About 70 miles (113 kilometers) southeast of Nashville in the small town of Lynchburg is the home to the Jack Daniel's Distillery. It's worth the drive to take a free tour of the oldest registered American distillery, where you can learn about the ingredients that go into Old No. 7, take a whiff of the charcoal mellowing process and see the barrels where whiskey is stored to mature. The iconic brand has inspired many classic country songs from artists like Miranda Lambert to Eric Church.
One of the city's biggest parties is the annual CMA Festival, a four-day celebration of country music in June that has always been about connecting fans with their favorite musicians. While the nightly concerts at LP Field require tickets, there are multiple stages set up around the city, including free concerts outside the Bridgestone Arena, where artists play for free during the daytime. Last year, artists like Sara Evans, Ronnie Milsap and Brett Eldredge played on the riverfront along the Cumberland River and at many other events like autograph signings are free as well.
The banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville are more than a place to watch barges pass. The Shelby Street pedestrian bridge over the river is one of the best viewpoints for the Nashville skyline that inspired Bob Dylan to write a country album. Besides the city skyline, the view from the bridge includes a 100-foot (30-meter) industrial steel sculpture created by Alice Aycock, the Tennessee Titans' stadium, the spot where the first settlers founded Nashville at Fort Nashborough and a newly built city waterpark and playground.