If you’re one of the many Mid-westerners looking to mix it up in The Music City, avoid the long

airport lines, and enjoy a leisurely drive to Nashville via way of Cincinnati and Louisville, plan a

road trip! Here’s why this three-pronged route is the only way to go:

Start in Cincinnati

Shop, dine, and explore your way through Cincinnati. The Queen City has much to offer. Get

nostalgic at the American Sign Museum, featuring vintage and neon signs from yesteryear. Be

inspired by stories of struggle and perseverance at the National Underground Railroad Freedom

Center, which reminds you of the role the Ohio River played in escaping slaves. Visit the

Cincinnati Art Museum, one of the oldest museums in the United States and home to 67,000 art

pieces, as well as traveling international exhibits. Visit the white Bengal tigers and gorillas at the

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you’ll enjoy a Reds’

game for the crowd’s energy, beautiful stadium, and historic significance of the first

professional baseball franchise.

Shopping enthusiasts will love the Findlay Market. It’s a public market that opened its doors in

1855. Get some local treasures and take a tour to learn about the history of the market.

Indulge in a mouthwatering brunch at Maplewood Kitchen and Bar. Cozy up with comfort food

at Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey. Watch the working distillery in action while you sample from

innovative, global dishes at Karrikin Spirits Company. Make sure to grab some Goetta, a

meat-and-grain mixture known as “Cincinnati Caviar,” featured at several restaurants.

Linger in Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky is famous for the Kentucky Derby, but if you can’t make it for “the most

exciting two minutes in sports,” there are countless other reasons to visit the Gateway of the

South. A thriving cultural scene, barrels of bourbon, and tasty treats await you.

Spend a couple of days at “Museum Row,” featuring attractions such as the Muhammad Ali

Center, Frazier History Museum, and Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Tour and taste your

way through “Whiskey Row,” with such distilleries as Evan Williams, Jim Beam, and Angel’s

Envy. Every day is Derby day at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Get a tour of the track, see

exhibits, and check out “The Greatest Race,” an interactive sound and visual experience. Dine at

Dave’s Sticky Pig for the best Kentucky Burgos. Don’t miss the famed Derby Pie at Kern’s

Kitchen. Grab a celebrated “Hot Brown” sandwich at its birthplace, The Brown Hotel. One

thing’s for sure, you won’t leave Louisville hungry.

Nestle Down in Nashville

There’s a little something for everyone in Tennessee’s capital city. The country music scene is

unrivaled, but you’ll also find your fill of culture, food, and attractions. Take a trip back in time

at several historical sites such as Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Belle Meade Plantation,

Travelers Rest Plantation, and several Civil War battlefield sites. Cruise down the Cumberland

River on the General Jackson Showboat, taking in the sites and enjoying some Southern cuisine.

With four whole hog pits and their “Redneck Taco” corn cake, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is not to

be missed. Eat with the locals at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, beloved for its revolving menu of

down home southern fare. Savor creative cocktails and locally grown ingredients in the

Southern-Italian dishes at City House.

You can’t escape the Music City without experiencing its number one attraction: music. The

iconic Bluebird Cafe features both professional and newbie artists. Appreciate the significance of

Ryman Auditorium, a National Historical Landmark originally built in 1892 for religious services,

now famous for kicking off the careers of Hank Williams and Earl Scruggs. Robert’s Western

World will win you over with its charm, cold beer, country music, and fried bologna sandwiches.

And of course, no Nashville trip is complete without a visit to the famous Grand Ole Opry.