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Welcome to My City:  Nashville: 'Music City' and 'Athens of the South'

03/28/2014

ANBE Melissa Borland is a native Nashvillian. She has worked in the Nashville field office for a little more than six years.

Nashville has always been a small, southern town in a big city. With growth and revitalization, it is becoming one of the trendiest cities in the United States.

Nashville

What I love most about Nashville is… the live music. The city’s nickname is not “Music City” for just any reason. While Nashville is best known for country music, you can find music of all genres almost anywhere in town, with over 100 live music venues (several are even free!). Whether you want an outdoor summer concert on the courthouse lawn, an indoor concert arena, a lively band at a local honky-tonk, or a smaller private venue with some of the best acoustics in the world at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville has it all. With several country stars living in Nashville and groups such as Kings of Leon and the Black Keys calling Nashville home, you never know who might show up at the local bar. To keep up with the city’s growing popularity, Nashville just recently built a brand new convention center, Music City Center, which has 1.2 million square feet of public meeting and event space for art and music.

The best-kept secret in Nashville is… our parks and recreation. Nashville is not known for being an “outdoorsy” city, but it is home to over 100 parks and over 100 miles of greenways for those looking to entertain a more active lifestyle. Radnor Lake and Warner Parks are home to some of the city’s most beautiful scenery and hiking trails. Old Hickory and Percy Priest lakes are great for boating, waterskiing, and fishing. From what I hear, we have some pretty nice golf courses as well!

Whatever you do, be sure to… visit some of the revitalized neighborhoods, such as East Nashville, Germantown, 12 South, Sylvan Park, and Melrose. These are some of the hottest spots in the city and have some of the best restaurants and shopping in Nashville.

For you sports fanatics, we have sports all year round. Depending on what time of year you are here, you can catch a game. Our NFL team, the Tennessee Titans, play from September through December (for Titan fans, hopefully longer!). Our NHL team, the Nashville Predators, play from October through April. We also have an AAA Baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, who play from April through September and who will soon be playing in a new $150 million stadium that is expected to be complete in April 2015.

And don’t forget to visit Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, especially if you are here around the holidays. It is the largest non-casino hotel in the United States outside of Las Vegas. It has nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls, and an indoor river, and inside and out it is covered in beautiful lights and decorations for the holidays!

My three favorite restaurants… Loveless Café, Jack’s BBQ, and Whiskey Kitchen.

Loveless Café has been around for more than 60 years and offers traditional southern favorites: fried chicken and world-famous biscuits with all the fixins. You better get there early on the weekends if you don’t want to wait more than two hours!!

Jack’s BBQ has some of the best barbecue in town. The original location is on lower Broadway in downtown Nashville. It is “quick-service” style with offerings ranging from “Tennessee pork shoulder” to “Texas beef brisket” and “St. Louis-style ribs.”

Whiskey Kitchen is a trendy hot spot that offers a little bit of everything. The food is good and the drinks are great! It has a nice outdoor seating area for dining when the weather is nice.

And finally, I would add… Nashville is also known as the “Athens of the South,” as we are home to 24 post-secondary educational institutions, including the prestigious Vanderbilt University. This nickname influenced the decision in 1897 to build a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tennessee.

One last thing: Nashville loves beer, especially the local craft brews. Nashville is home to several local breweries (Fat Bottom, Yazoo, and Jackalope) and hosts several beer festivals throughout the year. If you can’t make one of the beer fests, you can visit one of the many local beer pubs, such as Flying Saucer, 12 South, or The Pharmacy, to try some local favorites.

Last Updated: 03/28/2014