Nashville and Memphis have many things in common. But boiled down to basics, both are large, modern cities that retain the flavor and hospitality of the American South -- and both are bona fide, world-renowned tourist destinations for fans of American music, including the blues, folk, rock, soul and, of course, country and bluegrass. So it makes sense that if you're traveling a significant distance to get here, you might as well do both destinations in a single trip.
Nashville and Memphis are within a half-day's drive of each other, making it feasible to stay a few nights in one city before heading down the highway to the other. You'll have to drive, or book an escorted tour that covers both locales. A good place to start planning is the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, P.O. Box 23170, Nashville, TN 37202 (tel. 800/836-6200 or 615/741-2158). For more information and suggested itineraries, visit their website at www.tnvacations.com. However, it's not necessary to do both cities. Both are equally accessible to travelers throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Before heading to Music City, you can get more information by contacting the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, 150 Fourth Ave. N. (tel. 800/657-6910 or 615/259-4700).
You can also find information about Nashville at the following websites.
- Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau: www.visitmusiccity.com
- Nashville Scene, Nashville's main arts and entertainment weekly: www.nashvillescene.com
- The Tennessean, Nashville's morning daily newspaper: www.tennessean.com
Visitor Information -- On the baggage-claim level of Nashville International Airport, you'll find the Airport Welcome Center (tel. 615/275-1675), where you can pick up brochures, maps, and bus information, and get answers to any questions you may have about touring the city. This center is open daily from 6:30am to midnight. In downtown Nashville, you'll find the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitors Center, Fifth Avenue and Broadway (tel. 800/657-6910 or 615/780-9401), the main source of information on the city and surrounding areas. The information center (open daily during daylight hours) offers free Wi-Fi service and is located at the base of the radio tower of the Sommet Center. Signs on interstate highways around the downtown area will direct you to the arena. Information is also available from the main office of the Chamber of Commerce/Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, in the lower level of the US Bank building at the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Commerce (tel. 615/259-4730). The office is open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
For information on the state of Tennessee, contact the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, P.O. Box 23170, Nashville, TN 37202 (tel. 615/741-2158).