Nashville is rapidly becoming one of the hottest travel destinations in the United States. Thanks to the growing popularity of country music, along with the success of the TV show “Nashville,” tourists come to Music City in droves in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite country star.
But where should they start looking? We have some tips on places that increase your odds of running into Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert or other country music favorites. (Sorry Blake Shelton fans, he’s still a resident of Oklahoma.)
Also, keep in mind that if you’re traveling to Nashville on the weekend, your star-spotting possibilities decrease since many artists are on the road playing shows.
1. To market, to market
Yep, in Nashville, country stars buy their own food. Publix in Bellevue, Kroger in Green Hills and Whole Foods Market in Green Hills are popular grocery stores where stars like Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman might be picking up some healthy eats.
Country music boasts some serious caffeine addicts, including Hunter Hayes who is a bit of a Starbucks junkie, but Dierks Bentley is partial to Hillsboro Village’s Fido, and now Crema and Frothy Monkey are bringing in early morning coffee cravers.
3. Gettin’ the boot
There are lots of places to get boots and many stars with boot endorsements have them automatically sent to them, but Lucchese caters to artists who want custom kicks. Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan are both patrons, and Kacey Musgraves has her own line of boots there, too.
4. Happy Hour Power
The draw of the downtown honky-tonks may be strong for tourists, and they are certainly a ton of fun with cold drinks, hot bands and great service, but country stars like Miranda Lambert, Lee Brice and Jerrod Niemann tend to move off the beaten path a bit to the Midtown area of Nashville where they frequent the Tin Roof, Loser’s or Red Door.
5. Jelly for the Jam
Every Monday night, new artists and songwriters showcase their tunes on the tiny stage at Midtown bar Winner’s for Whiskey Jam. However, the event was started by stars like Chris Young, David Nail and Lady A’s Charles Kelley, so you never know when one of those fellas may stop to check in and may sing a song.
6. Go fish… or float
Nashville has several beautiful lakes that boast an opportunity for boating, fishing and fun. Jake Owen has been known to take fans skiing on his boat, and Eric Paslay likes to unwind by dropping a line in the water when he finds the perfect spot.
7. A league of their own
Nashville-based country stars are big-time supporters of the city’s NFL Tennessee Titans and NHL Nashville Predators, often holding season passes and box seats. Duh, Carrie Underwood’s hubs plays for the Preds, so guess where she is when the puck drops.
8. Get your grub on
Nashville is becoming one of the hottest spots for foodies in America, so eat something! From Dierks Bentley’s favorite meat & three, Arnold’s, to Dolly Parton stopping in for biscuits at Loveless Cafe, to Troy Gentry stopping for a steak at The Palm, to Thomas Rhett stopping in for sushi at Virago, the options are endless. The newest, hottest spot, Salt & Vine, has been known to host Alan Jackson. It makes sense. One of the eatery’s owners is his daughter, Maddie.
The reality is, Nashville is still a small city, so you never know who will be next to you on a bar stool at Loser’s. The trick is to get here, then just get out and have fun… and have your camera ready for a selfie with your favorite.