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Honky Tonk Highway

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 AM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"When visiting Honky Tonk Highway in Nashville, make sure to explore the alleyways between Broadway and Commerce Street — you'll often find hidden gems of lesser-known bars with live music that can be less crowded. Also, local insiders know to drop by during the weekday afternoons for a more relaxed atmosphere and the chance to chat with the musicians."

What is Honky Tonk Highway?

The sweet strains of country music spill into the streets as you amble down Nashville's lively Honky Tonk Highway. It's more than a mere cluster of establishments; it's the very heartbeat of Nashville's storied music scene—a place where the promise of discovering the next big country star thrills locals and visitors alike. This stretch of road, predominantly located on Lower Broadway, is adorned with a parade of bars and venues renowned for live country music, buzzing neon signs, and an atmosphere drenched in musical history.

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As someone who’s roamed these vibrant sidewalks countless times, I can tell you that Honk Tonk Highway is a slice of cultural paradise for anyone seeking the authentic Nashville experience. With musicians performing at all hours, from morning till the depths of night, there's an undeniable energy that courses through this place. You'll rub shoulders with aspiring songwriters, tourists, and the occasional country music legend who drops in unannounced to play a set.

History of Honky Tonk Highway

The roots of Honky Tonk Highway are deeply intertwined with Nashville’s ascent as the Music City. Lower Broadway was once the hub of Nashville’s trade and commerce in the early 20th century; however, as the years rolled by, it morphed into the epicenter for country music and entertainment. The area's transformation began in earnest with the rise of radio and the establishment of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s, which fired up Nashville's reputation as a music haven.

What was once the backdrop for merchants and traders soon became lined with honky tonks—these bars and clubs were small, often rowdy venues featuring live country music. They became the proving grounds for many artists who would go on to become music legends. Over the decades, these honky tonks have been frequented by countless music enthusiasts and gained cultural significance, immortalized in the songs, stories, and heart of Nashville.

Why is Honky Tonk Highway Important?

The significance of Honky Tonk Highway extends far beyond the walls of the honky tonks that line its sidewalks. This strip is a living museum of musical dreams, a testament to the enduring spirit of country music that has shaped the identity of Nashville. It serves as a pilgrimage site for fans and a platform for musicians, where dreams are woven into melodies and performed live on stage every day.

For aspiring musicians, the opportunity to play on Honky Tonk Highway is akin to a rite of passage—a chance to follow in the footsteps of greats who once strummed their guitars and sang their hearts out in these very spots. The success stories of artists discovered in these honky tonks, who subsequently ascend to stardom, continue to bolster the road’s reputation as a breeding ground for talent.

Things to Do & See at Honky Tonk Highway

Visitors to Honky Tonk Highway can immerse themselves in an unforgettable musical journey. You can start by simply strolling along the street, where each venue competes with blaring live music and enticing signs inviting you in. Bar hop between historical establishments such as Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, known for its connection to the Ryman Auditorium and famous past guests like Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline.

Then there's Legends Corner, which not only features live performances but also boasts a giant mural portraying some of the genre's most iconic figures. Robert’s Western World stands out with its retro vibe, serving up cold beers and fried bologna sandwiches alongside classic tunes. You can't miss The Stage on Broadway with its wall-to-wall memorabilia and top-tier performances. It's an ever-evolving showcase of country music history and burgeoning talent.

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  • Browse the hallowed rows of Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the U.S., and grab a one-of-a-kind poster.
  • Step into the boots of a line dancer at Wildhorse Saloon, where they offer free dance lessons to live music.
  • Indulge in some of the culinary delights along the way, from traditional Southern BBQ to hot chicken—Nashville's signature dish.
  • Remember, the best way to experience Honky Tonk Highway is with an open heart and an ear for the tales each song carries. These streets echo with the chords of yesterday, today, and tomorrow—a tune you'll carry long after you leave.

Frequently asked questions

What is Honky Tonk Highway in Nashville?

Honky Tonk Highway is a famous stretch of road located in downtown Nashville, known for its lively, iconic bars and music venues that feature live country music, often with no cover charge.

Where is Honky Tonk Highway located in Nashville?

Honky Tonk Highway is located on Lower Broadway, a central thoroughfare that runs through the heart of downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

What kind of music can I expect to hear on Honky Tonk Highway?

Visitors to Honky Tonk Highway can expect to hear live country music ranging from classic hits to contemporary tunes, often performed by talented local musicians and sometimes even by big-name stars.

Are there any entry fees for the bars along Honky Tonk Highway?

Most of the bars and venues along Honky Tonk Highway do not charge a cover fee, making it easy to enjoy the live music as you hop from one spot to another.

What are the opening hours for establishments on Honky Tonk Highway?

The bars and venues on Honky Tonk Highway are typically open from early in the day until late at night, with many establishments offering live music throughout the day and into the early hours of the morning.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 3:00 AM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps