Here at NowPlayingNashville, we’re pretty astute when it comes to the hottest events in the city. If you’re looking for the latest rock show, or are wondering what to do with the family this weekend, then you’re already in the right place. But for those of you who are new to town, visiting for the first time, or are just interested in hearing some more of the history behind Nashville, you may not know where to start. Unfortunately, the staff at NowPlayingNashville isn’t offering up rides around town to fill in the gaps of your Nashville know-how. What is fortunate is that we know some people who are. To find them, look no further than the new-to-Nashville Old Town Trolley Tours. But before we went and recommended you spend your day on one of their green and orange rides, we had to check out the tour for ourselves. We must say, Old Town Trolley didn’t disappoint on our Monday afternoon ride.
Even on a hot July day, the staff at Old Town Trolley were staying busy. Over the course of their 15 stops all around Nashville, a new bus filled with passengers kept arriving at each pick-up/drop-off point every twenty minutes. Pretty impressive for a weekday! Admittedly, we were a bit skeptical of how much new information we would gain from the tour. “Why would we need to tour around Nashville?,” we thought. “We already know it here. There’s nothing new for us to see.” We imagine someone visiting might think along some similar lines. “We’re here on vacation. We don’t want to spend our entire day on a bus!” As you’ll see, such skepticism is greatly unwarranted.
The tour covers Nashville’s most notable attractions from the Riverfront to the Ryman and everything in between. The tour guides (who also double as drivers) highlight over 100 different attractions, notable areas, and points of interest. We’d argue you’d be hard pressed to find something Nashville-noteworthy that wasn’t mentioned while on the tour. Considering that the guides memorize a 38-page script detailing the most interesting parts of the city as well as little known facts, this should come as no shock. These talking points range from descriptions of large attractions such as the Parthenon or Country Music Hall of Fame, to small tidbits of information one wouldn’t be able to learn even if they were to travel to each of the locations while on their own. Want to know where Oprah Winfrey got her first job in Nashville, or which Mid-Town restaurant provided inspiration for the country hit, “Red Solo Cup?” No matter how well you think you know Music City, we’re willing to bet that just about anybody can sharpen their Nashville knowledge and come out looking like a long-time local historian after a ride with Old Town Trolley.
We started our tour on Broadway, looped all the way around to the Parthenon, and ended at the Frist Center, taking in as much of Nashville as we could. The entire ride could probably be done in about two hours if one were to stay on for the complete duration – but where’s the joy in that? Since passengers are able to hop on and off at their leisure, they might as well make the most out of their tour. We’d recommend taking your time, looking through the Johnny Cash Museum, shopping around at Marathon Motor Works, or having lunch at the Farmers Market. You could make your Old Town Trolley Tour an afternoon, an entire day, or just a quick ride. It’s all up to you. Over the course of our exploration of Nashville, we had four different tour guides, each being funny, knowledgeable, and bringing a different perspective to the city. The stadium seating also doesn’t hurt as it allows for great views and picture taking opportunities even when our trolley hit max capacity about mid-way through the tour.
With detailed and informative tours around the country, it’s clear why the team at Historic Tours of America have been coordinating city rides since the 70’s. We’re happy they’ve made their way to Nashville, as there’s plenty to talk about.
If you’re interested in hopping on a tour and seeing some more of Nashville for yourself, you can purchase tickets on NowPlayingNashville.com.
If for some reason you’re disappointed, Old Town Trolley provides a full money-back guarantee. With that in mind, even the greatest Nashville information connoisseur has nothing to lose.