I spent four of the most fun years of my life in Nashville, Tennessee.  College.  I attended Vanderbilt University during the 1980’s, and had a ball!  As a person who does not love attending reunion events, after graduation, I never darkened the door of Nashville for almost 30 years.  And when I returned as a Travel Blogger, looking for the best Nashville Tennessee attractions, I was blown away!  This charming southern town has changed dramatically.  Maybe, like myself, it has grown up a lot!  Let me introduce you to My New Nashville!


Neon Rotiers Restaurant Sign in Nashville Tennessee


Nashville Tennessee Attractions

Anybody Hungry?  Nashville Restaurants

You know how so many memories are wrapped around food….and music?  When my husband and I began planning our trip to Nashville, mainly for the purpose of attending three fantastic antique shows, which I wrote about in this post, I of course wanted to revisit my favorite college haunt….Rotiers. Across the street from Vanderbilt University, this timeless diner has been around since 1945, and I bet I’ve eaten a million cheeseburgers on French Bread there.  It was exactly as I remembered it.  Exactly.


Hamburger on French Bread at Rotiers in Nashville Tennessee


But, man…and travel bloggers…cannot live on cheeseburgers alone, or at least they shouldn’t.  Especially not in their 50’s.  So what else did this New Nashville have to offer?  Well, first of all, there’s distinctly new neighborhoods that have developed that simply did not exist in the mid 1980’s.  The Gulch, East Nashville.  Nope.  Not a hip and cool thing then.  But they sure are now!  There’s dozens of new restaurants in almost every corner of Nashville offering everything from Thai, to farm-to-table, to zippy comfort food.

We tried out Rolf and Daughters in Germantown, with an uber cool industrial feel, packed to the gills with an equally cool crowd enjoying seasonal dishes that were all very good.  Another night we tried Tansuo, in Downtown…right across the street from 12th & Porter (lot of college memories here too).  Our waiter encouraged our table to share our plates…we declined.  We are old.  We are selfish.  The Chinese food was fantastic, by the way!

For more Nashville restaurant recommendations click on the image below!  There’s no need to be hungry in Music City!


Nashville Restaurant List


Nashville Tennessee Attractions

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

One of most fun things to do in Downtown Nashville is visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, built in 2001, so well after my college years.  For sure, I didn’t know what to expect, and y’all….I was simply blown away!  My husband and I could have spent HOURS looking at all the artifacts from country music artists, past and present, including photographs, instruments, documents, clothing and even vehicles.


Jerry Jeff Walker Memorabelia at the Country Music Hall of Fame


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 3 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.  And in fact, I was particularly moved by the inscription inside the Hall of Fame Rotunda:  “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”  Spend a minute walking through this space…you will feel the importance of country music in our American culture strongly here!


Country Music Hall of Fame Plaques

Visitor Information:

  • General Admission Tickets are $26 for adults, and $16 for kids.
  • There are more expensive tickets offered to see additional venues within the museum
  • The museum is open daily from 9-5



Nashville Tennessee Attractions

The Frist Art Museum

Again, opened after my years at Vanderbilt, the Frist Art Museum opened in 2001.  This excellent museum, according to their website, “occupies one of Nashville’s great historic landmarks—the former main post office. Constructed from 1933 to 1934 under the direction of the local architectural firm of Marr & Holman, the building was financed by monies appropriated by Congress during the Hoover administration.  The spare, streamlined exterior—faced in white Georgia marble with gray-pink Minnesota granite—is an example of “starved” or “stripped” classicism.


Art Deco decoration at Frist Art Museum in Nashville


During the Depression, architects were expected to express in their buildings the values of permanence, stability, and order—values that a classical style had traditionally embodied—but in forms streamlined to suggest progress and to lower production costs. Inside, however, cast aluminum doors and grill work, as well as colored marble and stones on the floors and walls, follow the more decorative trend commonly known as Art Deco, which had developed in commercial interiors in the 1920s.”


Painting at Frist Art Museum in Nashville


There’s many permanent exhibits, as well as special exhibits, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times, which runs through May 5, 2019.


Visitor Information:

  • Adult General Admission is $15, and visitors under 18 years old are free.
  • Hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (Martin ArtQuest closes at 5:30 p.m.), Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sunday: 1:00–5:30 p.m. (Café opens at noon on Sunday)



Nashville Tennessee Attractions

The Hermitage

Unlike most college students, I frequently explored parts of Nashville, often far away from campus, and made a visit to The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s home, a yearly experience.  I loved visiting this beautiful place once again with my husband!


Front Facade of The Hermitage in Nashville


We made our visit on a gorgeous day, and were the only two people on our tour.  Our guide was exceptionally good, and knowledgeable and passionate about the history of President Andrew Jackson and his family.  The Hermitage is beautifully preserved, containing a huge number of original pieces of furniture and art work, both in the mansion, as well as in the Visitor’s Center.  I highly recommend a visit to explore a beautiful and historic Tennessee farm and experience an important piece of Nashville and our nation.


President Andrew Jackson Burial site

Visitor Information:

  • Adult General Admission is $28, and children under 18 $23, and under 12 $18.
  • Hours are generally 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.



Nashville Area Attractions

Franklin, Tennessee

When I was in college, Franklin seemed like a LONG distance from Nashville.  Long winding roads through sleepy rolling hills and large open fields made the drive seem like a real “road-trip.”  In reality, Franklin is only 23 miles away…hardly a road-trip, but for sure a drive worth making if you have the time.


The Widow of the South Novel displayed in Carnton


I wrote at length in this post about our visit to Franklin, Tennessee.  And we enjoyed every minute of our visits to important Civil War Battle of Franklin sites, including The Carter House and Carnton.  Those of you who have read “The Widow of the South” will find that post particularly interesting, and anyone interested in Civil War History will enjoy a visit to Franklin, Tennessee!

Plus, there’s great shopping and many fantastic restaurants to enjoy!  Click on the image below for a list of fantastic restaurants in Franklin!


Franklin Tennessee Restaurant List


Thirty years later, with my beer goggles packed away with my college memories, and my reading glasses firmly in hand, I loved visiting Nashville, seeing my old college town all grown up and full of fun and exciting things to do!  Nashville is perfect for a couple’s trip!  I’d absolutely pick Nashville for a fun girls’ weekend!  And Nashville would make an excellent choice for a Family Trip!  There’s plenty to do for all ages and all interests!


The Curious Cowgirl and Will Evans at Vanderbilt

My heart-felt thanks to Visit Music City, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, for collaborating with me on this post, and for their warm hospitality!  All opinions (and reading glasses) are my own!


The Curious Cowgirl at The Hermitage in Nashville