Walking Tour of Nashville's Lower Broad

  • 01 of 10

    5th & Broadway: Nashville Visitors Center

    Bridgestone Arena
    ••• Bridgestone Arena. arianravan/Flickr

    The history of Music City began with humble beginnings. In the 1930's Jimmy Rodgers grabbed a guitar and started singing, someone started recording and soon afterward Jimmy realized his fame. Since then, Nashville has seen a steady stream of people with the same dreams and desires and they all seem to find their beginnings on Lower Broad.

    Lower Broadway consists of 4 blocks filled to the brim with live country music venues, restaurants, and businesses. Most all of the buildings have some historical significance but all will surely keep you entertained.

    Our tour starts at 5th Avenue South heads down to the Cumberland River then back up to 5th Avenue.

    Our first stop is at the corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway at the Nashville Arena which is also home to the Nashville Visitor's Center, as well as the Nashville Predators Hockey Team. This venue boasts some of the largest concerts and events to be found in Downtown Nashville.

    Here you will find Tourism information and all the Brochures...MORE detailing the many attractions that Nashville has to offer. Make sure that you grab your free maps of Nashville along with a few free coupons books too.

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  • 02 of 10

    4th & Broadway: Wolfy's & Rippy's

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• 4th-5th & Broadway. © Jan Duke

    As we leave the Nashville Arena (Bridgestone Arena) and cross 5th Avenue, we have many fine eateries such as Rippy's Smokin Bar and Grill, Maggie McGees and Wolfy's Restaurant as well as a few honky-tonk clubs.

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  • 03 of 10

    4th & Broadway: Lawerence & Ernest Tubb Records

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Merchants Motel Restaurant. © Jan Duke

    On this last end of this block, there are two record stores, the famous Ernest Tubb Records and Lawrence Records both offer cassettes, records and CDs of all your favorite artists.

    For upscale dinning, we have Merchants Restaurant. The building itself offers a unique look into Nashville's historical past and as well, Merchants offers plenty of mouthwatering food- it's always good as is the service.

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  • 04 of 10

    3rd & Broadway: Harley Holt & Service Merchandise

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Service Merchandise Store. © Jan Duke

    As we cross 4th Avenue we have Flag World, offering flags and banners of anything you could possibly imagine.

    We also have Harley Holt Furniture Co., one of Nashville's oldest furniture outlets. The Building has been home to several different nightclubs over the last several years.

    Our last building of interest on this block often sits nearly always vacant, offering no clues of its past prominence, but it was here in 1969 that Harry Zimmerman started the first of a string of Catalog Showrooms, formerly known as Service Merchandise.

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  • 05 of 10

    2nd & Broadway: Acme Feed & Rock Bottom

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• 1st & Broadway. © Jan Duke

    Upon crossing 3rd Avenue, we have several more Honky-Tonks with all offering plenty of atmospheres.

    We also have Broadway Gifts, one of the many places downtown to buy that special Nashville memento or just plain cheesy ashtray.

    Two clothiers finish out this block, Kelly's Western World and Trail West, both offering duds and accessories to bring out the cowboy or cowgirl in us all.

    As we cross 2nd Avenue, we have the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, You will be lucky if you can muster up the will power to smell the aromas of their cooking and be able to pass them by.

    We finish out the block with the Old Acme Feed Store, a turn of the century establishment, which sold many a bag of grain before the more localized Co-op, and Tractor Supply stores were ever thought of.

    At 1st Avenue and Broadway, we have Nashville's Riverfront Park, which hosts an outdoor venue for summer concerts, an unbelievable 4th of July fireworks and a docking area along the Cumberland River.

    Just across the...MORE River, you will see LP Field, home to the Tennessee Titans football team. and off to the right, you will see the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.

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  • 06 of 10

    1st & Broadway: Hard Rock Cafe

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Hard Rock Cafe & 1st. © Jan Duke

    As we walk back across 1st Avenue we have The Hard Rock Cafe located in the old Philips and Quarles Hardware Building.
    You will not be able to miss the extra large mural of a Gibson Les Paul Guitar that is painted on the front of the Hard Rock Cafe.

    The Hard Rock Cafe offers a very palatable diner and of course the ever popular Hard Rock -Nashville T-shirt and collectible pins.

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  • 07 of 10

    2nd & Broadway: Silver Dollar Saloon

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Silver Dollar Saloon & 2nd Ave. © Jan Duke

    At the corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway is the extra old Silver Dollar Saloon Building, which has seen a variety of businesses in its storied career, everything from a saloon to a bookstore to a gift shop.

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  • 08 of 10

    2nd & Broadway: Cotton Eyed Joe's

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Broadway & 2nd. © Jan Duke

    As we leave the 100 Block area of Lower Broad, we cross 2nd Avenue ​and enter our next block. Here we have Cotton Eyed Joe's, a gift shop and you will also fine a few places on this block that provide Dining, Dancing, and Drinking - the perfect place to wear your western outfits and enjoy some Boot-scooting Country Music.

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  • 09 of 10

    3rd-4th & Broadway: Hatch Print & Gruhn Guitars

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• 3rd - 4th & Broadway. © Jan Duke

    As we cross 3rd Avenue, within this block we have Bogeys Bar offering good food, drinks, and live entertainment.

    Hatch Show Print formally called this block home. Hatch Show Print is a small print shop that employs the techniques of the Old Print Masters. They produce concert and event posters using old letter presses of the 1940's.

    As we cross 4th Avenue and enter our final block first come to Gruhn Guitars. They sell, appraise and repair Vintage American Guitars. It is owned and operated by Guitar Authority, George Gruhn. For food on this block, you absolutely must try some of Jacks excellent Bar-B-Cue.

    It is within this block that you will find most of the Lower Broad Honky-Tonks.

    We have Legends, 2nd Fiddle, The Stage, Robert's Western and the Queen of Honky-Tonks" Tootsies Orchid Lounge", one of Nashville's oldest Honky-Tonks.

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  • 10 of 10

    5th & Broadway:Ryman Auditorium & Tootsies

    Copyright Jan Duke
    ••• Tootsies Orchid Lounge. © Jan Duke

    As our tour comes to a close I hope you will make the trip to Nashville and see the sights for yourself.

    Whether you're coming to Nashville with a Guitar and a Dream or just itching to see the Roots of Country Music, Nashville is sure to please and Lower Broadway is where you will find the heart of the music. We'll see ya when ya get here!

    Want to continue your tour? If so, then all you need to do is walk through Tootsie's, go up the stairs, out the back door and you will find yourself looking at the back door of the Historic Ryman Auditorium -where most all of the Country Music Legends have walked.