FOOTBALL

Headed to the Music City Bowl? Here's what to know about tickets, hotels and restaurants in Nashville

Find out how to get tickets to the Music City Bowl, where to stay, where to eat and drink, and what to do.

Susan Stapleton
Des Moines Register
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras, left, and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz look on as the Hawkeyes offense drives the ball in the third quarter against Nebraska during an NCAA football game on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Call it a rematch. The University of Iowa football program heads to the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Iowa faces the Kentucky Wildcats in a rematch of last season's Citrus Bowl that Kentucky won in the final minutes. The game between the 7-5 Hawkeyes and 7-5 Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference takes place on New Year’s Eve at 11 a.m. CT at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. ABC will televise the game.

For Hawkeye fans interested in traveling to Nashville to watch the game in person, here's everything you need to know.

More:Iowa football heading to Music City Bowl, where Hawkeyes' 2020 game was canceled by COVID

Tickets

On ticketmaster.com, Music City Bowl tickets range from $25 to $139 based on seat location. A few sections are sold out.

How do I get to Nashville?

An overview shot of Nissan Stadium and the Nashville skyline during last year's Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue.

Allegiant Air offers a direct flight to Nashville from the Des Moines International Airport. It leaves Des Moines in the afternoon Dec. 29 and returns in the evening Jan. 2. Tickets are about $500 roundtrip, according to the Allegiant website.

American Airlines, Delta, United and Southwest all offer connecting flights. According to Google Flights, a nearly four-hour flight with a connection that leaves on Friday, Dec. 30, and returns Sunday, Jan. 1, would cost close to $530.

Des Moines road trippers can hit the road for a 10-hour drive southeast across Iowa and through Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky to Tennessee. According to the AAA gas calculator, a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon can expect to spend about $164 roundtrip for the nearly 1,400 miles between Des Moines and Nashville.

More:How to watch Iowa football vs. Kentucky in the Music City Bowl

Lodging

All of Dream Nashville Hotel's bars and cocktail lounges offer a wide variety with certain locations leaning towards speciality drinks.

Nashville has a range of hotels, and depending on how close to the stadium you want to stay, a price to match the convenience. Hotels near Nissan Stadium include the Conrad Nashville, Studio 154, Dream Nashville and Hyatt Centric in downtown Nashville, while a Comfort Inn and La Quinta are less than a quarter mile from the stadium.

More:Love hanging with cats, at a roller rink or on a farm? Join us in exploring Iowa's Off Hours

Where to eat and drink in Nashville

Carabinero prawn, Calabrian chile and Weisenberger grits dish at The Catbird Seat.

Nashville can go toe-to-toe with any excellent dining city in the country. The Tennessean has it's own list of essential restaurants that includes Audrey and June from chef Sean Brock with tasting menus that explore Southern flavors (try his burger restaurant Joyland for chicken and biscuits at a lower price point), chef Philip Krajeck's Folk with pizzas and seasonal dishes, or The Catbird Seat, which the Tennessean calls "an extraordinary three-hour culinary adventure." Go for the real deal Nashville hot chicken at Hattie B's.

Listen to just about every type of music imaginable in Nashville as well. Head to the Springwater Supper Club & Lounge, one of the oldest bars in Nashville, for a honky tonk with pool and beer. At Attaboy Nashville, just tell your server your mood and the bartender will conjure up a drink. Check out the Tennessean's list of good cocktail bars as well.

What else is there to do?

Dolly Parton sings her "Hello, God" with a full choir during the 36th annual CMA Awards show at the Grand Ole Opry House in November.

If you bring the kids, head to SoundWaves, an upscale indoor-outdoor water attraction at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Here find more than four acres of slides, a wave pool, FlowRider wave simulator, rapid and lazy rivers, an adults-only area, and more open year round.

For the history buff, go to The Hermitage, the home of America's seventh president Andrew Jackson. The attraction sits on more than 1,000 acres and includes a mansion, gardens and grounds, and the Jackson family tomb.

The shopping buff will enjoy Fifth + Broadway, where they can check out the 55,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music as well.

Head to the “the Smithsonian of country music” aka The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for 350,000 square feet of artifacts, two performance theaters, and rotating special exhibitions. Stroll through "Sing Me Back Home" for a history lesson on country music.

Have you really been to Nashville if you don't go to the historic Grand Ole Opry? See music stars of past, present, and future or take a backstage tour for a glimpse inside Opry’s 18-themed dressing rooms.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to provide information on a direct flight from Des Moines to Nashville.

Susan Stapleton is the entertainment editor at The Des Moines Register. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or drop her a line at sstapleton@gannett.com.