Monday, July 18, 2011

I'll be your Conway Twitty

One of my absolute favorite ways to get to know a new city is by taking a narrated bus tour. Nothing beats sitting back in a comfy seat as you’re chauffeured around town by an experienced tour guide who knows the ins and outs of their city. I’m partial to booking through, but there are many great companies that offer these sorts of tours.

When we got to Nashville (where we were only spending 3 days) we decided to book the ‘Discover Nashville’ tour which promised a 3.5 hour journey to all the highlights of the city. We were picked up at our hotel by our tour guide, Rudy (loved him!) who stopped to introduce - by state of residence - every new group he picked to the rest of the tour bus. Rhode Island, meet Canada. South Dakota, you’re gonna be sitting with Louisiana. Rudy’s great personality definitely made the tour even more enjoyable and his knowledge of country music history was amazing. Too bad Dan and I had no idea who half the people he was talking about were….we’re Northerners! New York City doesn’t even have a country station on the dial…booo!

The tour took us past many of Nashville’s most famous sites - Historic Downtown, Fort Nashborough, the State Capitol, the Parthenon, Vanderbilt University and Music Row.

Tennessee State Capitol
The Parthenon in Centennial Park
Since the price of the tour included admission to the Ryman Auditorium AND the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, we were able to explore both at our leisure. I was most excited to see Ryman - the Mother Church of Country Music. It was wonderful to be in the place where the Grand Ole Opry was born and I could only imagine how fantastic the acoustics treated the voices of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. 

As far as the Country Music Hall of Fame goes – wow, so much to see here! This is someplace that we probably wouldn’t have gone to on our own, so spending an hour here was just perfect. I enjoyed seeing the Elvis memorabilia as well as some of the more current stuff from Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, while Dan favored the exhibit on Hank Williams – who knew he was so messed up?

Outside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Hank Williams' white cowboy suit
Johnny Cash's black guitar
Taylor Swift's Reem Acra dress from the 2009 CMA Awards

The last stop on the tour was the world famous honky-tonk bar, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge where we heard some fabulous live music and enjoyed a refreshing complimentary drink. Perfect end to the day!

If you’re looking for the ideal way to see Nashville in a short amount of time, we highly recommend taking this tour. Even though we didn’t know that much about the country music scene, we found it very informative and enjoyable.  However, we still have no clue who Conway Twitty is.


Anonymous said...

So sorry you do not know who Conway Twitty is!!!! Over 50 #1 hits spanning a decades long career in rock and country. Not to mention, a really great human being.

Stephanie said...

We definitely got a crash course in classic country while we were in Tennessee and walked away with a deeper appreciation for it!