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Also known as Music City, Nashville in the US state of Tennessee has a thriving tourist scene. Once you've unpacked your bags at the centrally located Millennium Maxwell House Nashville, you can unwind in an award-winning restaurant, explore a Civil War monument, or even walk around The Parthenon in a giant park.
You can also experience more of Nashville with these 5 exciting facts you probably didn’t know about the city.
1. It's not all about country music
Contrary to the television show Nashville, which features country music stars singing nightly at The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville is home to all kinds of music. Coldplay, James Brown, and many other celebrated musicians have played at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Venues such as The Cannery Ballroom and Marathon Music Works host everything from Echo and the Bunnymen to Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe.
2. It's not all about southern-fried food
Some of the world's top chefs are cooking up storms in Nashville restaurants. Bajo Sexto Taco – inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – boasts NYC's Barbuto chef Jonathan Waxman. Adele's, in the Gulch, is also home to Waxman’s food.
Bronuts (fried biscuits with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote) are the name of the gourmet game at Biscuit Love, which started as a food truck, moved to an Airstream trailer, and now feeds hipsters in the Gulch.
3. You can meet Dolly Parton and visit the Titanic in the same day
Drive three hours west to Pigeon Forge and not only will you find the much-talked-about Dollywood (where the woman herself is known to occasionally appear), you'll also find a mini Las Vegas featuring a replica of the Titanic.
The replica is actually a museum where you can see hundreds of photos taken on board the doomed ship, touch a real iceberg, walk through reconstructed third-class cabins, and even get a talk from ‘the captain’ about that fateful night. Don't want to risk losing it all like Jack and Rose? Lovers can get married in one of the wedding chapels down the street.
4. It's the home of Jack Daniel’s
Well, almost. You'll have to drive a couple of hours to Lynchburg, but once you enter the otherwise dry county, you'll be in the home of Jack Daniel and his impressive distillery.
Take the tour and see the safe that Jack kicked, which gave him the gangrene that ultimately killed him. You can sample the array of whiskey in the tasting room, then take your photo by the limestone cave that’s still a source of pure spring water for the distillery today.
5. You can buy a lot more than cowboy boots
Of course, if it's cowboy boots you want, there are thousands on offer in Music City. Just walk down to Broadway and marvel at the bejewelled, hand-painted, steel-toe-capped boots that line the windows in stores that smell of leather.
If it's a more eclectic item you're after, search the local listings for regular flea markets, or catch the monthly market at The Fairgrounds. Up to 1200 stallholders will sell you everything from rifles, beheaded dolls, and rusty car doors to antelope skulls. If you don't take the credit card, at least take a camera. People-watching doesn't get any better than this.