CMA Fest is right around the corner, and chances are, if you’re one of the thousands flocking to Music City for the week, you’ve already started planning your itinerary of things to do and places to see.
With the final episodes of Nashville returning on June 7 at 9 p.m. ET, we thought we’d give all you beautiful tourists a heads up on some of the hotspots locals love that were made famous through the show.
The Bluebird CaféRaymond Boyd/Getty Images
Technically, the Bluebird was already more famous than you, I and maybe even Garth Brooks will ever be. But its starring role in the series catapulted the tiny café and venue to “buy-tickets-in-advance” and “wait-in-a-mile-long-line” category for its nightly writer’s rounds. But take it from us: it’s worth a ten-mile long wait to snag a seat in this hallowed spot.
The Five SpotLauren Tingle
This well-worn club might rank at the very top of the hip list with locals and industry folks alike. Any given night of the week, there’s a ridiculous lineup of talent, from up-and-comers to icons like Wanda Jackson. You’re also bound to see a famous face or two in the audience, usually cheering on a fellow musician or just taking advantage of $2 Tuesdays like the rest of us.
Deacon’s Eastside HomeLionsgate/ABC
Oh, the memories made on that porch. If you stroll by the East Nashville bungalow that served as Deacon’s home before he moved in with Rayna, just be polite — someone lives there! But also remember that the upstairs apartment is an Air BnB rental, so you might need to book a return trip just to check it out.
Sky Blue CaféLauren Tingle
Blink and you might miss this quaint little Eastside corner café, but an order of French toast and a Denver omelet later, you’ll be so glad you didn’t.
The Wildhorse Saloon, Tootsie’s, Layla’s
Contrary to popular opinion, Nashville locals do occasionally venture downtown to Broadway and when we do, we sometimes make our way to one of these honky-tonks. If you’re attending CMA Fest, you’ll be right in the middle of it all, so we encourage you to partake in all the fun they have to offer, responsibly, of course. Plus there are plenty of new artist-run bars open for their first CMA Fest including Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Blake Shelton’s Ole Red.
The Hermitage CaféLauren Tingle
For after you leave the honky-tonks. Three words: breakfast, all, day.
The ParthenonJohn Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
Located in the heart of Midtown at Centennial Park, this breathtaking structure is a full-scale replica of the Grecian temple you read about in history class. It’s also where Juliette performed her massive concert at the beginning of season two. You’ll really get a taste of local flavor here: photo shoots, families enjoying picnics, rollerblading, the works.
Elliston Place Soda ShopRick Diamond/Getty Images
It’s a time warp in the best way possible. Nashville’s oldest restaurant might also be its most charming in all its original red-and-white splendor. It opened as a grocery in the early 1900s and then went on to become a pharmacy, redesigned in 1939 with the addition of the Soda Shop. The chocolate malt is a little bit of Heaven right here on Earth.