When visitors picture Nashville, they’re likely envisioning the glowing neon signs, honky tonk sounds, and toe-tapping of countless cowboy boots along Broadway Street. The Broadway Historic District — more commonly known as Lower Broadway — is the place to go for live music, drinking, dining, shopping, and more in Nashville. The lively strip has drawn in country music fans for decades and is still home to many of the institutions and venues that helped launch some of the nation’s greatest country music stars.
Here are just some of our favorite things to do on Broadway Street in Nashville.
HEAD TO A HONKY TONK
Going to a honky tonk on Broadway is a must while in Nashville. Where else can you go holy tonk-hopping down one convenient street, with each character-filled bar more interesting than the last. You really can’t go wrong, but some of our long-time standbys include Tootsie’s and The Stage — make sure to have your dancing boots ready. (Don’t have your own pair of cowboy boots yet? You can do some shopping on Broadway too…just keep reading.)
CATCH A LIVE SHOW
While you can see live musicians at the honky tonks, the neighborhood’s iconic Ryman Auditorium is a country music institution — it was the home of the original Grand Ole Opry location — and still operating as an active music venue where you can see all types of concerts and other performances.
CHOW DOWN ON SOUTHERN FOOD FAVORITES
Of course, there is a range of bars and eateries sprinkled along Broadway, most slinging some of the best Tennessee hot chicken and other Southern staples, like barbecue, mac and cheese, fried catfish, and plenty of sides. Head to Hattie B’s Chicken (the Lower Broadway branch) for some of the spiciest fried chicken around. You’ll likely be waiting in line to place your order, but it’s worth it! Country music fan? Make your way to Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row or Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MUSIC CITY AT A MUSEUM
Right off of Broadway, you’ll find some of Nashville’s most interesting music-related museums, including the Patsy Cline Museum, Johnny Cash Museum, and National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM). The Ryman Auditorium, which we mentioned above, also offers different tour options to discover more of the historic venue up close and personal, seven days a week.
FIND THE PERFECT PAIR OF COWBOY BOOTS AND OTHER NASHVILLE GIFTS
Broadway may be the best place in the city to browse cowboy boots and hats. Stroll down the street, and you’ll see competing country western stores right next to each other, like Big Time Boots, Boot Barn, and Boot Country. Right across the street, Betty Boots is just for women, selling a wide variety of embellished cowboy boots, belts, leather jackets, and more.
FIND NASHVILLE HOTELS NEAR BROADWAY
Just two blocks north of Lower Broadway’s main drag, Noelle is perfectly situated as a unique boutique hotel near Broadway, putting you close to all the action but just far enough away that you can still catch a deep night’s sleep.