Nashville, Tennessee, the state capital, is located in the north central part of the state, nearly equidistant from Knoxville to the east and Memphis to the west. I-65 runs north to south through the city; I-40 crosses it east to west; I-24 slices through it on the diagonal from northwest to southeast; Briley Parkway circles the north side of town; and I-440 loops around south side of the metropolitan area, connecting with all three of these interstates.
In addition, U.S. Highway 265 branches off from I-40 just west of Lebanon and swings south almost to Murfreesboro before turning back north to connect with I-40 between Fairview and Pomona. Nashville International Airport is immediately south of I-40 on the east side of town; the downtown area can easily be reached from there via the interstates.
Nashville is with justice called "Music City, U.S.A." It is home to the thriving country music industry, the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a lively after-hours music scene in many lounges and saloons all over town. There are two visitor information centers, one at Fifth Avenue South and Broadway and a second at Fourth Avenue North and Commerce, where visitors can get maps, brochures, directions, and more information about things to do and see in Nashville.
A visitor with even a passing interest in country music should not miss the opportunity to investigate the Nashville music scene. The Ryman Auditorium in downtown originally was a church, and became the home of the Grand Ole Opry in 1943, when it was christened "The Mother Church of Country Music." The Opry has since moved to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, but the Ryman has been reopened as a music venue. Regular concerts are held there, and tours, both self-guided and backstage, are on offer.
Also downtown, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is the perfect place to immerse yourself in all the history of this distinctively American style of music.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, off the Briley Parkway north of the airport, is a world unto itself, with a big hotel, stores, a spa, restaurants from pubs to steakhouses to fine dining establishments, and lounges and nightclubs, all under one roof. The resort is immediately adjacent to the Grand Ole Opry, where visitors can take in the famous country music extravaganza.
If music isn't your main interest, Nashville has many other experiences to offer, from a zoo and aquariums to amusement parks and rides on paddle-wheelers on the river. If you'd like to sample a little Southern history, visit Belle Meade Plantation or take a tour of The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson. You can tour the historic battlefield of the Civil War battle of Franklin and visit the cemetery where fallen soldiers were laid to rest. A little more than an hour east of Nashville, Loretta Lynn's Hurricane Mills has a restored Southern mansion, a camp ground and RV park, a museum, and shops. Horseback riding and fishing are popular pastimes there, as well.