Nashville has undergone a number of iterations in recent decades, from its longstanding position as the “home of country music” to its boozier, fun cousin “Nashvegas” to its most recent as home to one of the fastest-growing foreign-born populations in the United States (not to mention the country’s No. 1 destination for bachelorette parties). Tourism aside, Nashville lures those wanting the cultural heft of larger cities on the coasts without the price tag. Behind the swell of newcomers are the expected bonuses: flourishing restaurant and art scenes, and a new crop of gleaming hotels that have brought with them performance spaces and rooftop bars.
For now, open-mic nights in taverns across town continue to be where new talent gets heard, so Nashville’s abiding place as a singer/songwriter mecca remains. For this short visit, skip the party madness on Second Avenue and Broadway, and find places like the Station Inn and the Douglas Corner Cafe that showcase what Nashville is famous for: fresh, original songs and the people who give them voice. Nashville has a large Hispanic population and sizable numbers of Kurds, Somalis, Egyptians, Sudanese and Laotians. So that food scene? It has some interesting contributors.
The Bobby Hotel, a boutique hotel newly opened in the heart of downtown, offers rooms designed around pieces found in cities around Europe, 24-hour room service, a fitness center, a rooftop bar and an original kind of branding: “Bobby” is the spirit of a traveler who brings back treasures from faraway lands.