For Faith Hill, Nashville is not only home, it's a lifelong dream. The country music crossover star, whose new album Cry will certainly push her worldwide sales past the current 25 million mark, dreamed of Nashville while growing up in Star, Mississippi. She performed publicly for the first time at age 7, but it wasn't until after a few months in junior college, when she packed her bags and moved to Music City USA, that her career began to click. While working as a receptionist at a music production company, a songwriter heard her singing in the office one day and encouraged her to cut a demo and start sitting in on sessions at the famous Bluebird Cafe. Today, the 35-year-old Hill and her husband, fellow country crooner Tim McGraw, reign as Nashville royalty, taking Nashville music to the world. Here's a weekend in the city of Faith Hill's dreams: Nashville, Tennessee.
"I would stay at one of the hotels downtown or near Vanderbilt University. It puts you in the middle of all the action. My favorites are the new Hilton Suites downtown, across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and a block away from the Ryman Auditorium. There's also the new Marriott at Vanderbilt University. It's across from Centennial Park and next door to some great restaurants."
"Other than my own kitchen at home, I'd probably go to Fleming's or Ruth's Chris for a steak. Ruth's Chris is a national chain that was started in New Orleans, but the Nashville location is right in the middle of everything in the Loew's Vanderbilt Hotel. Fleming's is also national, but the one in Nashville is great, the dining room all around a big open kitchen, where you can watch them cooking. The atmosphere in both of these restaurants is dark and cozy. And they have the best au gratin potatoes."