Your guide to the city's roadside wonders
Bored with the Grand Ole Opry? Find the Parthenon passe? Don’t overlook Nashville’s cherished outposts of inimitable Americana.
· Elvis-Slept-Here Motels When the King came to Nashville to record in the ’60s, his most frequent haunts were the Albert Pick Motel (now the Continental Inn) at 320 Murfreesboro Road and the Quality Inn (now the Best Host Inn) at I-65 and James Robertson Parkway, where he talked the owners into adding a penthouse and a pool. Both motels were second-rate, and Elvis stayed at them for one reason: The Colonel was cheap.
· Guitar-Shaped Swimming Pool, 11 Music Square East. Built with extravagant hillbilly panache in 1978 by the late Webb Pierce (neighbors freaked when tourists flocked to one at his suburban home), this Music Row landmark now belongs to the adjacent Spence Manor Suites, a hideaway to the stars. Strumming and swimming for guests only, please.
· Martini-Drinking Elephant, 557 Donelson Pike. If you find yourself in the parking lot of Log Cabin Liquors and see an elephant knocking back a cocktail, you’re not necessarily looped. The fiberglass pachyderm is a relic from the club’s original incarnation as the Pink Elephant Lounge. Someone once tried to steal it but found it difficult to hide.
· The Nun Bun at Bongo Java Coffee Shop, 2007 Belmont Boulevard. Will miracles never cease? Some see the uncanny apparition of Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun as Immaculate Confection, while others think it looks like Abe Vigoda in a hooded sweatshirt. It hasn’t healed anyone yet, but one employee claims the sight of it cured his hangover.