Go Off The Beaten Path With 5 Of Nashville’s Quirkiest Attractions

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Sometimes you gotta venture off the beaten path.

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There are a lot of wonderful things to do in Nashville, and a lot of them are what you would expect from a town called Music City. Bedazzled country costumes behind glass, meat-and-three diners where the food is greasy and the plates are hot, and historic venues rumored to harbor the ghosts of country music past. However, once you’ve seen all those awesome things (or if you just wanna get weird right off the bat – #nojudgement), it’s cool to see the quirky things your city has to offer. Take advantage of that summer vacay and pay a visit to one of the places below. And bring your camera.

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A Super Unique, Jay Leno-Approved Car Collection

Lane Motor Museum

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WHERE:

Just to the right of downtown by the Speedway on Murfreesboro Pike.

WHAT MAKES IT COOL:

We’ve got the need. The need for speed. Well, maybe all these crazy unique automobiles from throughout history weren’t created for speed, but they sure are fun to look at! Lane Motor Museum hosts around 150 of the most delightfully weird cars (you can see more in the basement where they’re stored for future exhibits), all housed in a converted Sunbeam bakery. The collection features military vehicles, lots of European cars, motorcycles, and more. A lot of the models were problematic in their time, and some were only made once or twice. Leno is a fan, so you know it must be good.

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A Full-Scale Replica That Would Make Zeus Proud

The Parthenon

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WHERE:

On West End Ave. – the centerpiece of Centennial Park!

WHAT MAKES IT COOL:

As comedian Brooks Wheelan once said on a Nashville visit (paraphrased): did everybody just get drunk and say “You know what?! We’re gonna build THE PARTHENON”. While that is a compelling origin story, the colossal Greek replica has a lot more thought to it. Known as “the Athens of the South” for it’s bustling art and culture, Nashville saw the building of the Parthenon in 1897 as a part of the fair. While it wasn’t originally built to be permanent, public reaction and the cost of demolition convinced leaders to fortify it as a centerpiece of the city. This place has been all over pop culture (it’s a lot easier to film Percy Jackson movies in Nashville than it is to film in Greece right now, we imagine), and the coolest of the cool have stopped by on their Nashville visits. Just check Mick Jagger’s instagram.

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The Tucked Away Tomb Of One Of The Most Underrated Presidents

The Grave Of James K. Polk

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WHERE:

Steps away from the gorgeous Tennessee Capitol Building in the heart of downtown.

WHAT MAKES IT COOL:

Sure, we have Andrew Jackson stuff pretty much everywhere in Nashville (his Hermitage home and resting place are also worth a visit), but we gotta show love for a president that often gets overlooked: James K. Polk. The former commander-in-chief got more done in his one term than most presidents in two, and he stuck to his campaign promise that he’d just run once. Polk had it rough, though: he contracted cholera and died shortly after his term ended at the age of 54. He was laid to rest at his residence, Polk Place, but after the land changed hands he was brought with his late wife Sarah to his current grave on government grounds. If you wanna get spooked, take the ghost tour: rumor is, Polk still roams the ground, mad that he was taken from his original after-life home. Can a guy catch a break?

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The Classiest Bathroom In America

Men’s Restroom At The Hermitage Hotel

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WHERE:

The Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville.

WHAT MAKES IT COOL:

Talk about a royal flush. The Hermitage Hotel is a major historic location in Nashville, with plenty of visits from presidents and Old Hollywood starlets (not to mention plenty of ghost stories – seriously, you’re gonna want to look up that ghost tour). Wanna see a quirky attraction within the attraction? Don’t skip a trip to the men’s restroom. Voted the best bathroom in America, the emerald-and-black “throne room” dates back to the 1930s and includes a shoe-shine station. Ladies are allowed to have a supervised peek at the gorgeous space. Just make sure you knock, y’all.

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Stand On Top Of Prohibition-Era Tunnels Built By Capone

Printer’s Alley

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http://shanksadventures.blogspot.com

WHERE:

Downtown Nashville

WHAT MAKES IT COOL:

Printer’s Alley is already a bit of a tourist destination simply because of its prime location. Most visitors don’t look past the honky tonks and old-world vibe, but did you know that the area is riddled with Prohibition-era past? Al Capone was known to hang in Nashville. A frequent guest of the Hermitage hotel, the bootleggin’ boss was fond of our city’s central location for his, ahem, *extracurricular* activities. When Nashville Dinner Theater (now called Events On Third) was renovating, they found a tunnel underneath the facility that went all the way across the Cumberland River. The tunnel bears striking resemblance to other tunnels built by Capone that have been found, so there is some strong evidence that the bustling Printer’s Alley was the mark of a serious bootleg business. Exercise your post-Prohibition freedom with a drink at a local establishment.

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So let’s get out there, Nashville, and let’s get weird. Our city has tons to explore, and for everything from live music to happy hours to Al Capone landmarks, download Wannado. We’ll keep you in the loop!

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