A SPECIAL FEATURE FROM GIRLFRIEND GETAWAYS
What do you get when three single girlfriends drive the Music Highway from Memphis to Nashville? New memories—and a few lessons in love along the way.
Coal Miner's Daughter Museum Cline and her pal Loretta Lynn commiserated about their marriage troubles. Lynn has a ranch in Hurricane Mills, 30 miles from Camden, and the museum on the grounds is the perfect tonic for anyone who thinks she's had it bad. The 18,000-square-foot space chronicles her life. Her early years—impoverished childhood, married at 13, four kids by 18—will make you grateful for your "problems." 1877 Hurricane Mills Rd., 931/296-1840, lorettalynn.com, $10, open April–Oct.
Loveless Cafe By the time we make it to Nashville, we've heard so much about the down-home Southern fare at the Loveless Cafe that we have to stop. I don't even really like biscuits, but the Loveless version (buttery, flaky, and made from scratch) is famous, so I try one...and another, and another. I like them so much that I buy a package of biscuit mix at Hams & Jams, a shop next door. 8400 Hwy. 100, 615/646-9700, lovelesscafe.com, breakfast from $7, biscuit mix $5.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum With all the sparkly costumes, big hair, and exaggerated twangs, country music is anything but understated. Same goes for the Country Music Hall of Fame. The 130,000-square-foot building takes up an entire city block, and its curved façade and tall windows (designed to look like piano keys) help the structure command attention. Inside, you can hear about all manner of heartache at the six listening booths, see one of Dolly Parton's famously flashy gowns, and read up on the hall's 108 honorees. 222 5th Ave. S., 615/416-2001, countrymusichalloffame.com, $20.
Hutton Hotel The Hutton Hotel has been open for only nine months, but it's already becoming the go-to spot for big names in the music industry. (LeAnn Rimes has been spotted at the bar.) The hotel's mid-century modern decor, 300-thread-count sheets, and granite baths are just indulgent enough to make you feel pampered after a long day. And Lower Broadway, where you'll find several of the city's top music venues, is only about a mile away. 1808 West End Ave., 615/340-9333, huttonhotel.com, from $159.
Grand Ole Opry For the grand finale of our Music Highway tour, we've bought tickets to see Keith Urban at the Grand Ole Opry. Who better to school us on love troubles than the man with an album called "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing"? Shows at the Opry are lineups—the acts rotate on and off with head-spinning speed. By the time our heartthrob gets onstage, we're on our feet singing along to his hit single "You Look Good in My Shirt." I wonder if he's thinking about wife Nicole Kidman as he sings the lyrics. The song feels like the perfectly optimistic endnote to our heartbreak tour. If Urban found domestic bliss, surely we can, too. 2804 Opryland Dr., opry.com, from $38.