Music City is my home, and my friends here in Nashville and at the Grand Ole Opry are excited about sharing the best this great town of ours has to offer with the winner of Southwest’s “GET AMPED UP IN MUSIC CITY” Sweepstakes. The contest is open right here through June 15.
The sweeps offers incredible experiences; all visitors to Nashville need to enjoy when they hit the town, as well as some exclusive opportunities only the contest winners will get to experience. You’ll hang backstage at the Opry. I’ll be there.
Okay, more importantly, up-and-coming stars and legends of country music will also be there. You’ll see U2 in concert (I’ll be there, too). Finally, you’ll meet Darius Rucker when he and others perform in honor of Independence Day on Nashville’s riverfront, prior to one of the biggest and best fireworks displays in America.
The best part: that’s only the beginning. Whew!
There’s no end to the good times and great sounds in Music City… whether you win the AMPED UP sweeps, or just plan a summer getaway. Below you’ll find three tips from yours truly on letting the good times roll in Nashville.
1. LISTEN TO THE MUSIC
No matter when you visit us, there are bound to be dozens of musical options to choose from on any given night. Of course we have the Opry on Tuesday, Fridays and Saturdays, while the Ryman Auditorium has an array of concerts plus “Always … Patsy Cline” and Bluegrass Nights coming later in the summer. The Station Inn offers great acoustic music, and the Bluebird Café is perhaps the most renowned songwriter’s venue in the world. Add the honky tonks of Lower Broadway to the mix, and you have perhaps the only place in these United States of America where you can listen to a Marty Robbins classic, order a cheeseburger and cold beer, and buy a new pair of cowboy boots … all from one bar stool!
2. GO BACKSTAGE!
You don’t have to win the sweeps to get backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House; all you need is a ticket! The Opry offers a glimpse of what happens backstage at the world’s most famous radio show seven days a week via the Grand Ole Opry House Backstage Pass Tour. You’ll see the backstage entrance, 18 newly-themed dressing rooms, and of course the Opry stage. You’ll also pass the spot where Vince Gill once busted me singing one of his songs, but that’s a story for another day. Other great ways to experience the heart of music city include touring the historic Ryman Auditorium (if those walls could talk, they’d keep you entertained for decades) and RCA Studio B, where thousands of hits were recorded, including Elvis’ “Are You Lonesome Tonight” and Miss Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”
3. GET A TASTE OF MUSIC CITY
No matter where you are in Tune Town, great eateries are never far away. I’ve been known to eat my weight in fried green tomatoes at Arnold’s, a friendly little meat and three at 605 8th Ave. Same for the fried pickles at the Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Ave. The only thing better than the view of the state capital building from the Germantown Café (1200 5th Ave. North) is the plum pork on your plate. Good stuff. And for the health conscious Nashville visitor, the Farmer’s Market offers Tennessee’s best fresh fruits and vegetables from summer squash to fresh berries. Please leave the best watermelon for me.
We’re looking forward to seeing the winner of the AMPED UP sweepstakes… and a whole lot more of you… this summer in Nashville!
See you backstage!