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To Plan A Trip

March 2023
1min read

Contact the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-657-6910 or visit for information about the city’s historic sites as well as present-day activities and places to stay, eat, and enjoy music of every kind. I was delighted to check in at the top-rated Hermitage Hotel built in 1910 and recently brought back to the elegance, typified by the stained-glass ceiling in the lobby, that had made it the center of Nashville life for decades. In fact this was the headquarters for both sides of the women’s suffrage movement, until Tennessee cast the definitive vote in favor. The hotel has a superb restaurant, and in its vicinity is a men’s room of such Art Deco perfection that a sign outside invites women to have a peek, when possible.

A truly inspired project, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, went up in 1996 near the Capitol to celebrate 200 years of Tennessee’s statehood. It features a walkway stretching 1,440 feet and bordered by a low granite wall on which are inscribed high points of the state’s history. Here and there are quotes from people who made that history: writers, politicians, and ordinary citizens. A parallel path is devoted to Tennessee’s natural history: rivers represented by fountains, mountains made of piles of rocks and softened by native plantings common to various sections of the state. The mall was almost empty the morning I was there; granted it was a cloudy late-November day, but I’d like to think this wonderful place is often thronged.

We mustn’t forget the Grand Ole Opry. Having departed the Ryman Auditorium in 1974, it is now the central focus of Opryland, a mall and hotel sprawl of surpassing glitz. But the theater itself is lit by the devotion of its audience in the way of any great church.

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