Music is what draws most people to Nashville. For me, it was reuniting with one of my best friends, who moved there from San Diego. But soon I, too, was taken by the music. We went to The Family Wash, a former laundromat with a rotating lineup of local bands every night. It’s located in East Nashville, a historic neighborhood with quirky, artsy vibes.
And I got a sense of Nashville’s history from the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City. The museum is home to one of the country’s oldest (1879) letterpress shops, Hatch Show Print. I’m not big on tours, but this one I endorse for its range of iconic and new artwork.
We went on two great day trips: to Leipers Fork, a rural town with a lot of Southern charm—and where Justin Timberlake lives part-time. (Although a better bet for celebrity sightings is to stay in the city, which is swimming with recording studios.) The other was to Radnor Lake State Park, a 1,332-acre nature preserve with hiking trails and the most striking fall colors.