Nashville, is a tourist city, a state capital, and a center for the music, car, and health industries. All these things lead to a great deal of fun things to do, see, and visit in the city.
Nashville has an almost exact replica of the Parthenon from Athens in the American city’s Centennial Park.
The Nashville Parthenon is complete, unlike the Athenian Parthenon which seems to be perpetually in a state of repair (Greece doesn’t have the money to finish repairs). The Nashville Parthenon is fully touchable while the Athenian Parthenon tour guides gave me the impression that touching the ancient marble was tantamount to treason.
The Nashville Parthenon contains an art museum in the basement. The pieces seemed to be mostly from the 19th century. It’s a good art gallery, but unfrotunately pictures were not permitted.
Picture taking was permitted on the main floor where the massive statue of Athena stood.
The statue is 42 feet tall and decorated with about ten pounds of gold. The shield contains a whole story of its own in the fashion of Achilles’s Shield, detailing the Gigantomachy, the war between the Giants and the Olympians.
Being a fan of Classics it was amazing to stand next to such a faithful representation of an ancient temple.
The Johnny Cash Museum was a wonderful experience for me.
I fell in love with Johnny Cash’s music after watching Walk the Line. It was cool to see so many pieces of his actual life in one place.
There were tons of outfits he’d wore, platnum records he’d won, and original drafts of songs he wrote. I focused my picture taking on the more unique artifacts of the museum though.
One of the most beautiful exterior buildings in Nashville is the Country Music Hall of Fame.
However… the interior was a little boring.
The actual Hall of Fame bit was mildly interesting with the plaques for all the famous artists arranged to spell out the notes to the song, “Will the Circle be Unbroken.”
The rest of the museum felt like a physical version of a bunch of Wikipedia articles, but only the introduction paragraphs. Dozens of artists get their place in the museum along with an outfit or theirs and a little plaque detailing their career. Finding the occasional artist that we liked was cool, but the rest of them… meh.
My favorite bit of the Country Music Hall of Fame was Elvis’s car. It looked amazingly comfortable and came with a built in TV and phone.
Honky Tonk Highway is the place to go in Nashville if you want to hear an artist “before they make it.” The two block stretch has over a dozen little bars and restaurants with live music playing from about noon to midnight.
My wife and I were busy enough that we only caught one gig here, but it was a great set by a musician named Steve Dorian.
Fair warning, we had trouble finding a place to go that had good vegetarian options in Honky Tonk Highway. If that’s a priority for you like it was for us, then plan which place you’re going to ahead of time.
While in Nashville we got the chance to see my favorite band, Barenaked Ladies.
They played at the Ascend Amphitheater with good opening acts by Howrd Jones and OMD. The Barenaked Ladies’ own set consisted of a satisfying mix of their old songs and their new ones.
While I certainly enjoyed myself the waining appeal of the Barenaked Ladies was clear. Of the ~7,000 seats at the Ascend Amphitheater they sold out about 1,000. They joked about it and had a good time, but it makes me sad to think that touring may no longer be profitable for them.
The final attraction for this post will be the Nashville Zoo!
The zoo contains many typical zoo exhibits like giraffes, rhinos, and flamingoes, but the real draw for my wife and me was the petting areas.
The Nashville Zoo lets you pet goats, sheep, and llamas just like most other zoos, BUT ALSO LETS YOU PET KANGAROOS!
And there’s also a really good aquarium, aviary, and reptile exhibit rolled into one.