It’s tough to keep up with Nashville. Country music stars, Deep South cuisine and boot-stompin’ honky-tonks defined the Tennessee capital for decades, but these days the metropolis is flaunting its more liberal, hip side. And to cater to the ever-growing influx of visitors, and locals after smart staycations, Nashville has seen an explosion of boutique hotels in the past few years. You’ll find the largest concentration in Downtown, along with the city’s greatest hits, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the recently opened National Museum of African American Music, which shines an overdue spotlight on black music’s legacy and contribution to Nashville’s sound. For a more local flavour, as well as affordable hotel rates, head to East Nashville for boutique cafes and independent shops, and you’ll no doubt also find a bartending singer-songwriter looking for their big break in Music City.

Best for do-gooders: The Russell

Housed in a century-old former Presbyterian church, this eclectic hotel still pops with original charm, including the enormous stained-glass windows that enhance the already colourful, airy lobby. Guests can choose between 23 individually decorated and configured rooms, including 1970s-style penthouses with balconies overlooking the atrium. Check-in is contactless, with numeric door codes for building and room entry sent via email after booking. The hotel’s slogan, ‘Stay here, change lives’, isn’t mere hyperbole: a portion of proceeds from overnight stays goes towards local homeless ministries.
Rooms: From $149 (£107). 

Read the full article at National Geographic written by Travis Levius