Going on Faith

JUN-JUL 2016

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 29 [ N A S H V I L L E , T E N N E S S E E ] Music spills out into the streets from every corner of downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Not nicknamed the Music City for nothing, Nashville attracts musicians of all genres, with a specialty in honky-tonk music joints. "You can literally just walk down the street and hear all of this great music," said Laurel Bennett, director of tourism sales for Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. "I think our music element adds a unique vibe to the downtown area. You aren't going to find another city with this much music played 365 days of the year." Bennett admitted it can be difficult for her to keep track of all the new openings and renovations slated for Nashville. Currently, officials expect 1,500 hotel rooms to open in the city by the spring of 2017. Since estimates project the city's popula- tion to grow quickly, city planners continue to promote expansion plans to allow more professionals to move back into the urban core. "The Nashville skyline is changing dramatically," said Bennett. "We've had 23 restaurants opened since January, with more slated to open by the end of the year. Nashville has been going through a major growth spurt in the last five years." TOP DOWNTOWN ATTRACTIONS: The recent 210,000-square-foot expansion at the Country Music Hall of Fame gives groups another reason to visit this favorite, interactive music museum. Opened three years ago, the Johnny Cash Museum has expanded each year, with a recent addition of memorabilia from the film "Walk the Line." GROUP-FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT: Slated to open down- town this spring, the spacious Martin's Bar-B-Que will feature some of the state's legendary barbecue tradition. www.visitmusiccity.com [ G R E E N V I L L E , S O U T H C A RO L I N A ] The combination of a Mayberry-esque atmosphere with the amenities of a thriving large city has helped garner much acclaim for downtown Greenville, South Carolina. The city ranked in the Top 10 Best Downtowns in the country for "livability," while The New York Times called Greenville "a national model for a pedestrian-friendly city." "It hasn't lost that small-town feel," said Taryn Scher, spokesperson for Visit Greenville SC. "People love Greenville's walkability. Groups can get to their hotel downtown and be able to walk everywhere. It's all pretty much within a one-mile radius." With new hotels planned and underway, city officials strive to keep up with the demand of the energized town. Free trolleys, art museums, galleries and perform- ing arts venues have also cropped up in recent years for locals and visitors alike. Falls Park has become a beloved downtown space, with 40 acres of natural set- tings, waterfalls and activities. "On any given day, we have concerts in the street, so you can just walk up and enjoy as long as you want," said Scher. "We have a huge amount of art in public spaces; that really enhances the beauty of downtown, and it's one of the great draws for people." TOP DOWNTOWN ATTRACTIONS: Baseball fans love the Fluor Field at West End, since the Class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox features a field designed as a mini replica of Fenway Park. The Upcountry History Museum takes visitors through three centuries of Upcountry South Carolina with interactive, multimedia exhibits and dynamic programming. GROUP-FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT: Soby's offers South Carolina cuisine with modern twists for an elevated culinary experience. www.visitgreenvillesc.com Courtesy Visit Greenville SC A Greenville bike tour Courtesy Visit Greenville SC Greenville's scenic Falls Park

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