This review is part two of my December 2021 Christmas vacation while celebrating New Year’s Eve in Nashville, a.k.a. “Music City”. After three days in Topton, North Carolina, it was time to head to Nashville to celebrate the New Year!

During the 4+ hour drive, I was anxious and excited to arrive in Nashville, Tennessee. Visiting this city has always been a dream of mine. Spending New Year’s Eve in Nashville was icing on the cake. In fact, it’s a place I’ve considered moving to. Music is a passion of mine as both a fan and a guitar player. Bringing these elements together was a bucket list item.

I hadn’t actively listened to country music since I was a teenager. Considering rock music does not have the same mainstream presence as it once did – country music is a great alternative. It’s music played with physical instruments! When celebrating New Year’s Eve in Nashville or any time of the year, there’s an abundance of music. In any bar downtown, you’ll be sure to find many independent artists looking to make a name for themselves. It truly is the best place for aspiring musicians to go to showcase their talents.

Arriving AtThe Hotel To Spend New Year’s Eve In Nashville

I mentioned the plethora of talent in Nashville, didn’t I? It started when we arrived at the hotel. The gentleman at the valet parking told us he moved from Colorado to become a professional musician. He would play at various bars around Nashville looking to be discovered. He is one musician of many pursuing the same goal.

After the conversation, my family and I made our way up to our hotel room after checking in. I really liked the open floor plan of the hotel lobby. It was still the Christmas season and the lobby hall looked beautiful. I thought it was very elegant and classy with respect to how they decorated for arriving guests.

Entering the hotel lobby

An Overview of Our Room Accommodations

We were staying in a two-bedroom suite. I liked the layout of the suite and most appreciated the living room area and separate kitchen area. It felt like a mini apartment. The couch in the living room wasn’t the most comfortable but it could fit three people comfortably.

Hotel Living Room

Since we were staying in a suite, there were two bedrooms in total on either side of the living room. Each bedroom featured two beds. I found each bedroom to be fairly spacious with plenty of room to set down your belongings and move about the room.

We did experience a couple of issues with the room, though. Initially in one of the bedrooms we had difficulty getting the cable to work and we had to place a call to maintenance. My dad had noticed that the issue was due to the pin in the coaxial cable being dented. Once that was replaced, we also had an issue with the thermostat. Another issue that required a second call to maintenance. Eventually, everything was addressed, but from my personal experience, I still enjoyed myself and liked the room. I understand issues will occur and while annoying, being in Nashville superseded any minor setbacks when settling in.

Hotel Bedroom

Transitioning To The Bathroom

In the bathroom, I appreciated that the shower and toilet were separate from the sink and vanity mirror. I really appreciate having as much open space as possible when I’m shaving. The sink, while a little small, had a lot of tabletop space for all of my bathroom necessities. However, the separate room where the toilet and shower reside was pretty tight and felt cramped.

Hotel Bathroom

I personally preferred to dry off outside in the more spacious area where the sink resides. The shower was in a small room, but outside of that, the water pressure was excellent. It was so good my dad and I were talking about buying the showerhead. Whoever thought that the air pressure in a shower could be worthy of discussion?

Hotel Bathroom Vanity

The hotel itself was in a perfect location. We had restaurant options surrounding us and Downtown Nashville was only about 10 minutes away. It’s an ideal option for someone looking to frequent the Downtown Nashville area as we were.

The Action Downtown For New Year’s Eve In Nashville

The following day it was time to celebrate New Year’s in Nashville – Downtown Nashville to be exact. One thing I noticed throughout our stay is we never ran into any issues finding parking. In such a high-energy and popular tourist destination, it was easy to find parking. I wonder if it’s always like this or if visiting in December is potentially a slower time of the year.

Our first adventure brought us to both the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Personally, I was looking forward to the various tributes to Johnny Cash. Whichever country artist you’re a fan of, you will most likely find it here. Both places feature a self-guided tour. The latter focused on the origins of country music and how it transpired into modern-day country music. The former focuses on the life and work of none other than Johnny Cash. There was a ton to consume and it would be pretty overwhelming if you tried to read everything during both tours. I’m actually curious how long that would take to do. I’m sure somebody has attempted the feat.

New Year's Eve at Nashville's Johnny Cash Museum

The Iconic Ryman Theater

The Country Music Hall of Fame Theater was a sight to see. There are so many iconic performers that have graced the stage such as Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton. It’s definitely a place that I’d like to visit again and attend a show. In addition, I’d like to see a show at the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Theater. Per Wikipedia, the Ryman Auditorium was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974.

While I didn’t see a show – a great activity when spending New Year’s in Nashville – I toured the Ryman Theater. My favorite part of the tour was the opening video introduction which lays the foundation of the Ryman Theater’s history. I’ve always found the backstory of music establishments and the musicians behind these establishments to be fascinating. It’s definitely a place I can’t recommend you check out enough.

The New Gibson Garage

As mentioned, I play the guitar. When I learned the new Gibson Garage would be open to the public during my visit, I was excited. This was a must-do while in Nashville. I own a Gibson Les Paul guitar, one of my favorite guitars, and the Fender Stratocaster. Having the opportunity to check out a retail store dedicated only to Gibson was an impressive experience. This was truly a genius idea by Gibson’s Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi.

New Year's Eve in downtown Nashville at The Gibson Garage

Upon walking in, you’ll see a carousel of Gibson guitars which are all available for purchase. Gibson owns multiple brands and those brands are present in a dedicated section within the store. From a customer standpoint, this makes it easy to browse and find what you’re looking for. The store provides each customer the chance to appreciate each collection respectively rather than grouping everything together. It’s a well-organized store with excellent attention to detail that any musician can appreciate. I like that you can build your own Gibson guitar and pick out every piece of wood and desired appointments. Your dream guitar will be built by the Gibson Custom Shop. Doing something like this in person rather than an online form adds to the experience of building your one-of-a-kind instrument.

The Scene At The Bars On New Year’s Eve In Nashville

When it comes to New Year’s Eve in Nashville, grabbing a few drinks, enjoying great music – entertainment is in abundance. I was fortunate to experience a number of them while there. However, there were two locations that were most memorable: Tootsies and Robert’s Western World. It’s worth noting that while these are bars, they’re actually Hony Tonks with country music featured act at each bar.

New Year's Eve at Nashville's Robert's Western World

At Robert’s Western World, we found a place to sit and were lucky in that regard. This Honky Tonk is very popular and has been a staple of Nashville for quite some time. A pleasant surprise occurred when the band played my favorite country song by Eddie Rabbit called Driving My Life Away. I first heard it while watching a Kidsongs VHS tape that my sister and I had. It has stayed engrained in my mind all these years later.

The Best Dive Bar In Nashville

We then eventually made our way over to Tootsies. An iconic Nashville landmark destination. It has all the earmarks of a dive bar, but the characteristics of an old-school Honky Tonk. It’s one of those places that keeps you coming back for more. A cramped small bar with a band in tow all bunched together to share drinks and enjoy music. It was the simplistic nature of the joint that captured my attention. Sometimes the simple things catch your eye and emphasize that less is more.

New Year's Eve in Nashville's Tootsies Bar

An honorable mention I’d like to include even though it’s not a historic bar, Margaritaville is just a good time. I’ve always enjoyed visiting whenever I’m in Las Vegas. It was just as fun in Nashville, but this time with live music. I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Margaritaville in this review. Even though it’s in multiple states, the singer they showcased at the Nashville location was impressive. We found out she was performing that night at the Grand Ole Opry. You never know the talent you’re going to encounter when visiting the Music Capitol of the World.

Stepping Outside To The Outskirts

How can we have a review of Nashville and not mention the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center (“Opryland”)? It is located in the city but on the outskirts away from the hustle and bustle.

It’s a high-end resort with plenty of dining options and much to look at. It will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit. The sheer size of the resort is jaw-dropping. I think you’d get the most out of your visit by staying during Christmas or New Year’s Eve in Nashville. We were not staying at the hotel, but after touring the place, we went for lunch at Fuse Sports Bar. We originally considered the Jack Daniels restaurant which was close by, but we were a little underwhelmed after walking inside.

Christmas tree at Nashville's Gaylord Opry Resort

Finally, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out the confusion when attempting to park. We lost precious time and with the venue being so large, it could easily be mistaken for a concert venue. We eventually found the correct parking lot thanks to the bellhop.

A Two-State Vacation To Remember

With part two of my two-state vacation complete, I’m happy to say that I accomplished another travel goal. I had always aspired to visit multiple states that I hadn’t visited on the same vacation. Everything came together under ideal circumstances. With time off work and two states, North Carolina, and Tennessee, in driveable proximity made the goal feasible to achieve.

A big thank you goes out to my dad and stepmom for making this dream of mine a reality. It’s something I’ll never forget and I look forward to a future adventure of this nature. I wonder if next time I should make a two-state trip that involves flying to a second location.

Gaylord Opry Resort

These trips give me a chance to reflect on what I enjoy most in life. Visiting places in the United States fulfills the travel bug. However, it also provides opportunities for new places to live. It’s very exciting to visit these places and see locations that are beyond my own backyard. This was a truly unique vacation and I’m curious if anyone reading this review has done the same. Have you ever spent New Year’s Eve in Nashville?

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