiting this beautiful place once again!
My guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate about the history of President Jackson and his family. The Hermitage is beautifully preserved, containing a huge number of original pieces of furniture and artwork. I highly recommend a visit to explore a historic Tennessee farm and an important piece of our nation.
When I was in college, Franklin seemed like a LONG distance from Nashville, with winding roads, sleepy hills, and open fields. In reality, Franklin is only 23 miles away… hardly a road-trip, but absolutely a drive worth making if you have the time.
Those of you who have read “The Widow of the South” will find these sites particularly interesting, but anyone interested in American history will enjoy a visit to Franklin, Tennessee!
Antiquing in Nashville
If you follow my Travel Blog, The Curious Cowgirl, you know I never miss a good antique show or flea market!
If you are a collector, a treasure hunter, or simply interested in spending time in Music City, you should make plans to attend these three fabulous Nashville antique shows, held each February. All three are worth attending, and filled with fantastic treasures, antiques, folk art, and collectibles. These shows are as fun to do for couples as they are for collectors.
The third show is the Heart of Tennessee Antique Show. Of the three show, this show is the most formal. It’s held in the Wilson County Exposition Center in Lebanon, which is about 30 minutes outside of Nashville, itself.
So, Music City is sounding pretty fun, right? I encourage you to add Nashville to your list of destinations! There’s plenty to do and enjoy for everyone!
Mary Meier-Evans is a Dallas native and a self-identified travel addict. For the past eight years, she has worked in the non-profit community helping her clients develop better fund-raising strategies. In 2017, Mary began her second act as the Creative Director and Author of "The Curious Cowgirl, a Travel Blog" and the Producer/Creative Director of the YouTube Channel “The Collector and the Cowgirl,” a joint-venture with her husband, Will Evans. Mary is the mother of two children, Collins and Elizabeth Ann, and two step-sons, Matthew and Walker.