36 hours in Nashville, Tennessee

By Agencies ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-02-07 07:40:55

36 hours in Nashville, Tennessee

Broadway is lined with honky-tonks. [Photo/Agencies]

Known for its country music scene, the city now offers a lot more.

Country music is alive and well in Nashville; you might even see a young family in broad daylight practicing their line dancing on the sidewalk outside a bar downtown - all in cowboy boots, including the toddler who just learned to walk.

But these days, there's much more to the Tennessee capital than country. One of seven cities chosen to begin Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network, Nashville is bustling with new business. The dynamic food scene draws an international clientele and chefs from bigger cities. There's money to preserve historic buildings and revitalize neighborhoods, like Germantown, which was established by European immigrants in the 1850s. Add a farmers' market, some enticing shops and a batch of very stylish hotel rooms, and it's hard not to conclude that the city is changing its tune - or at least adding a few new riffs.


4:00 PM

Welcome aboard: The Music City Center, the new $598-million convention center with the curvy roof and guitar-shaped ballroom, gets all the attention as a totem of Nashville's bright future, but Union Station is an anchor to the past. Built in 1900, and all but abandoned by 1979, the stately Gothic railway terminal was spared demolition by a group of Nashville investors. Today, limestone fireplaces, oak doors and panels, and a 20-meter vaulted ceiling marked by golden yellow stained glass distinguish the building, now a hotel, that sits on a hill, just south of the Capitol and a stone's throw from the live music downtown. Both buildings are open to the public; for a free tour of the mammoth convention center, reserve online well in advance.

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