• Catching a Show at the Ryman Auditorium: Known as the "Mother Church of Country Music," the Ryman Auditorium, 116 Fifth Ave. N. (tel. 615/889-3060; www.ryman.com), was the home of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 30 years. Now restored, it once again has country music coming from its historic stage. And, yes, the old church pews are still there and just as uncomfortable as they always were.


    • Attending the Grand Ole Opry: This live radio broadcast is an American institution and is as entertaining today as it was when it went on the air nearly 80 years ago. Luckily, the current Grand Ole Opry House, 2804 Opryland Dr. (tel. 800/SEE-OPRY [733-6779]; www.opry.com), is quite a bit more comfortable than the old Ryman Auditorium, where the Opry used to be held.


  • Checking Out Up-and-Comers at the Bluebird Cafe: With its excellent acoustics and two shows a night, the Bluebird Cafe, 4104 Hillsboro Rd. (tel. 615/383-1461; www.bluebirdcafe.com), is Nashville's most famous venue for country songwriters. Only the best make it here, and many of the people who play the Bluebird wind up getting "discovered."

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.