Nashville Facts (25 Fun Things to Know, By a Local)
If you’re looking for an epic list of fun & interesting Nashville facts, then welcome!
Most people come to Nashville for the music scene, the great food, and the welcoming atmosphere. But a lot of people don’t know about the history, local traditions, and interesting facts about Nashville that have helped make Music City such a popular destination.
This article will share historic facts about Nashville along with quirky facts that give the city its distinct character. You’ll enjoy all of the cool things to do in Nashville way more if you know a little about the city before you get there.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned as a Nashville local!
Table of Contents
- 21 Fun & Interesting Facts About Nashville
- 1. Nashville Has a Full-Scale Replica of the Parthenon
- 2. The Tennessee Capitol Is One of the Oldest Working Capitols in the United States
- 3. The Grand Ole Opry Is the Longest-Running Radio Broadcast
- 4. Nashville Is in the Central Time Zone
- 5. Goo Goo Clusters Were Invented in Nashville
- 6. The Batman Building is the Tallest Building in Tennessee
- 7. Johnny Cash Met June Carter Backstage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium
- 8. The World’s Largest Songwriter Festival Takes Place in Nashville
- 9. Hot Chicken Was Invented in Nashville
- 10. Nashville Has a Festival Dedicated to Tomatoes
- 11. Nashville is Nicknamed Music City
- 12. Another Nickname for Nashville is the Athens of the South
- 13. Former President Andrew Jackson Had a Home in Nashville
- 14. Oprah Winfrey’s Career Started in Nashville
- 15. Nashville Has the Largest Kurdish Population in the United States
- 16. Nashville Gets 4.2 inches of Snow Each Year
- 17. Nashville Was Founded on Christmas Day
- 18. Nashville Was Named after Francis Nash
- 19. Former President Theodore Roosevelt Stayed at the Original Maxwell House Hotel
- 20. The Country Music Hall of Fame Has the World’s Largest Collection of Country Music Artifacts
- 21. Nashville is Home to the Largest Record Press Facility in North America
- 22. Saber-Toothed Tiger Fossils Were Found Downtown
- 23. The Cumberland River Goes Through Nashville
- 24. Nashville is the Northern Terminus of the Natchez Trace
- 25. The Battle of Nashville Was a Critical Victory During the Civil War
- FAQs About Nashville Facts
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21 Fun & Interesting Facts About Nashville
1. Nashville Has a Full-Scale Replica of the Parthenon
Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville is indeed home to a Parthenon replica. In fact, this Parthenon even has a 42-foot statue of Athena.
Inspired by the original Greek Parthenon, this structure can be visited today in Centennial Park. The building is also an art gallery, and you can view the permanent collections as well as the temporary exhibitions.
2. The Tennessee Capitol Is One of the Oldest Working Capitols in the United States
The Tennessee Capitol, which was designed by architect William Strickland, first opened in 1859. One of the best things to do in Nashville on a budget is to take a guided or self-guided tour of the neo-classical building.
3. The Grand Ole Opry Is the Longest-Running Radio Broadcast
Called the WSM Barn Dance when it first aired in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast has been bringing the sounds of country music into homes for nearly 100 years. The name changed to the Grand Ole Opry in 1927, and many country legends have performed for the broadcast over the years. [Source]
4. Nashville Is in the Central Time Zone
Most of Tennessee, including Nashville, is in the Central Time Zone. However, the majority of eastern Tennessee is in the Eastern Time Zone. If you’re planning to take a day trip from Nashville, make sure you check to see if you’re crossing any time zones.
5. Goo Goo Clusters Were Invented in Nashville
Made of caramel, milk chocolate, marshmallow nougat, and peanuts, Goo Goo Clusters were the first combination candy bar in the United States.
Many people think the GOO in the name stands for Grand Ole Opry, but the name was created by Howell Campbell, Sr. in 1912 before the Opry began. No matter the origins, these chocolate treats are delicious. [Source]
6. The Batman Building is the Tallest Building in Tennessee
Thanks to its unique appearance, the 33-story AT&T building is nicknamed the Batman Building. At 632 feet, the building stands out on Nashville’s skyline. It’s the tallest building not just in Nashville but in the entire state. [Source]
7. Johnny Cash Met June Carter Backstage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium
Often called the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium has been the site for many notable country music moments. Amazing artists like Minnie Pearl, Hanks Williams, and Patsy Cline have performed at this historic music venue in Nashville.
Sometimes stars collided backstage like in 1968 when Cash met Carter backstage for the first time and told her he was going to marry her someday. Their love story is legendary, but they were both married to other people at the time. [Source]
8. The World’s Largest Songwriter Festival Takes Place in Nashville
It isn’t really surprising that Music City would host the largest festival for songwriters. Nashville is always full of songwriters, but even more, make their way here each spring for Tin Pan South.
The Nashville Songwriters Association International puts on Tin Pan South. The festival features panels and speakers for songwriters as well as a chance for fans to meet the writers behind their favorite songs.
9. Hot Chicken Was Invented in Nashville
The story goes that hot chicken originated when Thornton Prince’s girlfriend was upset that he came home late. Out of anger, she served him fried chicken with hot sauce. Whether Prince actually got the idea for hot chicken from a suspicious lover or not, the dish has become incredibly popular. [Source]
You can try out the original hot chicken for yourself today at Prince’s Hot Chicken. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Nashville for more must-visit restaurants.
10. Nashville Has a Festival Dedicated to Tomatoes
The Tomato Art Fest takes place each summer in East Nashville. At the annual costume art festival, people dress up in vegetable costumes, browse tomato-related art, and enjoy bloody marys. There’s even a King and Queen Tomato chosen to lead the parade.
11. Nashville is Nicknamed Music City
Today, Nashville is known for its music industry. From the beginnings with the Fisk Jubilee Singers to the Grand Ole Opry and today’s artists from all music genres, Nashville deserves its reputation as a musical city.
Supposedly, WSM announcer David Cobb first called Nashville “Music City” in the 1950s.
12. Another Nickname for Nashville is the Athens of the South
This name is partially in reference to all the higher education opportunities. There are more than 20 colleges in the area including Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.
The name also refers to the Greek-style architecture in the city, including the Parthenon in Centennial Park and the Tennesse State Capitol building. [Source]
13. Former President Andrew Jackson Had a Home in Nashville
Jackson’s Hermitage is considered to be one of the most intact homes of the country’s early presidents. Andrew Jackson and his wife moved to the Hermitage in 1804. The home first opened as a museum in 1889.
14. Oprah Winfrey’s Career Started in Nashville
While in high school, Oprah Winfrey worked at the radio station WVOL in Nashville. Afterward, she got her first TV anchor job in the city at WLAC while a student at Tennessee State University. [Source]
15. Nashville Has the Largest Kurdish Population in the United States
Nashville has had 3 waves of Kurdish immigrants beginning in the 1970s. The city is also home to the first Kurdish mosque built in the United States. [Source]
16. Nashville Gets 4.2 inches of Snow Each Year
Nashville is far from the snowiest city in the United States, but the southern city does get some snow almost every year. If you’re trying to figure out the best time to visit Nashville, know that snow is possible from November until April. [Source]
17. Nashville Was Founded on Christmas Day
In 1779, a group of people arrived in the Nashville area to create a permanent settlement there. Around 250 people traveled in this group. [Source]
18. Nashville Was Named after Francis Nash
James Robertson and John Donelson led the construction of Fort Nashborough in 1779. They named the fort after Revolutionary War hero Francis Nash. The city later changed its name from Nashborough to Nashville. [Source]
19. Former President Theodore Roosevelt Stayed at the Original Maxwell House Hotel
Legend has it that President Theodore Roosevelt was the one who inspired the Maxwell Coffee House slogan. While drinking his cup of coffee at the Nashville hotel, he called it “good to the last drop.” This famous tagline is still used today. [Source]
20. The Country Music Hall of Fame Has the World’s Largest Collection of Country Music Artifacts
In downtown Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has 2.5 million objects related to country music history in its collection.
21. Nashville is Home to the Largest Record Press Facility in North America
United Records Pressing has the capacity to produce around 60,000 vinyl records each day. When the company was first founded in 1949, it produced up to 1 million records every month. [Source]
22. Saber-Toothed Tiger Fossils Were Found Downtown
The remains of this extinct animal were found in 1971 during a construction project. The Nashville Predator’s logo and mascot were inspired by this discovery. [Source]
23. The Cumberland River Goes Through Nashville
The Cumberland River is nearly 700 miles long, and part of the river winds right through Nashville. The best way to enjoy the river is from Riverfront Park or while hiking in Nashville at Shelby Bottoms.
24. Nashville is the Northern Terminus of the Natchez Trace
The Natchez Trace stretches from Nashville to Natchez, MS. The trail was first used by Native Americans and later used by European explorers and traders. Driving the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the most beautiful roads around Nashville.
25. The Battle of Nashville Was a Critical Victory During the Civil War
The Union victory at Nashville was the end of major battles in Tennessee. The Civil War would be over just a few months after this battle. [Source]
FAQs About Nashville Facts
What are 5 interesting facts about Nashville?
Five interesting facts about Nashville are that Nashville was founded on Christmas Day, the largest songwriter’s festival in the world happens in Nashville, one of Nashville’s nicknames is Music City, Saber-toothed tiger fossils were discovered in Nashville, and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry has been on-air for nearly 100 years.
What is Nashville known for?
Nashville is best known for music. Country music, bluegrass, R&B, pop, and rock all have ties to the city. Nashville is also home to RCA’s historic studio B, the live music radio show the Grand Ole Opry, and the Ryman Auditorium.
What are 5 interesting facts about Tennessee?
Five interesting facts about Tennessee are that the tallest building in Tennessee is the Batman Building, the Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working state capitols, Moon Pies were invented in Tennessee, Tennessee is located in two time zones, and the Smoky Mountains National Park is located in Tennessee and North Carolina.
What is unique about Nashville Tennessee?
Nashville is famous for its music, but visitors also come to Nashville to see the city’s historic sites, watch professional sports, try amazing food, and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces.
Hopefully, you‘ve learned something new and interesting about Nashville. Be sure to check out my Nashville tips guide to find out even more about the city.
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