Quite literally at the center of Tennessee, the state’s capital city is in the middle of a paradigm shift. Formerly renowned for its honky-tonk hoopla, Nashville is now emerging as a cultural destination, attracting luxury hotel brands including Four Seasons and Virgin Hotels and ratcheting up the number of guest rooms across the city to nearly 60,000. This in turn has lured both business travelers and businesses—in 2022, Oracle, AllianceBernstein and Matthews relocated their headquarters to Nashville. In the past five years, the city saw a steady influx of approximately 100 new residents a day.
1 Hotel Nashville
This hotel is a physical representation of Nashville’s extensive transformation as the city’s first mission-driven, sustainable luxury property. The living wall of the 215-room hotel towers above its neighborhood, crowned by Harriet’s Rooftop. Other amenities include Bamford Wellness Spa and 9,251 square feet of event space.
This full-scale replica of the original Parthenon and Athena statue in Athens was built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. Today, the monument remains an example of classical architecture for visitors to take a quick self-guided tour, roam its supplemental museum, or enjoy the premier location in Centennial Park. nashvilleparthenon.com
There are two sides to this Wedgewood-Houston hotspot designed and operated by chef Josh Habiger: a convivial cocktail bar open to the public and a 24-seat, reservation-only tasting-menu restaurant. Plan your visit in advance and you may be able to experience both. The six-course dinner that changes weekly—a stark contrast from the guilty pleasure of Nashville hot chicken—is worth the splurge.
In the early 2000s, this former neglected railroad yard began a multiyear journey to become the mixed-use LEED-certified community it is today. Located in the heart of Nashville, the development features urban living and offices in tandem with boutique retail, restaurants, breweries and entertainment venues for a day well spent. explorethegulch.com
Though the Grand Ole Opry tends to garner the most attention (admittedly worth a visit of its own), the Ryman is the birthplace of bluegrass, dating back to 1885, and still hosts the world’s most talented musicians. Tour the Ryman to learn more about Nashville’s music history, or book a ticket to the star-studded nightly performances featuring upcoming and iconic artists.