What are our readers’ favorite places to go relax, see a show, catch a movie, or find a good book? This year, as in the past, it seems that we prefer our old favorites!
Live Music Venue – Ryman Auditorium
When it comes to music venues, none in Nashville have the history, the ambience, or the attraction of The Ryman Auditorium, it seems, as the “Mother Church of Country Music” again tops our readers’ poll. Revamped as a premier performance hall after reopening in 1994, and subsequently declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001, the Ryman continues to host the “Opry at the Ryman,” but its offerings have diversified to included shows as varied as Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the one hand and 2Cellos on the other.
Hotel – Hotel Indigo
Hotel Indigo is a hip, modern hotel housed in a former bank building on Printer’s Alley, and again it is our favorite hotel. Yes, it’s a chain, but this chain’s shtick is developing hotels around local themes, so our location features no less than a printer-themed lobby and a speakeasy inspired lounge. And located as it is less than a mile from the Country Music Hall of Fame and other downtown attractions, Hotel Indigo perfectly combines atmosphere with utility.
Place to Take Visitors – Five Points
For the second year in a row, our readers chose Five Points in East Nashville as the best place to take visitors. Like last year, East Nashville is a heavy favorite in many categories, home to our favorite restaurants from Margot to Five Points Pizza to one of our favorite places to play, Lipstick Lounge, so it’s natural that it would be where we’d want to take our friends to eat, play, and shop. And filled with unique local shopping experiences like East Side Story (a bookstore featuring ONLY Tennessee authors) and many others—it is a uniquely Nashville neighborhood.
Spiritual Place – Holy Trinity Community Church
Holy Trinity Community Church is one of Nashville’s most LGBT-affirming houses of worship—a role they’ve worn publicly for years. A regular presence in our community, and a visible presence at Pride for a number of years, Holy Trinity is our favorite spiritual place this year!
Bookstore – McKay Used Books
Year after year, we can’t get enough of this place. Tennessee’s first McKay’s location opened in Knoxville in 1985, and then arrived in Nashville in 2007. Now it’s hard to imagine how we ever lived without it! From its bargain basement prices on everything from CDs and DVDs to comic books and great literature, it is a paradise of personal entertainment shopping.
Movie Theatre – Belcourt
The Belcourt is classic theater, and its classic design was long a throwback to another era. How many movie theatres still feature honest-to- goodness stages? This Nashville institution brings the best independent films to Nashville, while serving up classic movies (and cocktails from the bar) in various genres and hosting cultural events, such as Nashville’s Jewish Film Festival. After its recent renovations, however, the Belcourt’s look has dramatically changed. The new exterior features some of the classic elements but the restoration gives the alley a whole different look, and the changes run deep. If you haven’t visited since the update, check it out, and let us know what you think!