From the Honky Tonk to the boot shops, everything about the Music City was both what I expected and also surprising. I was able to visit Nashville in early January to attend a conference for meeting and event planners.
From the moment you step off your plane, you know you’re in Tennessee. Our conference hosts greeted us at the gate with Goo-Goo clusters and mini bourbon bottles to elevate our arrivals. Nashville is a city that takes pride in what it is, and makes sure everyone can feel that presence constantly.
Our hotel was located in the heart of it all, with a room decorated in Josh Cash’s image and complimentary hats boasting the cities name, oh, and more bourbon. The craving for Southern cooking drew us to Puckett’s, a southern grill themed like an old time general store. The pulled pork was cooked perfectly, and their homemade barbecue sauce I cannot recommend enough.
Another excellent dining experience was at the Peg Leg Porker. The laid-back atmosphere in this casual restaurant in the Gulch gave my group and I the best southern-style stuffed shell mac and cheese we could imagine (which involved more than one person ordering seconds).
On a whim between conference sessions myself and my roommates decided to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The walls covered in records and the constant singing of stringed instruments told me that this was where this sound was born and meant to be. We were disappointed that the final task for us to become ‘Country Certified’ was broken during our visit, but enjoyed the experience nonetheless.
On our final evening in Nashville, we attended the closing ceremony of our conference at the Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum. We were treated to dozens of tables boasting all the local food and drink vendors best recipes, and I think afterward if you tested my blood it probably contained traces of barbecue sauce. The night ended with a private concert from Peter Frampton and Little Big Town that carried us into sweet Southern dreams on the wings of a banjo lullaby.
Though my time in Nashville with brief, it taught me so much about the way music should be experienced. Simply walking up Broadway you are treated to live music at every window that is thrown open no matter what temperature the weather chooses to be. My gut knows that the Music City isn’t finished with me yet, and I am eager to saddle up for whatever adventure it brings me next.