Nashville Is a Great City for Casual Celebrity Encounters
Unless you live in cities like New York or Los Angeles, you probably haven’t had the chance to see many celebrities in person. And unless you’re looking to move to either for a job or because it’s one of the best places to retire, that probably won’t change any time soon.
So if you’re looking to add some excitement to one of your vacations, you may want to try visiting Nashville, Tennessee. Not only does Nashville have a great nightlife spread between various dive bars (like Santa’s), honky-tonks (like Tootsie’s), hipster joints (like the speakeasy-style Patternson House), and clubs (like the family-friendly Wildhorse Saloon), but it offers what very few others cities can: A great chance of seeing celebrities out as they go about enjoying Nashville’s laid-back attitude.
This is primarily because Nashville has had a longstanding reputation as a paparazzi-free city, excluding the somewhat recent addition of a TMZ office downtown. But more than that, the attitude of the locals tends to be more along the lines of letting celebrities live their lives in peace, meaning it’s pretty common to see Nicole Kidman reading over a script at a local coffee shop, Bongo Java (like my mom did) or Seth Green singing karaoke at a bar called Lonnie’s downtown (like my best friend did) without hordes of people bothering them for selfies and autographs.
Naturally, Nashville is also a huge hub for country musicians (if you’re into that kind of thing)—although it’s quickly becoming a city for all kinds of music. Regardless, a large number of country stars live in the area and there are, of course, tours that will drive you around Nashville to show you their houses (some of them put up especially nice holiday decorations) and give you interesting insights into their lives. But these tours aren’t exactly necessary, because since so many singers are concentrated in one spot, it’s not uncommon to see them walking around Nashville, going about their daily lives. For instance, my brother stood behind Taylor Swift as she waited in line to get coffee (also at Bongo Java), and Vince Gill held the door open for my uncle at Nashville.
And of course, if you love the History Channel, Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers” is also frequently seen around town, thanks to his store in Marathon Village. Better yet, he occasionally has events at the Antique Archaeology store, where you can meet him and his dog, Ruby and get an autograph. (In fact, here’s one such upcoming event.)
But all of this hinges on one thing: leaving these celebrities alone in relative peace. They come to Nashville for a reason, after all—to be able to live their lives as normally as possible, for once—so it would probably be best to enjoy the encounter itself without whipping out your cell phone. That way, the rich and the famous will continue to want to come to Nashville, and will continue to provide us normal folk with fun stories for many years to come.