See the World of ABC’s 'Nashville'

Rayna, Scarlett, Deacon and everyone else in the series live and play in real Nashville locations, and we’re giving you a tour, both inside and out.

Photo via MLS The mansion where Connie Britton’s character Rayna lives is located in a ritzy Nashville neighborhood known as Belle Meade. Before they used it for the TV series, the mansion was listed at $9.5 million. Now that the estate has become a TV star, they’re asking $19.5 million.

If you know and love ABC’s Nashville – and who doesn’t? – you’ve probably noticed that the city itself plays a major role in the series. When you see Deacon playing with his puppy on the front porch of his craftsman bungalow, or Rayna pulling up to what looks like a palatial estate, do you wonder if those are real Nashville homes, or if they’re sets that exist on some massive soundstage?

Well, to be honest, it’s a little of both. Authentic locations around the city were selected for shoots for the pilot, and once the series got picked up, their likenesses were built inside a local sound stage. Why not use the real houses again and again? Well, production trucks block the entire street, and it’s a huge hassle to do multiple shoots on location, not to mention being subject to weather and day/night natural lighting. It’s just much easier and inexpensive to build an indoor set where everything can be controlled.

Many of the stars, however, like the Nashville area so much they’ve purchased homes there. Connie Britton (Rayna), Hayden Panettiere (Juliette), Charles “Chip” Esten (Deacon) and Chris Carmack (Will) now can call themselves Nashville residents. Needless to say, Rayna and Juliette are not next door neighbors. But you'll be surprised to find out which charaters' houses are adjacent to each other.

To discover this and more, took the “ABC’s Nashville” tour of Music City, which involves boarding a large, luxurious van with about 20 other tourists from all over the world, and cruising by some of the more prominent homes they’ve used for series shoots. We were quite amazed by the fascinating facts we found. For example:

  • Remember when Scarlett moved out of the house she was sharing with Gunnar, and in with her Uncle Deacon? Well, she didn't have to go far. Those two houses are located in an old Nashville neighborhood – right next door to each other! They used those two houses for the pilot, and then when the series got picked up, they built sets of the same locations.

  • The mansion where Connie Britton’s character Rayna lives is located in a ritzy Nashville neighborhood known as Belle Meade, where a historic plantation of the same name still stands. Many country celebs live there in real life. Before it was used for the TV series, the mansion was listed at $9.5 million. Now that the estate has become a TV star, they’re asking $19.5 million.

  • The Bluebird Café, famous as a Mecca for Nashville songwriters long before the series started, is actually a very tiny, 90-seat venue located in an old strip mall just outside of Nashville. Still, Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift got their starts there, among many others, and everyone who’s anyone in country music has played there. There’s a line all the way down the block most evenings before it opens, and they really do serve country-fried food.

Photo by James Mandell Yep – the real, world famous Bluebird Cafe, where huge country stars like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks got their start, is actually a tiny venue located in an old strip mall.

  • High maintenance Juliette has lived in three different houses since the series began, and we’re only on season 2! The current, white modern house is not believed to be located in Nashville at all.

  • There’s no substitute for the storied Ryman, the Mother Church of Country Music. Concert scenes and award ceremonies have been shot in the venerated venue right smack in the middle of downtown Nashville, and those in charge are so accommodating, there’s no need to build a likeness of it on a sound stage.

The soapy TV series that features plenty of good country fun and stellar music overseen by T Bone Burnett has not yet been picked up for a third season, but with fans so loyal they're willing to make the trek to Music City to see where the show is filmed, the future looks as bright as a Tennessee morning sun.

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