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.
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.
Nashville's first movie house opened in 1925, was briefly home to the Grand Ole Opry, and evolved into a premier venue for live entertainment and film. Today Belcourt Theatre has emerged as the place for cutting-edge productions, including independent flicks, Mockingbird Theater, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Events happen monthly and movies are shown every day.
Located in the famous Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum is dedicated to music, of all genres. The museum through its massive space has on display, many original music instruments played by artists and memorabilia. The exhibits showcase the work of not just renowned artists but also honors the lesser-known performing artists from the different genres of music. You will get insights and facts about many instrumental and background artists who contributed significantly to some celebrated master pieces. The museum also houses an interactive display gallery, Grammy Museum Gallery which gives visitors a chance to witness and try out the creative process of recording music.
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.