Entertainment, On A High Note

Traditional tourist stops Nashvillians should not overlook: Lower Broadway

For those of us who have been raised here, it is remarkable to see the transformation in the area of town known as “Lower Broad.” For what used to be a running joke on its grittiness, Lower Broad has seen a Renaissance in the past decades and has become one of the most popular parts of town within our city. It is now a destination in and of itself!

Famed Lower Broadway offers fun and entertainment for both tourists and locals alike at all times of the day. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

Famed Lower Broadway offers fun and entertainment for both tourists and locals alike at all times of the day. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

It is one of the spots that every single self-respecting tourist makes plans to see. No one would come to Nashville and not come see this part of town. From Tootsie’s and Robert’s Western World to the Ryman and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Lower Broad is, arguably, at the top of every tourist’s list.

But let’s be honest. How many Nashville residents frequent this area? Okay, maybe we do more than we realize. Who isn’t a fan of those nifty pedal taverns? Are you like us and have wondered out loud, “What in the world is that? Oh! You pedal and drink. Got it!” Looks fun, though, doesn’t it, Nashville?

Today we are sending our shout out to those Nashvillians who have not set foot on Lower Broad in years. We are talking to you! You’ve got to make plans to come downtown and see what all the excitement is all about. You’ve got to admit. With all the buzz around Nashville as the “It City,” we owe it to our hometown to cheer and see what’s happenin’! So let’s take a quick tour around.

First off, you’ve got all the honkytonks. The Stage, Legends Corner, Robert’s Western World. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. The list goes on and on. For places to experience live music in the gritty way we all think of as the rough road to stardom, these honkytonks are it. Outside of the Bluebird, there is nothing so descriptively “Nashville” as the honkytonks that offer a chance for fame to those who come here seeking it.

In addition to the famed Honky Tonks on Lower Broadway, you can also stroll down many of the side streets like 2nd Ave and find more famed music venues like BB King's Blues Club. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

In addition to the famed Honky Tonks on Lower Broadway, you can also stroll down many of the side streets like 2nd Ave and find more famed music venues like BB King’s Blues Club. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

There are also the opportunities to experience Nashville in a way only possible down here on Lower Broad. You are within a stone’s throw of some of the best repositories of country music history when you’re standing at one of the street corners on Lower Broad. Both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium are within walking distance. Nowhere in the world can you get a look at what brought Nashville to its current celebrated status as these two venerable locales. With the breadth and depth of Nashville’s musical history within the walls of these two places, it is worth a trip, to say the least, to experience this part of Nashville the way the tourist does.

You also can’t beat the fun, whimsical parts of Nashville that abound in Lower Broad. Take a ride on one of the pedal taverns. Come on, we dare ya’. Buy a t-shirt at the Hard Rock. Pick out a pair of boots at Robert’s Western World. Stop in at the studio of Nashville’s venerable clothing designer Manuel and stand in awe at his creations. There are so many beautiful things to see, and there is something there for everyone, from the admiring tourist to the famed performers. Both famous folks and everyday folks admire Manuel’s creations. Stop in and say hello!

We hope you decide to put on your tourist hat and shoes and visit this part of Nashville that makes it so unique! It may not be something you do every day, but it is well worth the trip downtown to take in the sights. You’ll be even more proud to live here once you remember in living color what Nashville has to offer!