Exploring Music City

2 people, 247 miles, 4 days

by Julia C.

My friend Jaime and I traveled to Nashville for the first time over the summer to experience Southern culture, soak up the music scene, and roam the back hills of Tennessee.

We flew straight into Nashville on the only direct flight out of the San Francisco Bay Area — thanks, Southwest! Tony, the owner of a brand new Kia Forte, met us outside of baggage claim.

He greeted us at the airport with a big hug and a cooler filled with water, which was much appreciated given the summer heat. Tony is a singer/songwriter in the Nashville area, and he also gave us copies of two of his albums. Armed with some new tunes, we hit the road.

The next morning, we took a road trip to the countryside to get out of town. Our drive to Burgess Falls State Park was picturesque. On the way to the park, we passed cornfields, stopped into a country store, and stumbled upon Dalton’s bus graveyard in Baxter, Tennessee, which is filled with 1940s to 1970s busses from all over the United States.

Once we got to Burgess Falls, we hiked around the trails, visiting the park’s four waterfalls. Despite the humidity, the park was beautiful and it was great to be out in nature.

Back in the city, Jaime and I spent the next few days enjoying the Nashville music scene and history. The highlight of the trip was seeing Dolly Parton perform on the famous Grand Ole Opry Stage at Ryman Auditorium. We snagged last minute tickets and the show was absolutely amazing.

Visiting the Johnny Cash Museum, Country Music Hall of Fame, and RCA Studio B gave me a new appreciation for country music. The amount of music that has come out of Nashville and that continues to come out is incredible. It was so much fun to see all the music history firsthand.

And on our last night in town, we visited Station Inn, the internationally renowned spot for live bluegrass music, to hear the local jam session that occurs every Sunday night.

The Kia was perfect for country and city driving. Heading back to the airport, we returned the car to Tony right outside the terminal. It doesn’t get any easier than that. After goodbye hugs and passing back the car keys, we were on our way home to San Francisco.

Our trip to Music City did not disappoint. There was so much to see, and I would definitely visit again. But maybe next time when it isn’t so humid!

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