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 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.
A striking glimpse into America's antebellum eon, the Hermitage tells tales of the life of the country's seventh president, Andrew Jackson. Built in 1835, this historic edifice is a confluence of culture and long-standing history. While living at the Hermitage, Jackson ran a general store, tavern and thoroughbred horse racing tracks nearby, which eventually inspired him to cease his work on the Supreme Court and focus on the Hermitage and its nearby enterprises. This classic Greek Revival mansion retains Jackson's original architecture and furnishings. Permeated with the sounds of a biographical film and museum exhibits, the site of the mansion preserves the original 1804 slave cabins, Jackson's tomb, Tulip Grove Mansion, Old Hermitage Church, and Tennessee Confederate Soldier Cemetery. The estate grounds also shelter a delightful plantation. An integral chapter in the course of American history, the Hermitage greatly immortalizes the 'People's President'.
Discover the stories behind the music as you view over 3,000 stage costumes, original song manuscripts and musical instruments at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Many of the personal items of music legends are on display including Elvis' solid gold Cadillac. Tour packages include a visit to the historic RCA Studio B and the Music Row walking tour. Allow at least two hours for exhibits and the tour. Housing one of the most eclectic musical collections in the world, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit for any music connoisseur.
The thrill of scientific discovery awaits you at Adventure Science Center. This fascinating museum explores hundreds of interactive exhibits and programs for children and adults. View the heavens from the 63-foot (19.3 meters) dome of Sudekum Planetarium. Climb the interactive levels to the top of the Adventure Tower, and experience BodyQuest, an exciting tour through the human body. Defy gravity on a unique adventure at the Max Flight Motion Simulator. Special programs are offered for high school students on weekend nights.
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.
As its name suggests, the Music City Walk of Fame is dedicated to prominent personalities and artists who have contributed to music industry. Reba McEntire, Wynonna Judd, Steven Curtis Chapman and many other important musicians have their terrazzo star on the walk.
While many galleries in the Nashville area provide a venue for local artisans, this is the only space where you will find the works of Norris Hall. Well recognized throughout middle Tennessee and the southeastern United States, Hall has been commissioned by many state organizations to design logos, caricatures and oil renditions of historic places. Other items of note are the sculptures and folk art. Many local artisans schedule showings and lectures in this small gallery.