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Visiting Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry & How To Take A Tour


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Becki Keyser



Welcome to the vibrant world of Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry! As an avid music enthusiast, there’s no better place to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of country music than at this legendary venue. The Grand Ole Opry has been a mainstay in the country music scene since its inception in 1925, hosting countless talented artists and entertaining audiences from around the world.


Steeped in tradition and nostalgia, the Grand Ole Opry serves as a symbol of pride for both musicians and fans alike. Its significance goes beyond being just another concert venue – it’s a living testament to the evolution of country music and the artists who have shaped its unique sound over the years. From the pioneers of the genre to the chart-topping superstars of today, the Grand Ole Opry continues to showcase the best of country music to its devoted audience.


Whether you’re a die-hard country music fan or simply curious about experiencing a piece of music history, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry is a must. From taking a guided tour to witnessing a live performance, this article will guide you on how to make the most out of your visit to this legendary institution. So grab your cowboy hat, put on your dancing boots, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart and soul of country music at the Grand Ole Opry.


History of the Grand Ole Opry

The roots of the Grand Ole Opry date back to 1925 when it was originally known as the “WSM Barn Dance.” The radio show, broadcasted on WSM radio station, quickly gained popularity, showcasing local talent and attracting a loyal following. In 1927, the name “Grand Ole Opry” was officially adopted, and the show found its permanent home at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.


Throughout the years, the Grand Ole Opry served as a launching pad for numerous country music stars, including Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. These artists, along with countless others, graced the stage of the Opry, leaving an indelible mark on the genre and contributing to its enduring legacy.


In 1974, the Grand Ole Opry moved to its current location, a state-of-the-art venue known as the Grand Ole Opry House. This modern facility boasts exceptional acoustics and can accommodate larger audiences, ensuring that country music enthusiasts from all over the world can enjoy the show in a comfortable and dynamic setting.


Over the years, the Grand Ole Opry has evolved and adapted to the changing landscape of country music. It has embraced various sub-genres while staying true to its traditional roots, creating a unique blend of classic and contemporary country music. Today, the Opry continues to showcase the best and brightest talent from the country music industry, making it a must-visit destination for music lovers of all ages.


The impact of the Grand Ole Opry extends far beyond its stage. It has played a significant role in bringing national attention to Nashville as the epicenter of country music, attracting tourists and musicians from around the world. Its influence on popular culture cannot be understated, as it continues to shape and define the country music genre while preserving its rich heritage.


As you explore the Grand Ole Opry and delve into its history, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the profound impact it has had on the country music industry and its enduring legacy as one of the most iconic music venues in the world.


The Significance of the Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry holds a special place in the hearts of country music enthusiasts and artists alike. It embodies the essence of the genre and serves as a symbol of tradition, authenticity, and community. Here are a few reasons why the Grand Ole Opry is so significant:


A Platform for Country Music Legends: The Grand Ole Opry has been the launching pad for countless country music stars throughout history. It has provided a platform for artists like Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, and Garth Brooks to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Being invited to perform at the Opry is considered a great honor and a career-defining moment for any country artist.


A Showcase of Diversity: While the Grand Ole Opry is known for its traditional country roots, it has also embraced various sub-genres of country music over the years. From bluegrass to honky-tonk, from contemporary pop country to Americana, the Opry offers a diverse range of musical styles that cater to different tastes and preferences.


Preserving Country Music’s Heritage: The Grand Ole Opry is deeply committed to preserving the rich heritage and traditions of country music. It pays homage to the legends of the genre while also providing a platform for emerging artists, ensuring that country music continues to thrive and evolve while staying true to its roots.


A Sense of Community: The Opry has fostered a strong sense of community among country music fans and artists. It brings people together from all walks of life, creating a shared experience that transcends boundaries. The Opry audience is known for their enthusiasm and support, making it a truly special and inclusive environment.


Perpetuating Tradition: The Grand Ole Opry adheres to certain time-honored traditions, such as the circle of wood from the Ryman stage embedded in the Opry House stage. This symbolizes the continuity between the past and the present, serving as a reminder of the Opry’s legacy and the artists who have paved the way for the future.


The Grand Ole Opry’s significance extends beyond the boundaries of country music. It serves as a cultural institution, a symbol of American artistry, and a testament to the power of music to unite and inspire. Whether you’re a long-time country music fan or a newcomer to the genre, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry is an experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the history, tradition, and magic of country music.


Planning Your Visit to the Grand Ole Opry

Planning a visit to the Grand Ole Opry is an exciting endeavor that requires a bit of preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key factors to consider when planning your visit:


Choose the Right Date: Before anything else, check the Grand Ole Opry’s official website or consult their calendar to see which artists are scheduled to perform on your preferred date. This will allow you to plan your visit around your favorite acts or discover new talents that pique your interest.


Book Your Tickets in Advance: The Grand Ole Opry is a popular attraction, so it’s advisable to purchase your tickets well in advance. This will not only secure your spot but also give you the opportunity to choose your preferred seating options, whether it’s a prime orchestra seat or a cozy balcony view.


Consider Combo Packages: If you’re interested in exploring more of Nashville’s music scene, consider purchasing combo packages that include admission to other notable attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Ryman Auditorium. These packages often come at a discounted price and offer a well-rounded experience of the city’s music history.


Arrive Early: To make the most of your visit, plan to arrive at the Grand Ole Opry early. This will allow you time to explore the surrounding area, grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants, and soak in the lively atmosphere before the show begins.


Parking and Transportation: The Grand Ole Opry provides ample parking options for visitors. If you’re driving, you can choose between self-parking or valet services. Alternatively, consider utilizing ride-sharing services or public transportation to avoid the hassle of parking.


Plan for Additional Activities: While the show itself is the main attraction, consider adding some extra activities to your itinerary. Take a backstage tour to learn more about the Opry’s history, explore the Opry Plaza for unique photo opportunities, or indulge in a pre-show meal at one of the on-site dining options.


Check for Updated Guidelines: Keep in mind that the Grand Ole Opry may have specific guidelines or protocols in place. Check their website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 safety measures, dress codes, photography policies, and any other relevant details to ensure a smooth visit.


By planning ahead and staying informed, you can guarantee a memorable and hassle-free visit to the Grand Ole Opry. Organize your trip, secure your tickets, and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of country music at one of the most iconic music venues in the world.


Taking a Guided Tour of the Grand Ole Opry

For music enthusiasts and history buffs alike, a guided tour of the Grand Ole Opry offers a unique opportunity to explore the inner workings of this iconic institution. Here’s what you can expect when taking a guided tour:


Insider Knowledge: Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour provides behind-the-scenes insights into the rich history and inner workings of the Grand Ole Opry. Learn fascinating facts about the venue, discover untold stories about legendary performances, and gain a deeper understanding of the Opry’s cultural significance.


Exploring Legendary Spaces: The guided tour takes you on a journey through the various spaces that have shaped the Grand Ole Opry’s legacy. Visit the historic Studio A, where the original “Grand Ole Opry” radio show was first recorded, and get a glimpse into its storied past. You’ll also have the opportunity to step inside the iconic Opry House and experience the grandeur of its modern facilities.


Immersion in Country Music History: Throughout the tour, you’ll encounter exhibits and displays showcasing memorabilia, costumes, and artifacts that highlight the evolution of country music. From the early pioneers to modern-day superstars, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of the genre and gain a newfound appreciation for its cultural significance.


A Glimpse Behind the Curtain: One of the highlights of the guided tour is the chance to peek behind the curtain and witness the intricate backstage operations that make the Grand Ole Opry come to life. Marvel at the technical expertise required to produce a live show, walk the same halls as your favorite performers, and imagine the excitement and nerves that come with stepping onto the famous Opry stage.


Exclusive Photo Opportunities: The guided tour offers unique photo opportunities that allow you to capture and preserve the memories of your visit. From striking architectural features to designated photo areas, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to snap that perfect shot.


Personalized Experience: Depending on the tour group size and availability, you may have the opportunity to ask questions, engage with the guide, and receive personalized recommendations for other attractions, events, or shows in Nashville.


Taking a guided tour of the Grand Ole Opry offers an enriching and immersive experience, allowing you to delve deeper into the history, culture, and magic of this renowned music venue. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a curious newcomer, the guided tour is an excellent way to gain a deeper appreciation for the Grand Ole Opry’s significance and its lasting impact on the country music industry.


Behind the Scenes: Exploring the Backstage Area

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting the Grand Ole Opry is the opportunity to explore the backstage area, where the magic truly happens. Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect when you venture behind the scenes:


An Insider’s Perspective: As you make your way through the backstage area, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories and anecdotes about the iconic performances, legendary artists, and memorable moments that have taken place in this hallowed space. Gain a deeper understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations and the intricate logistics that make each show a success.


Green Rooms and Dressing Areas: Get a glimpse into the private realms where artists prepare for their performances. Explore the green rooms and dressing areas where musicians, both established and up-and-coming, have spent countless hours getting ready for their time on the renowned Grand Ole Opry stage.


Walk in the Footsteps of Legends: While exploring the backstage area, you’ll have the chance to stroll down the same hallways and corridors that have been graced by some of the most influential figures in country music. Imagine the anticipation and nerves that have coursed through the artists as they prepared to step onto the iconic Opry stage.


Backstage Memorabilia: As you tour the backstage area, you’ll come across displays showcasing an impressive collection of memorabilia from various eras of country music history. From autographed guitars to stage outfits worn by country music icons, these artifacts provide a tangible connection to the rich heritage of the Opry.


Technical Marvels: Gain insights into the technical aspects of producing a live show as you learn about the state-of-the-art equipment and systems that ensure flawless performances. Discover the intricate details behind lighting, sound, and stage design that contribute to creating memorable experiences for both artists and audience members.


Awe-Inspiring Views: From certain vantage points backstage, you might catch a glimpse of the magnificent Opry House stage. Witness the vastness of the auditorium and imagine the energy that fills the room when the spotlight shines on the performers. These views offer a new perspective and a sense of appreciation for the extraordinary space that is the Grand Ole Opry.


Exploring the backstage area of the Grand Ole Opry provides an exclusive and intimate experience, allowing you to witness the inner workings of this legendary institution. From the green rooms to the dressing areas, you’ll walk in the footsteps of country music legends and gain a deeper appreciation for the dedication, artistry, and logistics that make each performance a cherished moment in the history of the Opry.


Witnessing a Live Performance at the Grand Ole Opry

Attending a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry is an experience unlike any other. The combination of talented musicians, a historic venue, and the electrifying atmosphere creates a truly memorable event. Here’s what you can expect when you witness a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry:


Iconic Artists and Rising Stars: The Grand Ole Opry showcases a diverse lineup of performers, ranging from country music legends to up-and-coming artists. Prepare to be enthralled by extraordinary vocal performances, impressive instrumental skills, and captivating stage presence. Each show offers a unique blend of established acts and emerging talent, ensuring a dynamic and unforgettable experience.


The Magic of the Opry House: The Grand Ole Opry House itself is a stunning venue that adds to the magic of the live performances. From its iconic architecture to its superb acoustics, every detail has been meticulously designed to create an immersive and captivating experience for both performers and audience members. The Opry House provides a comfortable and intimate setting to enjoy the music.


An Engaged and Enthusiastic Audience: The audience at the Grand Ole Opry is known for their energy, enthusiasm, and deep appreciation for country music. Expect to be surrounded by fellow fans who love and understand the significance of the genre. The camaraderie and excitement that fill the venue create an electric atmosphere that enhances the enjoyment of the live performance.


Unforgettable Moments: Witnessing a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry often comes with unexpected surprises and unforgettable moments. From special guest appearances to impromptu collaborations between artists, these unexpected highlights make each show a one-of-a-kind experience. You never know what musical magic will unfold before your eyes.


A Connection to Country Music History: The Grand Ole Opry’s rich history and legacy are palpable during each live performance. As you sit in the audience, you’ll become part of a tradition that has spanned over 95 years. The same stage that hosted country legends in the past continues to showcase the best of country music today, allowing you to forge a connection to the genre’s vibrant past.


A Lasting Impression: Attending a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry is an experience that stays with you long after the final notes fade away. The music, the atmosphere, and the memories created within those walls leave an indelible mark on your heart. It’s an opportunity to be a part of country music history and to witness the power and beauty of live performance.


Whether you’re a devoted country music fan or simply someone looking for an extraordinary live music experience, witnessing a performance at the Grand Ole Opry is a must. It’s a chance to be immersed in the rich tapestry of country music, to witness exceptional talent, and to feel the energy that reverberates through the Opry House. Prepare to be captivated, moved, and inspired by the magic that unfolds on the Grand Ole Opry stage.


Tips for an Unforgettable Experience

Attending a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry is a bucket-list experience that can be made even more unforgettable with a few helpful tips. Here are some suggestions to make the most out of your visit:

  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the Grand Ole Opry with plenty of time before the show starts. This allows you to explore the venue, soak in the atmosphere, and settle into your seat without feeling rushed.
  • Dress the Part: Embrace the spirit of country music and dress in comfortable, stylish attire. From cowboy boots to western-inspired outfits, adding a touch of country flair can enhance the overall experience.
  • Immerse Yourself in Pre-Show Activities: The Grand Ole Opry offers pre-show events, such as live music performances and artist meet-and-greets. Take advantage of these opportunities to interact with fellow fans and get into the country music groove.
  • Respect Performance Etiquette: During the live performance, show respect for the artists and fellow audience members. Refrain from talking, keep your phone on silent, and avoid obstructing views by refraining from excessive movement.
  • Capture the Moment: While it’s important to be present and fully enjoy the live performance, capturing a few photos or videos can help preserve the memories. Just remember to be mindful of those around you and avoid excessive use of your devices.
  • Embrace the Opry’s History: Take the time to learn about the Grand Ole Opry’s rich history before your visit. This will deepen your appreciation for the performances and the cultural significance of the venue.
  • Engage with the Audience: The Grand Ole Opry experience is enhanced by the energy and enthusiasm of the audience. Sing along to your favorite songs, cheer for the artists, and, if you feel so inclined, join in on line dances or clapping along to the music.
  • Explore Nashville: Extend your Opry experience by exploring the vibrant city of Nashville. Visit nearby attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame, explore the city’s live music scene, and indulge in some southern cuisine.
  • Take Home a Souvenir: Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out to browse for souvenirs. Whether it’s a t-shirt, a CD, or a memorabilia item, a memento from your Grand Ole Opry experience will serve as a cherished reminder of your visit.

By following these tips, you can ensure an unforgettable experience at the Grand Ole Opry. Immerse yourself in the country music culture, be respectful, and embrace the magic that fills the air. Get ready for a night filled with exceptional performances, timeless memories, and a deep appreciation for the country music tradition that thrives within the Grand Ole Opry.



The Grand Ole Opry stands as a testament to the rich history, cultural significance, and enduring spirit of country music. From its humble beginnings as a radio show to its status as one of the most iconic music venues in the world, the Grand Ole Opry has welcomed and celebrated countless artists who have shaped the genre.


A visit to the Grand Ole Opry offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of country music. Whether you’re taking a guided tour to explore the backstage area, witnessing a live performance by legendary artists and rising stars, or simply basking in the atmosphere of this storied venue, the Grand Ole Opry promises an unforgettable experience.


As you walk in the footsteps of country music legends, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the roots, traditions, and evolution of the genre. From the historic Ryman Auditorium to the modern Opry House, the Grand Ole Opry is a living archive of country music’s past, present, and future.


Remember to plan your visit in advance, consider taking a backstage tour, and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Grand Ole Opry. Respect the performers and fellow audience members, and embrace the unique energy and camaraderie that fills the venue.


Whether you’re a long-time country music enthusiast or someone exploring the genre for the first time, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry is a truly remarkable experience. It’s a chance to witness the magic of live performances, connect with the legacy of country music, and create lasting memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.


So, grab your hat, put on your boots, and get ready to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of country music at the Grand Ole Opry. Let the music carry you away on an unforgettable journey through the sounds, stories, and spirit of a genre that has touched the hearts of millions.