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They don’t call it Music City, U.S.A. for nothing – music is in the air Nashvillians breathe. Standing-room only crowds pack Grand Ole Opry performances. Audiences at clubs watch old favorites and new talents with equal reverence. And when the spirit moves them, they head to a dive bar and dance.

Nashville Nightlife

Belcourt Theatre

For a night out in the Village, check the Nashville Scene or All the Rage to see what’s on at the historic Belcourt Theater.  In addition to indie and foreign films, this art-house theater hosts a variety of plays, concerts, and lectures.

2102 Belcourt Ave., TN, 615-383-9140,
Tags: nightlife | historic | trendy | theater

Bluebird Café

Get up close and personal with big-name and soon-to-be-big singers at this intimate club where songwriters often try out new works.

4104 Hillsboro Rd., TN, 615-383-1461,
Tags: nightlife | local favorite

Family Wash

For live music and upscale pub fare, check out Family Wash (formerly a self-service laundry) for addictive hummus and stellar shepherd’s pie.

2038 Greenwood Ave., TN, 615-226-6070,
Tags: nightlife | affordable

General Jackson Showboat

Cruise down the Cumberland River on this 300-foot paddle-wheel riverboat replica that offers dinner, dancing, and music and comedy shows.

2812 Opryland Dr., TN, 615-889-6611,
Tags: nightlife | dancing

Grand Ole Opry

For many, this long-running radio show is synonymous with Nashville. Its current home is a theater near the Opryland Hotel, where country music superstars wow believers on a regular basis.

2804 Opryland Dr., TN, 800-733-6779,
Tags: family | nightlife | historic | smart splurge

Legends Corner

See a show on the cheap at this touristy dive where struggling artists dreaming of the big time strive to make their mark.

428 Broadway, TN, 615-248-6334,
Tags: nightlife | great value

Red Door Saloon

Grab a locally-brewed Yazoo beer at Red Door Saloon, a popular dive bar known for offering one of the best happy hours in town, as well as hearty down-home bar bites like the Nashville Dog (as in hot dog), which is beer-broiled and served with unlimited toppings.

1010 Forrest Ave., TN, 615-226-7660,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dive bar

Robert’s Western World

Order a Pabst Blue Ribbon with a shot of Jack Daniel’s, a popular combo, at Robert’s Western World and watch the regulars tear up the dance floor.

416 Broadway, TN, 615-244-9552,
Tags: nightlife | dive spot

Rumours East

Rumours East, a sexy wine bar in an art-filled house, offers a wide selection of wines by the glass and excellent small plates.  The candlelit back garden, filled with tables and chairs, is magical in the summertime.

1112 Woodland St., TN, 615-262-5346,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | wine bar

The Basement

For one of Nashville’s favorite underground music venues, head to 8th Avenue to The Basement. Though it specializes in up-and-coming indie rockers, it’s an equal-opportunity venue: Metallica once played a secret show there for 175 committed fans.

1604 8th Ave. S., TN, 615-254-8006,
Tags: nightlife | trendy

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

You never know who may be onstage – the list of past performers reads like a who’s who of country music. There’s no cover at this honky-tonk, though keep in mind that bands are paid in tips.

422 Broadway, TN, 615-726-0463,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | lounge


Disco and showtunes supplant country at this friendly no-cover club that’s the king of Nashville’s small but bustling gay district.

1517A Church St., TN, 615-329-2912,
Tags: nightlife | dancing | gay | nightclub

Wildhorse Saloon

An eclectic crowd line dances the night away at this popular barbeque and booze joint.

120 Second Ave. N., TN, 615-251-1000,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dancing

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