Probably Nashville, Tennessee's most iconic event space, the Ryman Auditorium has been standing proudly on the edge of 5th Avenue North since its inception in the year 1881. Named after its founder, renowned local businessman Thomas Ryman, the building's stunning red sandstone walls and grandiose Gothic-Revival facades enable it to stand out above the rest in the very heart of the city's pleasant urban landscape. Drenched in history, the auditorium's vintage-style wooden stage is no stranger to superstars having hosted the likes of Johnny Cash and the legendary Charlie Chaplin back in the early periods of the 20th-century. The venue's popularity really gained momentum the day it started hosting the Grand Ole Opry radio show, earning it the title 'The Mother Church of Country Music'. Historic site by day, the auditorium transforms into a happening venue for enthralling bluegrass, jazz, classical, country and gospel performances in the evenings.
Relive the memories as you view tributes to the great stars of country music. Exhibits honor such music legends as Patsy Cline, Tex Ritter, Roy Acuff, Marty Robbins, Minnie Pearl, George Jones and Jim Reeves. You can also browse through a dozen exhibits on current artists like Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. Displays feature special audio and video electronic effects and interactive devices so you can hear the music as you relive the history of country music. The museum is located in the Opry Plaza area near the Grand Ole Opry House.
When the world-famous Ryman Auditorium closed its doors to country music performances, a section of the stage was removed and installed here at the new home of the Grand Ole Opry. Country music artists, past and present, consider performing on this stage as one of the highest of honors that can ever be bestowed upon them, which is why many of the American music industry's all-time greats have graced the Opry at some point in their careers. The 45,000 square foot (4,180 square meters) building seats 4,400 people. The stage markets itself as 'The Show That Made Country Music Famous' and plays host to the prestigious Country Music Association Awards. Bluegrass, gospel, Americana and folk music concerts are also held here.
The quiet city of Nashville loves the tranquil aura that radiates from its Centennial Park. A perfect retreat for avid nature lovers, the park offers a wide range of entertainment and relaxation options for one and all. Take a calming walk in the park, attend cultural events and local fairs, picnic with family and friends or simply lounge around the sprawling green land. Admire the beauty of Lake Watauga or simply enjoy the splendor of the rose arbor. The Parthenon replicates the structure of the ancient citadel right in the heart of the park. The park is famous for its TACA Fall Crafts Fair, which is a fantastic outdoor event that showcases and sells the work of American fine craft artists at the park. You can also buy souvenirs for your loved ones at the park as you discover unusual visual treasures.
The oldest print shop in America opened in 1879. For decades, Hatch Show Print was the leading poster printer for circuses, vaudeville shows and sporting events. Today, it is located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and is best known for creating images of Grand Ole Opry stars, thousands of which line the shop's walls. Modern-day artists employ the same techniques that have been used since the 15th century, including printing works on site.
Having the largest and most comprehensive collection of memorabilia and artifacts from the late legend, the Johnny Cash Museum is a true gem of the downtown Nashville area. The legendary country superstar and entertainer's life can be seen through the many photos, handwritten song lyrics, costumes, awards and musical instruments lovingly displayed throughout the building's raw brick and motor space. Catch his booming voice as he croons out "Folsom Prison Blues" in one of the many interactive displays. Whether you're a country music fan or not, a visit to this museum will leave you with a newfound respect for one of the music industry's greatest legends.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a wonderful place for art lovers. The center educates visitors on art and hopes it will bring about an interest in the community on the subject. The architecture is beautiful and the interiors and decor lend the space a very upscale elite ambiance and it frequently hosts art exhibitions. At the Frist Center, there is also a fabulous gift shop, where one can purchase memorabilia and other items and an excellent cafe where one can savor some delightful dishes and sip on coffee. Admission is free for students who are 18 and below.
If you want to find a big event in Nashville, this is the first place to look. Convenient location and size make Nashville Convention Center a prime venue for many of the city's major events and exhibits. This massive glass and limestone structure houses a 118,000 square feet exhibit hall, 11,000 square feet ballroom, 25 meeting rooms and offers full-service catering. It is also connected to the Renaissance Nashville (673-room luxury hotel) and across the street from the 20,000-seat Sommet Center.
Before you tour the Music City, you need a game plan. That's why this handy information center inside the Bridgestone Arena should be your first stop. The friendly, knowledgeable staff will help you plan activities in the city and provide you with maps to help you find your way around. Unsure about a certain tourist attraction or restaurant? This facility offers brochures and pamphlets on nearly every point of interest in the metro area, and the staff will be happy to make a dining recommendation.