36 Hours in Nashville

4) Tour Ryman Auditorium

Billed as the “mother church of country music,” it’s a cool venue to tour—preferably with Buddy, a self-proclaimed hillbilly who has been working the venue since the Sixties. Buddy will take you backstage, speak in his slightly decipherable hillbilly drawl, and impress you with his first-person macabre tales of hanging around the country legends. (Ask him how Johnny Cash died.)

5) Walk through the Country Music Hall of Fame

Okay, a lot of country music sucks. So does a lot of rock music. So, by definition, their museums are going to be a real crapshoot. This one does a good job of balancing great sound booths and interactive displays, with junk like Carrie Underwood videos. Lots of cool artifacts, and rooms and rooms of old guitars and studio reels.

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