(Last Updated On: February 15, 2024)

Are you flying into Nashville on your way to Memphis or another city to which you couldn’t get a direct flight? Is a one day, two night visit to Nashville worth it? You bet your boots it is! Here is all we managed to pack in during our short stay.

Where to Stay

Hyatt Centric Downtown Nashville

This is a great central location hotel. Its an easy walk to Broadway, Country Music Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum, Ryman Auditorium and many more sites and restuaruants. There is a rooftop pool, gym and a restaurant: Ella’s on 2nd.

What to See

Country Music Hall of Fame

This is a beautiful, modern and huge museum full of artifacts of and tributes to the biggest stars in country music history. The Country Music Hall of Fame, often referred to as the “Smithsonian of Country Music”, is a nonprofit educational organization chartered by the State of Tennessee in 1964. The current incarnation of the museum was opened in 2014 and is 350,00 sq. feet (you could fit 5 White Houses in there)! As minor country music fans we spent about an hour and a half touring the museum. If you are a big country music fan you could easily spend hours there!

Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny’s museum was smaller than I’d expected, but packed with memorabilia. Great representation of Johnny’s life and career. As “medium” Johnny Cash fans we spent about an hour in this museum. There is a nice gift shop and also a Bar & BBQ connected to the museum. For Patsy Cline fans there is a museum dedicated to her upstairs.

Hop On Hop Off Tour

This Old Town Trolley tour has 13 stops, with narration throughout. Our driver was very amusing and engaging! The air conditioned tour bus (it’s actually a bus, not a trolley) was very nice with tv screens spaced above to show footage related to what we were driving past. Our driver also filled us in on Nashville and Tennessee history. We ended up just riding the tour almost the whole way from Broadway to the Country Music Hall of Fame. That gave a us a great overview of the sights in Nashville, away from the downtown Broadway area where we were spending most of our time.

GooGoo Chocolate Co.

“Goo Goo! It’s so good, people will ask for it from birth”.

This Nashville original was the first American combination candy bar. Prior to the Goo Goo candy bars had only single ingredients (chocolate or taffy, etc). It was invented in 1912. A Goo Goo Cluster consists of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and milk chocolate.

The shop is located right across the street from the Johnny Cash museum. It is a fun place to visit! Perfectly air-conditioned, crisp, clean environment with all configurations and sizes of the available Goo Goos and related merchandise. You can see the Goo Goo clusters being made through a glass pane. Customers can also design their own custom candy bar using computer kiosks and then watch their creation as it’s handmade by the Goo Goo employees.

This is a must see & eat stop for any Nashville visit! Also makes perfect souveniers.

Honky Tonk Highway (Lower Broadway)

The main drag of Nashville has neon signs, crowds of partiers and live music blaring out of the many Honky Tonk open windows! It’s lots of fun to wander up and down the street, people watch and check out the different bands. The music is sooooooooooooo loud though, that I couldn’t stand to stand too close to many of the buildings (much less go inside)! I recommend you bring earplugs, unless you are already deaf and/or really don’t care.

Live music from a honky tonk

Spot celebrities!

After I first arrived in Nashville I wandered around to check things out. I noticed TV cameras and group of people gathered so I went to see what was going on. Turns out at the Ryman Auditorium a new statue of country music star, Charley Pride, was being unveiled! Charley’s son, Dion, was there for the occasion, speaking and greeting the crowd. He is a country star in his own right. So I was able to get a picture with him. Such a nice guy! Also, I noticed actor Dennis Quaid there talking with Dion! (Dennis is in the white shirt below). Apparently he lives in Nashville, and his production company is making a movie about Charley Pride! Pretty fun!

From what we heard on our bus tour many many celebrities live in Nashville, so I think celeb sightings are probably pretty frequent!

Where to Eat

Pancake Pantry

Pancake Pantry is right next door to the Hyatt Centric. Good, basic breakfast food and some lunch items. Open from 6AM – 3PM. Convenient and much cheaper than the Hyatt’s restaurant.

Jack’s Bar-B-Que

Jacks is right on Broadway. It was a relatively quiet respite from LOUD music everywhere outside. (Yes, I’m being old and cranky about these kids with their loud music everywhere! haha) The line was out the door, but moved quickly (about 15 minutes). You order from a counter, get your food on a tray and find a table. There is quite a bit of seating upstairs. The food was very good!

The Loveless Cafe

The Loveless Cafe is about a 30 minute drive outside of downtown Nashville, sort of on the way to Memphis. This 70+ year old establishment is well worth a stop for 100% made-from-scratch delicious food and a charming complex with shops, the restaurant and lawn games to play while you wait to be seated. The lobby of the restaurant is lined with dozens of photos of celebrities who have dined there. Apparently Martha Stewart said “it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had.” I can’t disagree. The Cheesy Grits were amazing, as were their famous biscuits!

In Summary

Nashville is an American must see city! Bring your cowboy boots and earplugs and a big appetite!