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Nashville City Guide: The 15+ Best Things to See and Do

From the original hot chicken to sequined power suits, killer cocktails and the perfect balance of history and hip, Music City is a funkadelic nexus with top-tier restaurants and innovative hotels, an idiosyncratic blend of Southern hospitality and authenticity and surprises around every corner. Find out what new and old sites you need to check out in this buzzy city.

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Endless Reasons to Visit Nashville

Though many locals bemoan Nashville's popularity as a girls' trip destination, there's a reason why fun-lovers flock to this cool Southern city. Nashville has earned the nickname Nashvegas for its glittering music scene, friendliness and no-holds-barred love of a good time. But this sophisticated, culturally rich and eccentric metropolis is far more than just a party mecca.

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A Shop to Add a Little Rock' n' Roll to Your Life

Any Old Iron is an over-the-top clothing showroom on Music Row whose witty British owner and designer Andrew Clancey dreams up endless uses for leather and sequins to outfit a host of celebrities, from Lady Gaga and Beyonce to Elton John. Make an appointment to get some one-on-one outfit direction from the utterly charming Andrew who can create a custom wedding dress or special occasion outfit that will out-dazzle anything you could find off the rack.

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Icons of Cool at Nashville's Bespoke Clothing Showroom

Bowie and Prince are just a few of the icons channeled in the peacocking fashion on offer at the jewel box Nashville shop Any Old Iron where you can score a bedazzled sweatshirt for a song or a custom blazer to slay at your high school reunion. Proprietor and iconoclast Andrew Clancey brings a distinctive sense of fun to both his designs and his shop which boasts a hypodermic needle chandelier and a disco ball wall of undulating reflective tiles. You can make an appointment for some of Andrew's one-on-one fashion guidance. But definitely make a stop at this Nashville temple of cool for the kind of unforgettable Nashville fashion souvenir you won't find anywhere else.

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Get Your Hot Chicken in the Town Where It Was Invented

Though hot chicken has expanded from Nashville to become a national — and international — phenomenon with even chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken getting in on the spicy bird action, the Black-owned local institution Prince's Hot Chicken Shack remains the purist's chicken source, recognized by national publications and locals as the real thing. You can find it at downtown's Assembly Food Hall or at its original location on Nolensville Pike where owner André Prince Jeffries carries on the family tradition of serving up this uniquely Nashville delicacy.

The James Beard Foundation has given Prince's Hot Chicken an America's Classic award and in her hot chicken history Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story, writer Rachel Louise Martin describes how the history of hot chicken is a window into Southern race relations. You can pick up Rachel's book at local bookshop Parnassus and, if you are lucky, have her school you in the pleasures of current Nashville foodways from her perch at Sean Brock's Audrey where she may be the most highly educated server in town.

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