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Nashville Nightlife

Music is the focus of Nashville's nightlife. Acts play throughout the day and into the night. Nashville also attracts rock, swing, blues and jazz musicians. Downtown is the hub, with the liveliest places along Broadway or in Printer's Alley. The legal drinking age in Tennessee is 21 years and bars are licensed until 0300, but most tend to close earlier on Sundays. Dress code is 'anything goes' in the honky-tonks and 'smart-casual' elsewhere.

The Tennessean (www.thetennessean.com) website offers live music, cultural and sport event listings and the free weekly paper, Nashville Scene (www.nashvillescene.com) also provides social listings.

The dominance of country music tends to overshadow the fact that Nashville is also a hotbed of many other types of art and culture.

Bars in Nashville

Broadway Brewhouse Downtown

One of the most respected brew houses in the South, this downtown branch has around 75 beers on tap at any one time and an 18m (60ft) bar to accommodate those seeking out the perfect pint. To accompany the ales, they serve up original pizza recipes, including Cajun and brisket. The bar is especially busy whenever there's a local sports fixture, but it's worth the crush for the choice of drinks.

Address: , 317 Broadway, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 271 2838.
Website: http://downtown.broadwaybrewhouse.net

Losers Bar

Despite essentially being a small drinking hole in a trailer, Losers Bar is the current favourite among the Nashville trendsetters. Selling itself on the simple premise of live music and cold beer, it's open every night until 0300 and is a fabulous place for people watching. With fun tunes and kitsch decor, Losers has quickly acquired itself celebrity regulars, so look out for a well-known country singer or one of the guys from Kings of Leon playing shuffleboard in the back.

Address: , 1911 Division Street, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 327 3115.
Website: http://www.losersbarnashville.com

Patterson House Bar & Restaurant

Located in the trendy Gulch area, Patterson offers an elaborate selection of authentic cocktails poured over eight types of twice-filtered ice that are uniquely mixed with homemade syrups and bitters. The joint also offers a 15-item menu with everything priced under $11. Weekends are busy, so visit on a week night. Sit at the bar for the full experience.

Address: , 1711 Division Street, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 636 7724.
Website: http://www.thepattersonnashville.com

Pinewood Social

If you want a bit of glamour mixed into your country, Pinewood Social is the place to be seen. More a cool community concept than just a bar, locals hang out all day at this former trolley barn where they pick between fab tiki cocktails or amazing Mexican food, a vintage bowling alley and karaoke. There are swimming pools and bocce ball courts as well as a drinks patio and an Airstream trailer bar.

Address: , 33 Peabody Street, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 751 8111.
Website: http://www.pinewoodsocial.com


Another original, low-key watering hole, the Rebar is where you'll find Nashville's young and hip hanging out over its famous Bushwacker cocktails - iced slush puppy drinks that are filled with booze. With happy hours lined up everyday of the week, the odd live gig and plenty of BBQ action during the summer months, this is how people party in Tennessee. It even has that favourite Southern pastime, corn hole (throwing bean bags at a raised platform), out on the front lawn.

Address: , 1919 Division Street, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 891 1133.
Website: http://www.rebarnashville.com

Santa's Pub

Santa's Pub has quickly become a Nashville nighttime institution. This unique drinking den has to be experienced to be believed: the owner is a Santa lookalike who decided to open the doors of his double-wide trailer and offer karaoke and cheap beer (prices start at an unbeatable $2) every night to the city's party animals. A house band plays each Sunday evening and the only rule here is 'be nice.' Cash only.

Address: , 2225 Bransford Avenue, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 593 1872.
Website: http://www.santaspub.com

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge

Close to the stage door of the church-like Ryman Auditorium, musicians used to nip into Tootsie's Orchid Lounge for a drink between shows. Famous visitors have included Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristoffersen and there are lines of new bands and singers that play on the tiny Tootsie stage who are trying to emulate them. Adorned with old photos and homemade brews, this rough and ready boozer makes outsiders feel like locals, and locals feel like kings. No wonder it's been around for over 50 years.

Address: , 422 Broadway, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 726 0463.
Website: http://www.tootsies.net

Clubs in Nashville

Live music in Nashville

The Bluebird Cafe

This live music venue is the place for budding singers and songwriters to get noticed. Many musicians, including Garth Brooks, played here as virtual unknowns, and have gone on to fame and fortune as top recording artists. Around 100 people can fit into the performance room, so you could be rubbing shoulders with some high-flying music industry executives - but don't let that put you off.

Address: , 4104 Hillsboro Road, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 383 1461.
Website: http://www.bluebirdcafe.com

Wildhorse Saloon

One of the more unique institutions in town, the Wildhorse is famous for its line dancing nights and live bands playing around the clock. To celebrate its opening in 1994, a herd of live cattle was stampeded past the venue, but now hoards of people who storm to the converted historic warehouse. Strung out over three floors, this multi-purpose venue boasts the biggest restaurant and largest TV screen in the whole city. Arrive in the early evening for line dancing lessons.

Address: , 120 Second Avenue North, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 902 8200.
Website: http://www.wildhorsesaloon.com

Classical music in Nashville

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Designed to emulate the perfect acoustics of European concert halls, this is the permanent home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The neoclassical building is a work of art in itself, featuring a custom-built pipe organ and versatile show space that can convert from raked to cabaret seating, or transform into a spectacular ballroom for world class performances.

Address: , 1 Symphony Place, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 687 6500.
Website: http://www.nashvillesymphony.org

Dance in Nashville

Theatres in Nashville

Tennessee Repertory Theatre Company

While national touring companies fill the main stage, this locally respected troupe performs a wide range of material at either the James K Polk Theatre or the Andrew Johnson Theatre, in the same venue. The company prides itself on high standards and locally produced plays that utilise Nashville talent wherever possible.

Address: , 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 244 4878.
Website: http://www.tennesseerep.org

Music and Dance in Nashville

Culture in Nashville

Tennessee Performing Arts Centre

One of the city's larger music venues, the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre hosts everything from big names through to honest-to-God legends of the country music scene and beyond. It occupies an entire city block and has four performance theatres, the biggest of which houses 2,400 people. The venue also hosts touring Broadway shows, plays, contemporary dance and just about any show big enough to pass through town.

Address: , 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 782 4000.
Website: http://www.tpac.org

The Ryman Auditorium

Best known as the historic home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium first opened in 1892. The Opry was based here from 1934 until 1974, when it moved to its current home at Opryland Drive. The list of past performers here reads like a who's who of country music: essentially everyone from Elvis down. The venue seats 2,300 people and its church-like appearance serves it well as a place to worship country heroes.

Address: , 116 Fifth Avenue, Nashville,
Telephone: +1 615 889 3060.
Website: http://www.ryman.com
A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


The Hermitage Hotel

Built in 1910 in the beaux-arts style, this city institution is the grande dame of local hotels. Smiling after an $18million refurbishment, the lobby is gilded plaster and stained glass windows, and the all-suite guest rooms boast Florentine marble bathrooms. Dining at the hotel’s Capitol Grille evokes an elegant wine cellar, and the Oak Bar has ornate woods and plasterwork.

Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel

Boasting one of the most modern looks on the Nashville hotel scene, Loews Vanderbilt Plaza has bedded many celebrities and country music stars. Artwork is a heavy motif, from the tapestries of the lobby to the in-house branch of the Kraus art gallery. The angular guest rooms are softened by plush curtains, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is well regarded among local carnivores.

Days Inn Vanderbilt/Music Row

The rooms here are at least refurbished every few years to keep this good value motel at least comfortable. The property dates back to the 1960s, giving it kind of a retro cool, and the free local calls and internet don’t hurt the budget. The location is convenient, with Music Row and Vanderbilt University both within easy walking distance.

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center

Nashville’s answer to Graceland, this regal property has 3.6 hectares (9 acres) of indoor gardens, skywalks, cascading waterfalls, winding pathways and riverboats. Outdoor pools, a huge spa and 85-foot fountains complement the 14 restaurants, 20 shops and 5 ballrooms. Guest rooms are comfortable, but not as grand as the public spaces.

Comfort Inn Downtown-Music Row

According to the collection of signed photos in the lobby, this motel has been popular with local music stars over the years, most likely for its location in the very plaid-covered bosom of music row. The standard rooms are clean and cosy, or plump for a suite and get a whirlpool tub.

The Hutton Hotel

Opened in 2009, this property blends traditional southern touched with Manhattan-esque chic, the lobby a mix of luxuriant woods, abstract sculptures and oversized lampshades. It’s a bold attempt to steer away from the more laboured aspects of the city, and you won’t find country music being piped on repeat. The rooms are trendy but not pretentious, and the 1808 Grille brings a modern twist to down-home cooking.