I had a business trip to Nashville earlier this week and Mom wanted to join for the preceding weekend so away we went! SUCH a great 48 hours in Music City! We look forward to returning when we have more time to explore Nashville’s many treasures!
We stayed in a stunning hotel – the Hermitage – Tennessee’s only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel. It is also included in Travel & Leisure World’s Best list as well as the Travel & Leisure top 500 list. The hotel was commissioned by 250 local Nashvillians in 1908 and opened September 17, 1910, advertising its rooms as “fireproof, noise-proof, and dustproof, $2.00 and up.” The first million-dollar hotel, it was the preferred gathering place for Nashville’s elite.
The Hermitage has gone through several renovations and WOW did they do a fantastic job! The Beaux-Arts lobby, accessible from street level via a grand staircase, is certainly the centerpiece of the hotel. Take a peek for yourself:
That was merely the starting point though for our weekend of food and music! After dropping out luggage at the Hermitage, we headed straight to the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar and caught the Gil Gann Band:
Our musical romp through Nashville continued that night as we headed to the Grand Ole Opry. Worth noting – it’s not close to downtown Nashville. A 15 minute cab ride time blossomed to 35 minutes due to horrific traffic at the mall surrounding the theatre. Cabs drop you off at a roundabout where we were met by a lovely gentleman in a golf cart who drove us to the entrance.
Once we made it to our seats, we were thoroughly entertained for a solid 2 1/2 hours! Neither Mom nor I are in to country music so we didn’t recognize 90% of names. But, the format of the show, where a “star performer” hosts 2 or 3 other bands, meant no one played more than a song or two. So even if you didn’t care for a band, they weren’t up there for very long! It really was a cool concept and really, all the performers were great! Not sure I would want to listen to any of them for a full 2-hour show, but for a few songs, it was a fantastic sampling of a bunch of genres.
One thing I didn’t know? The Grand Ole Opry is a live radio show on 650 AM WSM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Between acts, the announcers would do commercials for the night’s sponsors! I learned during one of the commercial breaks that the Opry is radio’s longest running show with the first broadcast kicking off in 1925! Mom remembered the radio program as Dad used to love listening to it, but this was news to me. Here is a sampling of the varied musical acts we heard that night:
Mom’s favorite – Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press:
My favorite – Montgomery Gentry:
The highlight of the evening for both Mom and I was the backstage tour of the Opry after the show ended. If you have the chance, we highly recommend signing up for this tour when you order your tickets as it was sold out when we arrived. It is 100% wheelchair accessible and you can check one out free of charge for the tour (you stand/walk for a solid hour). Just ask an attendant and they’ll get you set-up!
All this in our first 12 hours of arriving in Nashville! Stay tuned for my next post when we have a full day to explore!