Patrons wait in line outside The Bluebird Cafe in Green Hills.

By Dave Ammenheuser

Sports Director

USA TODAY Network-Tennessee


Coming to Nashville for the Associated Press Sports Editors’ summer conference, June 17-20?? Here are 99 things to see and/or do while you and your family visit Music City: 

APSE stuff

  1. Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt: OK, it’s not The Roosevelt (We may never top that venue, Joe Schiefelbein.). But it’s our home for the week. 
  2. Dudley Field: Some of your Vanderbilt Marriott rooms will have a view of the Commodores’ home football field.
  3. Bridgestone Arena: The Predators are hosting our opening night reception.
  4. Meet Mike Vrabel: The Titans’ new head coach will welcome everyone to Nashville at the opening luncheon on Monday.
  5. Congratulate Terry Taylor: The newest Red Smith Award winner will be honored at Tuesday’s luncheon.
  6. Seminars, seminars, seminars: Sure, we could list each of them separately, but that would be an easy way to hit 100 items for this list.
  7. Celebrate successes: Attend the conference-ending awards dinner on June 20 and congratulate your colleagues and peers.
  8. Hospitality room: Major League Soccer is sponsoring our hospitality room this year. Have a drink, watch the World Cup, and share stories with your friends.

Things to see, do and visit …

  1. Thunder on the Cumberland: If you get to Nashville a day early, you may want to watch the speed boat races on the Cumberland River (right along First Avenue).
  2. Nissan Stadium: It’s where the Titans play. From downtown, see it on the other side of the Cumberland River.
  3. Honky tonks: No trip to Music City is complete without a stop at one of the honky tonks along Broadway. Tootsie’s may be the most famous, but there are oodles of choices to listen to wannabe-noticed-musicians.
  4. Johnny Cash Museum: If you don’t know who he is, we’re not sure why you wanted to come to Music City.
  5. Patsy Cline Museum: Neighbor to Johnny Cash Museum. 119 3rd Avenue South.
  6. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Really? You need to ask what this is? Nashville’s #1 tourist draw.
  7. Bluebird Café: Quaint spot, where you can hear songwriters play their music. At 4104 Hillsboro Pike. Reservations highly encouraged.
  8. Grand Ole Opry: A group of 56 of us are headed there on Tuesday night.
  9. Ryman Auditorium: Former home of the Grand Ole Opry, it still hosts concerts. The behind-the-scenes tour is a good value.
  10. Dueling piano bar: The Big Bang Bar opens nightly at 7 p.m. at 411 Broadway.
  11. Ernest Tubbs Record Shop: Historic one-stop shop for vinyl, CDs and moe. 417 Broadway
  12. Gaylord Opryland Resort: Famed hotel not far from Grand Ole Opry, home of conventions and conferences much bigger than ours.
  13. Music City Center: Opened in 2013 at a cost of $623 million, the city’s convention center is shaped like a guitar and covers six city blocks. It’s a great place to stroll indoors in the air conditioning and admire original art by Tennessee artists.
  14. Adventure Science Center: Hands-on activities is ideal for families. 800 Fort Negley Blvd.
  15. Ascend Amphitheater: The city’s newest music venue seats 6,800 at 310 1st Avenue South.
  16. Ole Red: Blake Shelton’s upscale bar-restaurant is one of the newest honky tonks in town. 300 Broadway.
  17. Hatch Show Print: Tours are available of the working printing business, where concert posters have been printed for decades. 224 5thAvenue
  18. Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum: Located inside Municipal Auditorium. 417 4th Avenue North
  19. Municipal Auditorium: See above. Elvis played here. So did Michael Jackson. Still used as a music venue, but it’s lower-tier events. Oh, President Trump has held two rallies here in the past year, too.
  20. Centennial Park: 132-acre park not far from our hotel.
  21. The Parthenon: Built in 1897, it’s a full-scale replica of the one in Athens. Located in Centennial Park.
  22. Bicentennial Park: 19-acre park near the state capitol.
  23. First Tennessee Park: Home of the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s) and Nashville SC (which competes in the United Soccer League).
  24. Music Row: Historic district, centered on 16th and 17th Avenues South, is home to many music businesses
  25. Escape games: These trendy games are so popular there are actually three locales in the city.
  26. Walking tours: Too many to mention. But there are music tours, historical tours, food tours. Interested? Do a Google search or ask us at the conference.
  27. Nashville Craft Distillery: There are several distilleries and breweries around town. This is the author’s favorite, 514 Hagan Street.
  28. Lane Motor Museum: Large collection of European and American cars and motorcycles. 702 Murfreesboro Pike
  29. Goo Goo Shop: Home of Nashville’s favorite chocolate cluster candy. 116 3rd Avenue
  30. Savannah’s Candy Kitchen: Homemade sweets right on Broadway. 310 Broadway.
  31. Governor’s Residence: Governor Haslam lives here. 882 Curtiswood Lane South
  32. State capitol: Sits atop the hill at 600 Charlotte Avenue
  33. Union Station Hotel: Former train station is now a luxury hotel. Take a peek inside if you have 10 extra minutes. 1001 Broadway. 
  34. Belle Meade Plantation: Visit William Giles Harding’s mansion, which includes original stable, carriage house, dairy and slave cabin.
  35. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art: This 55-acre estate is home to a 30,000-ssquare foot museum on a beautiful setting. Bring a picnic with you.
  36. The Hermitage: 10 miles from downtown Nashville, the historical plantation and museum is the former home of President Andrew Jackson.
  37. Fontanel Mansion: Located north of Nashville, the 186-acre complex is the former home of Barbara Mandrel. Now a restaurant, winery, music venue and more.
  38. Belmont Mansion: Located on the Belmont University campus. 1700 Acklen Avenue
  39. Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge: Scenic views of the Cumberland River and part of the Shelby Bottoms Greenway, which can be accessed at either 1900 Division Street or 2032 Forrest Green Drive. 
  40. John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge: Built in 1907-09, the bridge is named after former Tennessean editor. The best place to take photos of downtown Nashville.
  41. Tennessee Performing Arts Center: Known as TPAC, home to traveling plays, musicals and other fine arts. 505 Deaderick Street.
  42. The George Jones: Mixing a museum and music and a bar. 128 2nd Avenue North
  43. Frist Center for the Visual Arts: Former post office has been converted into museum with rotating exhibits. 919 Broadway.
  44. Symphony Center: Home to the majestic music hall, opened in 2003 at 1 Symphony Place.
  45. House of Cards: One of the city’s newest venues mixes magic and restaurant, 119 Lower Level, 3rd Avenue.
  46. Zanies Comedy Night Club: Home of local and national acts. 2025 8th Avenue South.
  47. Nashville Farmer’s Market: Open daily, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
  48. Nashville Zoo: On 200 acres and located 6 miles southeast of the city. 3777 Nolensville Pike.
  49. Marathon Village: Former auto factory has been transformed into shops, art gallery and more, 1305 Clinton Street.
  50. Antique Archaeology: Store made famous by “American Pickers” television show is in Marathon Village.
  51. Hop-on Hop-off tours: There are several bus and trolley tours around town. This one sells a one-day pass which allows you to hop on and off as frequently as you wish.
  52. Pedal taverns: You will see them (and other similar ventures) along Lower Broadway. Partake at your own risk.
  53. Printer’s Alley: Nightclub district dates back to the 1940s, located between Union Street to Commerce Street.
  54. Fort Negley Park: Built by the Union troops after the capture of the city. 1100 Fort Negley Blvd.
  55. Tennessee Central Railway Museum: A train aficionado? Go here: 220 Willow Street.
  56. Manuel American Designs: The boutique run by Manuel, the clothing designer to country music’s biggest stars. 800 Broadway.
  57. McKay’s : Home of tens of thousands of used books, vinyl records and much more. 636 Old Hickory Blvd.
  58. Nashville Shores: Waterpark offers numerous slides, lazy river and much more, 10 miles east of downtown.
  59. Topgolf: Entertainment venue with high-tech driving range. 500 Cowan Street.
  60. B-cycle: Rent a bicycle and pedal around town. Pick up at one location, drop off at another.
  61. Greenways: Beautiful places to ride those rented bikes, the greenways are also ideal for walking, jogging and watching for wildlife (think turtles, hawks, and much more).
  62. Centennial Sportsplex: Ice skating, swimming and more is a short walk from the hotel. 222 25th Avenue North.
  63. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame: Artifacts and exhibits on the state’s all-time top athletes and teams. 501 Broadway.
  64. Music City Walk of Fame: Find your favorite country music star along this special walk. 4th Avenue South.
  65. Jack Daniel’s distillery tour. It’s a 80-minute one-way drive for an 80-minute tour (including tastings). But it’s a planned Wednesday afternoon trip you won’t forget.
  66. LaserQuest. Indoor fun and games isn’t just for kids. 166 2ndAvenue
  67. The Tennessean: Hey, you knew this would make the list. Spot Jason Wolf and Dave Ammenheuser’s faces on the side of the building. 1100 Broadway
  68. Cranes, cranes, cranes: As you’ll see, the skyline is changing rapidly.

Neighborhoods to view

  1. Germantown: Chic neighborhood featuring good dinning, upscale boutiques.
  2. The Gulch: You could run into Marcus Mariota, one of the residents of one of the high-rise condominiums in this neighborhood,which also offers restaurant and bars and more.
  3. East Nashville: Artsy and quirky neighborhood offering a mix of trendy and fine dining and bar options.
  4. Green Hills: Some of the city’s most luxurious homes are located here, as well as Trader Joe’s. That basically tells the story. The Mall at Green Hills is an upscale shopping draw. Parnassas Books, Nashville’s independent bookstore, is across the street from the mall. So is Fox’s Donut Den.
  5. Hillsboro Village: Charming neighborhood with restaurant (including Pancake Pantry), boutiques and more. 21st Avenue South, just south of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  6. 12 South: One of the fastest growing neighborhoods with a mix of restaurants, bars and shops.  Save room for dessert — Las Paletas’ gourmet popsicles.


 The universities

  1. Belmont University: Founded in 1890, home of the Bruins of the Ohio Valley Conference (and legendary basketball coach Rick Byrd, who will be our guest at our Monday luncheon).
  2. Lipscomb University: Founded in 1891, the Bison play in the Atlantic Sun Conference and are coming off their first trip to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
  3. Tennessee State University: Founded in 1912, it’s home to the Tigers and the alma mater of Ed “Too Tall Jones” and many other NFL players.
  4. Vanderbilt University: Founded in 1873, our hotel is across West End Avenue from the Commodores’ campus.

Shopping anyone?

  1. Opry Mills: Shopping mecca not far from Grand Ole Opry.
  2.  The Mall at Green Hills: Upscale shopping. 2126 Abbott Martin Road

 Food choices

  1. Meat and threes:  A Southern staple – pick your meat and three vegetables, plus a drink and a dessert. There are many choices. A local favorite is Arnold’s Country Kitchen. 605 8th Avenue South
  2. Hot chicken: Hattie B’s, 112 19th Avenue or 5209 Charlotte Pike, offers the city’s original hot chicken. Other locales now have their own varieties. Take the “hot” part seriously.
  3. Acme Feed & Seed: Four-story restaurant/bar offers entertainment mixed with food. Top level gives panoramic view of Lower Broadway and Cumberland River. 101 Broadway
  4. Pinewood Social: Want to mix bowling and dining? Here’s your chance. 33 Peabody Street.
  5. Barbeque: Memphis and St. Louis foodies would disagree, but many national critics have named Nashville’s BBQ the best. Among the local’s favorites: Jack’s on Lower Broadway or Peg Leg Porker or Edley’s.
  6. Fine dining: Some of the nation’s top chefs work at our city’s upscale restaurants, including Etch, Rolf & Daughters, Husk, Fin and Pearl, Butchertown Hall, Sambuca and more. We strongly recommend that you Google in advance and make reservations.
  7. Ethnic choices: The city offers more than hot chicken and barbeque. There’s also many ethnic restaurants (many along Nolensville Road; many others sprinkled throughout the city). And, yes, Mr. Deas, there are many Thai choices.
  8. The chains: If you prefer to eat at a familiar establishment, there are several downtown, including: BB King’s, Dick’s Last Resort, Melting Pot, Hard Rock Café, etc.
  9. West End restaurants: Our hotel is located within walking distance of many fine dining restaurants, including Ruth Chris, Glemming’s Prime Steakhouse, Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Tin Angel, Amerigo’s, J. Alexander’s, BrickTop’s, Ted Montana’s Grill, Mason’s Stony River Steakhouse, Valentino’s.
  10. And then there are these: Chipolte’s, Chili’s, Taziki’s, Panera, Jimmy John, Wendy’s, are within a short walk of the hotel.

More suggestions?

  1. Your concierges: Maura Ammenheuser and Julie Anastasi will be available at the registration desk each day. See them.