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Your destination - Nashville

They call it "Music City, USA." Nashville. Home of the country-and-western recording industry. And the famous Grand Ole Opry that popularized country music and made the likes of Hank Williams, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, and Loretta Lynn household names via the oldest continuing radio broadcast in the United States.

State capitol of Tennessee since 1849, Nashville is located on a bluff overlooking the Cumberland River, spanned by four bridges. The city is sheltered in the Nashville Basin, surrounded by the Highland Rim to the east and west. Estimated population: 505,000.

Also hailed The Athens of the South, Nashville is a thriving center of education, banking, insurance, health services, transportation, and manufacturing. Its river front is an exuberant stretch of restaurants, dance halls, night clubs. The downtown landmark is the classic Greek design of the Tennessee State Capitol, on its grounds the tomb of Tennessee-born president James K. Polk.

Major points of interest are the Hermitage, former home of Andrew Jackson; Fisk University, founded after the Civil War to educated former slaves; and Belle Meade, the queen of Tennessee plantations. Other attractions: Tennessee Botanical Gardens, Museum of Art, Cumberland Science Museum, Tennessee State Museum, Aaron Douglas Gallery of African American painting, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Tennessee Performing Arts Center, housing the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Tennessee Repertory Theater, Nashville Ballet, and the Nashville Opera. The city's recreational tradition is the Iroquois Steeple Chase; its latest fascination the Tennessee Titans professional football team; but its principal draw remains Opryland USA.

The area was once a hunting ground for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Shawnee. In 1710, the French founded a trading post here known as French Lick. In 1779, settlers from North Carolina established Fort Nashborough, named for the American Revolutionary hero Francis Nash, and in 1784 renamed the area Nashville. The city was chartered in 1806 and soon became a busy river port and a major gateway to American expansion. Its metropolitan area includes Murfreesboro, site of a critical Civil War Battle. When Nashville and Davidson County consolidated in 1963, they created one of the nation's largest cities in land area. Today, the city is served by three interstate highways, a railroad, and the Nashville International Airport.


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