Nashville is home to Vanderbilt University, founded in 1873 and well known for its medical, business, law and education schools. With more than 10,000 students, Vanderbilt is a major research university with strong undergraduate programs.
The city is also home to several historically black colleges and universities, including Fisk University, Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College.
Among the area's other attractions are the Hermitage, the popular estate of President Andrew Jackson, which includes a museum and restaurant and attracts about 200,000 visitors a year.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, about 20 minutes from downtown, is also worth a visit, and on your way there, enjoy the drive through the Belle Meade neighborhood, with its stately mansions and manicured yards.
Cheekwood's 55 acres include botanical gardens, which feature Japanese plants, an interactive learning center, a museum, a restaurant and a woodland sculpture trail.
WHEN YOU GO ...
Getting there: Southwest flies to Nashville directly from Baltimore-Washington International Airport. For more information, call 800-435-9792 or visit www.southwest.com.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
* Phone: 615-244-3340
* Online: www.fristcenter.org
* Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (open Thursday until 8 p.m.); Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
* Admission: Adults, $6.50, senior citizens and students, $4.50; children under 18 admitted free
Country Music Hall of Fame, 222 Fifth Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37203
* Phone: 615-416-2001
* Online: www.countrymusic halloffame.com
* Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day
* Admission: Adults, $14.95; children ages 6-15, $7.95; children under age 6 admitted free
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37205
* Phone: 615-356-8000
* Online: www.cheekwood.org
* Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Mondays
* Admission: $10 adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and children ages 6 to 17
The Hermitage, 4580 Rachel's Lane, Hermitage, TN 37076
* Phone: 615-889-2941
* Online: www.thehermitage.com
* Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Admission: $10, adults; $9, seniors and students; $5 children ages 6-12; children under age 6 admitted free
Grand Ole Opry, 2802 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
* Phone: 615-889-3060
* Online: www.opry.com
* Shows: Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
* Admission: $23-$25 adults, $13-$15 children ages 4-11
For more information about the variety of attractions, lodging and dining options in and around Nashville, visit www.nashvillecvb.com