There’s never a quiet moment on Nashville’s Broadway, whose famous bars and cultural institutions keep the party going all day and all night. Affectionately referred to as the Honky Tonk Highway, the bars and clubs here are defined by the presence of live music, long hours, and a lack of cover charges. With a musical culture that encourages big stars and unknown acts alike to hit the stage, no matter how small, that means that bar-hopping is the way to go. There’s more than parties though, with the Frist Art Museum and other places offering respite from crowds and noise.
Flit from bar to bar along Lower Broad, where many of the venues are split over multiple floors and have multiple stages. Get drawn in by the technicolor walls of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, or go into AJ’s Good Time Bar in a former Civil War Hospital. Party like the night will never end at the Honky Tonk Central, or dance to some non-country music at the enormous Nashville Underground. Feel a part of country music history among the rare memorabilia of Nudie’s Honky Tonk, founded by the costume designer for Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Gene Autry and more.
Take a break from drinking and dancing with some shopping, if the day hasn’t gone by too fast. Pick up some vintage country vinyls at the legendary Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which has been supplying music lovers since 1947, then look like a real Tennessean back home with a pair of cowboy boots.
Broadway is one of Nashville’s main arteries, leading from the Cumberland River into the heart of the city. Drive to the bars and clubs of Lower Broad in 18 minutes from Nashville Airport, or to the attractions of Upper Broadway in 15 minutes. The bars of Lower Broad are best explored on foot, with extremely limited parking. The bars of Lower Broad are generally open daily from the mid-morning to the wee hours of the morning, with no cover charges. Operating hours of other businesses vary, but are generally restricted to regular business hours.