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Discover USA: Nashville, Tennessee

By BT Editor
July 25, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee skyline
Judy Kennamer/Dreamstime

Join Budget Travel as we continue our new series Discover USA. Discover USA explores states, counties, cities, and everything in between. We will explore a new US destination to help you find things to do, itinerary ideas, and plan where to go next.

This week, we invite you to Discover what Nashville, Tennessee has to offer. When people think of Nashville, they think of music. There’s a reason it’s been called “The Music City” for almost 100 years. Discover what else they are known for.

Culinary

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken - Nashville
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken - Courtesy of Visitmusiccity.com

Discover the spots that make Nashville the culinary destination it is today, including classic dining spots serving up hot chicken, barbecue, and meat & three. With nearly 200 new restaurants opening in the past two years, a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure awaits.

Hot Chicken

Hot Chicken is a Nashville original, fried chicken dish, doused in fiery spices, and served on a bed of white bread with a pickle. Find this at restaurants throughout the city, with heat levels ranging from mild to “clucking hot.” Discover Nashville's staple cuisine, hot chicken via famous spots like Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.

BBQ

Tennessee is known for its low-and-slow barbecue and Nashville is no exception. Check out the different spins on the dish at restaurants throughout the city like Martin’s BBQ Joint , Peg Leg Porker BBQ and Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

Meat & Three

A Meat & Three meal is southern food at its best. Choose a delicious meat dish, accompanied by three mouthwatering sides. Don’t forget a sweet tea and slice of pie to round out the meal. Classic Nashville restaurants like Puckett’s Grocery, Elliston Place Soda Shop and Arnold’s Country Kitchen are the perfect spots for experiencing a true meat & three style meal.

Fine Dining

While Nashville is known for its hot chicken, bbq and meat and three - fine dining has become a force as diners venture out in search of a more upscale experiences. To cater to the new trend, fine dining restaurants are opening up all over the city serving gourmet eats. Places like The Catbird Seat, Kayne Prime Steakhouse and Miel are Nashville fine dining staples that diners have consistently received 5 star reviews.

Arts and Culture

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum - Courtesy of Visitmusiccity.com

In a city where creativity thrives, Nashville’s ever-growing arts scene is as diverse and approachable as its music scene. Murals, street art, public art, art galleries, and museums are all a part of experiencing Nashville’s visual art offerings. The city also hosts art crawls, festivals, and events throughout the year.

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is the definitive home of American music, safeguarding more than 2.5 million priceless artifacts, including countless recordings and photographs, numerous stage costumes, musical instruments, and more.

National Museum of African American Music

Tour the 56,000-sqaure-foot facility that encourages visitors to discover the central role African Americans have played in shaping and creating all genres of music. From classical to country to jazz and hip hop, NMAAM integrates history and interactive technology to share the untold story of more than 50 music genres and sub-genres.

The Johnny Cash Museum

Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Johnny Cash Museum is dedicated to the life and music career of the late Man in Black. Exhibits featuring the world’s largest most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia chronicle Cash’s legacy through stunning graphics, artifacts and interactive technology.

Frist Art Museum

The Frist Art Museum is a family-friendly, world-class art museum located in downtown Nashville and is dedicated to presenting an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions from local, regional, national and international sources. The Frist also features the award-winning Martin ArtQuest Gallery with 30 interactive art-making stations; educational programs; and a gift shop full of hand-crafted merchandise -- all surrounded by gorgeous architecture.


For a city called "Music City" you can't speak about art and culture without mentioning the iconic music venues.

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman - Nashville, TN
Ryman - Courtesy of Visitmusiccity.com

When you walk through the doors of historic Ryman Auditorium, one thing becomes clear right away: this isn’t just another nightly music venue, and it’s so much more than a daytime tourist stop. This place is hallowed ground. This is the exact spot where bluegrass was born—where Johnny Cash met June Carter, where souls were saved, and a slice of history was nearly lost. It was right here that country music found an audience beyond its own back porch, and countless careers took off as deals were signed on napkins and paper scraps backstage. This is a building where anything is possible: a soul can find redemption, a crumbling building can find salvation, and an unknown kid with a guitar can find his or her name in lights.

Grand Ole Opry

Nothing says “Nashville” like a night at the Grand Ole Opry. What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today an entertainment phenomenon showcasing a mix of country music greats-- new stars, superstars, and legends. Known around the world as “the show that made country music famous,” you can count on things happening at the Opry that you just can't see anywhere else.

Station Inn

Catch a show at Station Inn, a beloved music listening room in The Gulch area of Nashville. Here you can find the world’s best bluegrass, classic country, Americana and roots music seven nights a week. All are welcome, every day. Good food. Great music.

Exit/In

Anchored in Nashville’s music scene since 1971, Exit/In is the reason the strip is known as The Rock Block. The renowned venue is locally, independently, family-owned and operated. Its history and cultural importance cannot be overstated. Take one look at the Wall of Fame, on the front of the building, to begin understanding the magnitude of the performances that have taken place at the storied club.

Honky Tonk Highway

Music City’s honky tonks line both sides of Broadway (steet) and pump live music into the streets all day, every day. There’s no cover charge but the tip jar gets passed around for those wanting to appreciate the musicians that make Nashville Music City. The music starts at 10am with the party lasting until 3 in the morning.

Outdoors

Parthenon centennial park_Nashville,TN
Parthenon at Centennial Park - Courtesy of Visitmusiccity.com

Within minutes of downtown Nashville, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether your outdoor sport of choice is biking, hiking or horseback riding, the rolling hills, long trails and majestic lakes of the Nashville area will not disappoint. Fish in a calm, beautiful lake, canoe on a lazy river, or get your thrills in a state-of-the-art wave action pool.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Tour Tennessee via a 200-foot granite map of the state, a walkway featuring the state’s 95 counties, 31 fountains representing the major rivers of Tennessee, and an extraordinary wall depicting the state’s history.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is Nashville's premier park. The 132-acre park features the iconic Parthenon, a 1-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, a bandshell, an events shelter, sand volleyball courts, a dog park, and an exercise trail.

Lakes

Enjoy the natural beauty of Middle Tennessee at Radnor Lake, Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake or Harpeth River.

Wave Country

Since Nashville doesn’t have an ocean, the folks at Wave Country decided to bring some wave motion to Music City. The popular water park generates waves that can be ridden, courtesy of 3 water flumes and 2 speed slides. The speed slides drop from a 40-foot tower and travel 80 feet! Floats are included in your admission price. If you have children, or if you’re a child at heart, you will enjoy the waves while getting some rays! Wave Country is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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Walt Disney World® EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival Begins

EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival runs July 14 to November 19! Like a passport specially for your palate, the EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival is a magical taste tour—one that whisks you off on a fun and flavorful journey across six continents. It’s a delicious celebration filled with over 25 global marketplaces, live entertainment and more. Sip, savor and stroll your way through EPCOT®, as you delight in some of your favorite flavors, and try plenty of new ones along the way. There’s even an entire menu of family fun including a Remy inspired scavenger hunt and Emile’s Fromage Montage, where you can sample a variety of unique cheeses and even indulge in an opportunity to earn a very special festival treat.Throughout the day, you’ll find that taste isn’t the only thing on tour. Catch performances throughout the festival, including the return of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series—where internationally recognized artists perform on stage Friday – Monday, while local Orlando bands rock the spotlight Tuesday – Thursday. Plus, don’t miss all the other amazing acts including Voices of Liberty, Mariachi Cobre and the Jammin’ Chefs.All the magic kicks off this summer and spans 129 days. What’s more, you couldn’t have picked a more delicious time to visit, during The World’s Most Magical Celebration—the Walt DisneyWorld® 50th Anniversary.EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival Global Marketplaces More than 25 Global Marketplaces throughout World Showcase to sip, savor and stroll your festival favorites and new delights! Emile’s Fromage Montage Families can enjoy Emile’s Fromage Montage where they can sample a variety of delicious cheeses served in inventive ways. Purchase any five cheese dishes from the official Global Marketplaces listed in the Festival Passport and make sure to collect a stamp for each cheese dish purchased. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring the stamped Festival Passport to Shimmering Sips for a specialty, unique to EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE®. Eat to the Beat The Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare is ready to serve up some piping hot tunes! This year, we’re following the same recipe as our recent festivals, with internationally recognized artists as well as local bands bringing their sizzling sounds to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Jammin’ Chefs This funky drumming crew breaks it down as they drum up fun in the kitchen using pots, pans, and other unlikely instruments. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the Festival. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select Festival merchandise locations – including Port of Entry, Pin Traders – Camera Center, and World Traveler at International Gateway.Find discounted tickets to EPCOT® here.

InspirationNational Parks

Best spots for fall foliage out west

New England gets all the credit. It is known for its seasonal changing of the leaves throughout Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont - and you can find a road trip guide to New England here. But this region is not the only part of the U.S. that cast off different shades during autumn. Here is where to see the best fall foliage in the western states. WEST Arizona Outside of Sedona, Red Rock State Park’s riparian area of Oak Creek Canyon goes by fremont cottonwoods, sycamores, velvet ash and Arizona alder trees on various trails. Be sure to head up the path to the Eagle’s Nest Trail to get a top-down view. See Slide Rock State Park on the same day; trees there also provide a vibrant contrast against the Oak Creek’s red rocks. Idaho The Boise River Greenbelt is a tree-lined pathway throughout the city that connects walkers and cyclists to its various riverside parks. Or you can head out on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, as Highway 75 rolls north past the Harriman Trail and the Galena Summit Overlook, then on through the resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. Great Basin National Park. Photo credit: Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada Nevada In Eastern Nevada, the Great Basin National Park encourages you to drive around at your own pace. Its Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is a paved 12-mile route leading to an elevation exceeding 10,000 feet and views of groves of aspen trees in yellow, red and gold. New Mexico The Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway leads to a 13,000-foot aspen filled alpine wilderness, where the hillsides from Hyde Memorial State Park to Ski Santa Fe shine vibrantly gold. Fall colors hit nicely along U.S. 64, across the Carson National Forest between Taos and Chama and through Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla, where the view of the Brazos Cliffs is worth the stop. Wyoming Battle Pass Scenic Byway, is a 57-mile paved highway over the crest of the little-visited Sierra Madre Mountains of the Medicine Bow National Forest, see the famous strand of trees known as Aspen Alley. In northwest Wyoming, Jackson is a gateway to two of the country’s most beautiful national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Teton where the colors are dazzling. Head east to drive along the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway, the southern-most route across the Bighorn National Forest, for views of the Bighorn Mountains that are framed by yellow- and gold-hued aspens.

InspirationBudget Travel Lists

Bucket List Beaches in Cape Cod for Summer 2022

Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals, set its mission to find out what are the must-visit beaches in Cape Cod for this summer. Cape Cod is known as a summer hotspot and home to some of the most stunning beaches. So lay back in your Adirondack chair and let this list will take you on a journey through sandy shores, remote dunes, and sprawling coastlines. Start creating your perfect summer bucket list now with Holidu’s top Cape Cod beaches to help start your planning! 5. Marconi Beach 574 reviews - average rating: 4.8Located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Marconi Beach is a picturesque Cape Cod National Seashore beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape. This beach not only offers refreshing cool water and warm sand, but also activities like hiking and bike paths! With an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 574 reviews, relax and spend the say at this bucket list worth beach! 4. Herring Cove Beach Herring Cove Beach - Istock/Lunamarina 813 reviews - average rating: 4.8As one of the largest beaches in Provincetown, Herring Cove Beach is a bayside beach known for its calm and warmer waters. Herring Cove is the only Cape Cod National Seashore beach on the bay side of Cape Cod. It is also closer to the downtown area, generally making it more accessible than, the also beautiful, Race Point Beach. With an average rating of 4.8 on Google and a total of 813 reviews, Herring Cove Beach is a can’t miss on your Cape Cod beaches bucket list for summer. 3. Coast Guard Beach Lifeguard Chair at Coast Guard Beach - Istock/jaypetersen 842 reviews - average rating: 4.8Located in Eastham, Massachusetts, Coast Guard Beach is a part of Cape Cod’s National Seashore. Coming in at an average rating of 4.8 with 842 reviews, it is hard to not love Coast Guard Beach. During low tide it is a popular destination for skimboarding, although boogie boarding and surfing are also popular at this beach. Fall under the spell of Coast Guard Beach’s natural beauty and charm and make it the next stop for your summer escape. 2. Nauset Beach Nauset Beach - Istock/KenCanning 1,152 reviews - average rating: 4.8You’ll want to gab your swimsuit and boogie board for this next one. Located in Orleans, Massachusetts, on the ocean side, Nauset Beach comes in with a whopping 1,152 reviews and an average rating of 4.8. Known as a popular place for swimming and boogie boarding due to its waves, you won't want to miss this beach gem. 1. Ballston Beach Ballston Beach - Istock/DenisTangneyJr 110 reviews - average rating: 4.9Ballston Beach is an ocean side beach, located in the relaxing town of Truro, Massachusetts. Its crisp ocean salt water is sure to keep you cool even on the hottest of days. Most known for its iconic sand dunes, and being the muse of Edward Hopper Truro paintings, it makes it the ideal first stop to dive into your summer holiday. With an average rating of 4.9 on Google and a total of 110 reviews, Ballston Beach takes first prize in this ranking and should be at the top of everyone's bucket list for summer 2022.The following beaches made the top 10: 6. Corn Hill Beach7. Head of the Meadow Beach8. Mayo Beach9. Mayflower Beach10. Old Silver Beach Methodology:The study was conducted using the Google Maps database and searching for the word "beach" in all of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, we manually filtered all the results that were not beaches. We then compiled a ranking based on the beaches most voted by users, giving priority to those with the most reviews. For Cape Cod beaches with less than 100 reviews they were not considered. To see the full list and more rankings click here.

InspirationNational Parks

What's New? July 2022

Death Valley gets an Ice Cream Shop Courtesy of Oasis at Death Valley Perhaps the nation’s most remote and coolest old fashioned ice cream parlor just opened at the Oasis at Death Valley in the middle of Death Valley National Park. The largest national park in the lower 48 states and one of the hottest places on earth during the summer. Just off of a $150 million renaissance, The Oasis at Death Valley encompasses two hotels — The AAA Four-Diamond historic Inn at Death Valley with 66 completely renovated rooms and 22 private casitas (outfitted with a personal golf cart) and the family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley with 80 new bungalow-style, stand-alone cottages just steps away from the revitalized Town Square, including new retail shops, a restored saloon, and the resort’s newest and seemingly favorite attraction: a real ice cream/soda fountain shop. The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama Life Saving - The World Games This week The World Games begin in Birmingham, Alabama (opening ceremony July 7th). This is the first time they have been held in the US since the games began in 1981 in Santa Clara, California. What are the world games? The World Games are an international multi-sport event comprising sports and sporting disciplines that are not contested in the Olympic Games. They are usually held every four years, one year after a Summer Olympic Games, over the course of 11 days. In the most recent games, between 25 and 30 sports have been included in the "official" program. Some of these sports are Air sports, life saving, lacrosse, flag football, dance, body building and tug of war just to name a few. Around 3500 participants from around 100 nations take part. To learn more about the world games and to see an entire schedule click here. You can also watch The World Games on olympics.com.Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is BackPhiladelphia Chinese Lantern Festival - Photo by J. Fusco for Tianyu The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival — returns for the first time in three years — illuminates Franklin Square with dozens of massive, intricate, handcrafted lanterns constructed by artisans from China. Each night during the festival, the square comes alive with thousands of LED lights strewn across different displays. All 30-plus lantern designs are brand-new for 2022. Expect a walk-through bamboo forest, a giant whale (that swims!), plenty of mythological creatures and interactive installations like a kaleidoscope selfie spot. Also on the docket at this uber-popular ticketed event: live cultural performances, shopping, dining, the Dragon Beer Garden and more. The festival runs now thru August 7th. Click here to read more and purchase tickets.

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