A local’s guide to Nashville
- By Brandon Gee
- Photos by
The world has discovered what locals knew all along: Nashville isn’t just a country music mecca — it’s a multifaceted jewel of great food, warm weather, affordable living and music that spans multiple genres.
Following an avalanche of “it”-city publicity in recent years, you probably already know that rockers like Jack White and the Black Keys join country stars in calling Music City home. And there’s the fantastic fact that country-folk legend John Prine and outlaw-country wrecker Sturgill Simpson share a dingy basement office. You may have even heard of our hot chicken.
“A big city that feels like a small town”: These days, that once-common local refrain is heard less frequently, but Nashville’s down-home Southern heart can still be found, especially in its neighborhoods. So get off Lower Broadway, grab a bushwacker to wash down your meat-and-three lunch, and don’t be afraid to dive deep. You can lose the crowds, but no matter where you wander, live music and friendly faces will never be far away.
Meet Brandon Gee
A native Hoosier, Brandon moved to Nashville in 2009 after spending more than two years years as a newspaper reporter/pub waiter/snowboard bum in Colorado. After a brief interlude in New England, Brandon never plans to leave Music City again.
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Explore more of Nashville
- When honky-tonkin’ on the north side of Lower Broadway, skip the lines and enter through rear entrances on Ryman Alley. You’ll see the famous stage-door entrance to Ryman Auditorium.
- Indoor smoking is still a thing at many 21-and-up establishments. If breathing, or smelling like, cigarette smoke is a dealbreaker, check in advance, especially when visiting dives, honky-tonks and karaoke bars.
- Nashville has excellent happy hours (including an abundance of two-for-one drink hours, or days) that serve as great introductions to its colorful neighborhoods. Search events by date at NashvilleGuru.