For Days 1 and 2, follow the one and two day suggested itineraries. History, African-American heritage, and old-time bluegrass music make today's itinerary sort of a multicultural sightseeing stew. You'll start with a tour of President Andrew Jackson's plantation home, just east of town, before heading back to the city. Grab some soul food at Swett's before spending the afternoon touring the impressive campus of Fisk University. In the evening, head to the West End for dinner at one of the scads of great restaurants here; there are plenty of options for all tastes and budgets. Tonight it's a performance of live bluegrass music in the Gulch landmark known as the Station Inn. Start: From downtown, take Interstate 40 east to exit 221A (The Hermitage exit).
1. The Hermitage
Andrew Jackson's stately Southern plantation home offers a fascinating glimpse into the former U.S. President's life here in Tennessee. Originally built in the Federal style in 1821, it was expanded and remodeled in 1831, and acquired its current appearance in 1836. Tours include all areas of the main house, as well as the kitchen, the smokehouse, the garden, Jackson's tomb, an original log cabin, the spring house (a cool storage house built over a spring), and, nearby, the Old Hermitage Church and Tulip Grove mansion.
2. Take a Break - Swett's
This cafeteria, specializing in Southern soul food, is the city's oldest minority-owned restaurant, in business since 1954. Try the fried chicken, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and cornbread. Don't even think about this one: Choose the banana pudding for dessert. 2725 Clifton Ave. tel. 615/329-4418. www.swettsrestaurant.com.
3. Fisk University
Founded in 1866 as a liberal arts institution committed to educating newly freed slaves, Fisk University is still a vibrant university in the heart of Nashville. Stroll the lovely campus to admire the Victorian Gothic architecture and to learn about the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. In a neo-Romanesque former church that dates back to 1888, the Carl Van Vechten Gallery showcases masterworks of art by Picasso and Cezanne.
4. Station Inn
This battered-looking, unpretentious little music hall has been around for many years. Aside from the Ryman (and its summer bluegrass series), this is the year-round venue of choice for top-tier bluegrass acts. Local country swing favorites The Time Jumpers are currently the hottest ticket in town, but don't be surprised if other local stars, such as Vince Gill, show up to exercise their mandolin-playing chops.
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.