When you’re heading to Nashville, Tennessee, it’s possible that you could run into a well-known country music artist like Dolly Parton. As the country music capital of the world, all kinds of artists stroll the streets and play in clubs.
And, if you’re looking to pose with Dolly Parton, you’re in luck. At least ten landmarks in Nashville have ties to the queen of country.
You might not be able to pose with the real-life Dolly, but you’ll certainly be able to grab a selfie among murals, portraits, and other memorabilia.
Let’s jump in!
Who Is Dolly Parton?
You don’t have to be a country music fan to know who Dolly Parton is. She’s an American icon. Born in 1946, Dolly Parton began as a songwriter for other artists until she made her own album debut in 1967 with Hello, I’m Dolly.
Over the decades, she has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Her 25 #1 singles have her tied with Reba McEntire for the most by a female artist, and her 44 career Top 10 country albums are the most by any artist of all time.
Much of her later decades have been spent as a businesswoman and philanthropist. Dolly Parton co-owns The Dollywood Company, which manages several entertainment venues such as the Dollywood theme park, the Splash Country water park, The Dolly Parton Stampede dinner theater, and Pirates Voyage dinner theater.
The Dollywood Foundation is her charitable organization, which manages numerous projects to bring education and poverty relief to east Tennessee.
What Is Dolly Parton Known For?
Depending on the age of the person you ask, you might get several different responses. For people who grew up with Dolly Parton, they remember her rise to fame in the country music industry. Some will recall that she wrote “I Will Always Love You” for Whitney Houston and “9 to 5” for the film by the same name that she also starred in.
Younger generations will recognize Dolly Parton for her entertainment venues in east Tennessee, where she grew up dirt poor. Dollywood has over three million visitors each year. Not only has she established successful family-friendly businesses in the area, but she has also expanded to Branson, Missouri, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Dolly Parton is also known for her charitable giving and philanthropic work. Her literacy program, Imagination Library, gives free books to children from birth to age five. To date, over 195 million books have been gifted. In 2016, following the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, she raised $9 million through her own telethon.
She has also been a generous donor to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including a contribution to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Pediatric Cancer Program.
Pro Tip: Dolly Parton fans will want to know Can You Visit Dolly Parton’s Childhood Home?
10 Dolly Parton Landmarks in Nashville
You can’t go to Nashville without seeing images of Dolly Parton. Whether it’s a mural painted on the side of a building or an exhibit dedicated to honoring her legacy, landmarks throughout Music City pay tribute to this country music icon.
1. Music City Walk of Fame
Location: 4th Avenue South
About: More than 80 Music City legends have tributes along the Walk of Fame. Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and dozens of others have their names etched in stars. Dolly was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on November 8, 2009. You can venture across the street after visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame to the small park where the sidewalk is covered in stars.
2. The Ryman
Location: 116 Rep John Lewis Way North
About: The Ryman Auditorium looks more like an old church than a music venue. That’s because the building started as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, but it later became the original home of the Grand Ole Opry in 1943. Dolly sang here when she was just 13 years old and has continued over the last 60 years.
3. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
Location: 422 Broadway
About: Early in her career, Dolly Parton performed at Tootsie’s, owned by Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess. In fact, Tootsie was known to slip aspiring songwriters and artists a few dollars to encourage them in their musical dreams. If you’re in Nashville, you have to stop by the lounge and gaze at the memorabilia on the walls.
4. Legend’s Corner
Location: 428 Broadway
About: This honky-tonk bar is one of the best in Nashville. With live music and a full-service bar, Legend’s Corner has welcomed dozens of country stars over the years. Toby Keith, Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, and Luke Bryan are just a few. Outside the club, though, a relatively new mural depicts 14 country stars, including Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift, and Willie Nelson.
5. The 5 Spot
Location: 1006 Forrest Avenue
About: The 5 Spot is a popular club in east Nashville. Patrons enjoy live music, dance parties, and a full-service bar. In addition, a wall at the 5 Spot is adorned with a mural of Dolly Parton. Painted by Nashville-based artist Kim Radford, it captures Dolly’s flowing blonde locks and bright smile among colorful flowers.
Pro Tip: Fuel up for your Dolly Parton adventures by chowing down at one of these Best BBQ Spots in Nashville for Your Next RV Road Trip.
6. Grand Ole Opry House
Location: 2804 Opryland Drive
About: In 1974, the Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the Grand Ole Opry House. Dolly has performed on stage numerous times. The entertainment venue is a top attraction in Tennessee, and its multi-generational approach has welcomed performers and guests of all ages for over 80 years. You can check out the schedule to catch Dolly on stage again.
7. Printer’s Alley
Location: between 3rd and 4th Avenue
About: Dolly Parton began her music career by performing in Printer’s Alley, a famous strip of nightclubs in Nashville. Although it used to be the center of the printing industry, now it welcomes rising stars looking for their big break. Dolly was one of the many whose rise to fame started here.
8. Big Drag Bus
Location: 1517 Church Street (check-in inside Tribe)
About: You won’t find Dolly Parton on the Big Drag Bus, but you will find a fantastic Dolly impersonator. Guests enjoy the intimate setting of the bus while still getting the club-like atmosphere. From a professional sound system to LED/laser lights, guests have a one-of-a-kind experience aboard the bus.
9. Graduate Hotel’s White Limozeen
Location: 101 20th Avenue North
About: At White Limozeen, you can enjoy French cuisine and picture-perfect city views. Guests can also browse portraits and view a larger-than-life sculpture of Dolly. The Governor’s Pool is open during spring and summer for even more entertainment.
10. Arnold’s Country Kitchen
Location: 2209 Abbott Martin Road
About: You might actually run into Dolly Parton at Arnold’s Country Kitchen because it’s one of her favorite local spots. The cafeteria-style restaurant serves traditional Southern and soul food classics.
Is Visiting Dolly Parton Landmarks in Nashville Worth It?
There’s no city in America like Nashville. For country music lovers, it’s the Taj Mahal of the industry. And Dolly Parton helped build that industry. Her fingertips are everywhere. Her influence is felt even without her physical presence. So the next time you visit Nashville, check out these ten landmarks and step into the same venues that Dolly has graced.
Which Dolly Parton landmark is your favorite?
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