Fans of the new hit television show Nashville will love a quick getaway weekend to the title city, including a stop at the famous Bluebird Cafe. Originally made famous in the River Phoenix flick Thing Called Love, the Bluebird is enjoying a renewed popularity in the wake of the country-music-themed TV show. It's one of the few tourist attractions that feels undeniably authentic and is guaranteed to deliver an evening you won't forget.
Located in an unimpressive strip mall outside of the Hillsboro area of sprawling Nashville, the cafe seats about 100 guests, so reservations are ideal. You can call a week ahead of time to reserve a seat at one of the tables, or you can make reservations online. If you slip up and forget, you can always try your luck waiting in line for one of the seats at the bar or in the pews. Shows are at 6 and 9 nightly, and there is no cover for the earlier show (although there is a $7 food/drink minimum per person).
The earlier show each night features local songwriters seated in the round, performing their own work. Ranging from comedic to heart-tugging, the tunes are original and entertaining. The audience listens in a respectful silence so that everyone can appreciate the lyrics, and the walls are lined with signed photos of the famous country stars who have performed in this tiny room. Legend has it Taylor Swift was discovered here, and you might just see the next big star before the rest of the world.
The pilot episode of Nashville was filmed in this room, and the bartenders are happy to share their stories of watching stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere strut their country stuff. Nashville is just a short drive from Atlanta, and the city has a lot to offer beyond the Grand Ol' Opry.