What are some good hotels, areas, or neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Nashville? My husband and I are planning to go this summer, and would like to walk most of the time we're there, so something central to entertainment would be great.
My Mom & stepdad lived in Nashville for fifteen years, and I got to know the place fairly well.
I don't know what you're interested in seeing, or what your budget is, so I can only make some general suggestions.
First let me say that Nashville is spread out over a pretty wide area. There are tall buildings downtown, to be sure, but generally the town built out, rather than up. This leaves you in a position where you may not be able to reasonably walk to everything you want to see. I certainly am not suggesting that you'll need to drive everywhere you wish to go, but you may need to drive to each area you wish to explore in depth. Nashville does have a public transit system, however. Depending on where you stay, you may be able to take advantage of the city's bus system.
Here is their URL; http://www.nashvillemta.org/
The second thing is, after the last economic down-turn some of Nashville's sections have become somewhat marginal. I don't wish to disparage the city in any way, or scare you off from visiting there, but the reality is Nashville is a large city which has the attractions, as well as the challenges and problems of all cities. Some of these are evident in the areas where local entertainment is most abundant.
So, where to stay?
There are a lot of 2 1/2 and 3 star hotel to be had for close to $200 a night. Assuming you don't want to spend top dollar on mediocrity, I'll steer you clear of them. I would never stay in a place like that. Since I usually spend an average of two waking hours in my hotel room, my needs are simple. If it's small, my ego isn't bruised. If the door locks, the toilet flushes, and it's reasonably clean and quiet, it has met all of my criteria. I'd rather spend the lion's share of my funds on sightseeing, dining, and activities other than sleeping.
Even if you don't stay there, check out the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Nashville at Opryland. It's pricey, but it's impressive. The Opryland complex is huge and houses several museum-like attractions, as well one hell of a buffet on the weekends.
Stay Local is located about a mile from Tennessee State University. It's reasonably priced and seemed nice when I last saw it.
Needless to say, there is a rash a inexpensive hotels near the airport.
My suggestion would be, as the time approaches for you to make some firm decisions, go to one of the many clearing house sites (Priceline, Hot Wire, ect). Look in the areas where the seasonable demand will work in your favor; Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Tennessee State and Nissan Stadium. If you manage to avoid the touristy areas (Music City Center, the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman and Nashville auditoriums and the convention center) you can probably score a good deal.
Better still, consider Air B&B. There are many private rooms to be had; many of them outside the city center. They'll give you a feel for the city, and a personalized stay you simply can't find in a large hotel.
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There are three basic areas that are really nice for doing the tourist thing, depending on what you are interested in.
Downtown you have a nice selection of hotels, including some historic properties (Union Station Hotel, Autograph Collection®, a Marriott autograph property and The Hermitage Hotel come to mind). If you want to be right in the thick in a newer Hilton property, the Hilton Nashville Downtown sits next to the Country Music Hall of Fame and mere blocks from both 2nd Avenue and the historic Ryman theater. This is the area if you want the touristy Nashville vibe.
Gaylord Opryland Resort area is more for tourist in a box as the property is huge and has wonderful gardens. My wife and I do some weekend getaways at times and it is absolutely beautiful. Pay for the courtyard view. There are other hotels, but you can't beat being in the "mother ship". The General Jackson showboat and Opry are in walking distance. And there is a set $25 price for a cab to downtown and we do have Uber here if you want other options.
Around Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University is the other area that might be of interest. The park is more for people that like either history (we have a replica of the Parthenon), nature, or Vandy games. But there is a nice restaurant district around 19th, which is a decent walk. If you stick to main drags, there is no danger issue in this area.
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Donelsonis right outside of downtown Nashville. It's where the Nashville International Airport is as well as Opryland Hotel and the Grand Ole Opry. Franklin (Tennessee) is also a great historical place to visit. You can check out The Hermitage Hotel(approximately 15 min from Opryland Hotel) and we also have Nashville Shores Marina which is a big water park that little kids and big kids can enjoy.
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