Category Archives: Nashville

Historic Tennessee Tour

Visit the much romanticized Old South on an Historic Tennessee Tour. The tour departs from Nashville, and includes Civil War history, The Hermitage and the Belle Meade Plantation.

The Hermitage was the home of President Andrew Jackson, and the beautiful mansion is open for touring, fully restored to its 1837 condition and decorated with Jackson’s belongings. The estate consists of gardens, slave quarters, dairy, and distillery, plus the 200 year-old log cabin, that was the Jackson’s home prior to construction of the grand mansion.

Belle Meade Plantation nashvilleThe tour continues from there to another palatial estate, The Belle Meade Plantation. With slave quarters, and ten outbuildings used in the operation of the plantation in addition to the mansion, all open for public tours. The Plantation tour closes with a visit to the estate winery for a tour and wine tasting.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Country singer and songwriter Marty Stuart will be performing at the Grand Ole Opry, on September 30. Stuart, an Opry Member since 1992, admits he’s been obsessed with country music since an early age. He joined Johnny Cash’s backup band in the 1980s, and has had a string of hit singles including Arlene, Hillbilly Rock and a remake of Cash’s Cry, Cry, Cry.

The Opry performance coincides with the release of Stuart’s double album, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Created with his band, The Fabulous Superlatives, The Saturday Night side features rollicking country music, and covers of some country classics by George Jones and Hank Williams. Stuart covered the hits with an intricate balance of the band’s own touch, and honoring the original artists. The Sunday Morning side is all Gospel, built with powerful vocals and ornate harmonies. Both sides promise to give you a “they just don’t make them like this, anymore” feeling.

After the Opry Show on September 30, Stuart will be on hand in the Opry Shop, for photographs and autographing copies of the new release. Be sure to book tickets for this Opry show, and stop in for an autographed copy of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. While you’re there, you may want to wish Marty a happy birthday as well, the show and album release happen to be on his 56th birthday.

Country Cares

For 25 years country music radio stations and country music artists have given their time and efforts to help raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Through the program radio listeners can call in to make donations to the hospital.  Since the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program began in 1989, it has raised $200 million in pledges to support the hospital.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids, the Grand Ole Opry is hosting a special show on September 23, 2014. The special show will feature a St. Jude patient as guest announcer, and will share photos and videos of special moments from the 25 years of the successful fund-raising program.

Grand Ole Opry bradpaisleyArtists performing in the anniversary celebration show include the Charlie Daniels Band, Eric Paslay, the Opry debut of Maddie and Tae, and closing the show with a full 30-minute set, country superstar Brad Paisley is scheduled to perform including music from his newest CD, Moonshine in the Trunk.

Make plans to be in Nashville to be a part of this commemorative show and radio broadcast.

Visit Willie Nelson and Friends Museum

The oldest continuously operated country artist museum in Nashville, dedicated to honoring country music pioneers, is the Willie Nelson & Friends Museum and General Store.

You can easily spend a few hours browsing the displays of hundreds of personal items chronicling the musical history of Willie Nelson and more than 30 other famous country music artists including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, Webb Pierce. They’re always adding more memorabilia to the incredible collection which includes Willie Nelson’s Martin guitar, from his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1963 and his 1979 CMA Entertainer of the Year award.

You’ll find handwritten lyrics, personal diaries, and concert outfits from entertainers like Kenny Rogers and Barbara Mandrell. There’s even Ronnie Milsap’s one of a kind autographed Playboy magazine, printed in Braille!

Willie Nelson and Friends MuseumThe General Store is the largest souvenir shop in Nashville with Jack Daniels, Elvis and Johnny Cash merchandise, along with hundreds of other novelty items and t-shirts, mugs, keychains and the like. You’ll easily find just the perfect gifts for anyone on your list, young and old, and probably a few items that you just can’t do without.

No trip to Nashville would be complete if you don’t have the right hat, and Willie Nelson’s General Store has hundreds of western hats from which to choose. Be sure to include this fun museum and store on your next Nashville trip.

Country Music Fan Vacation

While you are in Nashville to visit the Grand Ole Opry, include a trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, for a full-on country music experience.

Vacations Made Easy has a convenient vacation package that includes your admission to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a Homes of the Stars Tour and four nights lodging in your choice of more than 90 hotels.

Tour the Nashville area past homes of some of your favorite recording artists, like Alan Jackson and others, plus former homes of musical pioneers, including Hank Williams.  There is plenty on this tour to satisfy any country music fan appetitie.

Country_music_hall_of_fame2The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a work of art in itself.  The astounding building designed to resemble piano keys, and in the shape of a bass clef, houses exhibits along the timeline of country music.  Country music fans will delight to explore at their own pace the countless artifacts and memorabilia and the Hall of Fame.

Of course the Grand Ole Opry is the main attraction, with an amazing line-up of artists.  Make a plan to enjoy a Country Music Fan Package.

The First Star of the Opry

Over all the years of history of the Grand Ole Opry there have been many stars.  But, who was the first star of the Grand Ole Opry?  The answer may surprise you.

Deford Bailey is considered the first star of the Opry.  Bailey was known as a Harmonica Wizard.  He was born just East of Nashville, and raised by a family of musicians who played what he called ‘black hillbilly music.’  At the young age of three, he contracted polio and while bedridden for months, learned to play the harmonica.

In 1925 Bailey worked operating the elevator in the building which housed WSM Radio.  He became friends with a performer from WSM’s Barn Dance, who invited him to be on the show.  In 1928, Bailey was selected among the first artists to be recorded when the Victor Talking Machine Company came to Nashville.

The ‘Harmonica Wizard’ was a crowd favorite and played on the Opry until 1941. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Nashville Civil War Tour

For an educational day-trip from Nashville, visit the Franklin Battlefield and learn about a day in the Civil War that has been called the greatest drama in American history.

The Civil War Tour takes you to walk along the famous Franklin Battlefield where one of the worst disasters of the Civil War for the Confederates took place on December 1, 1864.  In a matter of hours, thousands lay dead, or mortally wounded, including six Generals of the Army of Tennessee.

Visit the Carter House which stands today, scarred with hundreds of bullet holes, open to the public.  Learn about some of the soldiers in the battle and the emotional and physical strains the war took upon them and their families and communities.  The tour will also take you to the town of Franklin for some exploration.

Your tour will also take you to the Carnton Plantation, which served as a field hospital following the epic battle, and is open to the public today.

This tour is an interesting way to learn about the lives of real people and the impact of the war on their lives, and an in-depth look at the Battle of Franklin, and subsequent Battle of Nashville, which effectively eliminated the Army of Tennessee as a fighting force for the remainder of the war.

Lights, Camera, Nashville

If you’re a fan of the TV Show, Nashville, and also a fan of Nashville, TN, then you probably recognize many of the shows filming locations.  Shot entirely in Nashville, the show of the same name has been a hit since it premiered in 2012.  Followers of the program will be happy to know that season three is right around the corner, with its first episode scheduled to air on September 24, 2014.

While you are waiting for the next episode, why not visit Nashville and tour some of the famous locations featured in the show.  The ‘Nashville TV Show Tour’ is a 3.5 hour narrated tour aboard a comfortable bus.  Fans will ride by homes of some of the infamous characters from the show.  You’ll make a stop at the Ryman Auditorium, and have a chance for a photo-op on the stage.  Tours vary but you’ll see plenty of filming sites.  You may get to see the Bluebird Cafe a frequent setting for the Ryman Stageshow, The 5 Spot, a live music hangout in East Nashville, or Two Old Hippies, a huge store packed with fun novelty items, rock & roll memorabilia, an actual VW bus, and a concert stage.

Other iconic filming locations include The Bridge Building, a historic landmark on the waterfront in downtown; the Bridgestone Arena, the city’s largest indoor concert venue; and Centennial Park, a 132-acre park with a replica of the Parthenon.

Bright Lights, Music City

While you are enjoying a trip to Nashville, why not experience a taste of Nashville’s night life?  The city is magnificently lit with brilliant lights that change the landscape after dark.

The Nashville Nights and Lights Tour starts off with some fabulous barbecue dinner at one of the locally-owned restaurants.  After dinner your guide will take you past some incredibly lit buildings around the city.  See the Historic River Front, Schermerhorn Symphony Hall, the Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, and more all glimmering with shining lights.

The wonderful evening is capped off with some free time to explore Honky Tonk Row, listen to some live country music, and maybe spend some time on the dance floor.

Grand Legends Tour

Experience the most famous Nashville sites with a Grand Legends Tour.  Of course the tour starts at the Grand Ole Opry House, where you’ll get a tour of the plaza.  Then you’re off to the Gaylord Opryland Resort, where you will see the most amazing indoor landscaping.  Within the glass dome covering four and a half acres of spectacular gardens and waterfalls, you will ride in style through this paradise on a Delta Boat.

For even more of the Nashville experience add a Discover Nashville Tour and you’ll get to visit the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and more.

Gaylord OprylandTake advantage of these great tours so you don’t miss any of the legendary spots in Nashville.