Grand Ole Opry Still Shines in Nashville

Story and photos by Kristin Kennedy

If you’re looking to spend some time in Nashville, Tennessee and looking for something fun to do, then look no further than the Grand Ole Opry. Despite all of the new construction, restaurants, bars, and shows there, the Opry still shines as Nashville’s most beloved music and travel destination. Seeing a show at the Opry makes a great date night, a memorable family night, or a fantastic night out with friends.

The Grand Ole Opry began as a simple radio show in 1925 and is now the longest running program there is. It can be seen live on Circle Television, or you can listen to the show on WSM Radio. Experiencing the Opry in person, however, is a must do!

There have been many well-known musicians that have played there over the years from Hank Williams,

Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Linda Davis to Carrie Underwood, Lady A and so many more. As of spring 2023, the Grand Ole Opry has more than 200 members. Being named a “member” of the Opry from among the thousands of artists who have appeared there, is widely considered to be the greatest honor in country music. The Opry even hosted the People’s Choice Country Awards for 2023. Now that would have been the ultimate show to be at!

When you arrive at the Grand Ole Opry, you must take your picture in front of the huge guitar for a keepsake. Then take some time and explore the gift shop as it is filled with some really neat items. Once the doors open, you will be greeted by their very pleasant staff. You will have the opportunity to purchase some snacks and drinks if you wish before making your way into the performance hall.

A unique thing about the Opry house is that your seats are actually church pews. The pews are comfy and set up like stadium seating so the person in front of you doesn’t block your view (that is if you are a short person like me!). The rows of church pews will seat more than 2,000 people. The Opry house offers seating on ground level or upper level. I honestly don’t think there is a bad seat in the house.

Guests at the Opry house ultimately end up spending time visiting with one another, and you may likely get to know the person sitting next to you. My experience was that we had folks around us from Kansas, Florida and Maine. Some had been there before, and for others it was their first time visiting the Grand Ole Opry — a very friendly and family atmosphere for sure.

Backstage tours are available as well. During the tour, guests will learn about the history of the Grand Ole Opry, get a chance to see the artists’ dressing rooms, and even get to walk across the stage into the famed “wooden circle” for a photo.

So if you are looking for something fun and memorable to do, start planning your next visit to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry! I promise you won’t be disappointed.