Where to Go, What to Know

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two weeks ago, Travel staffer Cindy Loose hopped on a nonstop flight to Nashville for a country music getaway. Her reporter's notebook:


1 hour 40 minutes from BWI


Southwest flies nonstop from BWI, with fares usually starting at $200, and occasional sales as low as $140. United flies nonstop from Dulles and American from Reagan, starting at about $275. Connecting service from all three airports starts at about $200.


If you're staying downtown, you can easily walk to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the honky-tonks, the state capitol, and the football and hockey stadiums.

You'll need to take a bus tour or rent a car to get to the Grand Ole Opry, Belle Meade Plantation, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Art Museum, the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson), the Adventure Science Center and the Bluebird Cafe. Tours include those that focus on black heritage, and tours by boat or Segway.


· The Renaissance (611 Commerce St., 615-255-8400, http://www.renaissancehotels.com) offers upscale lodging and chic, modern decor in central downtown. Double rooms start at about $200.

· Holiday Inn Express (888-465-4329, http://www.ichotelsgroup.com) is also in a convenient downtown location; doubles start at about $135.

· Doubles at the massive, 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center (2800 Opryland Dr., 866-972-6779, http://www.gaylordhotels.com) begin at about $200. The resort is at least a 15-minute drive from downtown and about five minutes from the airport.

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