Nicest Places in the South: Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, like many Southern cities, is less of a destination and more of an experience. It’s a town where you jump in—boots first, of course. It’s a place where memories are made. And Nashville has plenty of memories to share. We could tell you all about the city’s country music roots, but you probably know all about that already. Instead, we want to tell you some of Nashville’s lesser-known tales.

Let’s start way back and hear why Nashville isn’t called Nashborough anymore, or learn which Nashville patron won a duel over his wife’s honor by rearranging a bit of clothing (hint: he was also a President). Take a walk through Printer’s Alley, and you can learn why Nashville came close to being called the Printing Capital of the World instead of the Music Capital of the World—and learn how many a Nashville citizen spent their after-hours having a good time in this notorious business neighborhood.

Next you’ll want to read about a group of Southerners who are bringing a bit of the luck o’ the Irish to the Music City, and then let us tell you why the city has a full-scale replica of Greece’s Parthenon in Centennial Park. How about a story about the Nashville university that was saved by a group of singers? (Sorry—still not about country music!)

And that’s just a sampling of Nashville’s memories waiting to be shared. So take a load off and let us tell you some of our favorites. You won’t be sorry you did, and you may even get an urge to head to Music City and make some memories of your own. Either way, you’ll definitely learn something new about our pick for July’s Nicest Place in the South.


The Making of a Southern Standard: Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

On Christmas Day, 1779, James Robertson and his road-weary party of two hundred hopeful settlers arrived on the frozen banks of the Cumberland River, laying the groundwork for a city that would become an unswerving paradigm of Southern innovation and success.


The Story of Country Music in Tennessee

Bristol, Nashville, and Memphis, Tennessee

With ancestry as deep as Scotland’s dales, today’s international country music scene was bred and born in Tennessee


The Democratic Aristocrat: Nashville’s Andrew Jackson

Nashville, Tennessee

Paradoxical as well as “the people’s President, this Southerner left his mark on both the office and the country as America headed off into her “manifest destiny.”


Hot Off the Press: Nashville’s Printer’s Alley

Nashville, Tennessee

Relatively untouched by the rhinestone glamour and orchestrated yee-haws of Music Row, Printer’s Alley stands testament to the grittier side of Nashville History.


Peter Taylor: A Summons to Nashville

Guest writer Roger Sauls reviews the classic Southern book A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor.


Committing to Memory: Nashville’s RCA Studio A

Nashville, Tennessee

Is the magic of a moment embodied in the halls and walls of a building or in the memories of those that experienced it?


The Southern Renaissance

Nashville, Tennessee

Following harsh criticism of the South’s intellectual and creative barrenness put forth by H.L. Mencken in 1920, the South produced its own rebuttal in the form of the Southern Renaissance.


Luxury in a Box: The 404 Hotel and Kitchen

Nashville, Tennessee

Doing things classy but different is a Nashville tradition, and The 404 Hotel and Kitchen is right in line—or out of it, as the case may be

Check Out All The “Nicest Places” On Our List