Nashville is a big city with a lot of charm and there are many things to do and see in music city. Here are some of our recommended spots that you shouldn’t miss!
1. Lower Broadway
No trip to Nashville is complete without visiting the honky-tonks on lower Broadway. Live music is what most people come to Nashville for and you can do that by visiting one of the famous concert halls or just heading down to Broadway any night of the week to find dozens of bars with musicians covering all of your favorite songs. It’s a blast just to walk up and down the street, see all the neon signs and just pop in and out of bars until you find a band that fits your taste. It can definitely get rowdy on the weekends in the summer but it’s an experience you need to have in the city.
2. Country Music Hall of Fame
Country music is everywhere in Nashville so of course it would make sense to find the Country Music Hall of Fame here as well. The museum is gigantic and if you’re a country fan you can easily spend a few hours there. The exhibits there are ranging from country’s folk roots to popular bands like Little Big Town and Zac Brown Band. Even if you don’t love country music it is still a lot of fun to explore. Be sure to also head outside across the street where they have the country Walk of Fame featuring stars from many of the best country artists.
3. Johnny Cash Museum
Since Nashville prides itself on its country music history it’s no surprise that Johnny Cash would have a strong influence on the area. The Johnny Cash museum is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and the small museum is expensive but it has a lot of stuff to see. You can easily spend an hour or more as there’s a lot of information to read, videos to watch, music to listen to and other things to see in the museum. An absolute must visit for Johnny Cash fans.
4. Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium is a building that has played an important part in Nashville’s history. Built in 1892 the building was originally a church that attracted many of the city’s inhabitants. Over the years it was reinvented as a music hall but it still has the original pew seating in tact. You can go on a self-guided tour here and explore the area yourself or you can go to a concert while in the city to really experience it.
5. Hatch Show Print
Located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame Hatch Show Print has been making letterpress posters for almost a century to this day. You can still see the process happening in their shop. Take a tour to learn more about it and shop some of the popular designs in their store. You will have a blast walking around and checking out all the different posters they’ve made.
6. Pinewood Social
Pinewood Social is THE popular attraction for 20-somethings in Nashville but it’s a fun place to visit for all ages with its restaurant, bar, coffee shop and bowling alley. Also the outdoor area has a bunch of attractions like bocce ball and Airstream and a pool for the warm summer days.
7. Goo Goo Shop
Since its creation in Nashville in 1912 Goo Goo Clusters, a candy made of caramel marshmallow peanuts and milk chocolate, has been a fan favorite for over a hundred years. You can visit their shop in downtown which is right across the street from the Johnny Cash Museum and has all sorts of Goo Goo related things to see and eat. If you’re there during the right time you can even pay to take a chocolate class and make your own cluster as well.
8. Nashville Murals
No visit to Nashville is complete without visiting at least a few of the different murals in Nashville. Nashville has a huge art scene with murals popping up weekly around the city. There are close to a hundred different murals and many of the famous ones show up often on social media. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few hours and you have a car check out one of the online blog posts about the murals or go and find a few by yourself while exploring music city.
9. John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
The John Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge is right in the middle of downtown Nashville. This pedestrian bridge is a great spot for a good view of the city skyline. The bridge is only open to pedestrians and not to cars so you can walk or bike across it.
10. Bicentennial Mall
Bicentennial Mall is a large open space area in Nashville that’s popular for talking a walk and has a few different memorials to see. It’s also the part that leads up to the Tennessee State Capitol building which is small but it’s fun to go inside as well. On the other end of the park is the Tennessee Museum and this free spot has some really well put together exhibits that are great for the whole family. Also if you’re here during lunch or just looking for an ice cream break you can check out our next recommendation the Farmers Market.
11. The Nashville Farmers Market
Located right off Bicentennial Park a stone’s throw from the Capitol building Nashville’s farmers market is the city’s entry into the popular food court type establishment seen all over the United States like in New York and Los Angeles. There are lots of great places to grab food, coffee or dessert.
12. Radnor Lake State Park
If you’re looking to get outdoors while in Nashville then check out Radnor Lake State Park about 20 minutes south of the city. The park has dozens of miles of hiking trails with the most popular being the trail that takes you on a loop around the lake. Make sure to go early during the summer weekends due to the limited parking spots. Be prepared to see wildlife such as deers and turkeys.
Recommendation number 13 is the Parthenon built in the late 1800s for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. This building is something you would not expect to see in Nashville. This replica of the famous Greek building has been meticulously recreated and is part of a large park on the west side of the city. The inside also has a small art gallery on the bottom floor and a massive 42 foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena on the second floor. The statue was added in the 90s and is said to be one of the largest indoor statues in the United States.
14. Belle Meade
Belle Meade is an old plantation from the mid-1800s which is now part of a compound that you can tour and includes a lot of Nashville history from this time period. The grounds have the mansion itself, an old homesteading house, a place where they processed milk at the original slave quarters and a mausoleum. There are two tours you can go on – one that goes inside the mansion and another that looks at the plight of african-american workers during this time period. All tours and even the grounds only ticket come with free wine tasting which is a fun added bonus.
15. Cheekwood Estates
Cheekwood Estates is south of Nashville and includes the grounds of an old beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion that was opened as a museum in 1916. The grounds have been turned into a botanical garden with lots of blooms throughout the year and there’s a small section with multiple miniature trains that go along a wooden track.
16. Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is another famous building the houses some of Nashville’s biggest concerts and most famous stars. It’s a good 20 minutes outside of downtown but this concert hall has tours that you can take to learn about the history and to see the backstage area if you don’t have time for a concert. You will surely enjoy learning more about this place as its history is certainly unique with its members and the auditorium is beautiful.
17. Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Our last and final recommendation is about an hour and a half south of Nashville – the Jack Daniel’s distillery. If you have a car and you like whiskey then Jack Daniels is definitely worth the trip while you’re in Nashville. There are also tour buses that will take you from the heart of Nashville if you don’t have your own car. Jack Daniels is of course a massive operation; it’s a lot of fun to see the process including how they burn pallets for charcoal and where they get their water for the famous whiskey. Depending on the ticket you get you also get to try a bunch of different types of whiskey at the end of the tour. There’s also store with all sorts of memorabilia that you can take home.