As the editor of Country Living, I have long known that the Country Living audience is the most fun, kindred-spirited readership around. You see it at the Country Living Fair where, by the day's end, complete strangers from different states have bonded over their love of some fabulously quirky vintage thing and are suddenly headed out to toast their assorted treasures over cocktails. That's why I'm especially excited for our first-ever Country Living trip to Nashville on September 7-11, 2021! That's right: Pack your cowboy boots and join me and fellow Country Living editors and Contributors—and 25 of your soon-to-be-closest friends!—for a once-in-a-lifetime insider's tour of Music City. Selfishly, I'm over the moon: As a Tennessee native, I've been to Nashville many times, but I've never experienced it like this! We'll be hitting all of the country classics on your bucket list like the Grand Ole Opry (where you'll meet one of the night's performers!) and the Country Music Hall of Fame, while also exploring the bustling 12 South neighborhood which includes the Reese Witherspoon-owned sundress emporium known as Draper James. Shop-owner (and CL Contributor!) Holly Audrey Williams will also host us for a private sip-and-shop event in her famed general store, White's Mercantile. There's so much more—a Dolly Parton-themed rooftop bar! a singer-songwriter session!—so I'll stop rambling and lay out the nitty gritty. Psst: The welcome bags are going to be so, so good.
Oh, and if you're asking yourself, "Can I bring my husband?" Yes! Just tell him there will be a bourbon tasting (there will be!) and a trip to Mike Wolfe's Antique Archaeology, as seen on the History Channel's American Pickers. (Fingers crossed Mike will drop by to say hello!)
I hope you can join us! Now, for the very insider-y, once-in-a-lifetime itinerary.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021: Howdy!
Arrive in Nashville this afternoon and check into your hotel. (We have two incredible options, both located right in the heart of Midtown and steps away from Music Row.) After you settle in and sort through all the fun finds in your welcome bag, head over to 12 South, one of Nashville’s most walkable neighborhoods. Get your Instagram pic in front of the famed "I Believe in Nashville Mural," then take some time on your own to explore the area’s boutiques; pop into Reese Witherspoon’s shop, Draper James, to sip some sweet tea; and toast the start of your adventure in a wine reception with Country Living Contributor and Nashville tastemaker Holly Williams at her must-see general store, White’s Mercantile. (Country music fans: That's "Williams" as in the daughter and granddaughter of Hank Jr. and Sr.) After, enjoy a private dinner with your fellow travelers at Urban Grub.
Meals Included: Reception, Dinner
Wednesday, September 8, 2021: Beautiful Belle Meade and a Singer-Songwriter Showcase
Start the day with a private tour of the Belle Meade Mansion, which stood as the preeminent stud farm and nursery for American thoroughbred racing and breeding for three generations. Enjoy a private lunch in the 1800s carriage house before steeping yourself in Tennessee’s rich whiskey history with a Belle Meade Bourbon tasting and a chance to craft a cocktail. Gather for dinner this evening in the VIP balcony at The Listening Room where up-and-coming artists and established songwriters share their music.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Thursday, September 9, 2021: Stories Behind the Songs
Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you can marvel at the costumes, instruments, and personal treasures from country music’s past and present. After, enjoy an intimate gathering with a Nashville songwriter and get behind the lyrics to learn about the music you love. After lunch, immerse yourself in the art of letterpress in a private “Block Party” at Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress for more than a century. Learn about the history of this Nashville institution; try your hand at letterpress; and take home a customized tea towel, apron, and tote bag to remember your Nashville adventure. Tonight, kick your heels up and sing along at the honkytonks that line Nashville’s streets with Country Living editors. Because you haven't been to Nashville if you haven't been to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge or Robert's Western World.
Meals Included: Lunch, Reception
Friday, September 10, 2021 – An Unforgettable Evening at the Opry
Start the day with a private tour of RCA Studio B, the oldest surviving recording studio in Nashville, where country legends like Elvis, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton recorded over 35,000 songs. Today marks the anniversary of Elvis’ famed “marathon sessions,” where the King recorded 30 songs on site in only 5 days. You can pay homage to the King and keep Nashville’s music history alive by stepping up to the mic and recording a tune with your fellow travelers. (Be warned: Country Living editor Rachel Barrett cannot carry a tune.) After lunch in a traditional food hall where Nashville’s locally owned restaurants share their specialties, you'll experience the sweeter side of Nashville history in a chocolate-making class at the GooGoo Cluster store. Then, sip, shop, and explore at Marathon Village, a repurposed automobile manufacturing plant that is home to Antique Archaeology and the History Channels’ American Pickers. (Fingers crossed Mike Wolfe will make a came0!) Celebrate tonight with a VIP party and an evening at the Grand Ole Opry. Performing on the Opry stage is among the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a country artist. Tonight, you will see history be made as you gather with your Country Living travelers in the Opry’s luxury lounge before the show.
Meals: Lunch, Reception
Saturday, September 11, 2021: Onward to the Country Living Fair!
Enjoy a farewell breakfast at the Café at Thistle Farms, a charming farm-to-table restaurant with an incredibly inspiring mission. Though your tour ends this morning, your Nashville adventure continues with special access throughout the day at the Country Living Fair at Nashville’s scenic Green Door Gourmet Farm. (That's right, the whole trip leads into the Country Living Fair in Nashville, meaning you can cross not one but two things off your bucket list!)
Group One: The Graduate Hotel is one of Nashville’s newest boutique hotels, located in in Nashville’s lively West End, just steps from Music Row and one mile from downtown. This fun hotel features playful Nashville-themed guestrooms and a Dolly Parton-inspired rooftop restaurant with views of the Nashville skyline.
Group Two: The Hutton Hotel is a boutique hotel in Nashville’s lively West End, just steps from Music Row and one mile from downtown. The recently renovated hotel combines vibrant Nashville energy, eccentric design, and Southern hospitality. Spacious rooms feature rainfall showers. Hotel amenities include a state-of-the-art gym, spa treatments, bar with creative craft cocktails, and a live-music venue. The Hutton is also the official hotel partner of the Country Living Fair.
$3,795 for double occupancy
$4,570 for single occupancy
CLICK HERE or call (855) 494-8321 to reserve your spot today.
NOTE: Space is limited to 25 guests. Travelers to handle costs and logistics associated with airfare, meals, and activities that are not outlined in the above itinerary. Trip to be arranged by a third-party operator: Academic Travel Abroad. Itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. Country Living EIC Rachel Barrett apologizes in advance for any singing she does on this trip.
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