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Things to Do in Nashville

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RCA Studio B
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It’s impossible to escape music in a city like Nashville, which makes a visit to RCA Studio B—where it kind of all began—so memorable. More than 35,000 songs have been recorded here, including 200 of Elvis Presley’s rock and roll hits and some 40 million-selling singles by country and rock legends. RCA Studio B is a piece of music history in the heart of city that loves its music. Visitors can wander the halls where Dolly Parton and The Everly Brothers once recorded, and even sit at the piano Elvis played.

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Fontanel Mansion
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California may be home to Hollywood house tours and the star-studded walk of fame, but for visitors to Nashville, a tour of the Fontanel Mansion gives country music lovers a chance to check out how the famous Barbara Mandrell used to live. The 27,000 square-foot luxury home set on a plot of lush gardens and spacious green lawns, has impressive vaulted glass ceilings, more than 20 rooms, 13 baths, five fireplaces, two kitchens, and in true country style, even an indoor shooting range. In addition to family photos from the Mandrell family collection, Fontanel is also filled to the brim with items from Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson and other contemporary artists the current homeowners manage.

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More Things to Do in Nashville

Jack Daniel's Distillery

Jack Daniel's Distillery

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Recognized worldwide for its distinctive black label and square bottle, Jack Daniel's whiskey has become an iconic American symbol. Come visit the place where it all started, the Jack Daniel Distillery, the oldest registered distillery in the United States.

In 1863, Daniel started making whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The key to the whiskey's success, Daniel believed, was that it was made with cool, pure, iron-free spring water from a cave on the property. To this day, Jack Daniel's is only made using this water. Outside of the cave stands a statue of Mr. Daniel himself, watching over the spring of his secret ingredient. A tour offers an insight into how the legendary No. 7 is made, as you get to observe each step of the distillery process.

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Lotz House Museum

Lotz House Museum

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In the late 1850s, a German immigrant named Johann Albert Lotz put the finishing touches on a house that he had built in Franklin, Tennessee. A skilled carpenter and piano maker, Lotz used his new home to showcase his work to potential clients. A few short years later, on Nov. 30, 1864, 20,000 Union soldiers fighting in the Civil War marched into Franklin, constructing barricades a mere 100 yards from Lotz's home. The Lotz family sought refuge from the battle in a neighbor's basement, and the ensuing battle raged for 17 hours, becoming the bloodiest day of the entire Civil War.

The Lotz family survived the deadly battle, but they were so scarred from the human wreckage that they relocated to California. Lotz's young daughter, Matilda, went on to become a renowned artist with works still today displayed in prominent venues across the country. The Lotz House was added to the National Historic Register in 1976, and today, the house is a converted museum.

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Carnton

Carnton

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Bluebird Cafe

Bluebird Cafe

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In a city like Nashville where live music reigns supreme, the question isn’t always what to see, but where to see it. There are plenty of venues with plenty of glitz and glam, but it’s the unassuming Bluebird Café that’s become one of the country music capital’s premiere destinations.

This unassuming listening room in a strip mall just outside downtown isn’t much to look at. But then, music is less about what you can see and more about what you hear. For the last 32 years Bluebird Café has been showcasing some of Nashville’s most significant and recognizable talent—country superstars like Garth Brooks and LeAnn Rimes, as well as the songwriters who made them famous. It’s a venue that’s almost as popular as the stars that play there.

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