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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Telephone Registration Only: Please call us at 202-633-3030, Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Road to Nashville

In-Person Program

Multi-Day Tour

Sunday, November 6, 2022 - 8:00 a.m. to Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NNNAS
Select Your Tickets
$1,985 - Double Room Member
$2,610 - Double Room Non-Member
$2,415 - Single Room Member
$3,040 - Single Room Non-Member

Materials for this program

  1. COVID Guidance for In-Person Tours

A performance at the Grand Ole Opry House (Chris Hollo/Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp)

Please Note: The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed, including but not limited to masks on the bus and indoors.

The capital of Tennessee—and of country music—Nashville is a 21st-century boom town, a cultural melting pot that attracts residents from across the nation and around the world. If the Ken Burns documentary Country Music sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this tour led by arts journalist Richard Selden offers the perfect way to do it: Several key locations featured in the film are part of the itinerary.

The 5-day tour follows the road to Nashville through the twin cities of Bristol, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee, home of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, with a stop at the Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester, Virginia, on the return trip.

In Nashville, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and enjoy a performance at the Grand Ole Opry from the best seats in the house. Explore beyond the music scene with a driving tour of the city’s architectural landmarks that includes the Tennessee State Capitol and Downtown Presbyterian Church, both by 19th-century architect William Strickland, and the Parthenon replica in Centennial Park. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Nashville without sampling both the traditional Southern food and contemporary cuisine for which the city is noted.

Other highlights of this one-of-a-kind visit include:

  • A backstage tour of the Ryman Auditorium, dubbed the “Mother Church of Country Music,”
  • Access to the Opry’s exclusive Circle Room lounge before and during the show, where you can enjoy appetizers and complimentary drinks, meet one of the evening’s performers, and receive a commemorative photo to take home,
  • A driving tour along Lower Broadway, home of landmarks including the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and Tootsies Orchid Lounge, the legendary honky-tonk that’s a country music institution,
  • A visit to the Johnny Cash Museum, displaying a comprehensive collection of Man in Black memorabilia,
  • A group experience at Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress print shop founded in 1879 that has produced iconic posters for the Grand Old Opry, fairs, circuses, and musical acts, and
  • A visit to the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, the 1928 movie palace that helped launch the career of fiddler Roy Acuff.

The group stays two nights in Nashville and one each in Bristol and Roanoke.

General Information

  • Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities, services of a Study Leader and Representative, admissions and fees, gratuities, and meals (4 breakfast, 3 lunches, 3 dinners).
  • First-night accommodations at the Bristol Hotel in Virginia, followed by two nights at the Hutton Hotel Nashville, and one night in Roanoke on the return trip.
  • Tour meets and departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW, with a pick-up stop at the Country Inn & Suites, 2621 Prince William Parkway, Woodbridge, VA at approximately 8:30 a.m.
  • Single-room supplement $430 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
  • Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
  • Detailed information is emailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
  • Registrants may want to consider purchasing trip insurance.
  • For additional tour information:
Detailed information for overnight tours
is mailed approximately FOUR WEEKS
prior to departure.