Downtown Nashville Visitor Center
Inside the glass tower of Bridgestone Arena, visitors can talk with Music City experts for inside tips; pick up brochures, maps and coupons; shop for souvenirs; and buy tickets for attractions.
501 Broadway Nashville, TN
Park near the visitor center, and walk to visit points 1-7.
More About: Nashville
This mid-sized city draws people from all over the world, eager to stroll the sidewalks of Broadway; duck into the famous honky-tonks (point 5), and walk in the footsteps of country music's greats. This thriving district has something for everyone, from pool halls and pub fare to great meals and family fun; shopping and souvenirs to world-class sporting events. This has truly always been the heart of the city, and right on the banks of the Cumberland River sits Nashville's beginning: the site of the original Fort Nashborough (point 7). Led here by James Robertson, this is where the city's first settlers lived. The view of the river and bustling downtown is an interesting reminder of the changes Nashville has seen, from humble fort to modern skyscrapers, pioneers to performers, since the late 1700s.
Originally the Union Gospel Tabernacle, this 1892 church became an entertainment venue, presenting operas, vaudeville shows and top artists in the early 1900s. The auditorium is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, which performed here from 1943- 1974 before moving to the current Grand Ole Opry House. Stop in to tour the venue, and visit the museum and gift shop.
116 Fifth Ave. N. Nashville, TN
Turn R on Broadway, turn L on 5th Ave. N. to pt. 2. (Enter museum from 4th Ave. N. side.)
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Get an intimate look at America's music, just blocks from the honky-tonks that launched hundreds of country music careers. See one-of-a-kind memorabilia, photos and video, traveling exhibits, and live performances. Don't forget the gift shop and Two Twenty-Two Grille. When you exit the Hall, cross Demonbreun Street to the Nashville Music Garden where you'll see roses named for Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Also notice the Music City Walk of Fame, honoring musicians with local connections like the Fisk Jubilee Singers; you'll learn more about them at the end of the trail.
222 Fifth Ave. S. Nashville, TN 37201
Walking: Return to Broadway & 5th Ave. to pt. 3. Driving directions differ due to one-way streets: Go N on 5th Ave. N., turn R on Commerce St. Turn R on 4th Ave. N., go 3 blocks to Demonbreun St. Turn R to pt. 3.
More About: Cornelia Fort
Nashvillian Cornelia Fort was an aviator in the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, later known as the Women's Air Force Service Pilots. In 1943, she became the first female pilot in U.S. history to die on active duty. Her father was a founder of the New York Life & Accident Insurance Company, which started the broadcast network WSM. The network created the Grand Ole Opry in 1925, now the oldest continuous commercial radio show in America.
Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
Once a main connector of downtown and East Nashville, this bridge has been restored and continues to function, but only as a pedestrian bridge. Stroll across the Cumberland River for beautiful views of downtown and LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans and host to spectacular concerts including the CMA Music Festival. You may recognize the bridge from Big & Rich's 2004 hit video, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."
Shelby Ave. Nashville, TN
Walking: Exit pt. 3, turn R on Demonbreun St. Turn L on 4th Ave., turn R on Shelby Ave. to pt. 4.
Broadway Historic District Honky Tonks
The collection of music venues and watering holes on Broadway and surrounding blocks drowned the sorrows and launched the careers of many music stars. Bars like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge became a sort of backstage for up-and-coming performers like Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings, making the 37 steps in the alley between Tootsie's and the Ryman Auditorium famous. More favorites are Robert's Western World, The Stage and Legends Corner; the honky-tonks in Printers Alley, just a few blocks away; and Station Inn in the Gulch.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, 422 Broadway, 615-726-0463
Robert's Western World, 416B Broadway, 615-244-9552
The Stage on Broadway, 412 Broadway, 615-726-0504
Legends Corner, 428 Broadway, 615-248-6334
Printers Alley, Between 3rd & 4th Aves., from Union St. to Church St.
Station Inn, 402 Twelfth Ave. S., 615-255-3307
Broadway, between 1st & 5th Aves. Nashville, TN
Walking: Return W on bridge, turn L on 2nd Ave. to Broadway to pt. 5.
This historic street in The District is home to legendary clubs, restaurants and entertainment venues like Wildhorse Saloon, Hard Rock Cafe, and B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club. During the day, it's a great tourist stroll; at night, the avenue really comes to life as live music fills the venues.
Wildhorse Saloon, 120 Second Ave. N., 615-902-8200
Hard Rock Cafe, 100 Broadway, 615-742-9900
B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club, 152 Second Ave. N., 615-256-2727
Second Ave., between Broadway & Church St. Nashville, TN
Continue E on Broadway toward river, turn L on 2nd Ave. to pt. 6.
The great city of Nashville traces its roots to this site on the banks of the Cumberland River. In 1780, James Robertson and a group of early pioneers established a settlement here called Fort Nashborough. This replica uses the same construction elements as those early forts, built to house the settlers and their families and to protect them from Native American attacks. Open daily, 9a.m.-4 p.m.
170 First Ave. N. Nashville, TN
Continue N on 2nd Ave., turn R on Church St. Turn R on 1st Ave. to pt. 7.
Tennessee State Capitol
Perched on a high hill in Nashville, this massive 1859 limestone structure is one of the most magnificent public buildings of its time. The governors office is here, along with the Tennessee House and Senate chambers. You'll find works of fine art; murals and frescoes by Thomas Hart Benton; the tomb of President James K. Polk and his wife; and monuments to Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, Sergeant Alvin York, and Sam Davis, the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy."
600 Charlotte Ave. Nashville, TN
Return to Church St., turn L. Turn R to go N on 5th Ave. N. Turn L on Charlotte Ave. to pt. 8.
More About: The Tennessee State Capitol
Architect William Strickland and politician Samuel Morgan argued throughout the state Capitol's nine-year construction. Even today, people report eerie arguments from the northeast corner of the building, where both men are entombed in the walls.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
As urban Nashville boomed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the ground here was too soft for high-rise construction due to the historic salt lick that originally attracted wildlife, Native Americans, trappers and settlers to the area. This park was created in the 1990s to save the one remaining view of the Capitol and to commemorate Tennessee's 200th birthday. Visit this 19-acre park, stroll the Pathway of History and splash in 31 fountains, all tributes to Tennessee's waterways. Due to damage from the 2010 Nashville Flood, the fountains are under restoration, projected for completion Memorial Day 2012.
600 James Robertson Pkwy. Nashville, TN
Continue W on Charlotte Ave., turn R on Rosa L. Parks Blvd./US-41A to pt. 9.
More About: Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
In 2007, Nashville renamed MetroCenter Boulevard (8th Avenue North) as Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in memory of “the First Lady of Civil Rights.”
Nashville Farmers Market
Since the early 1800s, the farmers market has been a vital part of Nashville life. Stop in to visit local farmers and produce resellers; grab a bite to eat at one of the Market House restaurants; visit on the weekend, and browse the Flea Market. Tourists love the Nash Trash comedy tours, departing from this spot on a hot pink bus.
900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. Nashville, TN
Pt. 10 is located beside pt. 9.
More About: The Country Music Hall of Fame
From Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb and Johnny Cash to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, the Hall of Fame's (point 3) exhibits offer an up-close, in depth look into the music that makes Nashville's heart beat. The building itself even incorporates musical elements into its architecture. The stone bars along the top of the rotunda form the musical arrangement to the chorus of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" by The Carter Family; the four disc tiers represent the evolution of recording technology, from the 78 to the vinyl LP to the 45 and the compact disc; when viewed from the air, its footprint is a bass clef. The tower atop the rotunda pays homage to radio station WSM, instrumental in country music's growth and popularity. The windows in the front represent piano keys and the building's angled west corner suggests the fin on a 1950s Cadillac.
Pegram Station Train Depot
Built in 1898, this site gave Pegram its original name: Pegram Station. The community landmark was originally a stagecoach stop between Charlotte and Nashville; it later became a train depot with rail service from Nashville. Today, the station is the oldest of its kind in Cheatham County, and the red caboose you'll see is the perfect reminder of this important chapter in Tennessee history.
5003 Station Dr. Pegram, TN
Turn L on Rosa L. Parks Blvd./US-41A, turn R on 10th Cir. N. Turn R on Charlotte Ave./ US-70W, go 16 miles. Turn L on Thompson Rd., turn L on Station Dr. to pt. 11.
Take a break to play. This park is the heart of the community and provides walking trails, a train-themed playground, pavilion, picnic areas and ball fields.
Thompson Rd. Pegram, TN
Turn L on Thompson Rd., turn R into entrance of pt. 12.
Mud Puddle Pottery
Stop in and browse the stained glass, fiber arts, photography, paintings and jewelry, all created by local artists. This art studio is also home to Harpeth Art Center & Gallery. Next door is the Fiddle & Pick, where people old and young come to discover the joy of traditional folk and bluegrass music.
Fiddle & Pick 456 Hwy 70 Pegram 615-646-9131
462 Hwy 70 Pegram, TN
Turn L on Thompson Rd., turn L on TN-1W/US-70W to pt. 13.
Historic Downtown Kingston Springs
The historic downtown area of this quiet bedroom community is a great place to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee, explore the outdoors, or catch some live music on the weekend away from the roar of the big city. Walk into the South Cheatham Library, known as the log cabin library, and pick up visitor information. Park at the library, and walk to visit points 15 and 16.
S. Cheatham Library Kingston Springs, TN
Turn R on TN-1W/US-70W. go 1.3 miles. Turn L on E. Kingston Spring, go 3.8 miles. Turn R on N. Main St. to pt. 14.
Located next to point 15, this local bar serves amazing pork shoulder sandwiches and BBQ quesadillas. Their beer menu is extensive, and there's always a party on the weekends with songwriter nights and live music. Open Wed.-Sun.
385 N. Main St. Kingston Springs, TN
Kingston Springs City Park
This park has 23 acres located along the scenic Harpeth River. See the old railroad bridge pilings, built during the Civil War as part of the Nashville-Johnsonville Railroad. Take advantage of the 1-mile walking trail along the river. Across the street, LL Burns Park also has walking trails and a wildlife sanctuary.
501-589 Co. Hwy 1931 Kingston Springs, TN
Leaving pt. 16, turn L on Main St. to drive N. Turn R onto Park St. to pt. 17.
More About: Tennessee's Civil War Railroad
Following the Federals' capture of Nashville in 1862, Union troops persuaded newly freed slaves to join forces in constructing the Nashville-Northwestern Railroad, extending a key railroad line 78 miles to Johnsonville (point 39). Once the line was completed, the workers were officially inducted into the 12th and 13th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiments, protecting bridges, trestles and block houses from Confederate raiders. In 1864, the railroad's Johnsonville Depot came under fierce attack by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. With many gunboats captured and warehouses in flames, Union Commander Colonel C.R. Thompson resorted to destroying his own supplies to keep them out of Confederate hands. Forrest's raid captured 150 Union prisoners, but that didn't keep Union General William T. Sherman from getting supplies he had stockpiled in Georgia and Nashville.
Harpeth River State Park
Influential iron producer, Montgomery Bell created this engineering masterpiece he named Pattison Forge in 1818: a 200-foot tunnel chiseled by slaves through solid rock at the narrows of the Harpeth River. The tunnel diverted water from the river to create force as it fell, powering iron-forge machinery. Take one of the marked nature trails to get a great view of the water spilling through the tunnel. The narrows is just one of several sites along the river that make up this linear park, a popular spot for hiking, canoeing and fishing.
1071 Narrows of the Harpeth Rd. Kingston Springs, TN
Turn L to go E on Park St., (it becomes Pinnacle Hill Rd.) for 2.1 miles. Turn L on TN-1W/ US-70W, go 0.5 mile. Turn R on Cedar Hill Rd., go 2.8 miles. Turn L on Narrows of the Harpeth Rd. to pt. 18.
More About: Mound Bottom
Harpeth River State Park has recently acquired land to make Mound Bottom, the site of a Native American village dating from 800 A.D. to 1400 A.D., accessible to the public in the near future.
Ready for a zip lining adventure? This 40-acre lush estate provides zip tours all year long. The tours last about 90 minutes across nine zip lines. Get a true birds-eye-view of the local trees, plants and wildlife, and enjoy the rush! Advance reservations required.
1300 Narrows of the Harpeth Rd. Kingston Springs, TN
Continue SW on Narrows of the Harpeth Rd. for 1 mile to pt. 19.
Carl's Perfect Pig
Mr. Carl knows his BBQ; he's been in the business for over 20 years. The "ribs and three" is the most popular dish on the menu, and they do not disappoint. Grab a slab or half-slab, depending on your appetite, and dive right in. And don't forget to taste the mouth-watering banana pudding. The small dining room is lined with bright pink booths and piggy paraphernalia; pick up a t-shirt or a koozie to commemorate your trip.
Vanity Fair magazine voted Carl's in the top 10 Country's Best BBQ Joints.
4992 Broadway St. Kingston Springs, TN
Retrace route NE on Narrows of the Harpeth Rd., turn R on Cedar Hill Rd. Turn R on TN-1W/US-70W, go 6 miles to pt. 20.
More About: County's Best BBQ Joints
Vanity Fair magazine voted Carl’s in the top 10 “Country’s Best BBQ Joints.”
Montgomery Bell State Park
With remains from the iron furnace that was once on the land and cemeteries dating back to some of the earliest settlers in Dickson County, this state park is rich with history. Iron ore was abundant at this location, and remains can still be found of the Old Laurel Furnace. Set among the natural beauty of a hardwood forest where fox, squirrel, raccoon, opossum and deer make their home, visitors can hike, camp, and picnic. Stay overnight in the park's inn or villas, fish on Lake Acorn, enjoy a Southern buffet at the restaurant or play a round on the Audubon-certified 18-hole golf course, all on site.
Golf Course: 615-797-2578
1020 Jackson Hill Rd. Burns, TN
Turn L on TN-1/US-70W/ Broadway St. Stay R to stay on TN-1/US-70. Turn L on Jackson Hill Rd. to pt. 21. (Jackson Hill Rd. changes names to Bakers Work Rd., then back to Jackson Hill Rd. The last int. is Bakers Work Rd. If you reach Camp II Rd., you've
More About: Montgomery Bell
Montgomery Bell arrived in Middle Tennessee in 1802, where he bought famed settler James Robertson’s interest in the Cumberland Iron Works. He also bought a large piece of land along the Screaming Eagle Trail, where he became a community leader and began casting cannon balls for the U.S. Army and Navy. By the mid-1800s, Tennessee ranked third among all states in iron production. Bell’s business was a booming success for two main reasons: he owned massive amounts of land rich in timber, streams and iron ore, and he owned more than 300 slaves, which made up a large part of his workforce. Bell was known to have his slaves’ best interest at heart. At one point, he sent a group of them to West Africa to colonize and find freedom and happiness. The Worley Furnace near Dickson is named for one of his most trusted slaves. Bell died in Nashville in 1855, and bequeathed $20,000 to establish a school for boys. Today, Montgomery Bell Academy remains a prestigious all-boys private school on Nashville’s west side. Montgomery Bell State Park (point 21) bears his name as well.