If you are visiting Nashville, Tennessee, whether you are a Country Music fan or not, you will probably want to check out the country music highlights in the birthplace of country music. Follow along with this article, walking tour, and podcast to get an overview of the main country music sights and, if you are a fan of country music, step inside some of the museums and music halls described to enjoy country music and learn even more about those who made it famous.
You can also follow along with the overview map below or with an interactive map on the website walkli.com. On the Walkli website, just search on Nashville and look for the Country Music Walk.
If you want even more information and to hear more of my thoughts on the sights along this walk, just click on the audio bar at the end of this post to listen to the accompanying podcast.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (Map Point A)
Begin this Nashville Country Music walk at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at 222 5th Avenue South in downtown Nashville. Notice how the building itself resembles a number of musical instruments arranged together. If you want to stop in for a visit, you will see exhibits commemorating the lives and accomplishments of country music artists from the past and present. There are a number of interactive exhibits, so plan to spend at least an hour if you visit. It is open most days from 9 am to 5 pm. Check the official website for updates, ticket options and special events: www.countrymusichalloffame.com.
Just in front of the museum at the edge of the park, you will see the Music City Walk of Fame with plaques honoring the greatest artists in country music, including my favorite country artist Vince Gill, winner of 21-Grammy Awards!
Ryman Auditorium (Map Point B)
Next walk on 4th Avenue with the park on your left and cross over Broadway. You will see the entrance to the Ryman Auditorium on your left. The “Mother Church of Country Music” is the former official home of the Grand Ole Opry.
Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Minnie Pearl, Patsy Cline and many more country legends have performed at the Ryman. If you have time, stop in and take the guided tour and check out the ticket office to see who is performing, as well. Many country and contemporary music artists perform here still today. If you decide to catch a show, note that the balcony seats are best unless you are sitting in the first few rows of the lower level since the low balcony above most of the lower level can interfere with your view. Ryman guided and self-guided tours are offered most days. Check the official website for updates, ticket options and events: https://ryman.com.
Legends Corner (Map Point C)
Exit alongside the Ryman with the building on your left and turn left on 5th Avenue. Just on your left will be Legends Corner, a live country music bar where many legends have been born and sometimes still stop by to play, on the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue. Note the mural on the 5th Avenue side of the building depicting many country music legends. Can you name all 14 of them? For more information about Legends Corner check the official website: https://www.legendscorner.com
Tootsies Orchid Lounge (Map Point D)
From Legends Corner, turn left on Broadway, and you will see the famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge in the same block as Legends. At Tootsies you will experience live country music at the most historic venue on Broadway. Many country music singers would stop in Tootsies before and after their appearances at the Grand Ole Opry to sing and enjoy up-and-coming performers, as well. Willie Nelson received his first songwriting contract after performing at Tootsies. Before you leave, you may want to check out the rooftop bar overlooking Broadway if the weather is nice. For more information about Tootsies Orchid Lounge, check the official website: http://www.tootsies.net
Broadway (Map Point E)
Continue walking down Broadway with Tootsies on your left. As you walk, you will notice many bars and restaurants on both sides of Broadway, especially in this area between 5th Avenue and the Cumberland River. This is a great place to put on your cowboy boots and go “boot scootin’ down Broadway” as you listen to classic and modern country music day and night!
Johnny Cash Museum (Map Point F)
Take a short detour off Broadway, and turn right onto 3rd Avenue South. Just on your right you will see the Johnny Cash Museum. Stop in for a visit if you want to see memorabilia from the life and times of this legendary country music star. For more information, tickets, and updates, check the official website: https://www.johnnycashmuseum.com
Florida Georgia Line House (Map Point G)
After passing the Johnny Cash Museum, keep walking away from Broadway toward the corner. In the same block as the museum, on your left is the the Florida Georgia Line (FGL) House, a 4-level restaurant and bar established by this contemporary country duo. For more information, special event information, and updates, check the website: http://fglhouse.com
Wildhorse Saloon (Map Point H)
Walk back to Broadway, and turn right. Turn left on 2nd Avenue. The Wildhorse Saloon will be about half-way down the block on your right. Look for the large statue of a horse standing up under the sign….a great place for a photo! This 60,000+ square foot building is a dance hall, restaurant, bar, and concert venue. For more information, event calendar, and updates, check the official website: https://wildhorsesaloon.com
George Jones Museum (Map Point I)
Just past the Wildhorse Saloon, on the same side of the street, is the George Jones Museum. This museum, dedicated to yet another country music legend, also houses a restaurant and rooftop bar overlooking the Cumberland River. You do not need to visit the museum to stop by the bar and/or restaurant. For more information, tickets, and updates, check the official website: https://georgejones.com
For more on Nashville check out my post and podcast with 13 Highlights of Nashville. For much more information on Nashville, including hotel recommendations, check out my $3.99 (USD) Kindle e-book at:
If you are attending the Country Music Association (CMA) Fest the first week of June 2018, be sure to get your tickets soon. Check out my chapter on that event in the Kindle book.
Remember to click on the audio bar to listen to the accompanying podcast and for more on my personal thoughts about Nashville. If you have any questions about visiting Nashville, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I hope all your travel days are just perfect!