Start your New Year’s celebrations early by snagging tickets to the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, where the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Northwestern Wildcats at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Be there to celebrate the 20-year tradition with thousands of fans. Here’s your three-day itinerary pre- and post-game day:
Where to Stay: Union Station Hotel
With 125 newly-updated guest rooms, including 17 deluxe suites, the Union Station Hotelis a beautiful boutique hotel, boasting 19th-century history as it was once a railroad station. Beautiful 65-foot vaulted ceilings and 100-year-old Tiffany-styled stained glass meet you in the lobby along with the new bar and restaurant. Whisk your bags to your room to enjoy the large windows, sitting area, unique design elements and more.
Grab a bite at Biscuit Love where the lovable southern staple is topped with to-die-for ingredients. Order the Southern Benny for a fluffy biscuit topped with shaved country ham, two fried eggs and sausage gravy. Don’t forget to order the Bonuts – fried biscuit dough with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote. They’re so good, you’ll be licking the bowl!
Step inside the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, located inside Bridgestone Arena at 501 Broadway in downtown Nashville, to see exhibits on Tennessee’s famous athletes, teams, coaches, sports writers and more who have made an impact in the sports world. More than 500 honorees and inductees are part of the Hall of Fame. See the newly-opened Pat Summitt exhibition and others that celebrate Peyton Manning, Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators.
Now that you’ve had a taste of Tennessee’s sports history, it’s time for a music trip through time. Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which houses more than 350,000 square feet of galleries and 2.5 million artifacts. See awards, costumes, early life items and more of some of your favorite country artists and legends.
Tour the iconic and historic Ryman Auditorium. Begin the tour with the immersive Soul of Nashville presentation featuring holograms, special effects, archival imagery and more that bring the Ryman’s story to life. Then, take a guided backstage tour where you’ll see the dressing rooms musicians use to prep before gracing the famous stage. See rare, vintage photos, local art and more.
Pop into the flagship Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar where you’ll find Goo Goo Clusters, retro candies, a walk through history, and The Dessert Bar where you can silence your sweet tooth with The Honky Tonk Blonde Sundae – brown butter blondie with Goo Goo Supremes baked inside, sprinkled with sea salt, topped with a scoop of ice cream, caramel, whipped cream and a cherry.
Take a tour of Jackalope Brewing Companyto learn how the brewery was founded, see the process of creating exceptional craft brews and taste some of the year-round brews. Tours are $7 a person and last 45 minutes. Tours are 5 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays November to February; and 5 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays March to October.
The Mockingbird opened in early 2017 and features comfort foods with global flavors. Visit for dinner to nosh on Tatchos – tater tots doused in lamb chili, beer cheddar and scallions – while waiting for your main course like the Si Signore – fennel pork on a bed of house made pasta with roasted eggplant, parmesan and spicy tomato.
Sample Tennessee Brew Works’ brews while checking out the brewery where they were crafted. Enjoy dinner while listening to live music for a night filled with local flavor and fun.
It’s Music City Bowl game day! Before you head to Nissan Stadium, head to Caviar & Bananas, the new brunch spot in Nashville that’s serving up delicious brunch like lemon oatmeal pancakes in a warm cherry compote, avocado toast and omelet Florentine – goat cheese, spinach, roasted tomatoes and whole eggs.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl 2017 celebrates 20 years as the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Northwestern Wildcats 3:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at Nissan Stadium. Teams will be announced soon. For the first time ever, the Music City Bowl will have a two-day block party at the Fan Zone on Broadway that will be filled with food, drinks, activities, demonstrations, outdoor concerts, interactive games and more.
After the game, you can head to Lower Broadway for dinner, drinks and live music. Kick up your heels and dance the night away either celebrating the win or nursing the losing wounds. Either way, you’ll have fun popping into the honky tonks that line Nashville’s downtown area.
Enjoy a delicious “Dim Sum” style brunch at Henley featuring brioche French toast, shrimp and grits, pumpkin gratin with goat cheese ricotta and scrambled hen eggs with Nc caviar among other yummy offerings.
Learn the story of The Man in Black at the Johnny Cash Museum
Step inside the Johnny Cash Museumfor a behind-the-scenes look at the Man in Black – his career, military service, early life and accomplishments. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are $18.95 for general admission and $14.95 for children’s tickets ages 6-15 years old.
See never-before-displayed Patsy Cline artifacts and memorabilia.
Upstairs is the Patsy Cline Museum, homage to the music legend and her wealth of accomplishment within her few years in the music industry. Hundreds of never-before-seen artifacts, personal belongings, videos and more can be found here.
Finish your music museum tour with the George Jones Museum that tells the story of his legacy. Memorabilia, performances, Jones’ hits and more are all waiting in this immersive museum. Head upstairs to the rooftop bar, hailed by Thrillist as “One of Nashville’s Best Rooftop Bars.” You’ll find a full service bar, live music, a wide open space with plenty of seating and gorgeous views of the Cumberland River.