The city is brimming with upscale accommodations, but none is more refined than the Hermitage Hotel, with its Italian marble entrance and Russian-walnut-paneled walls. Opened in 1910, it is one of only fifty-four hotels to receive five stars from Forbes Travel Guide. Once the terminal for Nashville’s eight railways, the Union Station Hotel conveniently lies between the District and West End neighborhoods. The lobby’s soaring vaulted ceiling, stained glass, and gold leafing hearken back to a time when travel was nothing but luxurious. If a trip to the Grand Ole Opry is in the itinerary, stay at the Gaylord Opryland. The hotel’s 2,881 rooms and 250 suites—plus dozens of restaurants and shops—surround nine acres of lush indoor gardens and waterways.
People wake up early in Nashville. By 8 a.m. the line outside the Pancake Pantry winds around the building, but the sweet potato pancakes are worth it. For lunch, try Jack’s Bar-B-Que; avoid the Broadway crowd by visiting the Talbot’s Corner location. Sample all six sauces, then order a slice of chess pie for dessert. When you’re all finished honky-tonkin’, grab a late dinner at the Paradise Park Trailer Resort in the wee hours. Inside the trailer-park-themed walls is arguably the best burger in the city. For a more genteel experience, reserve a table at 1808 Grille, where chef Charles Phillips turns out elegantly prepared, hearty dishes such as bronzed quail breast and sweet potato gnocchi.
Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Tourism Department