With all the craziness surrounding the marathon, and being in a car for 16 hours in 3 days, I hate that I didn't get a lot of opportunity to explore Nashville. I managed to get a bit of sightseeing in and immediately recognized that the cowboy boots & hat stereotype is 100% justified! Dad and I stayed at Hotel Preston, one of the many hotels affiliated with the Country Music Marathon. It was obvious by the exterior that the hotel was once part of some larger chain, but had been purchased and converted into a more small boutique chain. The atmosphere was young/hip without trying annoyingly hard. My room had Earnest in it so that was a total win.
Pros: decent price (I think I paid $159 a night with the race discount), 6 miles from the start line, nice gym/pool, the rooms were quiet and the beds were comfortable.
Cons: some communication issues with the staff. Many people staying there over the race weekend were running in the event and we were all curious about the ability to check-out late on Saturday. With trying to get to the parking area by 5 a.m., and the race not ending for me until 12:30, we either had to check out at 4:45 a.m. and leave town without showering, or get a late checkout. We asked a few different employees from Thursday-Friday and each gave a different answer. So, we played it safe and checked out before the race. Once again Dad earns major points for sitting next to me post-marathon and sans shower for 8 hours!
Since we got into town and went straight to the expo Thursday the only chance we really had to explore the city was Friday. I didn't want to do too much walking around so we tried to find something we both were interested in doing and planned to call it an early day to go back to the hotel and rest up. The city itself was smaller than I imagined, but full of character!
Seriously - COWBOY BOOTS EVERYWHERE. It was awesome. I really wanted to get a pair while I was there until I realized even a USED pair could set me back $200. We walked around the city for a bit and decided to go to the Johnny Cash museum. I've always loved his music but knew very little about his life so Dad and I really enjoyed it. The tickets were pretty high ($15 a piece) for how small it was (took only an hour to walk through) but it was one of the best niche museums I've been to.
Unsurprisingly, I've had Ring of Fire stuck in my head since Friday. I'm okay with that. I really wish I had more time to get a feel for the city, but given the limited time we spent there I really enjoyed it.
Have you ever been to Nashville? What's the first thing you like to do when checking out a new city?