Destination: Nashville, Tennessee
Duration: 2 hours
Average fare: From $320 via Southwest out of Hobby
What to do: Country music fans, pack your bags. Nashville is the capitol of Tennessee and is rich in musical culture and stunning scenery between historic buildings and parks. Widely known for country music, Nashville has also become a hub for pop, rock, bluegrass, Americana, jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, blues and soul music.
Whether you're there for the music or not, Nashville is spotted with museums. Check out the rotating exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, including "Keith Urban So Far" if you visit before May 15. Highlighting the works of this year’s Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo closing act, this exhibit uncovers the journey of the talented artist starting when he was only 6 years old. Make it a point to stop into the Hall of Fame Rotunda, where you can find inductees plaques in the circular room, designed to ensure every Hall of Fame Member has a place of equal importance. Right next door, pop into the Hatch Show Print. This press has been operating since 1879. The storefront is open you can actually watch material come “hot off the press.”
Nashville is known for its musical nightlife, so take a stroll down Broadway and pop in a few of the bars. You never know who you will hear on the stages of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World and Wildhorse. The Grand Ole Opry is a must-see and is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The iconic venue showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. You never know who’s going to show up when you’re there.
Need a break from music? Tour The Parthenon—the one you don’t have to fly halfway across the world to see in person. This replica of the original in Greece includes a 42-foot statue of Athena and serves as the city of Nashville’s art museum. For a little presidential culture, visit The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson. Right when you enter the home, you notice the intricate details on the painted walls. The tour takes you through the home while you learn about the generations who inhabited it.
What to eat: Jimmy Kelly’s Steakhouse is the oldest independently-owned restaurant in Nashville – you know they’re doing something right. The restaurant ages and cuts its beef in-house, so the steaks are of highest quality and comparable to our own Killen’s Steakhouse. But don't fill up on meat and miss dessert: the death by chocolate cake and crème brulee are worth the calories.
If you’re looking for breakfast or brunch, The Southern is the way to go. Located in the SoBro district, this restaurant gives you an authentic southern flavor with an exotic twist. For a taste of home, try the "T is for Texas" breakfast: smoked brisket, delicious (yes, grits can be delicious) cheddar-jalapeño grits with two fried eggs. Looking for something a little lighter at brunch? Go for the "Bless Your Heart" (in true Southern style), a mixed salad with a variety of mix-ins.
It’s hard to get away from music in this city. Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant is known for serving up local, live music along with southern comfort favorites. Their award-winning burger will remind you of a backyard barbecue, but make sure to grab some extra napkins.