Nashville   Travel Guide

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

28 Best Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

There’s more to Nashville than the live entertainment and bars on Broadway (though those are very much worth experiencing – especially on a guided tour ). In recent years, Nashville has propelled its "It City" status by becoming a beacon for

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Grand Ole Opry Grand Ole Opry

U.S. News Insider Tip: Take the “Women of Country” tour to learn about the women who shaped country music, from Dolly Parton to Carrie Underwood, complete with mimosas and petit fours. – Kellie Walton

The Grand Ole Opry began as a radio show in 1925, and it put Nashville on the map as the "Country Music Capital of the World." Throughout its history, the Grand Ole Opry has called several different places home (including the Ryman Auditorium ), but has always hosted country performers from legends like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to favorites like Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Ryman Auditorium Ryman Auditorium

IU.S. News Insider Tip:  Take the tour to learn of this building's fascinating history, and check the calendar to see if you can experience a live performance. The intimacy of the space and amazing acoustics are one-of-a-kind. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

There's no better place to start absorbing Nashville's musical heritage than the Ryman Auditorium. It's no longer home to the Grand Ole Opry , but the venue continues to host contemporary acts like Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton and Luke Combs. The Ryman is not only for country stars however; it has hosted musicians like Paul Simon and comedians such as John Mulaney. Recent visitors suggest opting for a tour to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the legendary music venue. Sit in on the "Soul of Nashville" screening for a multidimensional experience that uses archival images and footage of performers from the Ryman's past to illustrate its role in music history. Plus, you can learn about the building's backstory with its "Workin' on a Building" exhibit, which displays artifacts from the Ryman's construction. What's more, you can test out your own pipes at the recording studio (subject to availability). The Ryman is also a featured stop on many of the city's top guided tours .

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Check the calendar for Songwriter Sessions (typically on Saturdays) in the Ford Theater, for a glimpse into the songwriting process. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Music and history lovers can mix and mingle over the exhibits found at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Peruse the plaques dedicated to country music's finest – from Patsy Cline to Reba McEntire to Alan Jackson – and walk among artifacts like Johnny Cash's guitar and Elvis Presley's "solid gold" Cadillac limo. For an interactive history lesson on the roots and evolution of country music, take a self-guided walk through the "Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music" exhibit. In addition to its permanent exhibit, the museum hosts various revolving temporary exhibits, which often focus on particular artists. Stop to browse the two-story wall plastered gold and platinum country records, and then head to Historic RCA Studio B . One of the world's most influential recording studios and a Music Row landmark, Studio B produced more than 35,000 songs by legends like Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison. (Note: Studio B is about 1.5 miles southwest of the museum.)

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Popular Tours

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Broadway Broadway free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Bar hop among the different Broadway bars to hear some of the most talented singers in the city. Bring some cash to tip the musicians and request your favorite country songs. – Erin Evans, Managing Editor

While many people visit Nashville to soak up the history of country music at the city's museums (like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum ), others prefer enjoying the tunes in person. The best way to do that is to visit Broadway, downtown Nashville's main thoroughfare. Lower Broadway is nicknamed the "Honky Tonk Highway" because of the numerous spots that host live acts daily. What's more, there's no cover charge to the establishments, so you can bar hop as you please.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

National Museum of African American Music National Museum of African American Music

The city of Nashville embodies more than just country music, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the National Museum of African American Music. Opened in 2021, the museum aims to educate visitors on the influence of African American people on more than 50 genres of popular music, including jazz, gospel and hip-hop.

Each of the museum's galleries focuses on how African American music changed through specific time periods. The "Wade in the Water" gallery highlights the call-and-response spirituals of the 1600s, while the "Crossroads" gallery showcases the emergence of blues music. The "A Love Supreme" gallery teaches museumgoers about the musical traditions of New Orleans and the emergence of the music now known as jazz, and the "One Nation Under a Groove" gallery details the emergence of R&B starting in the 1940s and chronicles music popularized by the civil rights era. Finally, "The Message" gallery offers a detailed look into hip-hop, rap and youth culture up until the present day. Interactive elements and musical artifacts like sheet music and costumes add to the informative displays. Recent visitors came away deeply impressed with everything from the comprehensive history presented to entertaining interactive exhibits.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge Tootsie's Orchid Lounge

After a day exploring the roots of the "Country Music Capital of the World," why not experience the sounds of Music City first-hand? If you're looking for a fun atmosphere with top-notch performances, Tootsie's "World Famous" Orchid Lounge on Broadway is the place to go. Since the days when the Grand Ole Opry  called the  Ryman Auditorium  home, this downtown bar has been featuring performances by both world-renowned and up-and-coming artists. Indeed, the place abounds in country music history: part of the Loretta Lynn biopic "A Coal Miner’s Daughter" was filmed here, and legend has it that Willie Nelson got his first songwriting job after performing at Tootsie's.

Patrons have mixed opinions about Tootsie's with some complaining about average food, expensive drinks, and musicians assertively soliciting tips, while others say the multiple floors of first-rate music make up for the woes. Though some travelers bemoan the bar's cramped atmosphere, many believe it's part of the Tootsie's experience.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Bluebird Cafe Bluebird Cafe

U.S. News Insider Tip: This intimate venue is where stars like Garth Brooks were discovered. Check the calendar at least a month prior to your visit to get tickets in advance. There's a very limited amount of tickets that might be released the day of, but it's a must-experience spot in Music City. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

The Bluebird Cafe is an intimate, 90-seat music venue that presents two shows per night every night of the week. Despites its unimpressive appearance, location in a strip mall outside of downtown and small size, the Bluebird achieved a reputation as a songwriter's space, and many significant performers have graced its stage over the years. Garth Brooks, for instance, performed at its open mic night before hitting the big time. Be aware that the cafe has a "Shhh policy" which encourages folks to stay quiet during all performances. (As souvenir you can buy a T-shirt with "Shhhh!" printed on the back.)

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Centennial Park Centennial Park free

Encompassing the site of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, 132-acre Centennial Park boasts an art center, a lake, a walking trail, a band shell, volleyball courts, a dog park and various historical monuments. It's also home to the Parthenon as well as the Centennial Sportsplex, a facility for swimming, tennis and year-round ice skating. The park hosts numerous festivals as well as free concerts on Saturdays in spring and fall.

Reviewers frequently say that this peaceful, well-maintained greenspace is a lovely place to take a walk. Many say the Parthenon is the must-see attraction here.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville to Jack Daniel's Distillery Bus Tour & Whiskey Tastings

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Discover Nashville City Tour with Entry to Ryman & Country Music Hall of Fame

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Grand Ole Opry House Guided Backstage Tour

Grand Ole Opry House Guided Backstage Tour

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Historic RCA Studio B Historic RCA Studio B

In its heyday, this recording studio welcomed greats like Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, and the Everly Brothers through its doors. It is now part of the nonprofit Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum , and has been restored and renovated to reflect its historic roots. Built in 1957, the studio became famous for promoting the "Nashville sound" and put the city on the map as an international recording center. Today, visitors can take a tour of the studio to see where the stars recorded their music. Visitors give high marks to informative and engaging guides, with many saying the tour was a highlight of their visit to Nashville.

The studio is about 1.5 miles away from the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the tours depart (transportation is included). One-hour tours of Studio B are offered between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $49.95 and include admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Youth tickets are $39.95. More information can be found on the website .

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nelson's Green Brier Distillery Nelson's Green Brier Distillery

Fans of Tennessee whiskey and bourbon should make time for a stop at Nelson's Green Brier Distillery during their visit to Nashville. The distillery's roots reach back to the late 1800s, when Charles Nelson, a German immigrant, started producing whiskey in Greenbrier, Tennessee. It became so popular he ended up selling about 2 million bottles of whiskey in 1885 alone. Nelson was one of the first distillery owners to sell whiskey in bottles rather than more cumbersome jugs or barrels, which allowed him to achieve wide-spread distribution. He died in 1891 and his wife Louisa took over, though in 1909, Tennessee’s statewide Prohibition forced her to shutter the operation. Nearly 100 years later, the couple's great-great-great-grandsons, brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson, restored the business and brought the operation to Nashville. Today, the venue features the distillery, a tasting room, an event space and a gift and bottle shop. Tours of the distillery run on weekends.

Past travelers called the tasting fun and informational. Others said to sign up for a tour. Visitors said the friendly staff members were particularly knowledgeable and all the whiskey samples were excellent.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Hermitage The Hermitage

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're a history buff, be sure to visit this historic site for a glimpse into the life of Andrew Jackson, as well as the realities of the lives of the enslaved people of the estate. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Constructed between 1819 and 1821 for President Andrew Jackson, this Federal-style mansion stands as a National Historic Landmark and a preserved window into the home life of Jackson. Many may be familiar with Jackson from his role in the War of 1812, his stint as president and his appearance on the $20 bill, but a tour of the massive estate provides a more up-close-and-personal look. Along the guided tour you'll see the main house, plus have (unguided) access to the garden, the quarters where enslaved people lived, Jackson's tomb and the Old Hermitage Church. 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

U.S. News Insider Tip: While the blooms may fade in colder weather, the grounds are just as stunning when covered in mums and pumpkins each fall and draped in one million dazzling lights each holiday season. – Kellie Walton

Art aficionados and nature lovers alike should plan on making a stop at the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. With its greenhouses, sculpture trail and chromatic flower display, the 55-acre Botanical Garden offers sanctuary from downtown's bustle. In fact, the garden comprises multiple distinct gardens, including one dedicated to boxwoods, another focused on dogwoods, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, an herb garden and one intended to inspire writing that features a small amphitheater for literary events. The on-site art museum is just as striking. Housed in the original Georgian-style Cheek family mansion, the museum boasts an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings as well as antique furniture, photographs, prints, sculpture and artifacts from around the world.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Fifth + Broadway Fifth + Broadway free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Prolific restaurateur Sam Fox debuted a multistory restaurant concept that connects to Fifth + Broadway. Keep your eyes peeled for a hidden door on the street level that leads to an underground margarita bar, Pushing Daisies. – Kellie Walton

Broadway is one of Nashville’s top destinations, made even more desirable through the addition of the city’s largest mixed-use development, Fifth + Broadway. From retail shops to restaurants and residential space, Fifth and Broadway offers a plethora of options adjacent to Music City’s famed honky-tonk bars. Stroll the outdoor plaza to shop at retailers like Apple, Tecovas, Free People, and locally-loved boutiques like REVV and The Nash Collection, then stop for a pick-me-up at Elixr Coffee Roasters or Jeni’s for a sweet treat. 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville "Homes Of The Stars" Narrated Bus Tour with 30+ Celebrity Homes

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1-Hour Nashville Line Dancing Class

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Radnor Lake State Park Radnor Lake State Park free

Though Nashville is a bustling metropolis, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors right on the outskirts of town. Located less than 15 miles south of downtown, Radnor Lake State Park is a calm and serene getaway for those looking to go for a walk and observe nature. The 1,368-acre park features a variety of plants and animals, including owls, waterfowl and herons. Plus, there are numerous jogging, hiking and biking trails in the park, many of which provide impressive lake views. If you're looking to learn more about local birds in the area, check out the Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center for interactive displays, ranger-led programs and panoramic views of the surrounding hillside.

Parkgoers say they loved going on peaceful walks in this park and were astonished at the amount of wildlife they saw. Some people advise getting there early to get parking if you drive.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Johnny Cash Museum The Johnny Cash Museum

Uncover the enigma behind "The Man in Black" with a visit to The Johnny Cash Museum. The museum boasts the world's largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia, including items from the film "Walk the Line" (which is about Cash's life), handwritten notes and letters penned by Cash and costumes worn during his career. Exhibits spotlight different periods in Cash's life, including his years in the Air Force, his marriage to June Carter and his famous prison concert tour. And because the museum is officially endorsed by the Cash family, you can bet you'll stumble across other personal mementos not available to the public anywhere else, like a stone wall excavated from Johnny and June's Hendersonville house.

Fans love the wealth of information on display at this museum. Not much of a Cash devotee? Museumgoers say you should still make time to visit. Some warn, however, that it can get crowded. Others complain that admission fees were too high for the small museum.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery

U.S. News Insider Tip: The historic home tour is worth the trip, and be sure to allow time to visit the winery for a tasting. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Belle Meade, which sits 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville, offers a look into the lives of Tennesseans throughout the 1800s. The Greek revival-style mansion was built in 1853 and 1854 and is centrally located on the historic site's 32 acres of manicured grounds. Guides offer tours of the mansion's interior. 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville Bus Tours Nashville Bus Tours

Bus tours offer almost effortless means of taking in what Nashville has to offer, whether you simply want to see the city's top attractions or have specific interests, such as music, comedy, celebrities or a certain adult beverage. Here are some to consider:

Old Town Trolley Tours – Nashville Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour: Explore the sights and sounds of Nashville at your own pace on this hop-on hop-off excursion. Vehicles stop at 13 prime attractions, including the Country Music Hall of Fame , Ryman Auditorium , Belmont Mansion and Centennial Park . Tours feature live commentary. They occur daily between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets cost about $55 for single-day tours. You may be able to score discounted tickets if you book online in advance. Riders say this tour offers a great way to learn about the city and praise its knowledgeable, entertaining guides.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Arrington Vineyards Arrington Vineyards

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you’re a fan of Arrington Vineyards, join Kix’s Wine Club to receive select bottles quarterly (with shipping available), and unlock discounts and special pricing for your next visit to the grounds. – Kellie Walton

Nestled in a south Nashville small town, Arrington Vineyards is a stunning winery co-owned by Kip Summers and country music star Kix Brooks (formerly of Brooks and Dunn). The rustic retreat boasts a primary farmhouse for wine tastings and multiple retail areas to grab a bottle or a flight of the brand’s signature wines, which range from red blends to white varietals and sparkling wine. Arrington Vineyards also offers a rotating seasonal frosé, which is especially refreshing during scorching Tennessee summers. 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Helicopter Tour of Downtown Nashville

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Nashville's #1 All-Inclusive Pub Crawl with Moonshine, Cocktails, and Craft Beer

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Belmont Mansion Belmont Mansion

If you love history or art, make time for a tour of Belmont Mansion – the largest house museum in Nashville. This Italian-style villa was constructed in the 1850s for Adelicia Acklen, one of the wealthiest women in the country at the time and, according to some, Nashville's own Scarlett O'Hara. Although it was originally built to be a summer home, the mansion was quite stately and featured an art gallery, a bowling alley, a zoo and gardens. A tour of the approximately 20,000-square-foot mansion leads visitors through rooms ornately decorated with 19th-century antiques and lavish art.

Visitors praise the nicely preserved interior and knowledgeable docents stationed throughout the mansion. However, some visitors felt their guides did not spend enough time acknowledging the backbreaking work of the property's enslaved workers, who, along with European immigrant servants, built and maintained this opulent mansion. Unfortunately, many physical remnants of the enslaved people at Belmont Mansion were destroyed over the course of history, but you can still learn some information about some of the property's enslaved families on the Belmont Mansion website .  

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Parthenon The Parthenon

Nashville is a city of many nicknames and most of them have to do with music. Still, the city is also known as the "Athens of the South" thanks to the numerous higher education institutions established there. This identity is reinforced with the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the one found in Athens . Although Nashville's Parthenon was only meant to be temporary – it was built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897 – it has since become a beloved attraction, housing models of the statues found in the original structure as well as an impressive art collection. Travelers praise the well-kept grounds, peaceful atmosphere and magnificent building, recommending an evening visit to see it illuminated. Others rave about the fascinating exhibits and love the giant statue of Athena.

Located in Centennial Park about 2 miles west of Music Row , the Parthenon is open every day, though hours can vary by the week and the season. Check its website before you visit for current hours. Admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors (older than 62) and children ages 4 to 17. However, you can tour the exterior of the building and its grounds for free.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Grab your camera (or phone) and walk this picturesque bridge, stopping midway for a fantastic selfie with the Nashville skyline. If it looks familiar, it's likely because many music videos have utilized the vantage point from this spot. – Rachael Hood, Senior Editor

Formerly called the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge (and before that, the Sparkman Street Bridge), the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – was built from 1907 through 1909. It was constructed to connect downtown Nashville to the suburbs of East Nashville. Designed by Howard M. Jones, the chief office engineer of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway, the bridge contains 48 spans, including four steel trusses and two reinforced concrete trusses. They're the only concrete trusses to be known of in Tennessee. In 1998, the city stopped allowing vehicles on the bridge due to its poor condition, and in 2003 it was restored and became a pedestrian-only walkway. There is also 15-foot-wide central bike lane in the middle of the bridge. Pedestrians can stop and relax at one of four overlooks along the bridge, which offer panoramic views of Nashville to the north and south. 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Music Row Music Row free

With record companies, recording studios, music publishers and related organizations as well as the Historic RCA Studio B , Music Row stands as the center of Nashville's storied music industry. In addition to the sites where musical history was made, this area southwest of downtown also has plenty of eateries and shops.

Music Row may not be as flashy or brassy as Broadway , but the area is a must-see destination for music lovers. Because the neighborhood is comparatively nondescript, many travelers recommend taking a guided tour to learn the history of the area. Several of the best tours in Nashville visit Music Row.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Tennessee State Museum Tennessee State Museum free

Located in downtown Nashville next to the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Nashville Farmers' Market, the Tennessee State Museum preserves the unique and storied history of the Volunteer State. The large museum showcases permanent exhibits that display the heritage of Tennessee's natural history; Native American history; military and sporting history; and Civil War history. Plus, there are rotating temporary cultural and art exhibits on display as well. Several attractions at this museum specifically cater to children. The museum's Children's Gallery is specifically geared toward kids aged 3 to 8. In addition, the museum hosts many events and educational programs on-site throughout the year.

Museumgoers say the exhibits are well organized and highly informative. Many also appreciate the free admission.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

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Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Admission in Nashville

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

If you're an animal lover or in the mood for a family outing, then the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is an excellent spot to visit. The zoo boasts more than 325 different animal species and more than 3,000 animals, including clouded leopards, monkeys, meerkats, red pandas, white rhinoceroses, alligators and anacondas. Plus, there are fish and bird exhibits showcasing both local wildlife and exotic creatures. There are a number of hands-on exhibits that are popular among kids, including the Critter Encounters (where you can get up close with various animals), Kangaroo Kickabout (where you can pet kangaroos) and Lorikeet Landing (where you can see Australian parrots and feed them for a small fee). What's more, the zoo also features a historic home and garden, a zip line, a 4D theater, an animal-themed carousel and a Wilderness Express Train.

Recent visitors were impressed with this zoo, with many reviewers complimenting the well-designed and well-kept facilities. Several families recommend this attraction when visiting Nashville with kids because of its various on-site activities.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Adventure Science Center Adventure Science Center

Take a break from history and country music and treat your kids to some hands-on educational entertainment. Interactive displays at the Adventure Science Center allow little ones to learn about science, from how beekeepers do their jobs to what goes on thousands of light-years above our heads. Kids can learn what it takes to become an astronaut and use an augmented reality mirror to get a peek at what their muscles and bones look like. Regular demonstrations and crafts further keep children engaged and shows in the planetarium are entertaining for the whole family. The facility also features a flight simulator. Museumgoers say this is a must for kids, as the facility has plenty of activities to keep children interested. They also laud the friendly staff. However, some say the exhibits could be better maintained.

Located almost 3 miles south of downtown Nashville, the Adventure Science Center is open Thursday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Adults pay $22; youths ages 2 to 12 enter for $18 and children younger than 2 get in for free. Admission to the planetarium and certain simulation activities costs extra. Free parking is available. For more information about the exhibits and upcoming events, visit the Adventure Science Center website .

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Frist Art Museum Frist Art Museum

Located in a gorgeous 1930s art deco building that was once the city's main post office, the Frist Art Museum offers an ever-changing set of exhibitions, covering everything from paintings to sculptures to photography. Past exhibits have featured European armor, works of Albrecht Dürer and Picasso's renderings of the human form. Artwork by local artists and students are regularly in rotation as well. The museum runs programs, talks and activities to complement the exhibits. Families will want to make sure to visit the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, which offers interactive stations and creative hands-on learning. Recent visitors say even if you are not a big art lover, seeing the building alone is worth a visit. Multiple travelers were disappointed by how small the traveling exhibitions are. Many observe that staff members are friendly and knowledgeable.

Located downtown, the museum is just a few blocks from the Country Music Hall of Fame . The museum opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday except for Sunday, when it opens at 1 p.m., and Thursday, when it closes at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and college students. Those 18 and younger can enter for free. Parking in the museum's lot costs $2 per hour. For more information, visit the museum's website .

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway free

Located on an expansive stretch of the Cumberland River about 5 miles east of downtown Nashville, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway is a sprawling green space where visitors can learn about the local landscape and take advantage of outdoor recreation opportunities. When you visit, start at the nature center, where you can view cultural history exhibits and artwork. You can also rent a bicycle from the on-site BCycle station to explore or participate in an environmental education program and learn about things to do on the greenway. The 950-acre Shelby Bottoms Greenway has about 17 miles of unpaved and paved pathways (perfect for strolling and biking) that pass through wetlands, streams, forests and fields.

Parkgoers say the atmosphere is relaxing and quiet; the trail system is easy to follow and clean. Many say cycling is quite fun here. Indeed, Shelby forms part of the 26-mile Music City Bikeway that connects Percy Priest Dam and the Warner Parks. Visitors also report glimpsing deer and other wildlife here.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Soundwaves at Gaylord Opryland Soundwaves at Gaylord Opryland

The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center stresses that its SoundWaves is an "upscale" water park. The indoor/outdoor facility features a variety of water rides, including a total of 11 slides, and wave pools complemented by music. It also boasts waterfalls, lazy rivers, play structures and a surfing simulator, among other heart-pumping attractions. There is also a splash pad and activity pool for small children. Adults can enjoy two pools all to themselves (one indoor and one outdoor) plus a bar. Cabanas and private party rooms are available for rental. Soundwaves at Gaylord Opryland is also featured in a list of best bachelorette party destinations .

Parkgoers deem this water park exceptionally fun with a great deal to do for people of all ages. It's frequently described as clean and well attended by lifeguards. While the park is open exclusively to those staying in the resort, some say this helps keep it from becoming overcrowded.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours

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Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting

Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting

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Nashville to Memphis Daytrip with Graceland VIP Tour and Sun Studio Admission

Nashville to Memphis Daytrip with Graceland VIP Tour and Sun Studio Admission

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from $ 328.85

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17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nashville, TN

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Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and is centrally located in the state along the Cumberland River. One of Nashville's top attractions—a replica of the Parthenon—along with its many universities and colleges has earned it the nickname the "Athens of the South."

Tennessee State Capitol

Nashville began building its reputation as the capital of country music around 100 years ago with the creation of the radio station dedicated to the Grand Ole Opry. The city is now home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Music Row . One of the most popular music-themed walks is the Music City Walk of Fame located on Nashville's "Music Mile."

Keep walking to one of Nashville's greenway trails that includes spans over the Cumberland River: John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge. Another popular attraction and wandering place is Bicentennial Capitol Mall. Grab a beverage and pastry from the adjacent Nashville Farmers' Market.

The city is a jumping-off point to explore the rest of Tennessee. Many historical attractions, including old plantations and Civil War sites, are no more than a half-hour drive away. Numerous hiking trails around Nashville offer a chance to get active.

Learn about the best places to visit with our list of attractions and things to do in Nashville.

See also: Where to Stay in Nashville

1. Grand Ole Opry

2. country music hall of fame & museum, 3. ryman auditorium, 4. make the scene in downtown nashville, 5. learn about the man in black at johnny cash museum, 6. belle meade historic site, 7. groove in glorious gardens at gaylord opryland resort, 8. andrew jackson's hermitage, 9. nashville parthenon, 10. rca studio b, 11. visit exotic friends at nashville zoo, 12. cheekwood estate and gardens, 13. make a recording at musicians hall of fame and museum, 14. belmont mansion, 15. tennessee state museum, 16. view vintage cars at lane motor museum, 17. cruise on the general jackson showboat, where to stay in nashville for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to nashville.

Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry radio show is the longest-running radio program in the United States . Since its first broadcast in 1925, the Opry has presented more than 5,000 shows. It continues to contribute to Nashville's identity as Music City.

In 1974, the venue for the show shifted from the Ryman Auditorium to the 4,000-seat Grand Ole Opry House northeast of downtown. Throughout its history, performers have entertained fans of country, bluegrass, gospel, and old-time music, along with popular music and comedy.

Join in the fun by attending one of the broadcasts. Purchase your Grand Ole Opry Show Admission Ticket in Nashville in advance to assure your seat and free parking in nearby Opry Mills Mall. Consider a scheduled backstage tour to experience the bright lights of show business from a different angle. The Grand Ole Opry House Guided Backstage Tour in Nashville is your VIP pass.

Address: 600 Opry Mills Drive, Nashville, Tennessee

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the heart of downtown. The tall windows of this striking building cleverly resemble the keys of a piano.

The museum features a multimedia display of historical performances, costumes, instruments, gold records, and memorabilia. Other highlights include a Cadillac that belonged to Elvis, a massive 40-foot guitar, a tour bus, and a recording booth. Guided tours of the nearby historic RCA Studio B are also available.

Tour yourself through the museum and enhance the experience with the audio backup of stars such as Dolly Parton. Visit a replica of a tour bus to record your own country music song. And look for the gold record of your favorite bestselling country music album from the thousands on display along many walls.

Address: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S., Nashville, Tennessee

Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium , home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, is still being used to host broadcasts of the famous radio show. Originally opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, the Ryman offers superior acoustics for regular performances of classical and bluegrass music, musical theater, and television shows.

The Ryman is often referred to as the " Carnegie Hall of the South ." Located just off Honky Tonk Row, the auditorium features a museum with exhibits related to its rich musical past. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Try your hand at cutting a record of your own in the Air Castle Studio. Fun backstage tours are available but book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Address: 116 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Nashville, Tennessee

Downtown Nashville at night

In the heart of every city are areas that have become a destination. Manhattan has Midtown, Miami has Little Havana, and Music City has Downtown Nashville.

Many of the go-to music attractions in the city are located in Downtown Nashville: Ryman Auditorium, Honky Tonk Row, museums honoring the best-known country music performers such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Broadway is the hub for nightlife in this neon-lit district, where live country music wafts out into the street.

While strolling through Downtown Nashville and experiencing its contemporary tourist attractions, you are following in the footsteps of the city's past. Evidence of the earliest settlers can be found along the shores of the Cumberland River at Fort Nashborough , which offers self-guided tours. The views in Downtown Nashville feature landmarks that you can see from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash, known as the "Man in Black," had a hardscrabble life that he surmounted to win the Grammy award 13 times (and earn an impressive 35 nominations!), becoming one of the most beloved stars of country music. Visit the museum in his honor in downtown Nashville.

Among the exhibits, the museum features handwritten lyrics for two of the most famous of the 1,500 songs Cash recorded: "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk the Line." Johnny Cash's costumes, instruments, letters, artwork, marriage licenses, and songs are on display. There's also a museum store, where you can buy souvenirs, and a café next door, where you can buy whatever you need to fuel an extra hour of touring the museum.

Consider a trip upstairs to visit the Patsy Cline Museum . View videos, memorabilia, and personal items of this gifted country music star. Her career as a country music star tragically ended in a plane crash when she was only 30.

Address: 119 3rd Ave. S. Nashville, Tennessee

Belle Meade Historic Site

Constructed in the mid-19th century, the Belle Meade Mansion is designed in the Greek-Revival style and surrounded by what remains of the former antebellum plantation. During the two-day Civil War Battle of Nashville in 1864, Union and Confederate forces fought on the front yard of the mansion. Evidence of gunfire can still be seen in its tall stone columns.

Guided tours are available, including one that's devoted to telling the history of the estate from the perspective of the slaves forced to work and live here. Attend one of the culinary experiences and seasonal programs offered at Belle Meade. Explore the plantation stables, gardens, and grounds. If time allows, be sure to grab a bite to eat at the on-site Belle Meade Meat & Three restaurant (a popular spot for lunch), or an ice cream at the Coop N' Scoop, located in a 160-year-old chicken coop. Belle Meade Historic Site is nine miles from downtown.

Address: 110 Leake Ave., Nashville, Tennessee

Waterfall and tropical gardens at the Gaylord Opryland Resort

You don't need to be staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort to enjoy its most famous asset: its collection of 50,000 tropical plants, many of which are rare international specimens. This magnificent exhibition is a visual and olfactory feast, housed on nine acres of indoor space and tended by 20 full-time horticulturalists.

One-fifth of the collection is in the Garden Conservatory, which features palms and banana trees 60 feet tall. These plants were so tall, they had to be installed in the glass-topped atrium before its construction.

Florida was the source of more than 8,000 tropical ornamentals chosen for the Cascades Atrium. You'll find a 40-foot palm tree, and ginger bushes as tall as the average man.

Delta Atrium, the third large garden, ushers you into a zone of subtropical plants that you can explore in a delta flatboat. Pass beneath the Wishing Banyan tree and make a wish. Admire exotics such as black olive trees and mahoganies dripping with Spanish moss, more than 100 palm trees, banana trees, gardenias, and camellias. Marvel at the entrance to the Delta Mansion, glorified by two 40-foot Southern magnolias.

Address: 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

The Hermitage was the home of America's seventh president, Andrew Jackson . The estate is one of the most picturesque spots in Nashville. Located 14 miles from downtown, the Hermitage was originally constructed in 1819 and rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1834.

Visitors to the Hermitage experience the place as it would have looked when Jackson lived here from 1837 to 1845. The mansion includes a museum with exhibits of Jackson's private and public lives.

Participate in a formal guided tour of the property. Other fun activities include draft horse-powered wagon rides and themed events such as ghost tours. The grounds are well-maintained and include the burial site of Jackson and his wife. Visit the nearby Tulip Grove mansion, the one-time home of family members Emily and Andrew Jackson Donelson.

Address: 4580 Rachel's Ln., Hermitage, Tennessee

The Nashville Parthenon

If you're looking for one of the best free things to do in Nasvhille , see the iconic landmark of Nashville , a reproduction of the Parthenon in Athens. Located in Centennial Park and a short walk west of the city center, the original Parthenon replica was built of wood, plaster, and brick in 1897 to commemorate the state's first century. The current full-scale replica of the original Greek temple is made of concrete.

Inside the Parthenon is a permanent art collection of 63 works by 19th- and 20th-century American painters. Admire the 42-foot-high model of the statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos covered with gold leaf. Replicas of the famed 5 th century BCE Parthenon Marbles are also on display.

Address: 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, Tennessee

RCA Studio B

RCA Studio B is near Music Square in the area known as Music Row . This is the heart and soul of the nation's music industry, and RCA Studio B is its most protected historic landmark. The "home of 1,000 hits" thrived for about 15 years starting in 1957.

This recording facility is credited as the birthplace of the unique "Nashville sound" that defined so many big hits of the 1950s and 1960s. While the site closed as a recording studio in 1977, it has become a teaching facility. Visitors come on scheduled tours arranged by RCA Studio B's owner, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Address: 1611 Roy Acuff Place, Nashville, Tennessee

Southern White Rhinoceros at the Nashville Zoo

The Nashville Zoo is a great place for tourists to visit with children. Explore the plains of Africa, delve into the rainforests of South America, and discover the many animals of Asia. More than 3,000 animals from 350 species can be viewed, including clouded leopards, Baird's tapirs, toucans, and Sumatran tigers. Animals at Nashville Zoo reside in habitats that represent their natural environments.

Lorikeet Landing allows you to enter an aviary and be surrounded by around 85 Australian parrots. Come to the zoo to ride the Wild Animal Carousel and Wilderness Express Train. Kids naturally know what to do on the zoo's large Jungle Gym, where they slide, swing, climb, crawl, and explore. The Soaring Eagle Zip Line takes your visit to the zoo to new heights.

Address: 3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, Tennessee

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is a sumptuous 55-acre haven of peace and grace. This elegant park-like setting is a tranquil place to visit on a sunny day. Galleries of contemporary art in the historic mansion exemplify the Cheekwood's commitment to the arts and arts preservation.

After your tour of the mansion and the Cheekwood's indoor collection, step onto the Sculpture Trail to experience creatively landscaped installations, including "The Glass Bridge for Nashville." Marvel at the diversity of garden designs and influences and range of trees and shrubs, especially when flowering in season.

This historic attraction also hosts regular music performances, including an "under the stars" concert series in the summertime.

Address: 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville, Tennessee

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

Not to be confused with the Country Music Hall of Fame is the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum , which honors the musical heroes who helped to create the stars . These talented session artists hail from Nashville, Motown, Muscle Shoals, New York, Los Angeles, and recording studios.

Along with their instruments, these are the fellows that made the hits happen. That's why there's so much emphasis at this 30,000-square-foot museum on the presentation of studios, stages, and guitars.

View the studio where Elvis recorded hits such as In the Ghetto . Behold the stage where young Jimi Hendrix performed, as well as one of his guitars. See guitars played by Glen Campbell, who was a session musician before he became a star. Other instruments on display were played by Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, and Elton John.

If you're into the process that creates superstars of all musical stripes, you can happily learn and experiment at this interactive museum. Here you can try things out–from mixing music and trying out instruments to making your own recording.

Address: 401 Gay Street, Nashville, Tennessee

Belmont Mansion

Built in the 1850s, the Belmont Mansion is the largest antebellum house in Tennessee. It is considered one of the finest mansions of its kind in the United States. Many rooms have been preserved with much of their original décor and furnishings. Designed in the style of an Italian villa, the mansion features elaborate gardens with outbuildings. Belmont also has permanent art exhibits.

Entering Belmont Mansion, the historic splendor of the building is enhanced by furniture, paintings, and original statues by American artists. Following a guided introduction, you are free to explore the mansion on your own.

During the holidays, one of the top things to do at Belmont is attending its Christmas Tour. You'll get to see the mansion dressed up in Victorian decorations and learn about 19th-century holiday traditions.

Address: Belmont Blvd. & Acklen Ave., Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee State Museum

Learn more about the rich history of Tennessee's social and natural history at the Tennessee State Museum . Located adjacent to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, this spacious state-of-the-art museum covers an area of 137,000 square feet that efficiently accommodates the large collection of original items, interactive exhibits, and multimedia displays.

The museum's diverse collections are considered the "Smithsonian of Tennessee" and filled with artifacts relating to the state's role in the Civil War, including period weapons and furniture. There's also a vast collection of artworks and paintings, in addition to displays related to music and musicians. Notable features that bring the state's past to life include a theater, an education and learning center, and on-site gift shop.

Address: 1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee

Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum showcases a large collection of vehicles, most of which are from Europe, but also includes exhibits from Japan and the United States. The collection includes the tiniest French-made minicar, with room for only one person and requiring no driver's license. Among vintage cars, there are streamlined Adler coupes dating back to the 1930s. The motorcycle collection includes a 1964 folding scooter.

The museum is not just a space for displaying vehicles. It's a showplace for vehicles that have been restored, as closely as possible, to their original condition. The museum also put its engineering expertise into creating a replica of one of the most unusual cars ever made–a 1933 Dymaxion. The brainchild of Buckminster Fuller, designer of the geodesic dome, this streamlined vehicle is so unusual, it looks like it could power an extra-terrestrial. Only three prototypes were ever produced.

The museum displays about 150 vehicles from its collection of more than 580. To view some of the other cars, consider hopping on one of the guided vault tours on the weekends.

Address: 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee

The General Jackson Showboat cruising past Downtown Nashville

The General Jackson Showboat is the modern version of the 1800s classic four-deck paddle-wheel steamship. This showboat is a great way to get your country music fix while cruising on the Cumberland River.

If you're looking for fun things to do in Nashville at night, this pleasant outing offers a unique view of the cityscape from the water. A highlight is passing under the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

Simplify your planning by booking the General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville . Everything is included: Southern cooking during a lunch or dinner cruise, onboard entertainment, and unsurpassed views of Nashville and the Cumberland River.

Address: 2812 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee

Downtown Nashville beats with a country heart, and this is where first-time visitors will want to stay. This area is home to music venues, the historic 2nd Ave, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the world-famous Ryman Auditorium, and Printer's Alley. At the southern end of downtown, sports fans will find Bridgestone Arena. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Nashville's The Hermitage Hotel , housed in a Beaux Arts building dating from 1908, is right by the State Capitol and offers an experience in grandeur from the turn of the century.
  • Opened in late 2022, the Four Seasons is one of Nashville's newest five-star properties. Its large suites are outfitted with music-inspired touches, like lamps that resemble recording studio microphones. It offers packages that immerse tourists in Nashville's music scene.
  • Next door to the Bridgestone Arena and steps to Ryman Auditorium, the recently renovated all-suite Hilton Nashville Downtown offers large rooms, and may be a good option for families.
  • Fully integrated with the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Omni Nashville Hotel is well located just a short stroll from the hip and lively Broadway Avenue.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Mid-range hotels tend to be clustered near Vanderbilt University, an easy drive two miles southwest of downtown on Broadway Avenue. This is a nice area, with lots of parks and The Parthenon historical site, a full replica of the original Greek Athenian Temple. Great for families, the Homewood Suites Nashville Vanderbilt offers full kitchens. This hotel has an indoor pool.
  • Another all-suite option is the Home2 Suites by Hilton , located in the same area and offering similar amenities.
  • The Hilton Garden Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt has standard rooms, a fitness center, and an indoor pool.

Budget Hotels :

  • The fully-renovated Red Roof PLUS+ Nashville Airport offers decent rooms and a shuttle to/from the airport. A convenient base for the budget-minded is the area near the airport. It's a straight shot down Interstate 40, seven miles from the attractions downtown
  • A few miles farther out, and featuring an outdoor pool, is the Sleep Inn .
  • Just across the street is La Quinta Inn & Suites Nashville Airport , with basic rooms and an outdoor pool at a fair price. Surrounding both hotels is a good selection of chain restaurants.

City Sightseeing :

  • Depending on your schedule, you can choose between a morning or afternoon departure for the half-day Discover Nashville tour, which packs in all the city's top attractions in a 3.5-hour tour. Music Row, Riverfront Park, and the Tennessee State Capitol are included on the itinerary, and the cost includes admission to Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • If you prefer to do things at your own pace, opt for a Nashville Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour . This handy option allows you to stop wherever you choose, and spend as long as you like exploring favorite attractions including Music Row, the Parthenon at Centennial Park, and Vanderbilt University, all accompanied by a guide's informative commentary.
  • When you're on a tight schedule or just want to get your bearings at the start of your visit to Music City, opt for the one-hour Best of Nashville City Tour on a Double Decker Bus . This tour will zip you by 100 of the top landmarks and attractions, and offers live commentary by your driver.

Helicopter Tour :

  • Fly above the skyscrapers and crowds on Honky Tonk Row while scanning the city like an eagle in the Helicopter Tour of Downtown Nashville . During the 15-minute ride, you learn about Music City from your pilot while experiencing Nashville in your own whirlybird.

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Popular Nashville Day Trips : When you're done exploring Nashville, be sure to spend at least a little time exploring the surrounding area. Top-rated day trips within an easy drive include a visit to the Carter House and Carnton Plantation, as well as the Historic Sam Davis Home and Plantation, both of which became famous as battlegrounds during the Civil War.

Another great destination with a rich musical history, Memphis is perhaps most famous as the home of Elvis Presley's Graceland. Memphis is also famous for its fun Beale Street Entertainment District, as well as the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum.

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The Great Outdoors : For a fun back-to-nature experience, head to the Smoky Mountains , home to the country's most visited national park. Popular outdoor activities include hiking, biking, camping and white water rafting. And if fishing's your thing, Tennessee is famous for its superlative fly fishing , boasting an impressive 22,000 miles of streams and some 29 reservoirs in which to cast a line.

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The 20 best attractions and sights in nashville.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Whether you’ve lived here for years, just moved to town, or are visiting for the weekend, there’s no excuse for being bored in Music City. From must-see museums to iconic music venues, consider this your Nashville bucket list.

Nashville Zoo

Kids of all ages can enjoy a field trip to the Nashville Zoo , which has grown leaps and bounds since taking over the Grassmere property in 1996. Interactive exhibits like Critter Encounters and Lorikeet Landing as well as exhibits dedicated to flamingos, and meerkats keep local animal lovers intrigued.

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Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Perhaps the most gorgeous 55 acres in the greater Nashville area, Cheekwood is a hit with locals and visitors year-round. From the Cheekwood Mansion art gallery to the estate’s 12 sprawling gardens to special exhibits from world-renowned artists, you could spend hours taking in all kinds of stunning visuals. Cheekwood also has a variety of seasonal installations including Cheekwood in Bloom , Cheekwood Harvest , and Holiday Lights at Cheekwood .

Frist Art Museum

With exhibits that rotate every six to eight weeks, no visit to the Frist Art Museum is ever the same—but you’re always guaranteed to leave inspired. Housed in an art deco building, Nashville’s hub for visual art displays works from local, state, and regional artists as well as national and international exhibitions.

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The Hermitage

The home of Andrew Jackson, located on the outskirts of town, is one of the most popular attractions in the state. Open as a museum since 1889, The Hermitage sits on more than 1,000 acres and comprises the seventh U.S. president’s stately mansion, its surrounding gardens and grounds, and the Jackson family tomb. The million-dollar exhibit, Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm , features interactive displays and a deep dive into his multifaceted life.

GEODIS Park

GEODIS Park , situated in the heart of Wedgewood-Houston, is home to the Nashville Soccer Club. This 30,000-seat stadium is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States and Canada. Looking to catch a match? See the Nashville SC’s home game schedule here .

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Fifth + Broadway

Fifth + Broadway is a mixed-use development conveniently located on Broadway in Downtown Nashville. The building combines restaurants, shops, office space, a museum, and residential units. Restaurants include local favorites like Slim + Husky’s and Hattie B’s as well as nationally-known eateries like Shake Shack and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. On the retail side, visitors can purchase Nashville-centric apparel at The Nash Collection or shop at one of the only brick-and-mortar Ariat stores in the world. Explore the 55,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music or stay indefinitely at The Place.

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Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

It’s known as “the Smithsonian of country music” for good reason, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum spans 350,000 square feet of prime Downtown Nashville real estate, which it packs with thousands of artifacts, two performance theaters, and countless rotating special exhibitions. The museum’s permanent installation, Sing Me Back Home , takes visitors through the evolution of country music from its roots in the nineteenth century to today’s biggest hitmakers.

Bluebird Cafe

The world-famous and incredibly intimate Bluebird Cafe is where you go to hear your favorite songs—and their backstories—straight from the people who wrote them. (Yes, just like on TV.) Nearly every night, this tiny cafe hosts a group of songwriters who play and banter their way through acoustic rounds, captivating those who got lucky enough to score a seat.

Grand Ole Opry

An essential Nashville music experience is a trip to the historic Grand Ole Opry —it’s the only place where country music stars of past, present, and future have shared the same stage. Spring for the backstage tour, where you can see the Opry’s 18-themed dressing rooms, learn behind-the-scenes secrets, and, if you’re lucky, step foot in “The Circle” yourself.

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge , completed in 1909, is a steel-trussed bridge that connects East Nashville with the hustle and bustle of Downtown Nashville. Runners, commuters, and sightseers alike can be found crisscrossing this skyline landmark at all hours of the day, often pausing to admire the picturesque Cumberland views.

Ryman Auditorium

Your first show at the prestigious Mother Church—famed for its acoustics and pew seating—will be a turning point in your concert-going experience. Formerly the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman now shines on its own as a hallowed performance hall for all genres of musicians as well as comedians and authors. Self-guided tours are available daily, tickets are $27+ for adults and $18+ for children (4-11).

Broadway Honky-Tonks

Though they might complain about it, even locals have a hard time staying away from Nashville’s glittering main strip—it’s that much of a good time. Lined with perennial honky-tonks like Robert’s Western World and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge , Lower Broadway has seen a revitalization with trendier establishments like Acme Feed and Seed and Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa .

Radnor Lake State Park

Offering 1,300 acres of serene forests, trails, and wildlife, the Radnor Lake area is a literal breath of fresh air for cooped-up Nashvillians. And this natural treasure offers even more than just exercise and a break from daily stressors—The Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center can turn your visit into a full-on learning experience.

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Stop at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery for a part history lesson and part good old-fashioned whiskey tasting. Brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson revived their great-great-great-grandfather’s family business in 2009. The tour guides here will take you back to the start over a century ago and its subsequent shutting down during Prohibition—cheers to the Nelsons’ happy ending!

The Parthenon

The Parthenon , originally constructed as a temporary exhibit for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, is a full-scale replica of the iconic Athens structure that became so popular it is now a permanent Nashville fixture. Updates over the years have included the creation of the surrounding Centennial Park, a complete overhaul of the structure’s exterior, and the installation of a 42-foot-tall Athena statue. When you visit, don’t miss the fine art museum on the lower level.

Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar

The Goo Goo Cluster isn’t just your ordinary sweet treat—it’s the world’s first-ever “combination candy,” a swirl of caramel, marshmallow nougat, peanuts, and chocolate. Fittingly, the Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar’s headquarters isn’t just a shop—it’s a decadent destination, featuring Goo Goo’s rich history, a dessert and coffee bar, and a clear view of the confectionary kitchen’s skilled candy makers.

“I Believe in Nashville” Murals

You won’t find a more “Nashville” photo-op than the “I Believe in Nashville” murals . Music City native Adrien Saporiti has created two of them across town, one each in 12 South and Marathon Village —both neighborhoods are a must-visit!

Johnny Cash Museum

Whether you’re a casual listener or a die-hard fan of the Man in Black, it’s hard not to be emotionally moved as you walk through the Johnny Cash Museum . From his humble beginnings in Arkansas to his groundbreaking Folsom Prison performance to his love affair with June Carter, this is a fully-encompassing journey of Cash and his legacy.

First Horizon Park

First Horizon Park , is home to The Nashville Sounds, a Minor League Baseball team of the International League. This massive ballpark situated in Germantown, boasts an unrivaled view of the field, a guitar-shaped scoreboard, and limitless concessions. The stadium also hosts occasional concerts, events, and festivals.

Soundwaves + Gaylord Opryland

SoundWaves , the upscale indoor-outdoor water attraction at  Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center , offers over four acres of entertainment, including 11 slides, a wave pool, FlowRider wave simulator, rapid and lazy rivers, an activity pool, a restaurant, adults-only pool and bar, private cabanas, and kids areas. This attraction is open year-round.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

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7 Comments on "The 20 Best Attractions and Sights in Nashville"

famous tourist attractions in nashville

looking forward to visiting

I need to see my beautiful city! Summer 2001 here we come!!!!!

Hello, thank you for the information. I would like to suggest one more place to enjoy night life in Nashville and it is called as Legend’s Corner.

Free 1910 year old car factory museum showing how they made car in the early 1900s

I will be visiting Nashville soon, so excited can’t wait!!!

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famous tourist attractions in nashville

30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Nashville (Tennessee)

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: October 11, 2019  - Last updated: October 16, 2023

Things To Do In Nashville

Known for its energy and vibrancy, Nashville is one of the most famous music destinations in the world.

It’s actually nicknamed “Music City” because of its significance to the biz.

Its streets are filled with bars, clubs, concert halls, music studios and more recording stations than you can shake a microphone at.

There are other sides to Nashville, however.

It’s located on the river, so it has gorgeous natural landscapes filled with forests and ravines.

It was the birthplace of several notable figures, so there’s history to be learned from its landmarks and memorials.

A well-rounded vacation will take advantage of all of the attractions that the city has to offer.

If you’re looking for the most awesome things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, here are just a few suggestions for your bucket list!

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a booking through these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Table of Contents

1. Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole Opry

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Grab your stetson. Pull on your spurs. It’s time to visit the Grand Ole Opry .

Hailed as “the show that made country music famous,” the Grand Ole Opry has been running for almost a century.

It offers all of the latest and greatest in country, folk, gospel and bluegrass music, and it’s easily one of the best things to do in Nashville.

Catching a show is almost like a rite of passage in the South!

Visitors to the Grand Ole Opry can take a tour of the stage and dressing rooms before settling in for the night’s entertainment.

In addition to toe-tapping music, they also broadcast skits, comedy routines and other live performances.

When the curtain falls, you can grab a bite to eat at the Opry Back Porch BBQ or catch some ZZZs at the Opryland Hotel.

You’re sure to have a grand ole time at the Grand Ole Opry.

Swing by the famous red-barn stage if you’re looking for the very best in Nashville attractions!

Check details, prices and reviews here.

Address:  2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, United States

2. Broadway

broadway nashville

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Broadway is the beating heart of downtown Nashville.

Covering several neon-lit blocks, it’s a neighborhood where there are bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, saloons and honky-tonks as far as the eye can see.

During the day, Broadway serves as one of the more typical tourist attractions of Nashville.

Visitors can enjoy shopping, dining and sightseeing as they hop on old-fashioned trams and trolleys and explore the streets.

At night, Broadway transforms into something else entirely.

Live music spills out of dozens of bars and pubs.

Rooftop bars glitter with everything from lights to swimming pools.

You can find places to eat, drink, dance, sing karaoke, ride a mechanical bull or try on a jumpsuit covered in rhinestones.

Broadway is at the center of all of the action, so it’s easily one of the best things to do in downtown Nashville.

Grab your dancing shoes and get there tonight! You won’t want to miss a thing!

3. Parthenon

Parthenon

Before it became known for country music, Nashville used to have a reputation for higher learning.

It offered the largest number of colleges and universities in Tennessee and was sometimes referred to as “the Athens of the South.”

In 1897, builders decided to run with that nickname and raise a full-scale replica of the Parthenon right in the middle of Nashville.

Today, the Parthenon functions as an art museum and cultural center.

It hosts a number of paintings, texts, statues and sculptures from the classical era.

It’s one of the major points of interest in Nashville, especially for patrons of the arts; you can often find theater troupes performing Greek plays on the front steps.

The Parthenon is definitely one of the top things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.

It’s such a unique attraction that it deserves a visit even if you aren’t the type to wear a toga and philosophize about the stars.

How often do you get the chance to visit a Parthenon?

Experience it while you can!

Address:  2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

4. Cumberland Park

Cumberland Park

4kclips / Shutterstock

Nashville has beautiful views of the Cumberland River, a 700-mile waterway that winds through Tennessee and Kentucky .

One of the best places to travel and see it is Cumberland Park .

Officially called a “riverfront play space,” Cumberland Park is basically a stomping ground for families who want to have fun both in and out of the water.

Its biggest attraction is a gigantic splash pad where you can cool off on hot summer days, but there are also bike paths, climbing structures and butterfly gardens.

There’s even an amphitheater for outdoor concerts that are held in Nashville.

If you want to gaze at the Cumberland River during a romantic date, that’s an option, too.

The park sits right on the riverfront; you can even take a stroll down the famous pedestrian bridge that stretches across the water.

One thing is for sure: Cumberland Park should be on your list of awesome things to see in Nashville.

Whether you’re honeymooning or just looking for ways to entertain the kids, it’s a great destination for a Tennessee vacation.

Address:  592 S 1st St, Nashville, TN 37213, United States

Planning to visit other parts of Tennessee? Be sure to check out our lists of things to do in Chattanooga and things to do in Pigeon Forge !

5. Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center

Joe Hendrickson / Shutterstock

You’ve never seen a hotel like the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center .

Not only does it offer luxury suites in the most hopping, bopping parts of downtown Nashville, but it’s also home to activities and amenities that make it a vacation destination in its own right.

For starters, the resort is filled with pools, plants, gardens, fountains and waterfalls in a glass atrium.

Boat tours are available if you want to drift along the water and enjoy all nine acres of the indoor jungle.

There’s also a spa, gym, golf course and several different ballrooms for banquets and other special events.

More than a dozen bars and restaurants line the corridors if you work up an appetite.

Long story short, the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center isn’t your usual hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

It’s more like an adventure that you can take during any time of the day or night.

If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Nashville this weekend, book a room at Opryland.

It’s the best of the best in terms of accommodation!

Address:  2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, United States

6. Music Row

music row

BrandonKleinVideo / Shutterstock

Music Row is the single most famous street in Nashville.

Packed with record labels, radio stations, recording studios and music production companies, it offers a top to bottom look at the thriving music scene of the city.

What can you do at Music Row? It depends on your interests.

Lots of tours are available for recording booths and radio towers, and there are several local landmarks for sightseeing, including the statue of a famous producer in front of a grand piano.

It can also be fun to play “spot the star” with street names: Many avenues are named after country singers.

If you’re willing to venture a little outside of the neighborhood, Music Row is centrally located enough that many stores and restaurants are within walking distance.

You can eat, drink and shop while visiting the best parts of the area.

Music Row is one of the most iconic places to go in Nashville, Tennessee, so consider it a must see when you’re visiting the city.

Even if you only have time to snap a few selfies on the boulevard, it’s a destination that you’ll want to check out at least once.

Address: 16th/17th Ave. South – Division Street and Music Square, Nashville, TN, USA

7. Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

Larry Darling / flickr

It’s easy to spot the large white dome of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory .

It’s one of the biggest astronomy centers in Tennessee, and it stands on top of a large hill that provides clear, unobstructed views of the night sky.

Tours and telescopes are open to the public if you want to learn a few constellations while you’re in Nashville.

The observatory also hosts all kinds of special events like summer camps and eclipse parties.

They even open the grounds for outdoor concerts; you can bring snacks and a blanket to lay on the grass while you enjoy the music.

And when the performers have taken their final bow, the observatory staff will bring out the telescopes and let you cap off your evening with a look at the moon.

The Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory is one of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.

You might be drawn in by the dome; you might be irresistibly tugged by the music.

Either way, you’ll have a great time under the stars.

Address:  1000 Oman Dr, Brentwood, TN 37027, United States

8. Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo

Grace Cureton / Shutterstock

The Nashville Zoo is one of the most unique attractions in Tennessee.

Located about 6 miles south of downtown Nashville, the zoo we know today was a standard farm home in the 1800’s on a land that was later donated to the city by the Croft family.

The standard home, that paved way for the country’s 9th largest zoo, still stands on the property and available for tours.

There are approximately 3,000 animals in total, that represent about 350 different species.

Some animals are even available for feeding and taking pictures with!

There are also zoo-sponsored camps and classes if you’re looking for fun stuff for your kids to do on the weekend.

For example, “Night Owls” is an overnight sleepaway adventure, and “Zoo Tots” has games and lessons for tiny zookeepers.

Consider a trip to the Nashville Zoo if you’re looking for the best attractions to put on a to do list.

With everything from a rich history to a delightful menagerie of animals, it’s one of the top places to visit in Nashville for sure.

Address:  3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211, United States

Visiting other parts of Tennessee? You’ll love our lists of things to do in Gatlinburg and things to do in Memphis !

9. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Many award-winning athletes have come out of Tennessee, including Daren Bates, Reggie Grimes and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates them all, and it’s conveniently located in downtown Nashville.

Browse the displays and exhibits that showcase the history of the state’s finest sportsmen.

Let your kids dress up in jerseys, helmets and pads for photo ops.

There are even a few rides that will keep your little ones entertained while you read up on all of the Olympic champs that have come from the Volunteer State.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Museum isn’t a large museum, but it’s a significant one.

You won’t find another destination like it in the Nashville area.

You should definitely bookmark it in your “what to see” tab when planning your Nashville vacation.

Address:  501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

10. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge

Kevin Oliver / flickr

You can’t miss Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge .

It has a bright purple building located in downtown Nashville, and at night, the line stretches down the entire street.

Everyone wants to toss back a drink at the oldest honky-tonk bar in Tennessee!

Tootsie’s has a long, colorful history in the country music scene.

Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings were among its most famous customers.

Willie Nelson got his first gig after performing on its live stage.

It’s even been featured in a documentary called Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge: Where the Music Began.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is still thriving today.

It’s a place to see and be seen in Nashville, especially for up-and-coming musicians, and there’s always a lively crowd ready to buy another round.

Stop by Tootise’s when you want fun things to see and do in Nashville, Tennessee.

You never know when the next act will be the hottest thing in country music in a few years!

Address:  422 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

11. Warner Parks

Percy Warner Park

Joseph Guerre / Shutterstock

Nashville is such a busy metropolitan area that it can be easy to forget about its green places.

Fortunately, the Warner Parks are here to remind you of the beauty and majesty of Nashville’s natural landscapes.

The Warner Parks are actually twin parks, Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park, that span thousands of acres in the wilderness near Nashville.

Their beautiful lush hills are filled with everything from nature trails to picnic areas.

You can walk, tour, hike, bike or even go horseback riding among the sights.

If you like working up a sweat, check out the playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts and mountain bike trails.

If you prefer more low-key activities, stroll to the top of an observation point and see for miles as the leaves fall and the sun sets.

There are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy here, so if you’re a nature buff wondering what to do in Nashville, Tennessee, consider a trip to the Warner Parks.

They’re some of the most beautiful places in USA , and even though they’re free, you’ll enjoy a “two for the price of one” feeling when you hop between them.

Address:  50 Vaughn Rd, Nashville, TN 37221, United States

12. Hatch Show Print

Hatch Show Print

Gerry Matthews / Shutterstock

Hatch Show Print is another one of those uniquely Nashville destinations.

While other cities might have similar establishments, this one is firmly rooted in the one-of-a-kind color, charm and kitsch of Music City.

What is Hatch Show Print?

It’s a letterpress print shop that has been making posters for local musicians since the turn of the century.

Some of its earliest works have become famous for advertising young stars that grew into legendary figures; these posters are now priceless collector’s items.

Visitors to Hatch Show Print can tour the facilities and see how the old-fashioned printing machines work.

They’re still functional, and for a fee, they can print your own customized posters to take home.

Everything is done in the distinct and signature style of Hatch Show Print.

If you’re looking for the coolest things to see in Nashville, this is the site for you.

It’s almost like the birthplace of country music advertising.

It’s a little slice of history in the city, and it’s yours for the exploring.

Address:  224 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

13. Tennessee State Prison

Tennessee State Prison

Phillip Foster / Shutterstock

You’ve seen the Tennessee State Prison even if you’ve never been there before.

Looking like a medieval castle with its spiked towers and chamber windows, it’s been featured in countless movies, including The Green Mile, Against the Wall and Ernest Goes to Jail.

In its heyday, inmates at the Tennessee State Prison were subjected to harsh manual labor and long periods of solitary confinement.

They were even forced to wear striped uniforms like they really were in the movies.

Today, the Tennessee State Prison is an abandoned facility.

You aren’t allowed to go inside, but you can drive up to the fence and take pictures, or you can sign up for marathons and ghost tours that are given permission to operate on the grounds.

It’s an especially eerie place at night.

If you’re looking for unusual Nashville attractions, try a medieval castle prison that’s a favorite of Hollywood directors.

Stop by the Tennessee State Prison for a hair-raising time!

Address: 6404 Centennial Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209, USA

Planning a road trip around Tennessee? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in Tennessee !

14. Hermitage

The Hermitage

Zack Frank / Shutterstock

The Hermitage is one of the most important sights in the U.S. when it comes to the history and heritage of the American South.

As the home of former president Andrew Jackson, it’s a stunning example of grandiose, plantation-style architecture, and it’s been carefully preserved as a testament to the way that wealthy Nashville residents used to live.

It’s also an uncomfortable look at how the slave trade was normalized in the South in the 1800s.

Andrew Jackson owned dozens of slaves, and they were housed in log cabins behind the estate.

The dual nature of the Hermitage is why it’s considered one of the best tourist spots in Nashville.

It’s beautiful and culturally significant, but at the same time, it doesn’t let you forget about its dark past.

Consider a visit to the Hermitage if you’re wondering where to go during your trip to Nashville, Tennessee.

The best history lessons are ones that show you both sides of the story.

Address:  4580 Rachels Ln, Hermitage, TN 37076, United States

15. Radnor Lake

Radnor Lake

laura_rambles_on / Shutterstock

Radnor Lake is another one of those breathtaking places that you can only find in Tennessee.

With sparkling waters that lap sandy shores and jagged rocks, it’s actually considered a Class II Natural Area because of its beautiful, rugged scenery that’s protected from commercial development.

Activities at Radnor Lake are mostly centered around sightseeing.

Wildlife is abundant, so if you like observing animals in their natural habitats, you’ll be in for a treat.

Turtles waddle in the dirt; red-tailed hawks soar in the sky; deer can always be seen darting through the trees.

Swimming in the lake is prohibited because of its protected status, but you can arrange for special, supervised canoe trips in the springtime.

You’ll just need advanced permission, so if you’re wondering how to plan a trip to Radnor Lake, calling the visitor’s center should be your first step.

Grab your binoculars and head out to Radnor Lake so that you can experience one of the best sites in Nashville.

The views alone will be worth the trip!

Address: 1160 Otter Creek Rd, Nashville, TN 37220, USA

Planning on a road trip around Tennessee? Why not check out some of the things to do in Knoxville, TN  & some of the top Johnson City attractions ?

16. Adventure Science Center of Nashville

Adventure Science Center

Kirill Kulakov / Shutterstock

If you’re traveling to Nashville with kids, you won’t want to miss the Adventure Science Center .

It’s an interactive, hands-on museum where learning is done without tests and textbooks.

Instead, children are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild with things like painting classes, building stations and excavation exercises!

Many different topics are covered at the museum, and many different activities are available for kids of all ages and interests.

Do they like animals?

Maybe they can learn how to harvest honey from a real beehive.

Are they addicted to tech gadgets?

Let them watch a laser show or put on a virtual reality helmet.

Adults can have fun at the Adventure Science Center as well.

The planetarium hosts “yoga classes under the stars” on the weekends, and there are workshops on the science of beer or the creation of famous movie monsters.

If you’re looking for lively places to visit around Nashville this weekend, consider the Adventure Science Center.

The whole family can have a good time, and if you play your cards right, your kids might even learn something new.

Address:  800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

17. Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

Despite the name, there are a lot more than just owls at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary .

It’s a protected area for many species of Tennessee wildlife, including birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals.

If you want to go exploring, tours are available through the crunchy leaves of its nature trails.

If you like more structured activities, you can sign up for a basket-weaving class or a sunny picnic in the grass.

If you’re interested in special events in Nashville, you can swing by during a seed sale or a “movie in a meadow” feature.

All proceeds go towards conservation.

The sanctuary is a nonprofit with a good reputation, and its goal is to rehabilitate animals, repopulate plants and reignite the public passion for the environment and everything living within it.

If you love animals but hate seeing them in overcrowded, underfunded places, your heart can rest easy at Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary in Nashville.

Not only does it offer some of the best views that you’ll ever see of Tennessee flora and fauna, but your ticket sale will go towards a good cause.

Address:  545 Beech Creek Rd S, Brentwood, TN 37027, United States

18. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

If you’re a fan of country music, you won’t want to miss the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum .

It boasts one of the largest musical collections on the planet, so not only is it a worldwide marvel, but it’s also a distinctive hallmark of Nashville, Tennessee.

There’s a lot of fun stuff to do at the museum.

You can take in photos, plaques, musical instruments and memorabilia.

You can watch archived footage of famous performances and interviews.

You can take in a biographical film reel or explore interactive displays and exhibits on country music.

There are also some famous sites at the museum, including the historic RCA Studio B.

Everyone from Dolly Parton to Elvis Presley has recorded there, and you can take a tour of the studio like you’re the next artist in line.

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum if you’re putting together a list of vacation ideas for Nashville.

It offers such a fun and interesting experience that it should be at the top of the page!

Address:  222 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, United States

19. Bootleggers Inn

Bootleggers Inn

Bootleggers Inn

Tucked away near several other buildings in downtown Nashville, Bootleggers Inn is a quiet, dimly-lit bar that might not catch your eye right off the bat.

It isn’t painted purple or flashing with neon lights.

You might need to circle the block before you even find it.

Once you’re inside, however, Bootleggers Inn will offer an extremely atmospheric vibe that befits Nashville’s underground music scene.

Its wooden tables soak in low lighting from vintage chandeliers.

Its crowd is very casual, and its live music comes in the form of guitar strummers and indie crooners.

Another nice thing about Bootleggers Inn is that it’s one of the only places in Nashville that sells moonshine, so if you’ve always wanted to try the real deal from a Southern speakeasy, this is the place to do it.

Nashville is no stranger to bars and clubs, but if you’re looking for something in the top 10 of fun, boozy establishments around the city, stop by Bootleggers Inn.

It’s a must do when you’re in downtown Nashville.

Address:  207 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201, United States

20. Honeysuckle Hill Farm

Honeysuckle Hill Farm

Honeysuckle Hill Farm

Located a few miles north of Nashville, Honeysuckle Hill Farm is one of the best places to visit when you’re looking for clean, family-oriented entertainment.

People of all ages and genders can find something fun to do!

Toddlers can shriek with laughter when they take a hayride or feed an animal at the petting zoo.

Kids will enjoy running around the fun house, getting lost in the corn maze or picking out pumpkins for arts and crafts.

Adults will appreciate sweet but healthy refreshments like candied fruits and ciders.

If you’re contemplating what to do during a vacation to Nashville, Tennessee, consider Honeysuckle Hill Farm.

It’s one of our top vacation ideas for families, especially in the fall.

There’s nothing like bobbing for apples to put you in an autumn mood!

Address:  1765 Martins Chapel Church Rd, Springfield, TN 37172, United States

Doing a road trip around Tennessee? Why not check out some of the best things to do in Franklin ?

21. Nashville Shores

Nashville Shores

Nashville Shores

Laugh in the face of danger when you visit Nashville Shores .

Offering a waterpark and a treetop adventure course, it’ll provide hours of fun whether you’re soaring on top of the world or diving deep into underwater pools.

The waterpark uses more than one million gallons of water in slides, rivers, wave pools and splash pads.

The treetop adventure course offers everything from ziplines to rope ladders and cargo nets that stretch between canopies.

Something to note about Nashville Shores is that it isn’t open year-round.

If you’re headed to Tennessee during the off-season for tourist attractions, make sure to book your tickets for this weekend!

All things considered, however, Nashville Shores is a wonderful destination for family-friendly fun.

Whether you’re a fan of water slides or ziplines, it’s one of the best places to visit near the city of Nashville.

Pull some goggles over your eyes and have a blast!

Address:  4001 Bell Rd, Hermitage, TN 37076, United States

22. Sri Ganesha Temple

Sri Ganesha Temple

HiFi123 / flickr

You might not expect to see a Hindu temple in a place like Nashville, but the Sri Ganesha Temple is proof that multiculturalism is alive and well in the city.

With a beautiful temple that showcases everything from botanical gardens to bejeweled elephant statues, the Sri Ganesha Temple will dazzle you as soon as you walk through its doors.

Things only get more impressive on the inside; drums pound, disciples pray and homemade charms wave in the wind.

Visitors are encouraged to wander the grounds and learn more about the Hindu way of life.

A canteen will feed you if you’re hungry, and tour guides can explain the meanings of various shrines and statues.

If you go on a weekend, you might be able to sign up for a dance class or a dinner event.

The Sri Ganesha Temple is one of the best things to do in Nashville.

It’s a fascinating place that can teach a lot to open-minded visitors, and it’s worth a trip just to experience real Hindu culture in the heart of Tennessee.

Call and find out if they have anything fun planned for this weekend!

Address:  527 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209, United States

23. Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe

Johnny Cash museum

Konstantin L / Shutterstock

You can’t talk about country music without talking about Johnny Cash.

He’s an absolute legend in the industry, and if you don’t believe that fact before you walk into the Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe , you’ll believe it afterwards.

Photos, records and artifacts tell his story.

Listening stations have samples of his most famous songs and demos.

Priceless guitars are protected in glass cases underneath wall-to-wall posters.

When you’re done with the displays, a live band covers Johnny Cash songs in a cafe near the museum.

Souvenirs are available at the gift shop, including the chance to “take a picture with Johnny.”

You don’t have to be a fan to appreciate what the Man in Black has done for the music industry.

Even if you’re just looking for fun things to do in Nashville, you’ll want to make some time for the Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe.

Address:  119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201, United States

24. Printer’s Alley

Printers Alley

Bo Arrington / Shutterstock

Originally the home of newspaper stands and publishing companies, Printer’s Alley has transformed itself into a busy area for Nashville’s nightlife.

No one is quite sure how it happened, but it might’ve had something to do with the dark, gritty atmosphere of the alley or the way that many local restaurants smuggled in liquor during the Prohibition era.

Today, however, Printer’s Alley is home to all kinds of bars, clubs and burlesque joints.

Their lights glitter through the darkness and beckon people to come and visit.

No cars are allowed in the alley, so there’s always a crowd.

Printer’s Alley isn’t for everyone.

For example, you’ll want to leave the kids at the hotel before you venture into the thick smoke clouds that hover over the red bricks and flashing signs.

If you’re looking for jazzy places to see, however, Printer’s Alley is definitely near the top of the list of Nashville attractions!

Address: Between 3rd Ave N & 4th Ave N, An alley from Union St to Commerce St, Nashville, TN 37201, USA

25. Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Brian Wilson Photography / Shutterstock

A little-known fact about Nashville is that it celebrates all genres of music.

It isn’t limited to country and bluegrass.

This is why classical fans flock to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center .

Towering above downtown Nashville with white columns and ornate clerestory windows, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a pillar to the community.

It’s most famous for its violin concertos and string orchestras, but it also welcomes other types of performers.

It isn’t uncommon for the venue to host jazz shows, ventriloquists, drum lines, mariachi bands or Disney musicals.

Between its size and versatility, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is one of the best things to do in Nashville.

It doesn’t matter if you’re seeking a black-tie opera event or a fun night on the town with the kids.

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center can do it all.

Address:  1 Symphony Pl, Nashville, TN 37201, United States

26. Long Hunter State Park

Long Hunter State Park

KennStilger47 / Shutterstock

There are many parks and wilderness areas in Tennessee, but only some pay homage to the Native Americans that worked the land before the Europeans.

Long Hunter State Park is one of them.

Home to the annual NAIA Education Pow Wow, the park is known for the mounds and relics of its original Native American inhabitants, and the pow wow brings together thousands of people each year to celebrate that fact.

You can find all kinds of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and souvenirs when you visit.

Another nice thing about Long Hunter State Park is that it offers a full roster of activities even when special events aren’t being held.

You can hike, swim, boat, bike or camp among the nature sites.

It’s also one of the best places in Nashville to go fishing!

If you’re wondering what to do to “get away from it all” in the Nashville area, Long Hunter State Park is a great destination for relaxing and recharging.

Visit at the right time and you can even enjoy authentic Native American culture!

Address:  2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage, TN 37076, United States

27. Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation

legacy1995 / Shutterstock

If you’re interested in revival-style architecture, you’ll die and go to heaven at the Belle Meade Plantation .

It covers more than 30 acres and is filled with 18th and 19th century hallmarks, including cabins, stables, carriage houses, mausoleums and slave quarters.

You can tour the grounds at your leisure or stop at the visitor’s center for a more guided experience.

A winery is nearby if you want to take in the sights while sipping on a red.

Some of the plantation’s points of interest are fun, like the carriage house that stored everything from plain picnicking carriages to elaborate Victorian carriages meant for showing off within the city.

Other points of interest are uncomfortable but necessary, like the educational exhibits on the slaves that built the estate from the ground up.

The Belle Meade Plantation is located a few miles south of Nashville in the city of Belle Meade, so you’ll need to take a short road trip to reach it.

However, if you’re willing to explore attractions near Nashville and not just within it, the plantation is a wonderful place to go!

Address:  5025 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205, United States

28. Timothy Demonbreun House

Timothy Demonbreun House

Timothy Demonbreun House

If you’re hankering for grits and gravy, the Timothy Demonbreun House is one of the best bed-and-breakfast joints in Nashville.

It offers soft, comfortable rooms in a vintage-style mansion, and its menu is filled with all of the Southern cuisines that you can eat!

Romantics, you should also know that the Timothy Demonbreun House is renowned as a wedding and honeymoon destination in Nashville.

It sits on beautiful, picturesque fields of vibrant green grass, and the white neoclassic mansion is a favorite backdrop for engagement photos.

Another fun fact about the Timothy Demonbreun House is that it’s named for Timothy Demonbreun, the so-called “first resident” of Tennessee who lived in a cave on the river.

His great-great-great grandson was tickled by the story and decided to name the business after his most famous ancestor.

Don’t worry, however; you won’t have to sleep in any caves as a visitor!

Book a room at the Timothy Demonbreun House if you’re looking for nice places to visit in the greater Nashville area.

Do it soon; do it this weekend.

It’s a popular destination, especially when love is in the air, so the suites fill up fast!

Address:  746 Benton Ave, Nashville, TN 37204, United States

29. Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Jeremy Christensen / Shutterstock

The Shelby Bottoms Greenway is one of the best places for nature lovers in Nashville, Tennessee.

It boasts forests, swamps, streams, fields and wetlands, so there’s something beautiful to see during every season.

It’s also home to more than five miles of paved trails, so you can enjoy the sights on foot or with a bike or skateboard.

Do you like a challenge?

Shelby Bottoms Greenway has a golden pheasant that scurries around the marshes at certain times of the year.

It’s something of a hobby among naturalists in Nashville to try and spot him before he disappears.

Do you want to slow down and just enjoy yourself in nature?

Spread out a picnic blanket by the river.

No motorized vehicles are allowed in the park, so nothing will disturb your peace and quiet.

Tennessee has some of the most gorgeous scenery in the South, so make sure to visit the Shelby Bottoms Greenway when you’re in Nashville.

It isn’t the only place to stop and smell the roses, but it’s one of the best.

It’s worth a day trip to experience it all.

Address: 1900 Davidson St., Nashville, TN 37206, USA

30. Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant

Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant

Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant

Housed in a blocky building straight out of the 1950s, Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant is one of the oddest Nashville attractions that you’ll ever visit.

On one hand, it’s a grocery store where you can stock up on the essentials.

On the other hand, it’s a restaurant where you can order plate lunches and ice-cold pitchers of beer.

On the other other hand, it’s a music hall where you can enjoy live performances from local rock and country bands.

Despite its identity crisis, however, Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant is a hot destination in Nashville.

People come from all over to enjoy its barbecue platters and music shows.

If you’re wondering what to do in the Nashville area on a Friday night, this is a location to consider.

Stop by Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant if you’re looking for the best, most memorable things to do in Nashville.

None of your friends will even believe that you ate dinner and watched a concert in a grocery store.

You’ll have to take pictures to prove it!

Address:  500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Nashville

These are just a few of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.

Whether you’re interested in high-energy concerts or low-key nature retreats, this city has it all.

Happy travels!

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30 Best Things to Do in Nashville, From Civil Rights Exhibits to Live Music

Locals weigh in on how to explore this energetic capital city.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

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If Nashville holds a spot on your must-visit list, you’re not alone — in 2022, more than 14 million people made their way to Music City to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the cultural hub (and yes, that number includes bachelorette parties ). While Nashville’s reputation as a country music destination precedes itself, there’s more to Tennessee’s capital than the honky tonks on Broadway, the Grand Ole Opry, and The Bluebird Cafe (although travelers should make a point to visit all three). It’s home to top-tier museums, sprawling green spaces, historical markers, and no shortage of places to eat or grab a drink. “The quality of the food and restaurant scene has really exploded over the past 10 years,” says Meredith DiMenna, director of programming for Hutton Hotel and its live music venue, Analog . No matter where you choose to dine in Nashville, your itinerary must include two things: hot chicken and a meal at a meat-and-three (more on that later). “ Prince’s is my go-to for hot chicken, while Puckett’s always impresses with their meat-and-three,” says chef Maneet Chauhan, who owns three restaurants in Nashville: Chauhan Ale & Masala House , Tansuo , and The Mockingbird .  

Famous music sights and non-negotiable Southern dishes will quickly fill up your days and nights over a long weekend getaway, but there’s so much more to discover within the metro area. To help narrow down the list of the best things to do in Nashville, we tapped a few residents, DiMenna and Chauhan included, to share what’s on their “must-do” agenda for anyone spending time in Tennessee’s largest city.  Related : 5 Best Hotels in Nashville

Listen to live music at Robert’s Western World.

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If you can only fit in one stop along Nashville’s famed Honky Tonk Highway, make sure it’s Robert’s Western World . “You can’t beat the traditional country music every night there,” says Stephen Rose, founder of The Peach Truck . If you’re feeling a bit peckish, order a fried bologna sandwich to go with your cold beer.

Have a meal at a meat-and-three.

This Southern food concept is straightforward: Pick your meat and your three sides. “[Meat-and-threes] used to be pretty much the only food in Nashville, before it became the food Mecca it is today. There are so many good places that offer this, [but] I’m partial to Martin’s BBQ ,” says DiMenna.

Snap a photo in front of a mural.

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You’ve probably seen one of Nashville’s many murals on Instagram, but nothing compares to seeing them in real life. Get a picture with artist Kim Radford’s Dolly Parton in East Nashville, or line up in front of the black-and-white “Nashville Looks Good on You” mural in 12South. No matter which neighborhoods you visit, you’ll probably run into one of the city’s many large-scale creations.

Get tickets for a show at The Bluebird Cafe.

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You never know who will stop by The Bluebird Cafe to play a few songs — Maren Morris, LeAnn Rimes, and Taylor Swift among them. The listening room only has 90 seats, so it’s an intimate and special experience for both the performers and the audience. “It’s such a great spot for a date night, girls’ night, etc., and you could be watching the next biggest country music superstar,” says chef Chauhan.

Tour the Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library.

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The Civil Rights Movement in Nashville, which took place during the 1950s and 60s, is well documented inside the Nashville Public Library. Powerful photographs showcase the work and events that eventually led to desegregation, and there’s also a symbolic lunch counter, where you can read the Ten Rules of Conduct carried by the protesters during the sit-ins.

Walk around one of Nashville’s many public parks.

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In between meals, you may want to get your steps in, and there are myriad ways to do so. “When visiting, you must walk across the [John Seigenthaler] Pedestrian Bridge, and check out Nashville’s selection of public parks,” says DiMenna. Centennial Park and Bicentennial Park are two of the more well-known spots, but there’s also Shelby Park, Percy Warner Park, and Cumberland Park. “It’s easy to forget that there is a lot of nature in Nashville, and if the weather is right — don’t try this when it’s super hot — you can get the feeling of being on a true nature walk while you’re still within city limits,” she adds.

Snack on a donut from Five Daughters Bakery.

Courtesy of Five Daughters Bakery

If you have a sweet tooth, schedule a trip to Five Daughters Bakery . There are several locations around Nashville, but the 12South store might be the most picturesque. Once you’ve acquired a donut or two, you can take an Instagram-worthy photo in front of the iconic “I Heart Donuts” mural.

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

To truly understand Nashville and its role in music over the years, you must visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and its extensive collections. “In a stroll through the galleries, [you will] experience everything from Thomas Heart Benton’s The Sources of Country Music painting and Elvis Presley’s 1960 Gold Cadillac to the American Currents: The State of the Music exhibit, which takes a broad look at the genre’s contributions to art and life across the last year,” explains Lisa Purcell, executive vice president of external affairs for the museum.

Get a taste of hot chicken.

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Have a cold glass of sweet tea on standby when dining on hot chicken, especially if you’re sensitive to a bit of heat. “Hot chicken is obviously a must in Nashville, and my go-to is Bolton’s in East Nashville. You can’t ever have a bad experience there,” says Rose.

Shop around 12South.

Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

One of the more walkable areas in Nashville, the 12South neighborhood is filled with coffee shops, bakeries, and boutique stores. Imogene + Willie is known for denim pieces, and White’s Mercantile, owned by Holly Williams, is billed as a “general store for the modern tastemaker.”

Pick up local produce at a Nashville farmers’ market.

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If you want to experience Nashville as the locals do, head to one of its many farmers’ markets. “I recommend 12 South Farmers Market in beautiful Sevier Park on Tuesday nights and Richland Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings,” says chef Tony Mantuano, who, along with his wife Cathy, guides the food and beverage program at The Joseph , a Luxury Collection Hotel.

See a show at the Grand Ole Opry.

Self-described as the “home of country music,” the weekly live country music radio broadcast has been around since 1925. From 1974 on, it’s been housed in the Opry House, where acts ranging from up-and-comers to big names play multiple nights a week. If you want backstage access before the show, be sure to book a tour in advance.

Book a stay at one of Nashville’s best hotels.

A tourist destination as large as Nashville must meet demand with a variety of accommodation options. Choose from luxurious newcomers like Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Nashville and Conrad Nashville , or veer more toward boutique hotels — Graduate Nashville , Hutton Hotel, Bobby Hotel , and Urban Cowboy are all great choices. The latter, according to Rose, is also ideal for pizza and cocktails. “The vibe is always super on point, with the location housed in a gorgeous mansion in East Nashville,” he adds.

Bowl a few games at Pinewood Social.

A night out in Nashville doesn’t have to include fighting the crowds along Broadway. Instead, you can opt for dinner, drinks, and bowling at Pinewood Social . The six lanes made of reclaimed wood are open seven days a week, and ball and shoe rentals are included.

Buy a pair of cowboy boots.

When in Nashville, right? There are several places to purchase your own pair of boots, including Boot Country , Nashville Boot Co. , and Betty Boots . If you want an extra-luxe experience, custom boot fittings are offered in the VIP loft at Lucchese . “Guests of The Joseph have unique access to schedule a custom fitting at the Lucchese store in The Gulch. Guided by their experts, [you] choose [the] style, materials, shape — everything from toe to heel,” says chef Mantuano.

Pose in front of The Parthenon.

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Photo ops are widely available in Nashville, but The Parthenon might be one of the more impressive ones. “The Parthenon in Centennial Park is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, and it's so unique and stunning to see,” says chef Chauhan.

Get your biscuit fix at The Loveless Cafe.

Courtesy of Loveless Cafe

Biscuits are par for the course in the South, so you can’t leave Nashville without having one or two for breakfast. The Loveless Cafe has been serving its famous biscuits to Nashvillians and visitors since 1951; try them with country ham, fruit preserves, or the red-eye gravy.

Explore the National Museum of African American Music.

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) opened in early 2021, preserving and celebrating the Black music experience across genres. Interactive technology lives alongside artifacts, memorabilia, and clothing to create six engaging exhibits that highlight the history of hip-hop, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, spirituals, and more. “This is the newest edition to the music museums, and it is absolutely incredible. You can spend hours in here if you’re a music fan,” says DiMenna.

Make a souvenir at Hatch Show Print.

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Part of the Country Music Hall of Fall and Museum, Hatch Show Print has been creating designs and show posters with its vintage type and hand-carved imagery since 1879. Visitors can stop by to learn more about the letterpress print and design shop or they can opt to make something themselves. “Advance book your slot in hands-on workshops, called Block Parties, which invite participants to use some of Nashville’s most recognized imagery to make Hatch Show Prints of their own,” says Purcell.

Swing by the Nashville Zoo.

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“The Nashville Zoo is a great place to visit for the day, [and it's] enjoyed by both adults and children,” says chef Chauhan. The expansive zoo has more than 3,000 animals and hosts programming that includes overnight camping experiences, classes, and more.

Karaoke at Santa’s Pub.

For more than a decade, Santa’s Pub has been welcoming guests 21 and over for cold beer and karaoke. Like many things in Nashville, it’s something you have to see to believe. “Sunday night at Santa’s Pub. Just trust me,” says Rose.

Stroll around Lower Broad in the evening.

The Lower Broad section of the Broadway Historic District has a variety of sights and sounds to experience. Along with Robert’s Western World, you’ll find Tootsies Orchid Lounge , Legends Corner , and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row . “It captures the pulse of the city, and you get to see and hear so many amazingly talented musicians,” says chef Chauhan.

Go for a hike at Radnor Lake.

“Radnor Lake is a thing of beauty — our family loves to enjoy great hikes, beautiful scenery, wildlife, and more here, and it’s only minutes away from downtown Nashville,” says Rose. The state park boasts over 1,300 acres of nature preserve, and the Lake Trail is accessible for those with all-terrain wheelchairs.

See a performance at Ryman Auditorium.

Chef Mantuano says that seeing a show at the Ryman is a “truly religious experience.” Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Ryman has more than 2,300 seats and has hosted acts like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Lizzo, and Harry Styles over the last 130 years. To immerse yourself in this landmark’s history, take a tour (either guided or self-guided) through the venue.

Spend a day at Cheekwood.

Depending on the season and the weather, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is the perfect place to explore with the whole family. The 1930s estate includes a 30,000-square-foot mansion and 55 acres of gardens. Visitors can purchase tickets to access the botanical garden, arboretum, and museum, and there’s also a 1.5-mile woodland trail with outdoor sculptures.

Attend CMA Fest.

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“ CMA Fest , which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023, is the largest and longest-running country music festival in the world,” says Purcell. Recent performers have included Darius Rucker, Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, and BRELAND. The 2024 festival will be held June 6 through June 9.

Catch one of the rotating exhibits at the Frist Art Museum.

Housed in a building that formerly served as the city’s main post office, the Frist Art Museum has no permanent collection, and its mission is to “inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways.” “This is a really approachable yet super high-quality museum. They do a great job of mixing internationally known selections with local artists,” says DiMenna.

Learn about Nashville’s recording history at RCA Studio B.

RCA Studio B , described by Purcell as a “time capsule and working studio,” is a Nashville music staple, known for its role in making Nashville the recording center it is today. A guided tour allows you to see where the “Nashville Sound” came to be, and where country and pop stars like Dolly Parton, Charlie Pride, Waylon Jennings, and Elvis once recorded some of music’s most iconic songs.

Browse the Fisk University Galleries.

Travelers interested in American art and American history should make a point to visit Fisk University, Nashville’s historically Black university. The Fisk University Galleries — including the Carl Van Vechten Gallery and the Aaron Douglas Gallery — showcase pieces by Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, and Diego Rivera, among other artists.

Hear the Nashville Symphony.

Music comes in all forms in Nashville. If your tastes lean more classical than country, listening to the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center may be more up your alley. “The building is an architectural gem with incredible acoustics, and the musicians are among the world’s best,” says chef Mantuano.

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The 15 Best Things to Do in Nashville

By Margaret Littman

The 15 Best Things to Do in Nashville From Backstage Tours to Art Museums

Music City is a quirky place: It's a big place with a small-town feel—a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, if you will. That makes for an all-encompassing list of things to do in Nashville. The music scene here obviously draws both travelers and aspiring song writers alike, and Honky Tonk Row beckons with ‘round the clock live shows and cheap beer in plastic cups. But don’t forget to venture off of Broadway—way off Broadway. Look around and you'll find a burgeoning art community, eclectic indie boutiques, and a food scene that has grown immensely from its local Southern roots and into one of America's most exciting dining destinations. Tick as many of these places as you can off your list if you want to feel the real heart and soul of this city: These are the best things to do in Nashville on your next visit.

Click the link to read our complete Nashville city guide .

Hatch Show Print Shop Nashville

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Part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hatch Show Print has been churning out show posters for some of Nashville’s biggest venues and most celebrated artists for more than 140 years. The shop still prints more than 500 posters per year, but visitors can also snatch up a token of Nashville history in the form of replica vintage posters like the one founder William Hatch made for the Grand Ole Opry in 1941. It's not just a place to pick up souvenirs, though. Temporary exhibitions and displays of archival posters are in rotation, and real letterpress geeks can sign up for tours and workshops. Ultimately, the crowd is pretty touristy, but there are plenty of locals who have a piece of Hatch history in their homes.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

National Museum of African American Music Arrow

NMAAM covers the whole of the Black music experience. The collection, which includes audio and video files, costumes, posters, instruments, photographs and more, is organized by genre and chronology. The material is designed to be interactive, and visitors can see where musicians got their influences and then who influenced them. The museum goes in-depth, covering both well-known performers and those whose names are otherwise lost to history. The entire collection is permanent, but because so much of it is how you interact with it—do you try to record your own song, listen to different artists—it never feels like the same place twice. And as the cornerstone of the mammoth Fifth + Broadway complex (a destination in and of itself with restaurants, live music venues, and shops), it still never feels crowded thanks to timed ticketing. 

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Arnold's Country Kitchen Arrow

Yes, Arnold's Country Kitchen is essentially a glorified cafeteria—albeit, one with a James Beard Classic award ( one of two in the city ). Expansions have somewhat shortened the long lines, but because everyone in town, from musicians to politicians to tourists, eats here, expect to wait for the Southern-style "meat ‘n’ three." For decades, Arnold's was only open for weekday lunch, but it now has dinner hours (the popular Arnold’s After Dark), weekend hours, and even a new bar. Whether you're a born-and-bred Tennessean or a Southern-food novice, the meat ‘n’ three is a rite of passage.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts  a modern art museum Nashville Tennessee USA

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Nashville had a dearth of art museums, but the Frist—which opened in 2001 in a stately Art Deco building that was once the city's main post office—helped fill that void. The art museum has no permanent collection, so you never know what will be on view—and that's why locals love it. The exhibits run the gamut, from vintage automobiles to Japanese art to relics from the Houghton Hall country estate in England . Each one is thoughtfully laid out in a well-illuminated gallery space and there's also a free music show, Music at the Frist, about once a month.

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RCA Studio B Nashville

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Everyone from Elvis Presley to Roy Orbison and Carrie Underwood have laid down tracks at this historic recording studio, now a museum operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame. The only way to visit Studio B is on a guided tour, hosted hourly from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It's a tourist hotspot though, so don't be surprised to see some Elvis diehards who drove over from Graceland in Memphis. It's a whirlwind glimpse of Nashville's music scene , and you'll be sure to leave feeling that Music City magic.

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The Station Inn isn't just Nashville's best bluegrass club; rather, it's the country's best. If you want to hear fast pickin', down-home excitement every night, played by many of the genre’s best musicians, high-tail it here. The drinks are cheap, and the cinder-block building might not gleam like its high-rise neighbors, but everything about the Station Inn is true-blue Music City. You never know who will show up for the Sunday Bluegrass jam, but you do know it’ll be a night to remember. Come and explore the Nashville music scene beyond the honky tonks.

Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library Nashville

Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library Arrow

Tucked away on the second floor of the main downtown public library, the Civil Rights Room honors Nashville's role in a seminal period of American history. The collection here includes photographs of school desegregation, sit-ins, and marches. A circular table is symbolic of the lunch counters where  college students sat, peacefully protested, and demanded change. The table is engraved with the 10 rules of conduct set out for sit-in participants. The centerpiece of the room is a glass inscription by Martin Luther King, Jr., who visited the city in 1960. Across the hall, you’ll find the  Votes for Women room, a similar tribute to Tennessee’s role in the passage of the 19 th amendment. Browse hear to see propaganda, posters and photos from the divisive time in America’s history a century ago. 

robert's western world bar music venue exterior

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Lower Broadway is lined with honky tonks, all-day and all-night watering holes, and dance halls that make Nashville Music City. While some have expanded into bachelorette -pleasing cover bands and rock sing-a-longs, Robert’s Western World has remained a legit place to hear Western swing from the best musicians in the city. Come here to kick up your heels, drink PBR, eat a fried bologna sandwich, and have a good time. It’s perfectly acceptable to wander from stage to stage (Layla’s Honky Tonk, the only woman-owned bar on Lower Broad, is another good choice.) As is the case at all honky tonks, don't forget to tip—both your server and the band.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Jefferson Street Sound Museum Arrow

A small house-turned-museum on one of Nashville’s most historic streets, the Jefferson Street Sound Museum sort of looks and feels like you're in someone’s house with their chock-full music collection… because it sort of is. Lorenzo Washington took over the former home and converted two stories into a museum with exhibits based largely around his own collection of artifacts. This museum is oft-overlooked by visitors to Nashville, perhaps because it's small and it is only open one day a week (otherwise, you can come by appointment). But just walking in the front door makes you feel like an insider privy to the secrets of Jefferson Street’s musical legacy.  Much of the signage is handwritten, and going through with Washington as guide is really the only way to understand what’s what. Items on display include many, many autographed photos, instruments, costumes, sheet music, and playbills. The emphasis is on Nashville’s Black music scene from 1940 to 1970, from Jimi Hendrix to Marion James.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Backstage Nashville at 3rd & Lindsley Arrow

Like many time-loved Nashville venues, 3rd & Lindsley is nondescript. From the outside it looks like the DMV, and inside it's basic square tables and ladder-back chairs. All the lighting and sound mechanics are unhidden, but it has good sound and a stage visible from almost any spot on both floors of the bar—and that’s what matters here. If you want to understand Nashville's music, Backstage Nashville's focus on the singer-songwriter is the place to do it.  The weekly event takes place from 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Kids of all ages are welcome, and it's the perfect place to expose them to Nashville music without all the age inappropriateness of Lower Broad.

Lane Motor Museum Nashville

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This is not your normal museum . The idea behind the private Lane Motor Museum is to display vehicles from Europe, Asia, and North and South America from the 1920s to present day. Every vehicle is in working order and there are more than 150 cars, motorcycles, even some amphibious vehicles. Even if you've been before, you might want to return. The collection rotates; you can see something today that wasn’t shown last week. Labels explain each car's significance, and visitors can peer into the garages where the museum's ongoing restoration efforts take place. 

Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery on the grounds of Fisk University in Nashville TN

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The Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University, the historically Black university on the city’s north side, has a world-class collection of art that once belonged to photographer and art promoter Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz’s wife, Georgia O’Keeffe, donated a portion of this collection to Fisk on his death. Fisk and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, now take turns exhibiting the collection in its entirety, with it moving back and forth every two years. It is amazing to think about the foresight Stieglitz had when he compiled this collection, with works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Diego Rivera, Arthur Dove, Gino Severini, and Charles Demuth. When the collection is at Crystal Bridges, though, it's still worth visiting the Van Vechten to see exhibits like its impressive Harlem Renaissance collection.

Grand Ole Opry Nashvill Music Venue Interior Darius Rucker

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Chances are, you've heard of The Grand Ole Opry, and with good reason. The historic live broadcast changed locations a few times and moved to its current location—and first dedicated space—at the Opry House in 1974, after more than 30 years as a resident of the Ryman Auditorium . Famously, it has no bad seats, balcony, or floor. The biggest names in country music headline and even make surprise appearances here regularly, but it's still open to fresh up-and-coming talent. To get the full depth and breadth of the Opry experience, book one of the backstage tours before you see a show. They’re chockful of facts and artifacts.

Plaza Mariachi Music City Nashville 2020

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Every day is different at Plaza Mariachi, a buzzing gathering place that had a former life as a Kroger grocery store. It's a bit different than some of Nashville's music venues . Mariachi bands and DJ shows are a sure bet, often accompanied by silk dancers. But you may also catch salsa dancing classes, mariachis playing Rocky Top, big-name Latinx stars, guitarists, kids’ shows, and more. The shows are always hopping, so you don't need to seek a specific one. Just come because you have some free time and you're looking for good energy and live music.

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Even more than hot chicken, Nashville is known for the meat-and-three–a cafeteria-style diner where you order one meat and three sides. And for more than 70 years Silver Sands has been a Nashville meat-and-three soul food institution. It is nothin’ fancy inside or out, and that utilitarian time-loved ambiance fits the place. The food, made daily by Sophia Vaughn, changes based on the day of the week; meatloaf on Wednesdays and barbecue chicken on Thursdays, for example, and each day includes several lunch options. At breakfast, biscuit sandwiches are built to order, as are pancakes, bacon and other classics. While the word is out among visitors who travel for good food, the majority of customers lining up for breakfast and lunch are locals. The wait can be long, but the vibe is convivial and you'll get to know your neighbors. Nothing here is fancily plated or garnished—it's just classic, delicious eats.

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15 essential Nashville experiences

Bailey Freeman

Apr 14, 2023 • 7 min read

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville’s skyline is home to a number of spectacular rooftop bars delivering 360-degree views of the city © Nina Dietzel / Getty Images

Nashville may be best known as the home of country music, but this dynamic city contains multitudes – you can catch up-and-coming talent on intimate stages, eat at some of the South’s best restaurants or hike through gorgeous wetlands bursting with wildlife. 

Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Nashville .

Interior of legendary Ryman Auditorium, seen from the back of the balcony looking out over rows of wooden seats and the stage

1. Make a pilgrimage to the Mother Church of Country Music

The Ryman Auditorium is Nashville’s premier music venue – this historic stage was the original home of the Grand Ole' Opry and where superstars like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash jump-started their careers. Today it continues to welcome an impressive roster of country royalty, indie artists and internationally renowned speakers to its hallowed halls.

2. Discover Nashville rock ‘n’ roll at Basement East

Nashville may be known for its country scene, but Music City rocks hard. If you’re more into electric guitars than banjos, head to the Basement East . This local venue survived an encounter with a 2020 tornado and continues to churn out high-energy shows ranging from national touring acts to local cover bands. And if you’re lucky, one of Nashville’s rock elite just may make a surprise guest appearance.

3. Explore the artsy neighborhood of Wedgewood-Houston

This former industrial area is experiencing a major boom, but luckily it’s managed to hold on to some of the quirkiness that originally made it a haven for Nashville’s local art scene.

Edgy galleries like Zeitgeist and the Packing Plant commingle with unique bars – Diskin Cider ,  Flamingo Cocktail Club and Never Never , to name a few – and a growing number of delicious restaurants. Stop by on the first Saturday of every month for the neighborhood’s buzzy art crawl . 

Detour: Just because Nashville loves its down-home cooking doesn’t mean it doesn’t appreciate inventive high-end food, and the kitchen at Bastion delivers one of the best chef-curated tasting menus in the city.

4. Catch an MLS game at the new Geodis Park

Nashville’s newly minted Major League Soccer team has shown that this southern city embraces all versions of football. Locals show up en masse to cheer on the Coyotes at the sparkling new Geodis Park ; come decked out in team colors and revel in a spirited night of soccer alongside a raucous crowd. 

Inside a museum exhibit dedicated to Black music history

5. Learn about music history at the National Museum of African American Music

Black music has been – and continues to be – the driving force behind the American music scene at large, and this expertly curated museum takes you through the history of these contributions, from jazz and blues to today’s rock and hip-hop scenes. Expect a hands-on approach – you can record yourself singing with a gospel choir, compose your own blues ballad or even participate in a virtual dance battle.

6. Go for a float on the Harpeth River

Nashville is a river city crisscrossed by large water thoroughfares and a circulatory system of smaller rivers and creeks. You can find some relief from the southern heat by paddling your way down the Harpeth River, an easygoing waterway perfect for lazy floats in the sun. If you’ve got your own boat, you can access the river at several different locations in and around Harpeth River State Park ; if you need to rent a vessel, try booking with Foggy Bottom Canoe or Canoe Music City .

Planning tip: Always check the forecast for the day before your outing – heavy rains can make the water levels rise to dangerous levels. Follow Foggy Bottom or Canoe Music City on social media for updates on weather-related closures.

People waiting in line to get into the famous Bluebird Cafe musical club at night

7. Listen to the next big thing at the Bluebird’s famous songwriter rounds

Even before the show Nashville made it a household name, the Bluebird Cafe has been a legendary locale for singer-songwriter rounds featuring the best of the best – Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban all graced this stage before they hit it big. It’s all about the listening experience at this bar-restaurant, which puts audiences up close with both rising and established talent. 

Planning tip: The Bluebird’s storied status makes it a hot ticket – always book ahead.

Kids walking on a hiking trail in the forest as the sun shines through the trees

8. Take a hike at one of Nashville’s green spaces 

Nashville may be an urban metropolis, but it’s also a place that values its green spaces . Head to Percy and Edwin Warner Parks to clock some miles on trails that feel far more remote than you’d think, or walk the extensive greenway at Shelby Bottoms , alongside East Nashville families. If you’re a wildlife fan, don’t skip Radnor Lake State Park , a striking nature reserve home to critters like barred owls, bald eagles, beavers, turtles and wild turkeys. 

Planning tip: Outdoor Nashville is so much fun to explore, but be careful during the hot months of July and August – temperatures and humidity levels soar and can be dangerous . Always bring water with you.

9. Learn to salsa dance at Plaza Mariachi

Managed by the Hispanic Family Foundation, this cultural center /music venue/food hall hosts everything from mariachi concerts to ballet folkórico performances to thumping DJ sets, but our favorite is the Bailamos party. Come early to learn salsa, bachata and merengue, and then test out your new skills on the dance floor the rest of the night.

Detour: Nashville is home to the country’s largest Kurdish community, and just across the street from Plaza Mariachi you’ll find  Edessa Restaurant  serving Kurdish and Turkish cuisine. Order the kabob festival for an indulgent culinary journey you won’t soon forget. 

10. Admire exhibitions at Nashville’s art deco treasure, the Frist Art Museum

At the center of Nashville’s thriving art scene sits the Frist Art Museum , a stunning space featuring rotating art exhibitions that range from exuberant contemporary installations to mid-century Italian concept cars to illustrated medieval textbooks. Housed in an art deco–era post office, this museum also hosts art workshops, live music events, lectures series and more.

11. Support local at Honeytree Meadery

Local businesses are Nashville’s beating heart, and the network of friendly folks working at and with Honeytree Meadery exemplify the camaraderie that can be found among business owners here. Their perfectly balanced mead is made with honey from East Nashville beekeepers; a favorite is the Flower Garden, a floral take on the old classic made with tea from local herbal experts High Garden , who lost their building across the street during the 2020 tornado.

If you’re hungry, snag a delectable creation from Alebrije truck parked out front, specializing in Mexico-City-style tacos made with heirloom corn tortillas.  

12. Test your taste buds at Prince’s Hot Chicken

Nashville hot chicken is an institution, and it all started with Prince’s , the city’s original hot-chicken shop. Still run by the great-niece of the founder, Prince’s brings the heat. Go easy with mild spice or give it all you’ve got with XXX hot – either way, you’ll be indulging in a quintessentially Nashville experience.

13. Join a dance party at the Blue Room

Part of Third Man Records' headquarters – owned by Nashville’s most eccentric frontman, Jack White of the White Stripes and the Raconteurs – the Blue Room is a surreal art space/bar that hosts poetry readings, theater performances, film screenings and curated dance parties. It also features a cool “infinity wall,” a giant (fake) elephant head and a lush outdoor space, making an atmospheric setting for a night out.

Detour: Just around the corner from Third Man and the Blue Room is Tennessee Brew Works , one of the few local breweries that has truly nailed the art of having both excellent beer and excellent food. Open mics and live music also hit the small stage throughout the week – we love Bluegrass Wednesdays.

14. Watch the sunset from a downtown rooftop

Nashville’s ever-growing skyline is home to a number of spectacular rooftop bars delivering 360-degree views of Music City, each one with its own distinct personality. Channel your inner rockstar at the Bobby Hotel rooftop lounge, check out the latest themed pop-up at the Fairlane or swim in the infinity pool of the L27 Rooftop Lounge .

Detour: Nashville has bars in the sky – and bars down below. Seek out the Noelle’s Hidden Bar for a magical treat.

15. Tour the famous RCA Studio B

Now a branch of the Country Music Hall of Fame , RCA Studio B is a must-see for anyone interested in Nashville’s music history – you can tour the birthplace of what became known as the Nashville Sound, a particular recording style that highlighted background vocals and string instruments. Industry titans like Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley recorded some of their biggest hits here. 

This article was first published June 2021 and updated April 2023

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21 Best Things To Do In Nashville, Tennessee (2023 Guide)

Wondering what activities and attractions you can’t miss in the Music City? Our guide to the best things to do in Nashville is just what you need!

Thanks to great weather and famous nightlife, Nashville, Tennessee is a year-round destination.

It’s an exciting place to be morning, afternoon, or night. How many cities can boast the same quality live music at 10 am versus 10 pm?

Of course, much of your time in the Tennessee State Capitol will revolve around music.

But if you give yourself enough time, you’ll be able to discover a well-rounded city.

Nashville’s culinary scene will rock your socks off.

Its beautiful parks make for a relaxing balance and the handful of historic buildings and neighborhoods help show life in Nashville beyond the bright lights of Broadway.

Let’s get rockin!

Table of Contents

1) Downtown Nashville

2) the grand ole opry house, 3) centennial park, 4) the cumberland river, 5) the country music hall of fame, 6) johnny cash museum, 7) distillery tour, 8) the ryman auditorium, 9) the bluebird cafe, 10) explore east nashville, 11) music row, 12) nashville farmers market, 13) the tennessee state museum, 14) frist art museum, 15) radnor lake state park, 16) the adventure science center, 17) the nashville zoo, 18) the hermitage, 19) belle meade plantation, 20) gaylord opryland resort, 21) printer’s alley, best hostel in nashville, best mid-range hotel in nashville, best luxury hotel in nashville, the 21 best things to do in nashville.

The Music City can be a place to let your hair down and boogie to six-string guitars.

But it also has plenty to offer when you want to rest up your dancing legs.

Nashville’s rise to an international destination is on the back of its famous Broadway.

Otherwise known as the Honky Tonk Highway, this is downtown Nashville’s main thoroughfare and is lined with pubs, clubs, and bars, filled with amazing musicians and adoring crowds.

It’s a scene you’d expect to find cover charges. Such is the quality of the live music performances. Yet each door opens early and closes late, never charging you a single dollar to listen to some of the best up-and-coming musicians in the country.

It’s not just country music you’ll find either. Intimate acoustic sets, DJs, and classic rock are found readily along the  highway. 

Beyond the tunes of six-string guitars, you’ll have some of the city’s best restaurants serving mouthwatering Southern fare (hello, chicken and waffles) not to mention shops to pick up some cowboy boots, the Opry, and the Cumberland River.

Broadway Nashville

Before the rowdy madness of Broadway put Nashville on the tourist trail, the Grand Old Opry House put the Tennessee city on the radar of music lovers across the United States.

The now world-famous Opry is a live music venue but also the home of America’s longest-running radio show. The venue is often called the Church of Country Music, and visitors from across the globe make the pilgrimage.

The Grand Ole Opry first opened in 1925 and today it’s the dream of musicians to be invited (yes, invited) to play on the hallowed stage. In Nashville, playing here is the definition of “making it”.

If you aren’t up for a show, you can tour backstage , and retrace the footsteps of America’s biggest stars. Explore the stage, the green room and hear some unforgettable tales.

Heading east? Check out this list of the best things to do in Asheville, North Carolina

After a night out on the Honky Tonk Highway, it’s time to kick back and relax at Nashville’s Centennial Park.

The beautiful urban oasis is a quick bike ride from the boisterous street and provides the perfect place to experience some peace and quiet.

The wide-open lawns attract locals and travelers alike in great numbers. It’s a vibrant place to be, yet the shade under the old oak trees and space on offer means it’s easy to find your own patch of tranquility.

As you enjoy the scenes or tuck into a good book, you’ll notice a rather recognizable building. This is the Parthenon. No, not that one. But an exact replica of the Athens’ equivalent and was built in 1897.

Now it functions as an art museum and is an intriguing centerpiece of the wonderful park.

For all the chaotic good along the Honky Tonk Highway, it can be easy to overlook the natural splendor just feet away. At the end of Broadway, you’ll find the Cumberland River coursing through the city on its way to connect with the Ohio River.

You can enjoy the river from various points in downtown Nashville, including from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, our tip for the best sunset spot in Nashville.

But since Nashville is all about the revelry, why not get out on the water and bring the fun of Broadway on this  pontoon party cruise ?

On the other side of the river is Cumberland Park. Like Centennial Park, this is a popular place to gather with friends and family, but this time you’ll have wonderful views of the Nashville skyline.

Life in Nashville isn’t all dancing and sing-alongs, after all for many, music is serious business. In the center of downtown Nashville, you’ll find the Country Music Hall of Fame where legends are immortalized and never to be forgotten.

From the outset, you’ll admire the building’s unique architecture, whose towering windows are just like piano keys.

After learning about some of the world’s top country musicians, explore the museum’s true highlights, exhibits, and memorabilia.

Visitors can live out their dreams and step onto a replica of a real tour bus and even record their own song. The Hall of Fame also features Elvis’ Cadillac, epic concerts from the past, and costumes worn by your favorite artists.

  • Address:  222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Hours:  9 am – 5 pm (Mon-Sun)
  • Price: $ 24.95

Book your ticket online in advance on Get Your Guide

Country Music Hall Of Fame

The notorious Johnny Cash led a wild life. His rise to stardom is showcased by the range of artifacts on display at the remarkable Johnny Cash Museum.

Although small, you get a great feel for the “Man in Black” and the method behind the madness in this museum .

Throughout his historic career, Cash recorded over 1,500 songs. Some of his handwritten lyrics are on display, including  I Walk the Line  and  Folsom Prison Blues,  two of his most iconic hits.

Alongside these lyrics, you’ll discover clothes worn by Cash, old instruments, various artworks, plus his old high school yearbook and even his marriage certificate with June Carter Cash.

After learning all about Johnny, check out the adjacent Johnny Cash Restaurant for a great feed.

  • Address:  119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
  • Hours:  9 am – 7 pm (Mon-Sun)
  • Price:  $22.95

READ NEXT: Plan the ultimate 3 days in Nashville with our Nashville itinerary !

If you’ve ever listened to a country song, then you’d have heard the words “Jack and coke” at least a dozen times. It’s a staple of the genre. It’s rather fitting then that Nashville is well placed for you to tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

On this full-day distillery tour, you’ll not only go behind the scenes at Jack Daniel’s but also Dickel Whiskey.

Alongside your tour guide, you’ll head to Lynchburg and peel back the curtain on the craftmanship behind two of the US’ top spirits and learn all about Tennessee’s interesting history with whiskey.

If you prefer your craft beer, then don’t worry, you won’t miss out with this  golf cart tour  of Nashville

In 1974, Grand Ole Opry moved to its current location, leaving what is now known as the Ryman Auditorium.

The striking building remains the location of the Opry’s radio shows, has live performances of its own, plus an amazing museum that showcases its rich history.

Visitors are able to embark on a  self-guided tour  of the Ryman Auditorium. This gives you the chance to experience “the soul of Nashville”. Along the way, hear from such stars as Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker.

Of course, live music is king, and the Ryman has no shortage of touring artists play throughout the year. Alongside its regular country and bluegrass, you can also find theater productions and classical tunes.

Ryman Auditorium

Dancing to country music on Broadway may be one of the best things to do in Nashville.

But true music fans can’t pass up a night at the Bluebird Cafe. Far more than just a regular cafe, this is a haven for singer-songwriters and is where the one and only Taylor Swift got discovered.

Although it’s a live music venue, there are only 90 seats on offer. It’s an intimate setting, which is fitting for such an insightful musical experience.

As you can expect, getting a seat isn’t always easy. Their packed calendar has a balance of reservable seats and first-come, first-serve tickets.

If you can’t get your hands on a ticket, arrive early before the Bluebird Cafe fills out.

Heading north? Read our list of the top things to do in Chicago!

If you fell in love with Nashville and decide to move to Music City, then East Nashville could well be on your radar.

Travelers often overlook the neighborhood as it’s on the other side of the Cumberland River. But its distance from Broadway, residential vibe, and eclectic culture provide the perfect balance.

East Nashville just oozes cool. East Nasty is laden with boutique art galleries, some of the city’s best street art, plus cute cafes and a nightlife that is local and communal.

Here, you can enjoy some of Nashville’s best eats and treats, including chocolate at Olive and Sinclair and the sub-district of Five Points.

After your delicious treat, check out Raven & Whale along with the Bryant Gallery for two of the best independent art spaces in Nashville.

Read Next: When planning your time in the Volunteer State, be sure to check out our guide on all the best things to do in Tennessee .

Found on Music Square West, south of downtown, Music Row is where it all began. The tunes may now be found on the radio, on your phone, and at the bar, but many started right here.

Music Row is a collection of historic recording studios and is one of the top Nashville attractions.

The street is the centerpiece of Nashville’s rise to country music mecca, one that picked up steam in the middle of the 20th century and would define the Nashville “sound”.

The top attraction along Music Row is RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded 200 tunes followed by such names as Dolly Parton and Chet Atkins.

Tours of the studio depart each day from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

You can also ride along the row on a bike. Combine the trip with a visit to Vanderbilt and Centennial Park.

Music Legends Nashville

The year-round Nashville Farmers Market is the place to go to load up the picnic basket ahead of an afternoon at Cumberland Park.

The farmers market has been in operation for over 150 years and, alongside serving fresh regional produce, has become a vital part of the community fabric.

As you enjoy an authentic slice of Nashville life, you’ll see up to 1000 vendors slinging meat products, cheese treats and farm-fresh vegetables that will have you creating the picture-perfect charcuterie board.

But the fun doesn’t end there. The bustling marketplace has over 15 restaurants and boutique shops for some sit-down eats and eye-catching shopping.

Speaking of shopping, complement your farmers market experience with a trip to the Nashville Flea Market southeast of downtown.

  • Address:  900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
  • Hours:  8am-4pm (Sun-Thur) 8am-6pm (Fri-Sat)
  • Price:  Free

Touring the South? Check out The 21 Best Things To Do In Atlanta, Georgia

To learn about the history of Nashville and Tennessee as a whole, you’ll have to put down the pint and take off your dancing shoes for a visit to the Tennessee State Museum .

You’ll find the Tennessee State Museum alongside the Bicentennial Capitol Male State Park. It’s split up into various sections that take you on a journey down the timeline of Tennessee history and well beyond the Civil War.

The war itself is a big focus. You’ll learn about the many prominent battles that took place, check out historic weaponry, and gaze upon period furniture.

In addition, the Tennessee State Museum has a section dedicated to Tennessee’s unique place in America’s music scene.

  • Address:  1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
  • Hours:  10am-5pm (Tue-Sat) 1pm-5 pm (Sun)
  • Price:  Free

Read Next: Check out this post for great day trips from Nashville .

The glistening white marble of downtown Nashville’s old post office is a sight to behold. Among modern skyscrapers and classic brick buildings, the art déco architecture stands out. But it’s no longer where you go to send letters to your grandparents.

The post office is long gone, having been replaced by the Frist Art Museum. The gallery places an emphasis on rotating exhibitions that ensures there’s always something fresh and thought-provoking to admire.

Every month or so, the temporary exhibits are replaced and always be something as arresting as the last. Previous exhibits include photos from the civil rights movement and explorations of many cultures.

  • Address:  919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Hours:  10am-5.30pm (Thur-Sat) 1pm-5.30pm (Sun)
  • Price:  $15

READ NEXT: Don’t miss all of the best things to do in Memphis while you’re in the area!

One of the top Nashville activities is to, well, get out of Nashville. Before you get too confused, this is only to balance the inner-city splendor with some of the natural kind.

Not far from downtown Nashville, the Radnor Lake State Park goes beyond a mere day at the park. Instead, you can embark on hiking and explore various ecosystems splashed around the 1,368-acre state park.

Alongside hiking, you’ll have biking trails. Both lead to beautiful lake views.

But if the water keeps calling your name, you can also get out on a kayak or SUP and explore the highlight of the park.

Visit the official state park website for more info about trails and activities.

Radnor Lake State Park

Nashville may have a reputation for being a destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for kids to do here.

Museums and parks aside, Nashville is also home to the Adventure Science Center.

The non-profit museum has just shy of 200 interactive exhibits that will keep your kids’ attention long past leaving time. These displays form the museum’s broad spectrum of topics, from earth science to life in space.

Each room comes with a distinct experience that will take your kids on a thrilling educational journey and get their minds working overtime.

Highlights include the planetarium, flight simulator, and an exhibit all about beekeeping.

  • Address:  800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203
  • Hours:  10am-3pm (Sun-Mon, Thur) 10am-6pm (Fri-Sat)
  • Price:  $18

READ NEXT: While you’re in Nashville, consider taking a short drive to check out the best things to do in Louisville , Kentucky.

Another example of the best things to do in Nashville with kids is the Nashville Zoo. Here, you can trade science for an up-close experience with some of the world’s most incredible wildlife.

The Nashville Zoo boasts just under 3,000 animals that are from 350 species from around the world. You’ll find them in appropriate habitats such as the Plains of Africa, the South American Rainforests and the many ecosystems found in the Asian continent.

The whole family can jump on the Wilderness Express Train to explore the park. This will bring you to hundreds of animals such as tigers, leopards and rhinos. The zoo is also home to a Jungle Gym playground and a zip line!

  • Address:  3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
  • Hours:  9 am-6 pm (Mon-Sun)
  • Price:  $16-$25

First built in 1819, the Hermitage became the home of former president Andrew Jackson from the years 1837 to 1845.

Although the years brought much change to the estate, it has been restored to its original look when the president called it home.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is around 15 miles from the heart of Nashville. It replaces the skyscrapers with an elegant estate and a beautiful home that now functions as a museum.

You can learn about Jackson’s political and private life on a guided tour before enjoying a wagon ride through the lush surrounding grounds.

On the way, you may pass the burial site of Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel.

  • Address:  4580 Rachels Ln, Hermitage, TN 37076
  • Hours:  9 am-6 pm (Thur-Mon)

Historic Buildings In Nashville

Historic sites in Nashville don’t end at the Hermitage. The Belle Meade Plantation was built in the 1840s in the Greek Revival style.

It was here that the Civil War Battle of Nashville took place across two days in 1864.

As you explore the historic antebellum estate, you’ll notice signs of this prominent battle, including gunfire marks in the towering columns that somehow remain standing today.

Today, the estate is as grand as ever and you can explore on a variety of tours. For a different perspective, visit the plantation on a guided tour through the eyes of slaves that lived and worked here.

  • Address:  5025 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205
  • Hours:  9 am-5 pm (Sun-Thur) 10am-5pm (Fri)
  • Price:  $24

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is one of the most interesting Nashville attractions.

It’s part resort, part entertainment mecca that features dozens of restaurants, shops and an elegant rainforest.

Plus, you can even take a boat ride through the resort. Yep, it’s not like anything else in Nashville.

Sure, it can be easy to get lost thanks to the array of attractions. But that’s all part of the fun. Its centerpiece is the rainforest, which is a collection of thousands of tropical plants.

The kaleidoscopic colors are splashed across the scene, interrupted only by beautiful waterfalls. It’s no surprise the space is managed by 20 horticulturists.

Beyond that, experience Soundwaves where you can meander down the lazy river.

Read next: The Ultimate 3 Days in Asheville Itinerary

Printer’s Alley was once, you guessed it, at the heart of Nashville’s printing industry. That field may be long gone, but like any smart city, Nashville has transformed the warehouses into a hip destination.

Now a National Historic District, Printer’s Alley is a vibrant place to be during the day with restaurants and cafes.

But at night, it truly comes to life. Clubs opened here in the 1940s and were home to some of Nashville’s most iconic names. I’m looking at you, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams.

Today, the entertainment district makes the perfect foil for life on Broadway.

Nashville Tennessee Scenery

Where to Stay in Nashville

Now that you know what to do in Nashville, how about where to stay in the Music City?

For those who want to experience Nashville on a budget, you can’t pass up a stay at the  Music City Hostel . Enjoy shared and private rooms, a spacious kitchen, and social area while being steps from all the action.

They have a partner hostel, Nashville Downtown Hostel , which is currently closed for repairs but will be reopening soon.

Stay right on the banks of the Cumberland River at  Nashville Riverfront Lofts . Wake up to splendid views, a balcony and cook up a feast in the full kitchen before enjoying a short walk to some of the best things to do in Nashville.

Like your country music with a side of luxury? Then stay at the  Hermitage Hotel . Make the most of your upscale experience with concierge service, spa treatments, on-site restaurant and bar.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook , YouTube and Instagram .

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Things to Do in Nashville

Creativity is the heart and soul of Music City, and there’s never a shortage of inspiring things to do. From tours , music , and the arts to food , sports , and shopping , there is an “only in Nashville” experience waiting for you.

Creativity is the heart and soul of Music City and there’s never a shortage of inspiring things to do. From music, culture and the arts to food, sports and shopping, there is an “only in Nashville” experience waiting for you.

Discover the most fun experiences, activities, and things to do in Nashville.

10 Bucket List Destinations for 2023

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Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum GRAMMY Exhibit

Let one of Nashville's attractions spark your interest so that you can enjoy exploring all that the city has to offer.

“From the original hot chicken to sequined power suits, killer cocktails, and the perfect balance of history and hip, Music City is a funkadelic nexus with top-tier restaurants and innovative hotels, an idiosyncratic blend of Southern hospitality and authenticity and surprises around every corner." HGTV, August 2022 Nashville City Guide: The 15+ Best Things to See and Do

Live Music

There's always something going on in Nashville: from professional sports to art exhibits, awards shows and festivals - and all set to the soundtrack of live Nashville music. This town's all about having a good time, and we're doing it safely so we can keep the music playing.

Nashville has something going on all year long. Mark your calendar for some of our favorite upcoming events.

Chophouse Snacks

Nashville has every flavor on the food wheel. Browse through Music City's restaurants that serve up a variety of tastes.

Immerse yourself in the Music Scene in Nashville when you attend a concert or show. Take a walk down Honky Tonk Highway or let one of our trip ideas inspire you.

Ryman Auditorium

If cities had soundtracks, Nashville’s would be like no others. It would be a mix of music’s past, present and future with cuts of country, bluegrass, rock, pop, Americana, gospel, classical, jazz and blues, all blending and overlapping in perfect harmony.

Ryman Auditorium Windows

Book a Vacation Package so you can do more for less in Nashville. Choose your hotel, the attractions you want to see, and the tours and events you want to do.

Bridgestone Visitors Center Wrap - 2022

Meet a friendly face when you head to our Nashville Visitor Center for more information and be greeted by one of the rockstar experts.

Country Music Hall of Fame Wall

Skip the line! Get tickets in advance to Nashville attractions and tours so you can spend more time having fun in Music City.

Browse through all the fun things Nashville has to offer. From arts & culture to shopping and sports, Nashville has something for everyone.

  • Save BIG on Nashville attractions and tours with the Music City Total Access Pass.
  • Do more for less with these special offers, discount tickets, package deals, and giveaways.

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Things in Nashville

26 Best Nashville Tourist Attractions

There are many Nashville tourist attractions that can give anyone something to enjoy. If you are a country music fan you are definitely in for a treat. More the adventure type? There are lots of good choices as well. In this list, we will cover many of the top Nashville tourist destinations.

1. Downtown Nashville Tourist Attractions

2. country music hall of fame and museum, 3. studio b, 4. cma theater, 5. hatch show print, 6. music city walk of fame, 7. ryman auditorium, 8. musicians hall of fame museum, 9. lower broadway is the most popular nashville tourist destination, 10. wildhorse saloon, 11. the frist art museum, 12. the johnny cash museum, 13. the parthenon, 14. grand ole opry, 15. gaylord opryland hotel, 16. grand ole golf, 17. the palace, 18. scoreboard bar and grill, 19. bicentennial capitol mall state park, 20. nashville farmers’ market, 21. nashville sounds ball park, 22. third and home sports bar, 23. tennessee state museum, 24. belle meade winery, 25. nashville zoo is a popular family tourist destination, 26. adventure science center, summary of nashville tourist attractions.

Opryland Hotel Delta Riverboat Cruise

Downtown Nashville is the heartbeat of the city, and it is home to a variety of awesome attractions, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Music City Walk of Fame. There are also many restaurants, shops, and bars in the lower downtown Nashville district, making it the main destination of Nashville tourist attractions. In this list, I’ll present first the attractions that are located in the inner Downtown Nashville area. To me, this means “The District” otherwise known as Lower Broadway and SoBro (South Broadway)

Lower Broadway Nashville Tourist Attractions

Address: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Hours: Open daily 9 am – 5 pm

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the most visited Nashville Tourist Attractions that is dedicated to the history of country music. How many people visit you ask? Try almost 2 million a year!! Oh .. fun fact .. did you know that CMHF has a nickname? Yep, it’s called the Smithsonian of country music. Inside you will find exhibits on the genre’s history, as well as artifacts from some of the biggest names in country music. Located just a short walk from party central of Lower Broadway so you can take a break from the party bars to learn a bit of history about country music.

The museum was originally located on Nashville’s Music Row and was founded in 1964. About 2001 the SoBro downtown location opened at a much larger 350,000 square feet. The new location houses millions of artifacts related to country music. There are musical instruments, clothing, photographs, and sheet music pertaining to many famous artists. Also, come check out the different events that include concerts and even educational events. The museum also has a library and archives, a research center, and a theater.

OK, a couple more neat facts that should entice you into making this one of the many tourist attractions in Nashville you must see! The CMHF has been ranked as one of the top 10 museums in the United States and it is a member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Want to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame? Click here to get your tickets.

Address: 1611 Roy Acuff Pl., Hours: Monday – Sunday 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Originally opening in 1957 by RCA Victor Records, Studio B quickly became a hub for recording some of the biggest names in country and popular music. The studio’s beginnings was located in the Music Row area of downtown Nashville. In the Music Row location famous artists such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Chet Atkins, Walon Jennings, Charley Pride, and many others recorded some of their most popular hits in this studio.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

As time went on the popularity of Studio B declined. The Country Music Hall of Fame stepped in to save the historic location. It is now a National Historic Landmark so it will be preserved for future fans to enjoy as a museum.

If you are interested in taking a tour of the CMHF, you should add Studio B to your lineup of Nashville tourist attractions. You will get to see where the country musical greats recorded their famous hits.

Want to know more about Studio B? Click here to get your tickets.

Address: 222 Rep John Lewis Way S, Hours: Depends on the event. Click the link to see the schedule of the CMA Theater. Click here to check out the website.

The CMA Theater is a 776-seat theater located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum mentioned above. The theater is designed in such a way that every seat gets a great view of the stage.

Big-name acts such as Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks have entertained here. Big events such as CMA Awards, the CMT Music Awards, and the ACM Awards have been held at this theater as well. When there aren’t live music performances there are education programs such as songwriting, music history, and instrument performance held here as well.

If you really enjoy country music check out their schedule and try to catch a show to add to your Nashville Tourist destination bucket list. I’ll add a link to the CMA Theater event schedule page to help you out.

Address: 224 Rep. John Lewis Way S. It is inside the Country Music Hall of Fame. Hours: Click here Hatch Show Print hours

This print shop is known for its letterpress printing and offers free tours. Hatch Show Print is a working letterpress print shop that is located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The shop prints posters, greeting cards, and other printed materials using its vintage letterpress printing equipment.

They have printed promo posters for some of the biggest names in the country music industry such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and even Elvis!!

Hatch Show Print offers tours of its facilities Monday through Friday. During the tour, visitors learn about the history of the shop, the letterpress printing process, and the shop’s famous posters.

Want to be more interactive with your visit to Hatch Show Print? Then check out some of their workshops and classes where they let you get your hands dirty by making your own t-shirt, tote bag, or towel.

Would you like to have a combo package to save money? Click here for current pricing.

Address: Demonbreun Street across from the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hours: Open year-round 24/7

Located just across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame is the Music City Walk of Fame. This isn’t one of the Nashville Tourist Attractions that people travel JUST to see. It is often discovered as they go to the museum mentioned above.

The Music City Walk of Fame honors artists that have made significant achievements and contributions to the music heritage of Nashville which is also known as “The Music City”.

Nashville Walk of Fame Elvis

The park is pretty much the backyard of the Hilton hotel with its large grassy area that is surrounded by sidewalks and stars honoring many musical artists. There are often events held that could be live music or any number of reasons depending on what larger events. Or, you could simply see people having a little picnic sitting on a blanket, or someone playing with their fur baby. It is a great little park to sit and chill alone or with friends.

Address: 116 Rep. John Lewis Way North, Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 4 pm

The Ryman Auditorium is a historic venue that was once home to the Grand Ole Opry. This beautiful building has such a rich history, and it is still used for concerts and other events to this day. The Ryman is known for its roots being in Country, Bluegrass, and even Gospel music. There are concerts from many genre’s held there today from the genres just mentioned, to heavy metal concerts, and even comedy shows.

Want to know a few fun facts about the Ryman?

  • There is a seating capacity of just over 2,300 people.
  • The auditorium roof has a unique “Saw tooth” pattern that was specially designed to create excellent acoustics.
  • There have been several movies and TV shows filmed inside. Shows such as “Walk the Line” with Johnny Cash, the “Nashville” TV series, The Voice, and CMT Crossroads.
  • The Ryman has a cool moniker!! It is called “Mother Church of Country Music”.

Want to tour The Ryman? Click here to get your tickets.

Address: 401 Gay Street. You can see the entrance from James Robertson Pkwy. It is on the left side of the Municipal Auditorium. Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am – 5 pm

Above I told you about the Country Music Museum above. Here in this little spot of the article, it is about more than just country. The exhibits honor famous artists such as Elton John, Glen Campbell, Elvis, James Jamerson, Ray Charles, and an awesome chronographic life history of Jimi Hendrix.

There are instruments, clothing, awards, golden albums, and stage setups. Have you ever seen a historic portable recording studio that you can walk through? Yep, there is one there for your viewing pleasure.

If you love music of any genre, this is a must-visit for Nashville tourist attractions.

Want to see the Musicians Hall of Fame? Click here to get your tickets!

Address: Lower Broadway, “The District”, and 2nd Ave N, Hours: It kinda varies but the bars are going between 10 am until about 3 am the next day

Lower Broadway is the area of downtown Nashville that is known for its honky-tonks (Nashville’s version of bars) and live music. It is a great place to go for a night out on the town. There are many bars and clubs on Broadway that offer live music, and you can often find free shows on the street.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

There is a HUGE variety of genres of music to choose from as you walk up and down the sidewalk. Often the bars have their windows open so it is kinda like changing the radio station on your stereo as you walk up and down the sidewalk. You may go from old-school country to modern rock and roll within a few steps. So, with all the awesome choices of music, there is something for everyone!!

Want to learn more about Lower Broadway? Click here to read the article.

Address: 120 2nd Ave N, Hours: Hours can depend on events that may be scheduled. Typically 12pm – Midnight

The Wildhorse Saloon is probably the most famous car in Nashville. It is a 3-story, 25,000 square foot venue with a huge dance floor, multiple bars to get your favorite drinks, and a VERY nice stage with huge screens to enjoy the live entertainment. Country music stars such as Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, and Shania Twain have graced this stage in the beginning years of their career.

There is a lot to offer at this awesome place! Of course, I mentioned the dance floor where families of young and old can dance to live music. Plus they offer free line dancing classes taught by experienced instructors. The food served here is of the Southern variety like fried chicken, catfish, mac and cheese, and much more.

The Wildhorse is kid friendly until 9 pm, I have seen families out on the dance floor having a great time, even the children that appeared to be preschool age.

Want to see the Wildhorse Events coming up? Click here to check it out.

Address: 919 Broadway, Hours: Monday, Friday, and Saturday 10 am – 5:30 pm. Thursday 10 am – 8 pm. Sunday 1-5:30 pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Frist building was originally a 124,000-square-foot post office. In 2001 it was turned into the awesome museum that it is now. There are about 40,000 square feet of exhibition space that presents a rotating collection of modern and contemporary art, and it also has special exhibitions and events.

As I mentioned above about Frist rotating the exhibitions, there are approximately 12-15 exhibitions a year. So that gives anyone a reason to come back multiple times a year to see something new.

Frist Art Museum is a very popular Nashville tourist attraction

The permanent collections can include over 6,000 works of art that include paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs. The collections feature art from both American and European artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and many more.

Frist offers a large variety of public programs such as films, concerts, and family workshops. I have personally been to one of their live musicals, it was very good! The museum also has an awesome educational program that offers classes and workshops for everyone!

The Frist has a large parking lot at the rear of the museum and street parking along the left side. There is a small parking fee. Some parts of the museum are free, whereas other areas may have a fee depending on the exhibits.

Frist Art Museum is an ever-changing experience . Click here to see the current exhibits .

Address: 119 3rd Ave S, Hours: 9 am to 7 pm 7 days a week. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

Located on the south side of Lower Broadway, The Johnny Cash museum is easy access to visit while you are bar hopping all the cool honky-tonks. The museum is dedicated to the life and career of this musical legend. It is divided up into three sections: the first is a timeline of his life and career called “Man in Black”, next is “American Recordings” which is about his albums and other recordings, then there is the Cash Family section which is about June (his wife) and their children.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

While you are there you can get in the recording studio and sing along with Cash’s songs, or get a picture with the life-sized bronze statue of Cash. There is also a replica of the prison cell where he performed for the inmates of Folsom Prison.

Im gonna be straight with you. Enjoy the museum and even get some drinks while jamming to the live music. The food … eh .. not so much. The meat may as well be dried jerky. Go somewhere else if you are hungry.

Want to know more about the Johnny Cash Museum? Click here to see the site .

Nashville Tourist Attractions at Upper Broadway

Address: 2500 West End Avenue, Hours of the Parthenon: Monday – Thursday 9 am-7 pm, Friday – Saturday 9 am-4:30 pm, Sunday 12:30-4:30 pm

The Parthenon in Nashville is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It is located in Centennial Park, and it is one of the more popular Nashville tourist attractions. The Parthenon is open for tours every day, and there are also exhibits on Greek art and culture.

Parthenon Centennial Park

One of the greatest pieces of art is the true-to-scale-sized statue of Athena standing at 42 feet tall! The gold color on her is real gold leaf. You should stop in and see her as one of your Nashville tourist attractions along with all the other detailed Greek sculptures inside.

The Parthenon is a popular tourist destination in Nashville, and it is open to the public year-round. The park that it resides in is open daily from 6 am-11 pm and it has walking trails, a flower garden, and a beautiful lake with fish and ducks to feed. Oh, you may see some squirrels running around as well.

Want to learn more about The Parthenon? Click here to read the article.

Nashville Tourist Destinations in the Music Valley Area

Address: 600 Opry Mills Drive, Hours: Wanna Tour? Click here for that schedule. Want to see a show? Click here for that schedule.

The Grand Ole Opry was once located in the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. In 1974 it moved to its current location in the Music Valley area across the street from what is now the Oprymills Shopping Mall.

Today’s Grand Ole Opry House is a state-of-the-art performance hall that was designed specifically for the Opry musical performances. The large stage and acoustically designed auditorium are guaranteed to entertain all of the 4,400 seats throughout.

If you plan to make this one of the Nashville tourist attractions that you want to see, you better get your tickets early! The shows sell out quickly!

They do offer tours as well as live shows. If you have the time in your tourist destination schedule of Nashville and plan it right you may be able to combine the two.

Wanna check out the Gran Ole Opry? Click here to get your tickets.

Address: 2800 Opryland Drive, Hours: Hotel 24/7, Atrium hours vary by events.

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is the most visited hotel for Nashville tourist attractions. That is because it is so much more than just a hotel!

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The hotel has 3 main indoor gardens. One of the gardens has a river going around it that has a boat ride for visitors and guests. There is a waterfall and water garden in another with restaurants nestled within. The third garden has some unique live exotic plants and all of the gardens have walking paths to explore.

Would you like more detail about the Opryland Hotel? Here is the link to the article.

If you have kids with you then this is one of the Nashville tourist attractions that is sure to make sure they have a good time. Grand Ole Golf is one of Nashville’s hidden gems, there are 3 different put-put courses one of them being an 18-hole course. There are lots of interesting obstacles you will be playing through one of them being a life-sized multi-level windmill.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Do your kids like fast adventure? Then take a ride on the go-kart track for a good time of friendly competition.

Address: 2611 McGavock Pike, Hours: Want to check out the hours and events? Click here for their website.

Are you on an adult Nashville tourist attraction vacation getaway and you want to enjoy live music away from the chaos of downtown? The Palace is where the locals hang out!! It has been open since 1977 and famous big-name acts such as Dolly Parton, George Jones, and Alan Jackson have graced the stage here.

Nashville Palace in Music Valley Nashville Tennessee. A favorite for Nashville tourist attractions but mostly for the locals.

The palace is known for its laid-back rustic atmosphere and its lively line dancing. It is said to have the largest dance floor in Nashville so maybe you should go check it out and see. While you are there you can enjoy the cold beer and great choices of country food that are available.

Address: 2408 Music Valley Drive, Hours: Want to check out the hours and event? Click here for their website.

Scoreboard is probably one of if not the most popular bar and grills for the locals in Nashville. It is also popular with tourists who know about it and want to enjoy live music, games, and good food without the crowds of downtown Lower Broadway Nashville.

I’ve personally been to Scoreboard several times. There are TVs throughout and even a large dancefloor with a stage for live music entertainment. It is a very casual yet fun place to hang out.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Sundays are called “Funday” where they have of course live music, and games outside and inside. It isn’t uncommon on that Sunday for them to be having some special cook-out to add something special to the menu. It is kinda strange to say that a bar and grill could be a part of someone’s Nashville tourist attractions, if a tourist gets on a mission to get away from the crowds of downtown, they often end up at Scoreboard.

Now, it is kinda hidden. You can see The Palace from McGavock Pike, Scoreboard is right behind it.

Nashville Tourist Attractions in Germantown

Address: 600 James Robertson Parkway, Hours: Open daily from 6 am to 11 pm. (This may vary depending on events)

Located just over the hill from the capitol in the heart of downtown Nashville and features a HUGE granite map of the state of Tennessee, a World War II memorial, an almost 20′ tall statue of Davy Crockett, and a 50′ tall carillion with huge loud bells that chime on the hour. It’s a great place to have a picnic or just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Rather be more active? Well, there is over a 1 mile of walking trails, a playground, there is a designated picnic area but honestly you can do that about anywhere in the park. Maybe you can catch a show at the Greek-style amphitheater that seats over 2,200 people.

If you want food but didn’t bring anything. No problem! The park joins right to the backside of the Nashville Farmers Market which I will tell you about next. There are also several GREAT restaurants that are just a short drive away to get a to-go order for a picnic.

Address: 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Hours: It is a lot to type. Just click this link to go to the website.

I love this place!! Been there many times. This Nashville Farmers market is open year-round and depending on the season may offer fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other locally-made products. Even in the produce off-season, there are local artists that showcase their arts and crafts for anyone to purchase. This really isn’t one of the Nashville tourist attractions, it is more of a local thing. It is definitely one of my favorite must-dos in Nashville!!

The artists and produce vendors set up under one of two open-air shelters. Inside there are 20ish or so restaurants that are specific to Nashville to choose from. Food choices range from good ole southern BBQ, to Jamaican, and one of two of the best (in my opinion) ice cream shops in Nashville! You gotta check out Jeni’s Ice Cream while you are there. If you want a good cold beer on a hot summer day, there is an awesome “Tap house” there as well with MANY great choices of local Nashville brews.

Address: 19 Jr Gilliam Wy, Hours: Do ya want to check out a baseball game or special event? Click here to check the schedule.

First Horizon Park is the home of the Nashville Sounds, a minor league baseball team that is a Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. This park can seat up to 10,000 people and has lots of great upscale food choices to feed ya belly.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Nashville Sounds ballpark has been praised for its design and has been named the best minor-league baseball park in the country by Ballpark Digest. But, there are more than just baseball games help here! There have been many concerts and other special events held at First Horizon as well.

Need to check the Nashville Sounds game schedule? Click here to check it out.

Address: 919 3rd Ave N, Hours: Monday Closed. Tues 4 pm – 11 pm. Wed, Thur, Sun 11 am – 11 pm. Fri, Sat 11 am – 12 am.

Why am I adding another sports bar as an item for Nashville tourist attractions? Simple … this one is just so cool! Welp, above I told you about the Nashville Sounds ballpark. The restaurant bar and grill overlooks the field! I’ve been there and watched a game from the balcony overlooking 3rd base. The view is awesome, the food is great, lots of brews on tap, and lots of large TV screens inside if you want to watch some of the other sports events that may be on.

famous tourist attractions in nashville

If you are local and have a party of up to 20 people, you can get the balcony for your group with a dedicated server. Just a heads up though. You and your crew need to spend $1000 total on drinks and food. The way some people put down beers during a game, should not be difficult to do.

Check out the Third and Home website by clicking here.

Address: 1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Hours: Monday Closed. Tues – Sat 10 am – 5 pm. Sunday 1 am – 5 pm

Having the Tennessee State Museum on your Nashville tourist attractions list may only be because you may be looking to move to this area. Or, just maybe you are into the history of wherever your travels take you. Either one is just fine.

This museum has over 500,000 artifacts starting from the prehistoric era to the civil war and even some Tennessee history about Elvis. The exhibits are displayed chronologically obviously starting with the prehistoric dinosaur displays and progressing to present-day times.

Want more information? Click here for their website .

Other Awesome great Nashville Tourist Attractions

Address: 5025 Harding Pike, Hours: Hours can depend on possible events. Click here to see the hours.

Bell Meade Winery and Plantation is the oldest winery in Nashville and is located on the Belle Meade Plantation. The winery was successful in the beginning back in 1875 even though it did struggle during the Prohibition era. In the 1950’s the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities purchased the winery and continued making the wine in 1970.

They offer a tour of the winery that takes you through the process of making wine. They make red, white, and rose’ wines that are available for taste testing.

While you are there for the wine tasting you should take a tour of the grounds as well. You can enjoy the stroll through the gardens and I’ve heard you can picnic as well although I personally haven’t done that.

Are ya hungry after taking that stroll through the gardens? Check out their meat and three restaurant serving up Southern classics like fried chicken, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes.

Want to tour the Belle Meade Winery? Click here to get your tickets.

Address: 3777 Nolensville Pike, Hours: Want to check their schedule for special events? Click here to view the website .

The Nashville Zoo is a must-do for the Nashville tourist attractions list, especially if you have kids. Occasionally they have events that are adult-only due to the events serving alcohol.

The Nashville Zoo is a great place to see animals from all over the world. It is located in West Nashville, and it is a popular destination for families. The zoo has well over 3,000 animals, encompassing over 300 species, and there are educational exhibits and shows as well all this spread out over approximately 90 of its 188 acres.

There are exhibits where kids and adults can get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s animals, even the possibility of feeding them.

Nashville Zoolumination Dragon

I mentioned above the Nashville Zoo having special events for adults. Of course, they also have them for kids as well. There is Halloween through the zoo where they create special displays, games, and even shows for the children to enjoy. The very fun and educational Dinosaur display where they have animatronic life-sized dinosaurs set up along a walking path to see. At each dinosaur there is a bit of information about where they lived and in what era. I really enjoyed it as I walked through the event. Just a heads up … one set of dinosaurs spray water like they are spitting on you.

Address: 800 Fort Negley Blvd., Hours: Mon, Thur, Fri 9 am – 3pm. Sat, Sun 9 am- 5 pm, Tues, Wed Closed.

The Adventure Science Museum is a great place for kids to learn about science and technology. There are several exhibits that provide hands-on, interactive experiences that provide a fun education for all ages.

Along with all the fun interactive learning exhibits there is an adventure tower that is around 75 feet tall. At the top of the tower is an observation deck with an awesome view of Nashville. Be sure to take a peek through the binoculars for a better view.

These things are just a small sample of learning activities that the Adventure Science Center has to offer. If you have an inquisitive little one, this should be on your Nashville tourist attractions list!

We, locals, know that there are so many more Nashville tourist destinations than what is on this list. Later, I can create more articles listing even more attractions but this will get you off to a good start. Hope this list helps. Have fun in Nashville!

Things In Nashville

I have lived near Nashville most of my life. I really enjoy exploring what the "Music City" has to offer so can help visitors and locals have a great time in Nashville.

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Home » Travel Guides » United States » Tennessee (TN) » 25 Best Things to Do in Nashville (TN)

25 Best Things to Do in Nashville (TN)

Nashville is the capital of the state of Tennessee and it sits along the banks of the Cumberland River. Nashville picked up the nickname ‘Music City’ due to its long and exciting musical history, as you go around the city you will notice the great music venues that are situated here.

The city was founded in 1779 and named after an American Revolutionary War hero called Francis Nash. The summers here are hot and humid and the winters are moderately cold with normally only a light snowfall. The downtown part of the city is an exciting place to hang out so let’s take a look at the best things to do in Nashville .

1. Witness A Star Performance At The Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

In the 1880’s local businessman Thomas G. Ryman became a converted Christian after listening to the words of the evangelist Reverend Sam Jones. At that moment he decided that he would build a tabernacle that would allow everyone to hear the great man speak. The tabernacle was completed in 1892 and was the largest structure in the area. Over time the place was used for political rallies, local events and entertainment productions. Over the years many legends of the entertainment business have taken to the stage, including the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Aretha Franklin. Many awards decorate this fantastic venue and a trip whilst in this city is highly recommended.

2. Pretend You Are In Ancient Greece

The Parthenon in Nashville

The Parthenon is a full scale replica of the original Athenian building and statue found in Greece. It feature a 42 foot high statue of Athena and is the main focus of this incredible sight. The Parthenon was built in 1897 as part of Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition. The idea behind the structure was that it would be a replica to a monument that was considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. Today the Parthenon is used by the city of Nashville as an art museum, 63 paintings from 19th and 20th century American artists adorn the walls for all to see.

3. Tour The Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation

The Belle Plantation is steeped in history and a tour when in Nashville is both enjoyable and educational. You will start by taking a tour around the Greek-Revival mansion where you will learn about the history of the mansion and the surrounding area. Once you have finished this you will be able to view other buildings such as the dairy, carriage house, dairy and gardens. When the site seeing is finished you can take a trip to the winery for some free wine tasting. If you are hungry there is an onsite restaurant in Harding House where you can stop for lunch or dinner.

4. Visit President Andrew Jackson’s Home

President Andrew Jackson's Home

Between 1829 and 1837 Andrew Jackson was the President of the U.S.A. he was the seventh president and one that was loved by his countrymen due to his natural leadership abilities. A walk through Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage with give you an insight into his colorful life as well as experience the great personal loss that he suffered during his life. You can explore the farm as well as the beautiful mansion where he lived. Whilst at the Hermitage you can also visit Andrew and his wife Rachel’s final resting place, a tomb where they now lie side by side.

5. Explore The Beautiful Grounds Of Centennial Park

Centennial Park, Nashville

Just a couple of miles outside downtown Nashville sits Centennial Park, the park spans an area of 132 acres and was previously used as farmland. There is a one mile walking trail that keen walkers can take a stroll around. A beautiful lake called Lake Watauga sits within the perimeter of the park and provides a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing picnic. Each year many people visit the park with their dogs, the dogs can take advantage of the dog park to roam free and get some exercise. Other attractions of Centennial Park include an art activity center and a museum.

6. Ignite Your Passion For Science At Adventure Science Center

Adventure Science Center

Since 1945 the Adventure Science Center in Nashville has been inspiring people to become involved in the sciences. The center now spans an area of 44,000 square feet and features just under 175 exhibits that are hands-on and interactive. The main focus of the museum is physics, biology, visual perception, mind, air and space, and energy and earth science. There is a planetarium on site that has the most current technology installed ensuring that guests leave feeling excited and interested in the field of science.

7. Get Close To The Animals At Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo

The Nashville zoo is spread out over 200 acres and offers a fantastic day out for both children and adults. The zoo has many activities to get involved in, rather than just seeing the animals you will find yourself running and crawling to experience the zoo in the most interactive way. There is a jungle gym that will see you swinging like a gibbon, running like a zebra and crouching like a tiger. There is a mob of meerkats that you can visit and see the world from their perspective. Other exhibitions include the gibbon islands that call out to visitors as they enter the park.

8. Enjoy The Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum

If you are an art lover then you need look no further than the Frist Art Museum. There is 24,000 square feet of gallery space that showcases the best local, national and international artists. The center is open seven days a week and under 18’s will always have free entry. There are permanent exhibitions as well as temporary ones allowing frequent visitors to experience something new each time they visit.

9. Take Some Quiet Time In The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens are a spectacular place to spend an afternoon, you can bask in the beauty of the immaculately kept lawns and the dazzling displays of flowers. There are eleven display gardens that each other a different variety of flowers. In spring you can visit the Cheekwood in Bloom festival where you will see more than 100,000 tulips in bloom at the same time. Each Christmas there is a wonderland that is full of Christmas trees, trains, live reindeer’s and of course Santa.

10. Watch The Best Of The Best At The Bridgestone Arena

Bridgestone Arena

Since 1996 the Bridgestone Arena has been hosting the biggest names in the music industry. The likes of Adele, Rhianna and Madonna have all performed on the stage here and over 16 million people have been to see a show. For music events there is a capacity of 20,000 and when the Nashville Predators are here 17,113 people can pack in and enjoy the game. Originally the arena was known as the Nashville Arena before several other firms took over sponsorship. Currently Bridgestone have the naming rights after entering into a financial arrangement to have their name on the arena.

11. Learn The History Of The State

Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee State Museum was established in 1937 to tell the story of the state of Tennessee. There are 60,000 square feet of space dedicated to permanent exhibits and another 10,000 to temporary exhibits. The story starts pre-colonisation and goes on throughout the 20th century. You can learn about President Andrew Jackson as well as the American Civil War. There is a collection of uniforms, weapons and flags from the civil war which is the one of the largest collections in the U.S.

12. Visit The State Capitol

Tennessee State Capitol

The historic Tennessee State Capitol building is one of the oldest working capitols that the nation has. The building was designed in a Greek Revival style and is still a working building. You can go on a tour of this grand facility where you will get to see the chambers, house of representative and the old state library. The building was first opened in 1859 and was designed by the famous architect William Strickland. Unfortunately during construction of this building Strickland passed away and he is buried in the northern part of the building.

13. Soak Up The Atmosphere Of The Tennessee Titans

Nissan Stadium

The People of Nashville love their football and when the Tennessee Titans play their home games at the Nissan Stadium the whole city becomes awash with excitement. The Titans compete in the NFL and have a proud history having competed in the playoffs on 21 occasions. The team was formerly known as the Houston Oilers before relocating to Tennessee in 1997. After they had moved they changed their name to the Tennessee Oilers before settling on the Titans a few years later. The current stadium has a capacity of 69,000 that is often full to the brim with adoring fans.

14. Take A Tour Of Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion was constructed between 1849 and 1853, the building is an Italianate Villa and covers an area of 19,000 square feet. Initially the building was used as the summer home for a local socialite known as Adelicia Acklen, she would come here in the summers and spend time with her family. Other uses for the building have included being the headquarters of the Union army as well as an all-girls college. The buildings are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the house operates as a museum.

15. Take A Walk In The Park

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville provides a tranquil setting to gather your thoughts and go for a stroll. A gentle walk around the park will see you come into contact with various exhibits that teach you about the history of Tennessee State. There is a 200 foot granite map of the state, a 95 bell carillon, a memorial to World War II, a Pathway of History and the Rivers of Tennessee Fountains. Each year this charming park puts on a variety of free events that draw the community together. The highlight being the Tennessee History Festival that is held each year in the fall.

16. Understand The Beginnings Of Nashville At Fort Nashborough

Fort Nashborough

Fort Nashborough was where it all begun for the city of Nashville. In 1779 this stockade was built to protect the local people from wild animal and Indian attacks. It was built from logs and covered an area of 2 acres. The fort was reconstructed in the 1930’s out of used telegraph poles and tells a fascinating story about the history and origins of this city. One month after the land for the original fort was agreed to be purchased the American Revolution broke out.

17. See The European Cars At Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum is situated on the site that used to be the well known Sunbeam Bakery. The bakery is no more but when you visit Lane Motor Museum you will see that many of the original characteristics have been kept. Jeff Lane opened the motor museum in 2002 after a lifetime love of automobiles, he began by donating his own collection of cars to the museum. The cars are mainly European and is the largest collection of such cars in the United States. Many of the cars in the showroom are in working order and in excellent condition, other cars have been left to show their natural aging.

18. Watch A Show At Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Nashville Municipal Auditorium

If you like to see a good show then a trip to Nashville Municipal Auditorium will take care of that. The venue hosts many indoor sport and music events and has an ever changing program of shows. The auditorium was constructed in 1962 and has been going strong ever since. Another feature of the venue is the Musicians’ Hall of Fame Museum which feature all genres of music and dates back to when music was first recorded. Many famous musicians have been inducted here including Keith Richards and the late Roy Orbison.

19. Enjoy The Warner Parks

Percy Warner Park

Just nine miles outside of downtown Nashville are the Percy Warner Park and the Edwin Warner Park. The parks cover an area of 3,180 acres and are one of the largest municipal parks in the country. You will come across a great network of hiking trails in Percy Warner Park as well as the 10 miles of equestrian paths to enjoy. If you and the family want a picnic there are plenty of picnic shelters that are big enough for everyone to enjoy. Another feature of the parks are the two golf courses that are present, Percy Warner Golf Course and Harpeth Hills Golf Course.

20. Relax At Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake was completed in 1968, it is 42 miles long and covers an area of 14,000 acres. The lake has numerous recreational activities that you can enjoy, these include boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, sailing, hiking and many more. The camping facilities range from very basic facilities on islands within the lake to fully developed campsites. If you choose to go fishing you must hold a Tennessee State Fishing License, you can fish for many varieties of bass as well as sunfish, catfish, bluegill and trout.

21. Walk The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

The Cumberland River in Nashville has long had a bridge running over it but for many years it sat there unused. In 2003 the bridge was reopened and named the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge is 960 meters in length and is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. During the last refurbishment the bridge had a centre lane created that is fifteen feet across and is dedicated to bicycles. A great time to admire the bridge is at night as it is always dramatically lit which makes it stand out for miles around.

22. Listen To Some Bluegrass At Station Inn

Bluegrass

The Station Inn in Nashville has gathered a bit of a cult status since its opening in 1974. The inn was originally opened by 6 bluegrass pickers, they provided the music for the guests and the site started to gain in popularity. In 1981 the Station Inn was sold to a new owner and different performers started to play each night, the owners would book in many acts and the Inn was nearly always full to capacity. Many big names in Bluegrass would regularly drop in unannounced and the place gained the iconic status that you see today. A trip to the Station Inn is an absolute must for any Bluegrass fans.

23. Take The Family To The Agricultural Museum

Tennessee Agricultural Museum

The Tennessee Agricultural Museum is situated on the grounds of the Ellington Agricultural Center. The museum features a whole array of farming items from the 19th and 20th century and they are exhibited in a plantation barn. You can take a look around a blacksmith shop, wagons and even see a Jumbo steam engine. After you have seen the items in the museum you can explore the farm house, gardens and go on a nature trail.

24. Reflect In The Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery spans an area of 206 acres and is located in Nashville. The cemetery was opened in 1856 and has many of the areas political and business leaders buried within its boundary. When the American Civil War ended the women of the city wanted somewhere to bury the men that had given up their lives for their country. This part of the cemetery is known as Confederate Circle. The cemetery is open during daylight hours and is a place of quiet contemplation for visitors.

25. Have Fun At Robert’s Western World

Robert's Western World

Many of the biggest country artists have performed and continue to perform at Robert’s Honky Tonk. A trip to Robert’s will see you enjoying a few cold beers, a sizzling hot grill and lots of live music. There is also a gift shop on site should you wish to take a memento home with you. The business is currently owned by the famous musician Jesse Lee Jones, lead singer of Brazibilly.

25 Best Things to Do in Nashville (TN):

  • Witness A Star Performance At The Ryman Auditorium
  • Pretend You Are In Ancient Greece
  • Tour The Belle Meade Plantation
  • Visit President Andrew Jackson's Home
  • Explore The Beautiful Grounds Of Centennial Park
  • Ignite Your Passion For Science At Adventure Science Center
  • Get Close To The Animals At Nashville Zoo
  • Enjoy The Frist Art Museum
  • Take Some Quiet Time In The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
  • Watch The Best Of The Best At The Bridgestone Arena
  • Learn The History Of The State
  • Visit The State Capitol
  • Soak Up The Atmosphere Of The Tennessee Titans
  • Take A Tour Of Belmont Mansion
  • Take A Walk In The Park
  • Understand The Beginnings Of Nashville At Fort Nashborough
  • See The European Cars At Lane Motor Museum
  • Watch A Show At Nashville Municipal Auditorium
  • Enjoy The Warner Parks
  • Relax At Percy Priest Lake
  • Walk The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
  • Listen To Some Bluegrass At Station Inn
  • Take The Family To The Agricultural Museum
  • Reflect In The Mount Olivet Cemetery
  • Have Fun At Robert's Western World
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • United States

73 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Nashville, TN

fun things to do in Nashville

The heartbeat of American country music and a beacon of Southern hospitality, Nashville is a charming city that has a lot to offer. From its world-renowned music scene to its delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Music City.

Infamous for its tantalizing Southern fare, with a reputation for some rather wild partying (looking at you, Printers Alley), contrasted by a long and rich history, and you’ll find that the Tennessee capital can deliver a smorgasbord of activities to keep you entertained.

From the ever-buzzing Downtown area to the quieter neighborhoods that line the Cumberland River, Nashville delivers a far more diverse experience than its music-centric reputation might have you believe.

Outside of the infamous music scene, adventure and nature lovers can rejoice; the Tennessee State capital is within striking distance of some of the most picturesque hiking trails and outdoor adventure activities in the area – from the Cheatham Wildlife Management Area and Harpeth River State Park on the west to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few hours drive east, there’s plenty of opportunities to get off the beaten path and explore.

Throw in independent museums (The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum are both quintessential), a slew of galleries, and the world-renowned Grand Ole Opry, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect city break.

Country music enthusiast or not, Nashville is sure to charm and surprise you with its unique blend of history, culture, food, and fun. So whether you’re on the hunt for adventure, food, music, or moonshine, as you’ll quickly find out, there’s by no means a shortage of diverse things to do in Nashville .

Want to dive straight in? Browse our catalog now!

  • Nashville tours

1 – Kickstart your trip with a street-art tour

street art in Nashville

As a city that oozes artistic talent and creativity, it’s no surprise that Nashville is home to a vibrant and ever-growing street art scene. And what better way to explore it than with an in-the-know local leading the way and showing off all of the city’s hidden gems?

Whether you jump on an open-aired golf buggy, wander by foot, or combine the two, with several different companies offering tours through hipster districts like East Nashville, you’re sure to get your fill of stunning murals, graffiti art, and Instagram-worthy backdrops (including the iconic WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural).

And while East Nashville is, without doubt, brimming with the best street art in the city, don’t limit yourself to just one area – other districts such as Germantown (very walkable, and with a fabulous foodie scene to boot) and 12South are also home to some incredible pieces that are sure to light up the social media feed.

Not only is it a great way to explore the city and learn about its vibrant arts scene, but it’s also a whole lot of fun! And with most tours lasting between 2 and 3 hours, it’s the perfect activity for a sunny afternoon.

  • street art tours in Nashville

2 – Step inside the incredible Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville

If country music is Nashville’s soul, then the Ryman is the ‘Mother Church of Country Music’. This iconic concert venue was first opened in 1892 and has seen some of the biggest names in music grace its stage, including the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, and Billie Holiday.

  • Ryman Auditorium tickets

A tour of this historic building is a must for any music lover, with guided tours taking you through the auditorium itself as well as sharing stories and anecdotes about the people who have graced its stage.

You’ll also get to see the dressing rooms, green room, and some of the iconic memorabilia on display, arguably none more famous than Dolly Parton’s dazzling rhinestone-studded jacket that she wore during her legendary 1973 performance.

Don’t miss the on-site museum either; showcasing 125 years of history (including its era as the home of the Grand Ole Opry), the immersive attraction uses a rare and captivating mix of special effects, holograms, and archival footage to present country music stars including Darius Rucker and Shery Crow. Even if country music isn’t your thing, thanks to the auditorium’s architecture and rich history, a tour of the Ryman is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Nashville.

And, obviously, don’t forget the roster of live shows! With events almost every night, simply check the calendar to see who’s gracing the stage during your stay.

  • Ryman Auditorium tours

3 – Get a taste of Nashville on a food tour

food tours in Nashville

Nosh in Nashville will make your mouth water — it’s just a fact. The Southern state prides itself on its delectable slow-roasted barbecue and hot chicken, as well as local beers and signature cocktail: the Bushwater!

But those are just the tip of the iceberg. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover a melting pot of culinary influences, from Cajun and Creole to Italian and Mexican – and, of course, no shortage of Southern comfort food.

The best way to sample all that Nashville’s culinary scene has to offer is on a food tour, which will not only introduce you to some of the city’s best eats but also give you a behind-the-scenes look at how they’re made.

From learning about the history of hot chicken and sampling some of the city’s best at Hattie B’s or Prince’s (depending on the tour) to indulging in a sweet treat or two (or three) on the Downtown dessert crawl (keep room for a scoop at Mattheessen’s), there’s a tour to suit every taste.

One of the big drawing cards of a locally-led food tour; besides stopping into a handful of the fan-favorite eateries (and passing by quintessential landmarks like the capitol building, Cumberland River, Germantown, and Nissan Stadium along the way), friendly guides will show you the low-key stops that only the locals know about.

  • food tours in Nashville

4 – Make your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame

Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville

Put on your cowboy hat, follow the story of country music’s humble folk roots before it shot into stardom, and find all sorts of memorabilia along the way! From Elvis’ Cadillac limousine to instruments belonging to the likes of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, plenty of selfie opportunities await!

Moreover, the Hall of Fame – one of the world’s largest dedicated American music museums – is brimming with modern musical artifacts and interactive multimedia elements to bring the music to life. Ideal for both kids and adults, this is one place where you can easily spend an entire afternoon.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is open every day from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, and till 6 pm on the weekends. It’s located right in the heart of SoBro, a stone’s throw from the main haints in the Arts District.

So if you’re planning on also checking out the Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum, the National Museum of African American Music, the Walk of Fame Park, or any of the other music-focused downtown attractions, they make for convenient back-to-back stops.

  • Country Music Hall of Fame tickets

5 – Take a memorable train trip with the Tennessee Central Railway Museum

Tennessee Central Railway Museum, Nashville

The whistle sounds. The wheels clack. The landscape rolls by, with a beautiful machine cutting through it. There’s nothing like a train trip, and you can get a feel for it at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum , which showcases some of the finest machines of yesteryear.

This charming, volunteer-run museum is filled with remarkable memorabilia and well-preserved items from decades past. It’s especially well-known for its collection of historic railway vehicles, from engines to cargo cars to cabooses.

While there’s a little bit of everything here, the collection specializes in cars from the “Silver Age” of recreational railway travel in the 1940s and 50s. And the best part is that you can do more than look at the trains… you can ride them!

The museum runs regular jaunts for certain holidays, including Mardi Gras, Easter, and the Christmas season. And there are plenty of other fun adventures throughout the year, from wine tastings to moonshine tours.

You can even go way back in time with a murder mystery, where your train ride becomes the chance to solve a mysterious crime, Agatha Christie style. It’s a ride on the rails that you won’t soon forget!

6 – Take an insightful trolley tour through the city

Nashville trolley tours

Most major cities around the world have those cliche double-decker red busses rolling around – the hop-on, hop-off kind that allows tourists to sightsee at their own pace. While Nashville has one of those too, it’s a far more unique, and charmingly Southern alternative: the old-school trolley.

Dating back to the late 1800s, these vintage-style cars offer an authentic – not to mention picturesque – way to tour the city and learn about its history and culture. And unlike other sightseeing options, you won’t have to worry about hoofing it up hills or battling for sidewalk space with fellow pedestrians.

A step back in time, these green and red vehicles offer an authentic look at what public transportation used to be like. History lesson aside, by jumping onboard one of Nashville’s quaint trolleys, you’ll learn all about the city’s top attractions, landmarks, and sights.

Tours typically last around 90 minutes, featuring live commentary on over 100 points of interest along the way, including the State Capitol, the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson), Broadway, the Gulch, and more.

Ideal for first-time visitors, the informative excursion is a great way to start your trip and discover the slew of things to do in Nashville. Plus, with a 20-minute stop at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park (a historic square with a regular farmers’ market), you can grab a quick snack or drink to recharge before rolling into the next neighborhood.

  • Nashville trolley tours

7 – Roll a Segway through downtown Nashville

segway tours in Nashville

For the uninitiated, combining the fun and freedom of riding a scooter with the convenience and stability of walking, segways offer an innovative (and eco-friendly) way to explore the main haunts of Nashville without getting too exhausted in the process.

By joining one of the myriad segway tours that zoom through downtown and the surrounding areas (each with its distinct character), you can see top sights like the State Capitol, Legislative Plaza, Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans), and much more.

Most operators will give you a quick training session before setting off on your adventure, so even first-timers should have no problem getting the hang of things. And with small groups and knowledgeable guides, you can be sure to get the most out of your experience from an educational perspective too.

While every tour is a little bit different, on the longer ones (roughly 2.5 hours) you can expect to cover close to 5 miles of Nashville’s highlights, covering must-see landmarks (in addition to the aforementioned) like the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, Bridgestone Arena, Fort Nashborough and the Bicentennial Mall. What’s not to love?

  • segway tours in Nashville

8 – Spot A-listers on a celebrity bus tour

homes of the stars tour in Nashville

The Tinseltown of the MidSouth; with deep-seated music and entertainment roots, it’s no wonder that celebrities – both homegrown and imported – often flock to Nashville. From A-listers attending the Grammy Awards or CMA Music Festival to up-and-comers filming movies and TV shows in town, there’s always a chance you might spot a celeb while strolling down Broadway or enjoying a Nashville night out.

Of course, the best way to see if any celebrities are currently in town (and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Music City’s most popular resident A-listers’ homes) is by taking a celebrity bus tour.

A starpower explosion, these tourist-friendly buses will take you through the affluent neighborhoods where, if you’re lucky, you can spot the likes of Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, and Jared Followill from Kings of Leon — just to name a few! Even if you don’t see a famous face, the chance to witness their (lavish) houses and learn about their lives in Nashville is reason enough to grab a ticket.

  • Nashville homes of the stars tours

9 – Step back in time with a Civil War history excursion

Civil War tour in Nashville

Music aside, the Tennessee capital is also renowned for its role in the Civil War, with over 150 major battles and skirmishes fought in the state. A fascinating part of American history, a guided tour focusing on this period unveils the (often hard) truths about this tumultuous time, as well as the pivotal role Nashville played in the Union’s victory.

Expect to see battlefields, cemeteries, monuments, and more while learning about key events like the Battle of Franklin (one of the war’s bloodiest – renowned as being the five most intense hours of the war) and President Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Nashville shortly after its fall to Union forces.

At the time, the Carter House was Federal headquarters and the Lotz House was a field hospital, both with bullet and cannonball holes in their walls until this day. Each of these houses are mainstay stops on civil war tours, with myriad stories, artifacts, and personal accounts brought to life by expert guides between each point of interest.

  • Nashville civil war tours

10 – Spend the afternoon at the Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

Like stepping back in time – to multiple eras in this state’s loaded history – a visit to the Tennessee State Museum brings Tennessee’s rich and diverse bygone generations to life. The arguable highlight, the Tennessee Time Tunnel presents an interactive timeline that succinctly captures the region’s dramatic past, covering everything from the state’s pre-Colonial days right through to the Civil War and Reconstruction, with plenty of multimedia exhibits and old-school artifacts (like cars) to gawk at.

However, for a different historical lens, check out the ‘Tennessee Transforms’ exhibit: through photography, fashion, technology, and music, it covers how the state has changed drastically since World War II.

Throw in permanent exhibitions dedicated to First Nations, Natural History (both plants and animals), and Change and Challenge, as well as a constant roster of rotating exhibitions to complement, and you’ve got yourself one of the more educational things to do in Nashville!

The family-friendly attraction is located at the top end of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, right next to the Nashville Farmers’ Market. And the best part? It’s free!

11 – Treat yourself to an ethereal candlelight concert with epic soundtracks in beautiful venues

candlelight concerts in Nashville

When you think of Nashville, you inevitably think of country music. But there are tons of other great genres to enjoy during a night out in the city! From John WIlliams film scores to The Nutcracker, you never know what your ears will be treated to. And with the Candlelight Concerts series, you can enjoy a venue that matches the glory of the tunes!

This popular set of events, which has become a hit in cities around the world, seeks to combine world-class musical performances with an intimate atmosphere, and the effect is truly magical.

Settle into your seat surrounded by the flickering flames of hundreds of candles, as world-class musicians serenade you with gorgeous works.

While there are lots of traditional orchestral pieces, you can also vibe to interpretations of more modern artists such as Coldplay and Beyonce. And if you’re visiting during the holidays, there are some excellent themed concerts, offering the perfect soundtrack for Christmas cheer or a cozy Valentine’s Day.

Best of all, the shows take place at various venues around the city, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the historic architecture and world-class acoustics that this musical metropolis has to offer.

  • candlelight concerts in Nashville

12 – Compete for bragging rights in an escape room!

The Escape Game, Nashville

Are you ready for that “I Escaped!” feeling? Put your sleuthing skills to the test by trying to beat the clock in an escape room ! Here’s how it works: At The Escape Game , you and your team will work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete a mission. Each game has multiple rooms to explore.

With multiple rooms and themes to choose from – transport yourself into the jungle, deep space, a prison, or in the middle of an art heist – you’re sure to find an adventure (or two) that piques your interest.

Ask your Game Guide for as many hints as you want! Our games are designed to be epic for everyone – from the experienced gamer to the newbie who’s never played. Each experience is thrilling, family-friendly, and a guaranteed good time!

You might escape… you WILL have fun!

Hot tip: If you’re traveling in a large group (bachelor(ette) party, perhaps?), split in half and race against one another for the ultimate bragging rights!)

  • escape games in Nashville

13 – Browse the historic RCA Studio B, one of the first recording venues in the city (even used by Elvis)

RCA Studio B, Nashville

Music aficionados will want to add a visit to RCA Studio B to the top of their Nashville must-do list. As one of the earliest recording studios in Nashville, it has been used by some of music’s most prolific names, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Chet Atkins – just to name a few.

Most famously, however, this little studio at 1611 Roy Acuff Place is the birthplace of the iconic ‘Nashville Sound’, instantly recognizable by its backing vocals and strings.

Follow the superstars who walked the halls; the infamous artists who took country music – and Nashville – to the top.

A guided tour of the studio offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at where these legends recorded some of their most famous tracks, as well as an insight into the music recording process. As you walk the recording studios you’ll be dying to belt out a number!

Hot tip: Nashville is a web of musical landmarks, with every notable studio, bar, and live music venue having its own place in history. So rather than just visiting Studio B, consider a more comprehensive experience that combines a few of these iconic spots – like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hatch Show Print – into one.

  • RCA Studio B tours

14 – Taste the iconic whiskey at Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Jack Daniel’s Distillery tour from Nashville

One for the thirsty travelers (you’re on vacation, after all), a visit to Jack Daniel’s Distillery sells itself as one of the quintessential things to do in Nashville. As the oldest registered distillery in the United States (dating all the way back to 1866), a tour here is as much about the history and heritage as it is about the whiskey itself.

Due to its location in Lynchburg, about an hour and a half drive south of Nashville, most people opt to take a tour as part of a day trip from the city.

On the tour, you’ll learn all about the whiskey-making process (and the difference between bourbon and whiskey), see first-hand how Jack Daniel’s is bottled and distributed, and – of course – sample a few glasses of the good stuff at the same time. Choose a tour that combines all this goodness with a BBQ lunch and some live entertainment for a day well spent.

Fun fact: the distillery is actually located in a dry county, so, until rather recently when laws changed, you couldn’t do a sample on-site. Fortunately for whiskey fans, that’s all changed, and not only can you taste the very best of Jack Daniel’s during your tour, but you can pop into the gift shop on site to stock up on a couple of bottles (or even your own barrel of whiskey that will get you around 240 bottles of Jack) before heading back to Nashville.

  • Jack Daniel’s Distillery tours

15 – Scratch that automotive itch at the Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum, Nashville

A petrolhead paradise, the Lane Motor Museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in cars – and even if you don’t consider yourself a gearhead, it’s still a fascinating place to explore.

With everything from microcars and motorcycles to military vehicles and trucks on display, culminating in more than 150 vehicles in total, there’s plenty to see. And in a region that’s headstrong on Americana, this international slice of culture provides a well-appreciated change of pace.

While the majority of the cars on show date back to pre-1960, there are also a handful of more modern vehicles dotted around the museum too.

The family-friendly attraction, which you’ll find over in South Nashville (about 15 minutes drive from downtown) makes itself unique with quirky exhibits and off-beat cars including a propeller cars exhibit, and the ‘hobby gone wild’ series which boasts peculiar vehicles you won’t find anywhere else.

Boasting the title of the largest collection of European cars and motorbikes in the nation, rev-heads are quick to add this to their list of things to do in Nashville!

16 – Head to the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll on a day trip… Go walking in Memphis

Memphis day trip from Nashville

Just a short drive away from Nashville (about four hours), Memphis – the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll – is the perfect day-trip destination for those looking to get off the beaten path and explore a little more of what Tennessee has to offer.

This vibrant city on the Mississippi River is best known as the home of Elvis Presley and Graceland, but there’s so much more to see and do here.

Wander down Beale Street – the heart and soul of Memphis’ music scene – and pop into one of the many bars and clubs that line the street, walking in the footsteps of names like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Or learn about Memphis’ fascinating civil rights history with a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum.

For something a little different, take a walk through Elmwood Cemetery, one of America’s most beautiful burial grounds, or explore the city’s unique food scene with a Memphis barbecue tour.

Whatever you do, make sure to leave some time to explore Graceland, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States. This Elvis-themed complex includes the 14-acre mansion where The King lived, as well as his gravesite, a museum dedicated to his life and career, and even a replica of his private jets – a must-visit for any music fan.

Tourist tip: rather than planning your own getaway, take the stress and hassle out of the planning process by opting for a pre-planned Memphis tour from Nashville that takes care of all the logistics for you.

  • Memphis tours from Nashville

17 – Admire the gardens and sculptures at the Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion, Nashville

An iconic Italian-esque villa stepped in history and beauty, and measuring an impressive 18,000 square feet (with 36 rooms) on Nashville’s Belmont University campus (making it Tennessee’s biggest house).

The Belmont Mansion was once the summer home of wealthy slaveholding couple Adelicia and Joseph Acklen – after Joseph died, Adelicia became known as one of the wealthiest women of the antebellum South. This home is one of the rare few that follows a woman’s story.

A visit to this 1850s-era home feels like stepping into a time capsule to life in Tennessee before the Civil War; with docents scattered around to tell of the history, the tour takes you through some of the most opulent rooms in the house – like Adelicia’s Bedroom, the mostly unaltered Library (featuring a 20th-century gramophone), the light and airy French-style Drawing Room, and more – with fascinating clocks scattered throughout.

You’ll also learn about the Acklen’s extraordinary lives, their philanthropy, and their roles in the slave era.

The gorgeous Italian-esque villa in its heyday boasted expansive gardens, a fine art gallery, a bowling alley, and a zoo! Today, the house hosts functions and events, so check the website to see if anything special’s on during your visit; but the main attraction remains the peaceful, sculpture-lined gardens.

  • Belmont Mansion tours

18 – Race around Nashville on an exciting scavenger hunt, checking off all the city highlights along the way

scavenger games in Nashville

Fed up with those run-of-the-mill, slow-paced walking tours? Want to ditch the tourist crowds and see what the real Nashville is all about? If you consider yourself an adventurer at heart (or are just looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon), then a fast-and-furious scavenger hunt beckons.

With challenges ranging from finding local landmarks to completing fun photo tasks, solving puzzles and cracking riddles, and more, this is a far more interactive way to see the city from a whole new angle – and prove your sleuth skills in the process.

Not only will you get an insider’s look at some of the city’s most popular areas (like Broadway, The Gulch, and 12South), but you’ll also discover a bounty of hidden gems that even locals don’t know about.

While each tour is different – you can specialize in certain themes or regions if you like – most are hosted from your smartphone and battle you against the clock as you skirt your way through the city’s major drawcard.

With over 75 categories of hunts to choose from, you’ll never run out of detective options.

Hot tip: since you’ll be covering a lot of ground, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and come armed with plenty of water (and maybe even a snack or two).

  • scavenger games in Nashville

19 – Sign up for a private pontoon boat cruise

pontoon boat tours in Nashville

While a river cruise (see #69) is always a delight, if you prefer to have a little more privacy and control over your own Nashville experience, then a private pontoon boat rental is the way to go.

Ideal for anything from family gatherings and birthday celebrations to corporate events and bachelor/ette parties, these boats can come complete with their own captain so all you need to do is sit back, relax, and soak up the incredible views of the river banks downtown or the bounty of Nashville’s azure lakes (Radnor Lake, Percy Priest Lake, and Old Hickory Lake being the three main ones nearby).

If you opt for a party boat on the Cumberland River, the vessel is all yours and equipped with speakers and coolers filled with ice so you can BYO drinks and snacks. On the flip side, if you rent a boat on a lake, you’ll likely also get to organize complimentary water-sports activities for your time on the lake – think waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing.

Regardless of how you spend your day, be that relaxing and working on the tan or quenching that thirst for thrills (or drinks), make sure to stick around for the sunset!

  • boat tours in Nashville

20 – Peruse the Picasso pieces at the Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum, Nashville

This monolithic museum on the site of Nashville’s grand ole 1930s post office, the famous Frist Art Museum is an artistic masterpiece in and of itself. Listen on the National Register of Historic Places and encompassing more than 24,000 square feet, the art museum is one of the largest in the United States.

And it’s not just the building that’s impressive; the rotating exhibitions are top-notch too. The museum has no permanent collection, instead, it prides itself on securing the best of traveling exhibitions from around the world and bringing them to Nashville!

Covering every type of theme, from thought-provoking paintings to avant-garde sculpture, historic knights in shining armor, contemporary Cuban art, medieval art, American Art Deco, British Art Nouveau, landscape paintings of the American West, and a near-endless list of everything in between.

Traveling with kids in tow? Be sure to pop into Martin ArtQuest (MAQ) – the only permanent facility in the museum. Interactive and designed to get the creativity flowing, ArtQuest sports painting, drawing, and printmaking stations, a zoetrope, a shadow theater, and a stop-motion animation tool, among plenty more.

Found at 919 Broadway, it sits just a 10-minute walk from the main haunts of Honky Tonk Highway – easily combined into any day of exploring Downtown and/or The Gulch.

21 – Zoom down ziplines at thrilling speeds

zipline in Nashville

While Fontanel is tucked away on the northern outskirts of the city, thanks to its lush canopies, sprawling vineyards, and picturesque setting among the rolling hills of Tennessee, it feels like a world away from busy downtown Nashville, with nine ziplines that stretch up to 700 feet long and 85 feet high, spread across over 1.5 miles of glorious greenery.

Among the old forest stands Fontanel Mansion — a giant yet quaint log-cabin-style mansion that completes the scenery. While it will set you back around $20 to tour the former celebrity abode (Barbara Mandrell), as the only Nashville celebrity home that you can actually step inside, many visitors like to tag it as the cherry on top of a day of outdoor adventure.

Keep in mind: if you’re ziplining with Adventureworks at Fontanel , the outdoor adventure specialists also operate another tour in Kingston Springs along the Harpeth River – just as, if not more impressive.

And if you want to combine your zipping with some splashy fun, Nashville Shores makes an ideal vacation spot! Located just outside of town, this fun-filled complex has something for tree fans and water lovers alike.

Explore the gorgeous forest canopy, and then go flying through it, with three high-octane courses to try. Along the way, you’ll get to try out some other awesome treetop adventures, including rope swings, hanging bridges, and obstacle courses.

Back on the ground, you can keep your adrenaline up with the slides and wave pool at the waterpark, then settle in for the night at one of the cozy cabins on the property.

  • zipline in Nashville

22 – Go kayaking down the Cumberland River

kayaking in Nashville

Floating or paddling downstream on the Cumberland River through downtown Nashville and ending up in the thick of Broadway is, without a doubt, a fabulously unique way to see the city.

As you wade your way along the river, you’ll be greeted to picturesque views of the Nashville skyline and Riverfront Park, where you can admire the architecture of the pedestrian bridge, the Shelby Street Bridge, the AT&T Building towering over the busy streets, and plenty more.

While it’s easy to rent your own kayak (check out riverside haunts like River Queen Voyages or Cumberland Kayak), many travelers prefer to join a tour instead. Why?

After meeting your guide at a pick-up point (from whom you’ll learn fascinating tidbits about the city’s history and culture), they’ll shuttle you over to the launch point before you can paddle your way back to downtown at a leisurely pace. This way, you can see more of the area compared to what you would if you were treading water with a same-location pickup and return point.

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23 – Join the excitement of the Great Big Game Show

Great Big Game Show, Nashville

Live the adrenaline-pumping experience of being on a televised game show without the nerve-wracking prospect of millions of viewers. In the immersive live-action Great Big Game Show , experience the thrill of bright lighting, exciting music, interesting questions, and prop challenges.

All participants need is a friend, family member, or colleague to participate in the fun.

Rounds are explained in short videos and moderators walk you through each step. Gameplay is diverse, encompassing trivia, prop challenges, and speed tests, ensuring each round brings something new.

The Great Big Game Show is infinitely replayable, with new content guaranteed each time, whether you’re trying different game themes or replaying your favorites.

Participants play only with their own group and never with strangers, providing a relaxed and personal experience.

The Great Big Game Show is perfect for parties, with groups competing in fast-paced game show rounds, ensuring a memorable and exciting celebration of this unique event.

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24 – Ride through town, checking off major landmarks and hidden gems on a Nashville bike tours

bike tours in Nashville

Walking tours (particularly the free ones) are always an excellent way to explore a new city, but if you want to cover more ground in less time, hop on a bike and join one of the many Nashville bike tours instead.

Led by in-the-know locals, you’ll be taken on a super educational, just as entertaining journey through the city’s top landmarks, with hidden gems thrown in for good measure.

Depending on which tour you book, you can expect to hit up top spots like like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, Fisk University, Marathon Village, the Gulch, and the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, to name a few; while also rolling through lesser-known alleys and neighborhoods (like Lockeland Springs and Shelby Park) to give you more of the behind-the-postcard experience.

Along the way, you’ll hear all kinds of fascinating facts about Nashville’s history and its iconic music scene too. Some tours even include stops at popular eateries or breweries — the Nashville Farmers Market is a common spot — so that you can refuel with some quintessential local fare.

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25 – Make a splash on the drop slides or lazy river at the upscale SoundWaves waterpark at Gaylord Opryland

SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland, Nashville

Found right next to the Grand Ole Opry in Music Valley (about a 15-minute drive northeast of downtown Nashville), the Gaylord Opryland resort and hotel has long been regarded as one of the most happening places in the city.

This reputation was only solidified in 2018 when SoundWaves – the brand new, near-hundred-million dollar indoor and outdoor upscale water park – opened to the public.

Featuring a whole host of adrenaline-pumping slides and rides (including everything from thrilling body slides like Beat Drop, Stage Dive and Rock’N Racer to splashtastic rafting adventures like the Rapid Remix and the Record Launch, SoundWaves has quickly become a staple summer attraction for beating the summer heat.

But it’s not just about high-octane thrills here. The resort also boasts an impressive lazy river, wave pool, rock climbing wall, flowrider surfing experience, and even a couple of dedicated kids playing areas (the indoor Half Note Cove and the Rising Stars Stage).

Keep in mind: while the multiple kid-only areas make this a great place for families, there’s also an adults-only area that covers indoor and outdoor pools, bars and lounging areas, so you won’t be surrounded by kids all day (unless you want to be).

26 – Snap a few selfies at Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds museum in Nashville

A worldwide institution, Madame Tussauds needs no introduction. The world-famous chain of wax museums has outposts in all corners of the globe – and, as of April 2017, that now includes Nashville.

The latest addition to the Music City’s already impressive roster of attractions, Madame Tussauds Nashville is located on Broadway in the heart of the city’s bustling downtown district. And, differentiating this location from those across the country: The Music City’s gallery is all about — yep, you guessed it — the local music scene!

Visitors can expect to see (and snap envy-evoking selfies) with incredibly lifelike wax models of some of the biggest names in country music, including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. There are also figures of wider pop-culture icons like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Oprah Winfrey.

Make sure to swing by the wax museum’s soul lounge and jazz bar exhibits, and join in on the interactive exhibits too: jam with Jimi Hendrix, join Elvis on stage, or belt out a performance of your own. And cap it all off with a wine-tasting with 5 sweet and savory blends from the Amber Falls Winery (not for the youngsters, obviously).

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27 – Spend a couple of hours at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville

Found smack-bang in the middle of downtown, right next to the Tennessee State Capitol and Victory Park (a great spot for a post-museum stroll, in fact), the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum (or the MHOF for short) is, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular points of interest in Nashville for music history fans of all ages.

The museum first opened its doors in 2006 as a way to honor the incredible musicians – both local and international – who have helped make Music City what it is today. From country and gospel to rock ‘n’ roll and soul, the museum celebrates all genres of music and the artists who have shaped them.

With multiple floors of interactive exhibits, there are bucketloads to keep music-lovers occupied here. You can explore the history of country music through hands-on displays, admire iconic instruments used by legends like Elvis, Ringo Starr, and Jimi Hendrix, and more recent beloved musicians like Garth Brooks.

What sets this particular institution apart is its ability to unveil the curtain; tourists can learn all about the craftsmen behind the label – the unsung heroes who played on hundreds of hit records but aren’t as well-known to the public.

You’ve heard the songs, so come see the instruments and the studios used to make them! Plus, with a slew of interactive exhibits for songwriting, recording, and DJing, it’s something the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy.

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28 – Sample local wine at the Belle Meade Mansion

Belle Meade Mansion, Nashville

Dating all the way back to 1853 and once set across roughly 5,400 acres (closer to 30 these days), this strikingly posh Greek Revival mansion remains hands-down one of the largest and wealthiest in town.

With its elegant architecture and stunning gardens (which contain a game court, horse farm, and on-site winery offering samples to visitors), any tour of the mansion and its grounds is a delightful experience.

Aesthetics aside, this mansion – being a former plantation – is also steeped in history. With bullet holes peppered in its walls from the Civil War, it’s a walking museum with myriad stories to tell – which your guide will be more than happy to share with you.

Tours of Belle Meade Mansion typically last about 45 minutes, during which time you’ll get to explore the main house, grounds, and outbuildings – including the carriage house, stables, smokehouse, gardener’s house, slave cabin, and ice house – all while learning about what life was like on a pre-Civil War plantation.

But it’s not all about the history; after your tour, be sure to enjoy a wine tasting at the on-site vineyard and pick up a bottle or two of your favorite varietals to take home with you. Or, for that extra luxe experience, consider booking the Chef-Inspired Food & Wine Pairing.

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29 – Play detective at the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show, Nashville

A classic whodunnit with a dash of humor and multiple platefuls of tantalizing Southern fare, the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show deserves to sit high on your list of things to do in Nashville if you’re the type of person who loves a good puzzle – or just a good meal.

This is not your average dinner theater experience; there are no zany costumes or over-the-top acting here. Instead, what you can expect is a thoughtfully crafted mystery complete with plenty of twists and… by the end of your four-course dinner, you tell us!

Follow the clues and interrogate your fellow diners to find the imposters and undercover actors – but don’t be alarmed if you discover that you’re the prime suspect!

Held inside the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, this popular event sets itself apart with its chef-prepared cuisine, which includes dishes like roasted chicken, salmon fillet, and quinoa ragu with potato gnocchi.

With the claim to fame of being America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner theatre show, rest assured that this award-winning evening experience will give you a taste of detective work in a hilarious, interactive, and quizzical fashion.

And with a bar on site, it serves as a perfect precursor to a Saturday night out on Beale Street.

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30 – Let the youngsters loose at the Adventure Science Center

Adventure Science Center, Nashville

With over 175 interactive activities and a breathtaking full-dome planetarium show for visitors of all ages, the Adventure Science Center – found right next door to Fort Negley, just south of Downtown – is the ideal place for youngsters to discover their inner scientists and inventors.

A surefire way to spark curiosity and creativity in kids and adults alike, the sprawling center (at 44,000 square feet!) covers fascinating topics such as space, the human body, medicine, ecology, and physics through a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions (spanning themes like Rubik’s Cubes or National Geographic, to give you a taste), with hands-on activities and special scientist shows that make learning a whole lot of fun.

Among the crowd favorites is the Sudekum Planetarium, where you can explore the cosmos in a jaw-dropping 63-foot digital theater; be sure to check the show times in advance as tickets do tend to sell out fast! And if you get hungry during your visit (or just need some caffeine to power through all those exhibits), there’s a cafe on site too.

Learn about the wonders of flight before making a popsicle stick biplane; feel what it’s like to walk on the moon; play with magnets, try your hand at the augmented reality Tetris game, and see what you can create using a 3D printer! All in all, an easy way to pass 3 or so hours on a rainy day.

31 – Order the Legendary Burger at Hard Rock Cafe Nashville

Hard Rock Cafe Nashville

Here, at the intersection of Broadway and 2nd Avenue, you’ll find Hard Rock Cafe Nashville . And while the menu here is chock-full of American classics like the Legendary Burger, it’s the setting that really makes this spot a must-visit. Personified by the giant guitar on its facade, this is where the famous Music City meets the famous music restaurant!

The contemporary All-American eatery offers great food and a gallery of music memorabilia belonging to more legends than you can count, from Johnny Cash to Bon Jovi.

And with a stage that regularly plays host to live music performances (for the most part, local country acoustic sets), as well as a rooftop bar with one of the best views in town, this is one restaurant that’s definitely worth a visit.

No night at the Hard Rock is complete without popping into the gift store next door – you’ll find everything from t-shirts and shot glasses to mugs, keychains, and even actual guitars, so seldom does anyone walk away empty-handed (or on an empty stomach).

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32 – Take the family to the Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo

A surefire hit for vagabonding families (delighting both kids of age and kids at heart), Nashville Zoo is located just 6 miles southeast of downtown. With over 300 species of animals, and more than 6,000 individual critters in total, there’s plenty to see and learn about at this beloved Grassmere attraction.

From the endangered Tennessee Hollow Bats and Amur tigers to the red pandas, Masai giraffes, and Humboldt penguins, you’ll find critters big and small, soft and scaley, from all corners of the globe.

Like taking an international safari, a walk around the shaded paths will take you from one natural outdoor habitat to another, with the Andean bears, Sumatran tigers, Aussie kangaroos, and clouded leopards among the most popular local residents.

While there are plenty of ways to explore, including the Soaring Eagle zipline and cart tours, visitors who want that next-level experience opt for the early morning Rise & Shine with Rhinos experience, or the overnight Zzzoofari Slumber.

Don’t forget to pop into the Adventure 4D Theater (with screenings every 15 minutes), check out the Grassmere Historic Home (built in 1810), and for when the legs get a little tired, take a spin on the Wilderness Express Train.

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33 – Head backstage at the infamous Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole Opry, Nashville

A famous name that echoes around the world, the Grand Ole Opry is one of Nashville’s – and America’s – most iconic music venues, standing proud since 1925. Located just 20 minutes outside of downtown on Opryland Drive, this is where legends like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn, and Patsy Cline have cut their teeth.

A selfie out the front is a non-negotiable, but for the full monty, follow the footsteps of countless country music superstars who have performed on this legendary stage by opting for a backstage tour!

Led by a local music expert, these insightful tours provide a rare glimpse into what really happens behind the curtain – meander through the dressing rooms, the green room, and all the backstage nooks and crannies, then take a deep breath before you walk through the artist’s entrance and step out on the world-famous arena!

Of course, nothing beats the chance to sit front row at one of the weekly live shows; featuring a mix of local and international talent performing a variety of genres, from country and bluegrass to old-time rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary pop. Simply check the schedule to see who’s playing when you’re in town.

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34 – See the glorious Greek Parthenon in Centennial Park

Greek Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville

A full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, this is one of Nashville’s most iconic landmarks. Built back in 1897 for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition, today it serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical Greek architecture – and houses an art museum inside.

With a permanent collection of 19th- and 20th-century American art and a bounty of temporary displays to complement, no two visits are the same.

As you explore the buildings’ interiors, be sure to look up; the ceiling paintings and plaster replicas of the friezes that adorned the pediments of the ancient temple are particularly impressive. The 42-foot statue of Athena that presides over all from her position atop the acropolis is also quite something to behold!

When you’re done exploring the Parthenon and appreciating its grandeur, take some time to stroll around Centennial Park – at 132 acres, it’s one of the largest urban parks in the United States.

With beautiful Lake Watauga, a one-mile walking trail, a beautiful sunken garden, a dog park, playgrounds, and picnic areas, it’s easy to while away an afternoon here. And when the occasional festivals and live music roll into the bandshell, an evening too!

35 – Learn all about Nashville’s story at the Historic Travellers Rest

Historic Travellers Rest, Nashville

Dating back to 1799, the Historic Travellers Rest has the claim to fame of being the city’s oldest historic house museum; a longstanding monument to the rich and often enigmatic history of Nashville.

Set on 10 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens about 8 miles south of Downtown, near the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere (although, originally, covering over 1,000 acres), the two-story plantation offers visitors a chance to take a step back in time and experience what life was like on a working farm in the early 1800s.

Take a guided tour of the main house, which is furnished with antiques from the period; stroll through the garden; explore the outbuildings, and learn all about the people who lived and worked here over the generations with a fascinating guided tour.

Be sure to stop by the on-site museum too, which contains artifacts from the plantation as well as other local historical sites. A stroll through the various displays allows curious guests to see what the city was like before European settlement, then see it turned upside-down (twice) during the brutal American Revolution and Civil War.

With myriad relics and educational displays, you’ll also learn about its industrial boom, and the rapid urbanization and development that saw it become the incredible city we have today.

36 – Check off the main Nashville highlights with a golf cart tour

Nashville golf cart tour

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Nashville, look no further than an open-aired golf cart! Perfect for a warm summer’s day, a slew of businesses offer unique tours of the city in these comfortable buggies.

As you make your way through the main haunts and neighborhoods (like Music Row, Midtown, Downtown, and the banks of the Cumberland), you’ll learn all about the city’s storied past and present and from your friendly and knowledgeable local guide.

With a range of different tour options available – including Downtown highlights, brewery hopping, street art crawls, shopping tours, and even Pokemon Go tours – there’s something to suit everyone’s interests.

And with each tour lasting around two hours, you’ll have plenty of time to take in all the sights and sounds (not to mention photo ops!) along the way before moving on to something else for the afternoon.

Hot tip: to get the most out of your tour (and trip in general), make sure to ask your guide for the local secrets: where to eat, dance, and explore off the beaten track

  • golf cart tours in Nashville

37 – Go spelunking in Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

Very different to your typical nature-focused day trip getaway (think: hiking trails through forests and mountains), Mammoth Cave National Park — which stretches almost 53,000 acres — is all about, well, caves!

As the world’s longest known cave system (with more than 400 miles of explored caverns), Mammoth Cave offers an array of activities and tours for all ages and abilities, from the half-mile Historic Tour to the more challenging six-hour Grand Avenue Tour.

With so much to explore, including waterfalls, underground rivers (and the Green and Nolin Rivers – perfect for kayaking and boating), and some of the world’s most incredible rock formations, Mammoth Cave is a great place to spend a day (or two) if you’re looking for something a little different.

Throw in horseriding excursions, over 80 miles of hiking trails, and a handful of ranger-led programs, and you’ve got a nature lover’s paradise. And, if you happen to be visiting in the evening, don’t miss the chance to join one of the stargazing trips – an experience you’re unlikely to forget any time soon!

Found in west-central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave sits about an hour and 20 minutes drive north, making it an easy there-and-back day trip. Along the way, the Days Gone By Museum in Portland is a treasure trove of old-school vehicles worthy of a quick detour.

38 – Sample some moonshine on a Tractor Party Wagon

tractor party wagon in Nashville

A city-circle bus tour, but not like you’ve ever seen it before; the Tractor Party Wagon is a tractor-powered, open-air pub on wheels that makes its way through the heart of downtown Nashville.

Slow and steady, with ample time to appreciate the landmarks (like Ryman Auditorium and Music Row) while the onboard DJ spins the decks, or the hilarious comedy guide waxes lyrical about the city (choose from party tractors, comedy tours, or a little bit of both).

On the tractor wagon (which has got more than its fair share of media attention for good reason) you’ll find a light-up dance floor, an on-board bartender to serve you ice-cold drinks from the cooler (and depending on your tractor tour of choice, potentially some of the city’s best moonshine), and room for up to 40 likeminded thirsty travelers; with BYOB an option too, all in all, these social celebrations ensure the good vibes are always flowing.

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39 – Pop into the National Museum of African-American Music

National Museum of African-American Music, Nashville

A shining light on the contributions of African-American musicians to the world of music, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is one of Nashville’s newest and most exciting attractions.

Housed in a stunning 56,000-square-foot facility in downtown Nashville, right next door to the Ryman Auditorium, the museum tells the story of how African-American music has shaped and influenced virtually every genre, from blues and gospel to R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, and hip-hop.

With interactive exhibits that tell fascinating stories of famous names and events of bygone decades, film screenings, live performances, and more, the NMAAM is a must-visit for music lovers of all ages. And with a location right on historic Music Row, it’s also perfectly placed for anyone interested in exploring Nashville’s rich musical history.

Craving more? Check out the Sips and Stanzas events to rub shoulders with music professionals while emerging artists perform, or get your boogie on at the heARTBEAT Saturdays with DJ Casanova.

  • Museum of African American Music tickets

40 – Stop to smell the roses at the Cheekwood estate

Cheekwood, Nashville

The 55-acre Cheekwood estate is an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of Nashville, located just a short drive away in Bellevue. This former private home has now been transformed into a gorgeous public garden and museum, complete with art galleries, botanical gardens, sculptures, and an 18th-century, 30,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion that you can tour.

It includes a Museum of Art with painting and sculpture exhibits, highlighted by the largest collection of William Edmondson sculptures, and Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth’s portraits of one another.

Plus, with fine pieces by American impressionist Childe Hassam, a slew of furniture, textiles, silver, and books, and the ever-popular TRAINS! exhibit with delicate model trains running through a playhouse based on ‘The Little Engine That Could’ (a surefire delight for the kids), there’s plenty to explore inside the mansion.

But, it’s the outside gardens that will really take your breath away. Wander through the incredible grounds solo or as part of a self-guided audio tour, taking the time to soak in the Botanical Garden – eleven lush gardens display various brightly-colored flora and fauna, including fragrant camellias, bright roses, and Japanese maples.

Periodically throughout the year, Cheekwood also offers special events like outdoor concerts, holiday light displays, a Christmas wonderland for December visitors, and art classes for kids, so check the website to see if anything special is on during your trip.

While you’re here: you’re not too far from the Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery, so consider crossing off these two beautiful locales back to back.

41 – Step back in time at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Nashville

The former home and current resting place of seventh U.S President, Andrew Jackson, this beautiful whitewashed mansion is located just outside of Nashville in Hermitage, Tennessee.

A visit to the Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage will take you back in time as you tour the grandiose Greek revival mansion, complete with original family belongings and furniture. Learn about Jackson’s life on the plantation where he enslaved over 95 people, as well as his military successes (including the Battle of New Orleans), and his controversial Presidency between 1829 and 1937.

After you’ve explored the mansion, following along the informative costumed guides, take a stroll through the manicured gardens, visit the tomb where Jackson and his wife are buried, or explore one of the several outbuildings on the plantation grounds, including a log cabin, kitchen, smokehouse, and more. At 1,120 acres all up, with several historic buildings and seas of colorful flowers inhabiting the gardens.

While the premises are visually stunning, they carry a dark history of slavery and fire that can’t be ignored – best learned about at the on-site museum.

Hot tip: Make sure you see ‘The Duel: The Art of the Southern Gentleman’ for the full experience.

While you’re in the area, Long Hunter State Park is a wonderful spot to stretch the legs. Boasting 20 miles of hiking trails and peaceful lake views, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of touring.

  • Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage tours

42 – Check out the Rollin’ Jamboree Comedy Country Sing-Along Bus Tour

Rollin’ Jamboree Comedy Country Sing-Along Bus Tour in Nashville

Fusing stand-up comedy with quintessential sightseeing, the Rollin’ Jamboree is a party bus tour like no other. Departing from downtown Nashville, you’ll be treated to a 90-minute side-splitting comedy show as you make your way around the city, with toe-tapping live music and plenty of audience participation thrown in for good measure.

With songs ranging from current country chart-toppers to classic hits, there’s something for everyone on this rollicking tour, which is led by some of Nashville’s most talented (and hilarious) comedians.

As you roll your way around town with a couple dozen new friends, beer in one hand, microphone in the other, you’ll pass by renowned landmarks such as the Ryman Auditorium and Lower Broadway (a.k.a. Honky Tonk Row), before making a quick stop (usually) at the Country Music Hall of Fame to stretch your legs and learn more about the city, all while belting out your favorite tunes at the top of your lungs.

Just be warned: this is not your average bus tour. It’s rowdy, it’s raucous, and it’s a whole lot of fun. With reviews calling it the “best 1.5 hours we spent in Nashville”, it deserves serious consideration.

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43 – Stuff your face with mouthwatering chocolate treats at the century-old Goo Goo Chocolate Co

chocolate tastings in Nashville

Chocoholics, this one’s for you! Tennessee’s main experts on the food and drink scene may be rooted in the world of whiskey, but there are plenty of other tasty delights to discover as well.

After diving into a hefty plate of Nashville hot chicken or Southern BBQ (both staples worthy of the bucket list), for a unique and indulgent dessert, there’s arguably no tastier spot than the Goo Goo Chocolate Co on 3rd Avenue.

This iconic Nashville company has been handcrafting their famous “Goo Goo Clusters” since 1912 and now blesses sweet-toothed visitors the chance to sample all kinds of different flavors, learning about the history of this beloved sweet treat in between bites.

If you’re not sure which flavor to try, opt for the “Original” which features roasted peanuts and caramel covered in milk chocolate. Or simply sign up at one of the tasting sessions to sample them all!

But don’t just stop at tastings – if you want to dive head-first into the confectionery world, consider taking a tour or sign up for a hands-on class where you’ll get to make your very own custom Goo Goo Cluster.

Feeling ready to party? One of the venue’s boozy milkshakes could be the perfect start to your night of debaucherous adventure on Broadway.

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44 – Get a custom print souvenir at Hatch Show Print

Hatch Show Print, Nashville

Calling all designers and artists! For almost 150 years (dating back to 1879), Hatch Show has been designing iconic posters, reproduced a million times over. A name as famous as the artists they’ve worked with and the country music stars they’ve printed, Hatch Show Print is one of America’s most historic and well-loved print shops.

As part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hatch Show Print offers tours as well as workshops where you can learn about the history of the company and create your own masterpiece. With a huge range of artwork on display, from original hand-carved blocks to finished prints, it’s a great place to get inspired.

White the store cut its teeth in old-school country music posters, creating legendary depictions of names like Jonny Cash and Elvis Presley, modern names like Kacey Musgraves and Dolly Parton also feature. And, beyond music, you’ll find illustrations of Nashville, motivational quotes, and a slew of vintage (often rare) creations to buy – not to mention custom requests.

And if you’re looking for a uniquely Nashville souvenir, look no further than the on-site store which stocks everything from apparel and badges to unique postcards and gifts.

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45 – Mix bowling with booze and modern twists at either Pinewood or Pins Mechanical Co

bowling bars in Nashville

A longstanding American pastime, bowling has always drawn a diverse crowd, but nowhere more so than in Nashville. Here, you can enjoy this beloved sport with a little something extra – arcade games, handcrafted cocktails, bocce, foosball, and even some summertime swimming!

Take Pinewood Social for example, located on the south side of the river just past the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge and the bustling downtown area.

This trendy bar boasts not only bowling lanes, but also an outdoor swimming pool, a menu full of breakfast, brunch (the french toast is to die for), lunch + dinner and dessert staples; as well as yoga sessions, bocce ball courts and even an Airstream trailer that serves as a quaint little coffee shop.

Over at Pins Mechanical Co. , located in the hip Gulch neighborhood, you’ll find duckpin bowling lanes (like tenpin but a little smaller) along with 40 different pinball machines, ping pong, foosball, bocce, giant jenga, console video games and hookey, to name a few.

Since each has its own cocktail bar, both of these trendy spots are perfect for groups looking to have a fun night out or couples seeking a playful date spot. And with tasty food options and creative drinks, you won’t be leaving hungry or thirsty.

46 – Spend a couple hours at the Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe

Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe, Nashville

Sitting on 3rd Ave, right next to the heart of all the Broadway music action, the Johnny Cash museum is an ode to “The Man in Black” himself. As you walk in the red-brick entrance, you’re greeted by a life-size statue of the music legend and are then ushered into a room where his original Nashville recording studio still stands.

From there, you’ll learn all about his incredible life story through interactive exhibits, artifacts, memorabilia, and video footage of Cash on stage and behind the scenes; whose music famously contains themes of dejection, redemption, and heartache.

If you’re (literally) hungry for more, grab some food at the Cafe – known for its hearty sandwiches, hot breakfasts, and its invigorating Man in Black coffee! When you’re done chowing down, browse the on-site store for some Johnny Cash merch to take home.

Pro tip: combine the Cash Museum with a visit to the Nashville Music Garden and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame – two popular attractions just a couple minutes away on foot.

47 – Shop till you drop at the city’s many malls!

shopping tours in Nashville

With outlet malls, designer brands, vintage stores, independent boutiques, and everything in between, it’s no surprise that shoppers love Nashville! But where to begin? The gentrified Fatherland District , which is found on the northern side of the Cumberland, is a maze of more than 20 local, charming, indie-owned shops with a little of everything (although particularly clothes and coffee shops).

If you’re wandering through downtown, don’t miss the historic Arcade. Dating back to the early 1900s, this indoor shopping mall is one of the oldest in the city, and home to a number of local businesses, including a handful of great places to eat.

For designer labels and high-end brands, head to The Mall at Green Hills . With over 100 stores, including Nordstrom, Michael Kors Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton, it’s a shopper’s paradise. Meanwhile, and the 8th Avenue Antique Mall is your one-stop option for antiques

And finally, for the ultimate in Nashville shopping experiences, make your way to Opry Mills – Tennessee’s largest outlet destination. This massive discount mall has more than 200 stores, plus an aquarium restaurant, the Amber Falls Winery and Cellars, an escape room, and Madame Tussauds — meaning you could easily spend an entire day here.

Hot tip: If you need help getting around with all that shopping, book a shopping tour; golf cart and personal shopper included!

  • shopping tours in Nashville

48 – Learn all about one of music’s greatest icons at the hyper-detailed Glen Campbell Museum

Glen Campbell Museum, Nashville

Hidden in plain sight on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway – right in the thick of the Downtown Nashville action – the Glen Campbell Museum is a must-visit for any country music fan. This small but mighty museum space is dedicated to the life and legacy of one of Nashville’s most beloved artists: the late, great, six-time Grammy winner, Glen Campbell of course.

The pride of Delight, Arkansas, this legendary singer-songwriter made his name in Music City in the early 1960s with hits like “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman.” That sparked a career that saw him release more than 70 albums and sell an immense 45 million records worldwide. But if you’re reading this entry, you already knew that, didn’t you?

Inside this intimate yet impressive tribute museum, you’ll find all kinds of cool memorabilia including rare photos from his childhood, old guitars (and a few other instruments), his extensive collection of golf paraphernalia, and a whole collection of costumes that he wore on stage. All in all, a thorough insight into the life and legacy of one of Nashville’s most celebrated sons.

More than just a museum though, the venue also boasts the Rhinestone Stage, which welcomes live performances by up-and-coming Nashville artists all year round. Simply check the website for listings before your visit, and you might just catch a future superstar in the making!

49 – Take a thrilling joyride in a monster truck

monster truck tour in Nashville

That’s right, sit shotgun and feel the power on a jacked-up 4×4 monster truck riding through Nashville! Over the sound of the engine roaring, your driver and tour guide will fill you in on the sights, history, people, and culture of the great Music City as you pass by all the quintessential landmarks and locations.

Like the buzzing Broadway strip, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans), Printers Alley, Marathon Village (the old Marathon Motor Works factory where you’ll find stores, breweries, and the Marathon Motor Works museum), Bicentennial State Park, beloved Music Row, and a whole lot more.

Typically lasting between one and two hours, and with room for up to 12 people per truck, you can bring the whole gang. Don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the monster truck before you go!

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50 – Meet the locals at the Nashville Farmers’ Market

Nashville Farmers’ Market

Get your wallet ready! An authentic insight into the local food culture, the Nashville Farmers’ Market is where you can find everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses to handmade soaps, coffee, and mouthwatering fudge.

And with over 150 vendors selling their homegrown goodies at the Farm Sheds , there’s plenty to choose from and tantalize the tastebuds.

The market dates back to the 1800s when farmers would sell their goods downtown; and today, it’s still very much a community affair, with many of the vendors being multi-generational family businesses. Not to be forgotten, the Gardens of Babylon boasts an 18,000-square-foot nursery with countless plants and friendly staff on site offering tips, should you need them.

Open seven days a week, there’s always something going on; on Saturdays, for instance, you can catch live music performances, cooking demonstrations, and other fun events. And if you’re looking to do some people-watching, the market is always bustling with locals coming and going. Keep in mind, on the third Friday of every month, the Night Market adds more live music and craft beer to the menu too.

So whether you’re looking to do some shopping or just want to soak up the atmosphere, be sure to head on down to the Nashville Farmers’ Market on the western side of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park – you won’t be disappointed.

51 – Cheer on the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville

Sports fans, listen up! Bridgestone Arena is home to ‘ the Preds ’, one of the National Hockey League’s more modern arrivals. Despite only being in existence since 1997, the Predators have amassed a surprisingly large and powerfully vocal fan base that flock to the arena to watch their team take on some of America’s (and Canada’s) best between October and June.

But it’s not just sports that make this atmospheric arena so popular. The stadium regularly hosts huge musical acts (think: Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Michael Bublé, My Chemical Romance, The Lumineers headline the neverending list of performers) as well as comedy nights, other big events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Disney on Ice, the Nashville Stampede Days, and high-octane Monster Jams.

With dozens of bars and concession stands (Pete & Terry’s Tavern as well as the Barrel House are crowd favorites) throughout the arena, you won’t go hungry (or thirsty) either.

Located right in the heart of downtown, right next to the Country Music Hall of Fame and a 4-minute walk from the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena is easy to get to whether you’re driving or taking public transport; and if you want to keep the night going after the match or show, the slew of Honky Tonks and bars on Lower Broadway are just around the corner.

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52 – Sip your way through the best Nashville rooftop bars, soaking up views of the marvelous downtown skyline

best Nashville rooftop bars

A city with a reputation for getting a little wild and crazy, Nashville always knows how to turn a good time into a great one. And what better way to elevate the party (quite literally) than by heading to one of the city’s myriad rooftop watering holes.

From upscale vibes to dive bar feels, here are just a couple of some of Nashville’s best rooftop bars that provide both great views and an even better atmosphere.

Start with the L27 Rooftop Lounge ; Perched atop the Westin Nashville hotel, L27 dishes up breathtaking views of downtown with an Asian-fusion decor to boot. The tasty cocktails and small bites are all winners, but it’s the rooftop pool that steals the show.

Another favorite is the LA Jackson rooftop bar, found on top of The Thompson Hotel in the Gulch. With an industrial-chic design and impressive views overlooking the city skyline, this bar is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. And with Southern-inspired dishes and beers, and seasonal specialty cocktails (don’t miss the espresso martini), it’s no wonder why.

Let’s not forget about Denim at The Joseph , a recent addition to the rooftop bar scene in Nashville, and the colorful Bobby Hotel, which boasts quirky elements like a 1956 Scenicrouser bus where visitors can sip and chat.

Still thirsty? Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk always dishes up a party, Ellington’s is a great off-the-beaten-path spot, and Harriet’s Rooftop adds a splash of greenery in an otherwise urban landscape.

53 – Catch the Tennessee Titans in actions at a packed-out Nissan Stadium

Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium

Presenting an atmosphere that can only be described as electric, Nissan Stadium is home to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and is one of the best places in Nashville to catch a live sporting event.

The stadium can hold up to almost 70,000 fans, making it one of the largest in the NFL (the biggest is NYC’s MetLife, in case you were wondering), and features state-of-the-art facilities, a slew of concession stands and bars, and – the best part – plenty of Titans swag.

If you’re not in town for a Titans game, don’t worry – there’s still plenty to do at Nissan Stadium.

Check out a concert (some big names that have played here include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John, and Jada Vance), take a tour of the facilities, cheer on the Nashville SC MLS side, or pop into one of the occasional festivals (if you’re in town in October, the Nashville Beer and Bacon Festival is hard to beat).

Hot tip: Travelers in June should catch the beloved annual CMA festival , where the Music City hosts one of the nation’s premier music extravaganzas!

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54 – Try your hand at flyboarding in Percy Priest Lake

flyboard in Nashville

Looking for an adreniline rush that’ll leave you feeling on top of the world? Then look no further than flyboarding, where you can strap on a futuristic love child of a jetpack and hoverboard (the flyboard) and soar high above the flat waters.

Under the careful instruction of a certified flyboarding instructor, you’ll be kitted out in all the necessary gear before taking to the skies; and with the help of a jet ski towing you around, you’ll be flying high in no time, allowing you to propel up to 30 feet in the air or dive like a dolphin through the water below.

It’s an experience unlike any other, and one that’s sure to leave you feeling exhilarated; not to mention giving you some seriously impressive Instagram photos.

And what better place to try it out than Percy Priest Lake – an idyllic body of water about 10 miles east of Nashville that’s perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities, from swimming and fishing to boating and, of course, flyboarding.

At 42 miles long and spanning over 14,200 acres, this relaxing slice of nature has plenty to offer; take a hike along one of the many trails that wind through the woods, have a picnic on the shore, or go for a swim in the crystal clear waters (in the designated areas). Just be sure to leave some time to fly!

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55 – Drift around corners at one of Nashville’s high-speed go karting venues

karting in Nashville

Reserved for the petrolheads and the adrenaline junkies amongst us, Nashville’s go karting scene is surprisingly diverse. Whether you’re traveling with kids in tow, looking for something that’s both thrilling and wallet-friendly, or are simply looking to let loose on the track, Music City has you covered with over half a dozen tracks scattered around town.

If you’re staying centrally, then make a beeline for K1 Speed – Indoor Go Karts (where Music City Indoor Karting used to be). Capable of hitting hair-raising speeds approaching 45 miles an hour, the all-electric karts are some of the fastest in town, while the 1/4-mile track is just long and winding enough to keep you on edge.

For a more varied experience, head over to the GO USA Funpark down in Murfreesboro. Sitting about 35 minutes from town, the adventure park not only houses an outdoor karting track that the kids will love, but backs it up with mini gold, arcade games, batting cages and a driving range.

Still reaching? Sitting on the western side of the city you’ll find the Europa Go Karts & Golf, while the Family Golf Center At Hickory Hollow (down near the airport) also has a go-kart track, batting cages and a driving range.

56 – Eat world-famous biscuits at Loveless Cafe

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

Despite the name, you’ll fall in love with the biscuits at this Nashville staple — served as a side to every meal, all day long! Welcoming (nay, delighting) both locals and tourists since 1951, Loveless Cafe is an unpretentious Southern eatery located about 25 minutes outside of Nashville (in the little town of Pasquo).

It’s famous for its home-cooked-style meals in generous portions – not to mention the hearty all-day breakfast (ideal for the day after a night on Honky Tonk Highway, perhaps?).

A must-try is their world-famous fried chicken (using the same recipe since the 50s), but the menu also features a variety of homestyle entrees like hot chicken, pulled pork BBQ, and Country Fried Steak.

Don’t forget to complete your meal with a slice of homemade pie from their rotating selection – locals recommend the fudge pie and chess pie, but honestly, it’s hard to go wrong.

Overate and need a nap? There’s an attached 14-room motel for overnight guests, personified by an iconic neon sign that’s been standing for as long as the restaurant itself, which welcomes more than half a million selfie-snapping visitors a year.

Hot tip: Make sure to also try the country ham and red-eye gravy, and pop by the store to take something home with you – whether that’s the famous biscuit mix, some locally-made jams and preserves, or the succulent smoked meats.

57 – Test your driving skills at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville

Nashville Superspeedway

Travelers, start your engines! At Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, the fun and adrenaline are never-ending. This thrilling racetrack has an equally exciting history; it dates all the way back to 1904, when the only things racing were horses and carriages!

Over the years, it continued to be a hit on the circuit, and consistently hosted NASCAR races from the 1950s to the 1980s. And while you can still see the sport there (along with IndyCar races), there’s something even cooler that you can do here: get on the track yourself!

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a high roller, then you’ll love a supercar driving experience ; from Mustangs and Lamborghinis to Corvettes and Ferraris, there are tons of classy vehicles for you to take for a spin.

Xtreme Xperience and DreamDrive Exotics are two excellent companies for this endeavor, with an amazing stable of cars to choose from. And, of course, you can even take a spin in an actual race car!

You can ride in the passenger seat while a pro driver shows you all the moves, or, if you’re feeling really daring, you can take hold of the wheel yourself. Wherever you’re sitting, you’re guaranteed the thrill of a lifetime!

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58 – Join a brewery and distillery party tour

brewery and distillery tour in Nashville

It’s not exactly a secret that lively Nashville knows how to party. The city’s nightlife scene is world-renowned, and its bars, clubs, and live music venues attract visitors from all over the globe. But who says we have to wait till sundown for the party to start?

Take the guesswork out of finding the best spots to drink by joining one of Nashville’s many brewery and distillery tours. These informative (and boozy) excursions will take you behind the scenes at some of Music City’s most popular watering holes.

Not only will you get to sample craft beers and local spirits, but you’ll also have the chance to meet the people who make them and see where all the magic happens. You’ll learn all about the history and process of making Tennessee whiskey, bourbon, beer, and more.

Try the smooth whiskeys at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery , or sip some fine vodkas and other expertly crafted spirits at Big Machine Brewery & Distillery . Get into the hillbilly mindset with the various moonshine flavors at Smith Creek Distillery , or kick back with a craft beer at Yee-Haw Brewing Company .

Enjoy some local craft beers (and occasional live music) at Tennessee Brew Works , or sample the taproom treats at Bearded Iris Brewery , known for its wide variety of IPAs and pale ales. With options this good, you’ll want to hire a designated driver!

Pro tip: many of these tours offer discounts if you book online in advance, so be sure to do your research and save yourself some cash!

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59 – Join a moonlit haunted ghost tour (if you dare)

ghost tours in Nashville

By day, Nashville is a bustling, vibrant city – but by night, some say it’s home to more than just country music stars. If you’re looking for something a little different (and a little spooky), why not go on a ghost tour?

There are plenty of companies offering tours of Nashville’s most haunted places, and each one has its own unique twist. Whichever tour you choose, you’re sure to hear some fascinating (and sometimes chilling) stories about Nashville’s most chilling residents, diving deep into murders, the mob, and more.

You’ll explore the mysterious maze of tunnels that crisscross beneath Nashville’s streets; learn about the alleged spirits inhabiting Broadway, and wet your whistle at the bar where the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. still drinks (so they say)!

Expect to pass by Skull’s Rainbow Room, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop once a Civil War-era hospital), and hear tales of Nashville’s Red Light District at the Hard Rock Cafe- which was, unsurprisingly, home to plenty of hauntings.

Rounding out the list, the now empty Tennessee State Prison and the Two Rivers Mansion antebellum estate each have their own spine-tingling tales to tell (although, being a little of the beaten track, you might need to visit these ones solo).

For something a little different, consider a ghost-themed bar crawl, where booze and boos and served in equal measure.

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60 – Follow the Duke Boys at Cooter’s Nashville!

Cooter’s Nashville

Crazzzzzy Cooter coming at ya! Come one, come all fans of The Dukes of Hazzard to Nashville’s only Dukes of Hazzard museum and shop ! A treasure trove of all things Dukes, Cooter’s Place is a must-stop for anyone who grew up watching the Duke boys and their orange ‘69 Dodge Charger, The General Lee, tear around Hazzard County.

Fans of the show will love seeing Cooter’s tow truck, Daisy’s jeep, and a 1969 Dodge Charger among tons of memorabilia and props (yes, you can take a picture with the Dodge Charger).

Run by Ben Jones, who played ol’ Cooter Davenport in the iconic series, this museum and shop is a can’t-miss for anyone visiting Nashville – especially those with an affinity for all things ‘80s.

Open daily from 9am to 7pm, Cooter’s Place is located at 2613 McGavock Pike – outside of Nashville’s main haunts in Music Valley (about a 20-30 minute drive from Downtown).

Fun fact: the museum is run by run by Ben Jones, who played ol’ Cooter Davenport in the iconic series.

61 – Witness Nashville from above on a helicopter tour!

helicopter tours in Nashville

From street level, Nashville is already a pretty city. But, from above? The view is even better. For a brilliant bird’s eye view of this lovely city, book a seat on a Nashville helicopter tour – an experience that promises to be both thrilling and educational (thanks to your friendly and knowledgeable pilot).

There are lots of different companies and types of tours to choose from, but they all offer breathtaking views of the cityscape, the country music mecca that is downtown Nashville, and the lush Tennessee countryside beyond.

Besides the Cumberland River twisting its way through town, and the rolling hills in the distance, you might even spot some famous landmarks like the Parthenon, the Grand Ole Opry, and Nissan Field. Ask nicely and your friendly pilot will point out some of the lesser-known things to do in Nashville too, as you admire them from a new perspective.

Most companies offer both private and group tours, with both daytime and sunset flights to choose from. So whether you’re looking for a romantic outing or a fun adventure with friends, there’s a flight tailor-made for you.

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62 – Hear the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Nashville Symphony Orchestra at Schermerhorn Symphony Center

It’s a no-brainer for music lovers, but even if you’re not into classical music, the Grammy-winning Schermerhorn symphony center is glorious. Starting with the actual building itself – an acoustically perfect, 800-seat concert hall that was opened in 2006 – the Schermerhorn is one of those places where it’s impossible not to have a good time.

Designed by architect David M. Schwarz and inspired by both European opera houses and Southern plantation homes – with its facade looking like a mesh between the New York Met Museum and the Parthenon – the center is as beautiful inside as it is out, with stunning chandeliers that hang from the ceiling and a gorgeous organ that’s on display on the back wall of the shoebox-shaped auditorium.

Beyond the building’s beautiful facade and entryway, the interior is intricately designed with symbolic imagery: spot Tennessee’s State flower – the iris – along with horseshoes and coffee beans; with displays that help you hear the stories behind these and their relation to the conception of the center.

And of course, the music is top-notch too; as the home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Schermerhorn has played host to some of classical music’s brightest stars over the years.

f you’re in town when they’re playing, head down to the SoBro neighborhood, snag a ticket, and enjoy an evening of beautiful music in one of Nashville’s most iconic buildings. For one honky-tonks are too rowdy, there’s no better place to be.

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63 – See a little bit of everything at Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Whether you want to check out some cool automobiles, a high-profile concert, or the latest circus act, Nashville Municipal Auditorium has something for everyone. Opened in 1962, it offers 17,052 square feet of entertainment space (32,928 square feet without the side seating), and a massive arena that can seat almost 10,000 people.

With so much space, there’s no telling what kind of cool events will be running during your visit. Trade shows? Check. Basketball games? Check. Rock shows, standup comedians, and dynamic touring performers? Check, check, and check.

And it comes with a distinguished history as well, having hosted everything from shows by David Bowie and Elvis to bull-riding, figure skating, and even gymnastics events for the 1994 Olympics!

Even if there’s no major event during your visit, you can still stop by to see the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, which celebrates every branch of the field. Check out the instruments played by some of history’s biggest stars, and learn about the impressive artists that have been honored by the institute. As you explore this world, you’ll start to feel like a rock star yourself!

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64 – Enjoy the summer concerts at Public Square Park

Public Square Park, Nashville

If you’re a music fanatic looking for things to do in Nashville, you’ll have your choice of options. And if you’re visiting during the summer, it’s well worth heading over to Public Square Park for some of their renowned concert series.

Beautifully laid out in front of the city courthouse, this lovely green space has some nice places to stroll around and enjoy the scenery, including some lovely reflecting pools and a monument to the Indigenous tribes of the region.

But it’s the massive lawn that really steals the show; along with being a great place to kick back on nice days, it’s the perfect place to enjoy large public events, from Pride festivals to holiday celebrations. And live music is definitely the big draw here; from cover bands to today’s top touring acts, there’s no telling what sort of talent you’ll be treated to.

If you’re in town over Labor Day weekend, don’t miss Live On The Green , a massive music festival bursting with energy. This is a great chance to see top musicians from all genres in a relaxed, warm weather setting… and best of all, it’s completely free!

65 – Pedal as you party on the Sprocket Rocket

cycling party in Nashville

Socialites, this one is for you! Part party bus, part bike, the Sprocket Rocket is a unique way to see the city and get some exercise in too (although the calories you’ll burn will likely be offset by those in the beers – but hey, can’t win ’em all).

Boasting its own onboard bar, sound system, and state-of-the-art party lights, the Sprocket Rocket is a 15-seater bike that can be rented for private parties or public tours of the city, fusing your classic sightseeing tour of Broadway (with a stop halfway to stretch the legs) and its surroundings with a raucous party on wheels!

And the best part is, you don’t have to do any of the pedaling! There’s a motorized assist that helps you along as you cruise past some of Nashville’s most popular attractions, bars, and restaurants – all while enjoying a frosty beverage or two (note: it’s BYOB, so bring all the beers and seltzers you like).

If you’re looking for a pre-game before hitting up Honky Tonk Highway, look no further.

66 – Sip whiskey and catch a comedy show at Marathon Village

Marathon Village, Nashville

A unique piece of Nashville history, the old 1910s brick-and-mortar car-manufacturing buildings – the former Marathon Motor Works factory – have been revalidated. Once a bustling production site for over 600 cars a day (back in its heyday), the now-defunct factory has been turned into a haven for all things shopping, dining, drinking, and entertainment, with an always-exciting collection of ambient wineries, distilleries, a live music venue, and a comedy club!

Third Coast Comedy Club has weekly improv shows and a training center; Marathon Music hosts every genre of live music; both Nelson’s and the Tennessee Legend Distillery curate award-winning bourbons, offering free tastings every day; and Grinder’s Switch Winery has great wines to match!

Feeling pecking? There are plenty of great places to grab a bite too; head to Southern Engine Deli for sandwiches as big as your head, Orleans Avenue dishes up a top-notch gumbo, and Bang Candy Company is known city-wide for its scrumptious artisanal caramels and chocolates.

With over 40 different businesses now housed in the Marathon Factory (including Antique Archeology, owned by the creator of TV show “American Pickers”), it’s easy to spend an afternoon (or evening) exploring everything this unique spot has to offer – especially if you love supporting local businesses!

67 – Sign up for a local dance class to learn the ropes of line dancing, pole or Two Step!

dance classes in Nashville

Certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nashville, but where there’s music, you better believe there’s some dancing going on! Both a cultural insight and a seriously good workout, dance classes serve as a great way to immerse yourself in Tennessee’s vibrant arts scene.

From honky-tonk twirls to swing dancing and Two Step, there are all sorts of styles on the Nashville menu. But perhaps the most famous dancing tradition here is the line dance — a type of country western dance that involves lining up in rows and following choreographed steps. Whether you’re a complete newbie or an experienced dancer looking for some new moves, Nashville has plenty of options to choose from.

Looking for something a little more spicy? Consider signing up for an introductory pole dance class. Much harder that it looks, this impressive style will have you feeling and looking fierce in no time.

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68 – Practice your swing at state-of-the-art Topgolf

Topgolf Nashville

All the fun of golf, without any of the pesky task of finding your ball in the weeds or the lake – that’s what Topgolf is all about. A cross between a driving range, bowling alley, and arcade, this unique entertainment complex has taken the world by storm in recent years, and Nashville is lucky enough to have its very own location.

With over 100 climate-controlled hitting bays spread over three floors, it’s the perfect place to while away a few hours on a rainy day (or any day, for that matter). Whether you’re a seasoned pro or have never even held a golf club before, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself here.

Hit balls at targets in one of the several AR games (like Angry Birds) and let the micro-chipped golf balls keep score by themselves, take part in one of the many competitions and challenges, or just relax with a couple drinks and some food in hand at the onsite bars and restaurants – it’s entirely up to you.

If you’re looking for things to do in Nashville that combine physical activity with great food and drinks, look no further. You’ll find this modern-day indoor driving range on the East Bank, with the bonus prize of sublime skyline views from across the river.

69 – Enjoy a romantic sightseeing dinner on board the historic, 300-foot-long General Jackson Showboat

General Jackson showboat tour in Nashville

Epic by day, romantic by night, and quintessential no matter the time of day, a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat is one of those unmissable Nashville experiences. Launched in 1985, this 300-foot-long riverboat has room for up to 1,200 passengers, and is decked out with all of the old-world charm and elegance you would expect from a vessel of its size.

As well as offering lunch, dinner , and brunch cruises – typically combining barbecued meats, with appetizers like macaroni-cheese and indulgent desserts – that come complete with live music and entertainment comprising of comedy, a live orchestra, and choreographed dancers, the General Jackson Showboat also hosts a number of specialty cruises throughout the year.

These include everything from Father’s Day BBQs and Mother’s Day High Tea to Murder Mystery Dinner Theatres, so there really is something for everyone. No matter which cruise you choose, you’re in for a treat – just make sure to book your tickets in advance!

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70 – Catch a show at Ascend Amphitheater

Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville

What’s the only thing better than some live music? Live music outdoors, of course! With its 6,800 seats and spacious stage, Ascend Amphitheater, which sits in Riverfront Park, is almost as memorable as the shows it features.

This is the ideal spot to catch the latest headlines, from rock and indie to country (naturally). And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even book a spot in the VIP section, and get up close to your favorite musicians!

Enjoy some top-notch food and cocktails as you watch the show, with the kind of views most people only dream of. Before you catch the concert, it’s well worth wandering around the park, which is an experience unto itself.

Along with some gorgeous views of the water, the beloved local space, which opened in the 1980s, offers some fascinating historical insights into the region’s river-trading years.

As you stroll around, you can learn all about the traders that first navigated these waters in the 1780s, and how their early settlements and trade routes blossomed into the vibrant city you see today.

And best of all, the area is surrounded by great restaurants and shops, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to live the high life before or after your concert!

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71 – Explore the peaceful Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park, Nashville

Looking for a taste of nature in the city? Then look no further than Radnor Lake State Park , one of Nashville’s most beloved outdoor spots. Situated about 8 miles south of Downtown in Oak Hill, right next to the Historic Travellers Rest (did someone say back-to-back activities?), this peaceful, pristine park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or hike, with countless scenic picnic spots and lookout points to enjoy along the way.

Brimming with wildlife across its 1,300 acres, you’ll find a half-dozen easy-to-tackle hiking trails on the menu – namely, the Otter Creek Road trail which is pet and bicycle-friendly.

As you wander your way through the park, look out for the owls, herons, waterfowl, mink, and otters; alternatively, head to the park at night for an astronomy night hike and some sublime stargazing – the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory sits conveniently on its western edge.

If your schedule lines up, try to visit on Wednesdays between 10 am and 1 pm – that’s when the Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center is open to the public.

72 – Get buzzed on a Nashville pub crawl

Nashville pub crawl

It’s no secret that Music City knows how to party, and what better way to experience that than on a pub crawl on Honky Tonk Highway? There are plenty of different companies leading the charge when it comes to getting Nashville’s nightlife scene, but no matter which one you choose, you’ll be guaranteed to walk away with new friends, new memories, and a newfound love of fried pickles.

Led by charismatic locals who know how to break the ice (and know the best spots in town so you don’t have to!), organized pub crawls will take you to some of the city’s most happenin’ bars where you can revel in live music, cheap drinks, some free shots, and a whole lot of dancing.

While each tour is slightly different depending on the night and the theme (heck, there are even haunted ghost crawls if that’s your jam), you might start at Alley Taps , in a building that dates back to 1895 in the historic Printers Alley, before heading up Broadway for the best honky-tonks!

Thereafter, make a beeline for Tootsies Orchid — a bar frequented by celebs like Chris Pratt and Pink — and Wildhorse Saloon , where local craft drinks are paired with signature fried pickles.

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73 – Consider a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort

Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville

Merging luxury with southern hospitality, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is one of Nashville’s most iconic hotels. Located just minutes from downtown and the airport, this expansive property boasts an incredible nine acres of indoor gardens complete with waterfalls, rushing rivers, and a whole host of entertainment options within striking distance.

For a relaxing day, jump on a boat and kick back at the Soundwaves water park; here, you’ll find Nashville’s only double FlowRider® (so you and your special someone can surf side by side), the classic Lazy River, a host of heart-racing water slides ( the Rapid Remix and Stage Dive are two justifiably popular choices), and an adults-only pool. If you’re feeling brave, tackle the rock climbing wall; if you just want to relax, rent a cabana and while away the day with a good book!

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there are plenty of restaurants on-site to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for some good old fashion Southern fare, or more modern Mexican, Italian, or Japanese concoctions.

Needing a pamper? Gaylor boasts its own full-service spa too. Throw in a selection of cafes, the Old Hickory Steakhouse, the only Jack Daniel’s restaurant in the world, a little shopping mall, and the Grand Ole Opry right next door, and you’ll struggle to find reasons to leave the resort at all!

When it comes to accommodation, there are nearly 3000 rooms with something for everyone; from traditional rooms and suites to riverside villas with their own balconies and hot tubs. No matter where you stay, though, you’ll be treated like royalty.

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How to get to Nashville?

When you have a fun Southern vacation in store, the last thing you want to worry about is getting to and from the airport.

Luckily, there are tons of airport transfers in Nashville (from Nashville International Airport) that will bring you straight to your hotel, or drop you off in the downtown area to get the party started even faster!

Where to stay in Nashville?

If the Gaylord Opryland Resort is a little out of your price range, or you want to be a little more central, don’t worry — there are plenty of other great hotels in Nashville to choose from! Ranging from opulent 5-star abodes to more affordable (but still perfectly comfortable) options, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Hermitage Hotel : A historic and timeless hotel located in the heart of downtown Nashville on 6th Avenue, the 5-star Hermitage offers unrivaled luxury accommodation, fine dining, and a whole host of modern amenities to juxtapose into 1910 charm.

The Union Station Hotel : A stylish and contemporary hotel located in a converted 1900 train station, right next to the Frist Art Museum, The Union Station Nashville Yards blends past with present unlike any other accommodation, sitting just a 10-minute walk from Honky Honk Highway.

The Hutton Hotel : A chic and modern 4-star hotel located in Midtown, The Hutton is just minutes from some of Nashville’s best shops, restaurants, and bars, and is known for its creative energy, daily live music in the lobby, and on-site music venue.

The Kimpton Aertson Hotel : With contemporary art pieces lining the walls, this chic and trendy, airy hotel is a little off the beaten track, close to the Vanderbilt University campus in Midtown, offering great value compared to many others.

The Russell : Built into a 115-year-old former church, with its stunning stained glass windows and soaring ceilings, The Russell is a truly unique place to stay in Nashville. Sitting on the East Bank, it’s quieter than those Downtown yet still close enough to the action.

Penny-pinchers, you’ll find no shortage of hostels too (Music City Hostel is cheap as chips; Moxy Hotel Downtown is where the party’s at). If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try one of Nashville’s unique Airbnbs? From treehouses and yurts to converted school buses and renovated barns, there are plenty of unusual places to stay in Music City!

  • best hotels in Nashville

Where to next?

After you’ve checked off the quintessential things to do in Nashville, that doesn’t mean your trip needs to come to an end. In fact, with a handful of tourist-friendly destinations within a few hours by car or public transportation, you can easily continue your journey to see more of what this culturally rich part of the nation has to offer.

So, where to next? A couple of mountain gateway towns, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, both are tourist hotspots (and both are less than 5 hours drive from Nashville). For things to do in Gatlinburg , look no further than the SkyBridge and Anakeesta. Meanwhile, when putting together your list of things to do in Pigeon Forge , the Dollywood theme park deserves to be rooted firmly at the top. and multiple dinner theaters to enjoy.

Another lovely destination to consider is Chattanooga, which sits about a 2-hour drive southeast from Nashville. It’s considered one of the most scenic cities in the US — which means, as you’d expect, the majority of the top things to do in Chattanooga revolve around outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and zip-lining.

If Nashville has lit a musical fire in your belly and you’re craving more, then make a beeline to Memphis. The Home of the Blues is only a few hours’ drive away, with the list of things to do in Memphis starting with world-famous attractions like Graceland (the former home of Elvis Presley) and Beale Street (a historic music district).

For all of you history buffs, Birmingham in Alabama (which sits about 3 hours south of Nashville) boasts a rich, storied past as the city synonymous with the Civil Rights Movement. History aside, the collection of things to do in Birmingham extends to a diverse and lively food scene as well as a host of family-friendly activities, such as the Birmingham Zoo and the McWane Science Center.

Also about 3 hours away (albeit in the opposite direction, north), Louisville in Kentucky is a surprisingly tourist friendly city. Among the quintessential things to do in Louisville you’ve got the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Louisville Mega Cavern, and, of course, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

As for things to do in Atlanta , Georgia (a 4.5-hour drive or 1-hour direct flight from Nashville), it’s hard to go past The World of Coca-Cola. However, with a slew of notable museums, and a barking mad sporting culture (tailgating, anyone?), you’ll find a whole range of activities to keep you occupied, whatever your interests.

Another city about 5 hours away by car is the “Gateway to the West”. The 630-ft. Gateway Arch headlines the top things to do in St. Louis , but this Michigan city offers weeks’ worth of museums, zoos, music, and theatre to enjoy.

Obviously, if you prefer not to drive, all of New Orleans, Charleston, Orlando, and Washington DC are less than a 2-hour journey by air. So, where do you think you’ll head after your Nashville?

Final thoughts

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about all of the fun and exciting things to do in Nashville, Tennessee! If you have anything to add to the list, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Whether you want to party, eat amazing meals, or check out some cool history and culture, Music City will capture your heart – and your ears!

As always, happy travels!

The Best Things to Do in Nashville (Even If You're Not a Partier!)

See country legends perform, visit beautiful state parks, taste the best hot chicken, and more.

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Nashville has a reputation for being a prime destination for partiers. It's one of the top spots for bachelorette parties, after all! But while there are certainly many honky-tonks open until the wee hours of the morning—and bar bikes riding up and down Broadway all day long—this historic city has even more to offer that you may not know about.

So make your way down Honky Tonk Highway for a quintessential Nashville experience. Or if you'd rather have a quiet night listening to live country music, wait in line for the best hot chicken sandwich (ever!), enjoy a day at a distillery or winery, go zip lining, have a peaceful day at a state park, or take in Nashville views on a hot air balloon, we're happy to report you can do that here too.

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

nashville cityscapes and city views

You can't go to Nashville without learning about country music, and one of the best places to do that is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum . Located on Music Row in downtown Nashville, this large museum celebrates all things about the genre.

Meet animals at the Nashville Zoo.

giraffe

Whether or not you're traveling with little ones, it's worth a trip to the Nashville Zoo . Not only are there plenty of animal exhibits, but there are also fun family-friendly experiences, like zip lining, a carousel, and animal shows. Make a day out of it by enjoying some of the dining options, including a pizza kitchen and a creamery.

Stop by the Johnny Cash Museum.

nashville cityscapes and city views

Fans of Johnny Cash will not want to miss the Johnny Cash Museum , which features the world's largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia. It's one of the top attractions in the area—and right next door, you can grab something to eat at Johnny Cash's Bar & BBQ .

Find snacks at the Nashville Farmers' Market.

fruit for sale at farmer's market peaches

A stop at the Nashville Farmers' Market is a must for anyone who wants to do something low-key. The large market features artisanal food, fresh produce, restaurants, shops, and crafts. Grab some snacks or something to cook later if you need a break from eating out.

Walk the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

downtown nashville and the john seigenthaler pedestrian bridge

Take in incredible views of the river and downtown skyline by walking the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge , which is closed to car traffic. The historic bridge built from 1907-09 connects downtown Nashville to East Nashville.

Explore the Adventure Science Center.

sudekum planetarium

If you're looking for a way to entertain the kids, head to the Adventure Science Center , a non-profit science museum for children. There, you'll find over 175 hands-on interactive exhibits, from climbing structures to the Sudekum Planetarium.

Experience the Honky Tonk Highway.

night view of lower broadway

One of the most famous streets in Nashville, the Honky Tonk Highway (aka lower Broadway) is a stretch of honky tonk bars known for their music and atmosphere. For a more family-friendly vibe, go before 8 p.m. If you want to get a little wild, head there after dinner. You'll find iconic spots, like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and The Second Fiddle.

Enjoy the outdoors at Cumberland Park.

downtown nashville, tennessee cumberland river nashville nashville cityscape

If you want to get out of the city for a bit, Cumberland Park is a great spot to walk along the water and enjoy river views. You can walk The Explorer Trail if you want to see butterflies, or take the kids to the play area.

Get a glimpse of (or go inside!) the Parthenon.

centennial parks parthenon structure

Located in Centennial Park, the Parthenon in Nashville is the world's only exact-size and detail replica of the original in Athens, Greece. It was once created for a celebration—but it was so popular, it stuck around. Today, the building regularly hosts art exhibits.

Browse the Nashville Flea Market.

at the flee market

The Nashville Flea Market at The Fairgrounds is only open during the fourth weekend of each month (with some exceptions), but if you catch it, it's worth a visit. It features a wide variety of shopping booths—and if you're looking for unique antiques and vintage items, it's a great place for browsing.

Catch a show at The Bluebird Cafe.

bluebird cafe in nashville, tennessee

The tiny Bluebird Cafe isn't just a place to get something to eat: It's one of the most iconic listening rooms in the world. Artists like Taylor Swift and Faith Hill have had career-defining moments there, and the place is teeming with country music history. There are two shows a night and reservations are highly recommended.

Stay at the iconic Hermitage Hotel.

nashville cityscapes and city views

There are a lot of hotels to choose from in Nashville, but an iconic and classic option is The Hermitage Hotel —where music greats like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash have stayed. It's located in a prime downtown Nashville spot and offers gorgeous rooms and luxury amenities.

Watch country legends perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

grand ole opry

The Grand Ole Opry , one of the biggest attractions in Nashville, is one you won't want to miss. Catch a two-hour live show multiple nights a week, with performances by country legends and rising stars—or just take a tour . And if you need somewhere to stay, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is a popular hotel, with a spa, golf course, and water attraction.

Visit the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

columbus blue jackets v nashville predators

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame honors teams, coaches, athletes, and more from the state of Tennessee. Even if you don't actively root for a Tennessee team, diehard sports fans will enjoy browsing the memorabilia and taking in sports history.

Fly high in a hot air balloon.

low angle view of hot air balloon against blue sky

Adventure seekers will want to reserve a seat in a hot air balloon for arguably the best views of middle Tennessee.

Eat at The Grilled Cheeserie.

the grilled cheeserie buffalo south melt

There are tons of great restaurants to choose from in Nashville, but The Grilled Cheeserie can't be missed. The food-truck-turned-restaurant is known for—of course—grilled cheese. Try one of the popular gourmet options, like the Buffalo South Melt, or make your own.

Spend time in The Warner Parks.

percy warner park

There's so much to do in the city of Nashville that it's easy to forget that there are a lot of nature-centric things too. Edwin and Percy Parks, collectively known as " The Warner Parks ," create one of the largest parks in Tennessee. You'll find these iconic Allée steps, hiking trails, golf courses, dog parks, horse trails, scenic overlooks, and more.

Have lots of fun at Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort.

portrait of cute boy sitting on inflatable ring

If you visit Nashville during the spring or summer months, wear the kids out at Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort , a waterpark (with 1 million gallons of water!), adventure course, and campground located on Percy Priest Lake—just 10 miles from downtown Nashville. You can rent a lakeside cabin, go zip lining, rent a pontoon boat, go on the water slides...the list of activities is basically endless.

Embrace music culture at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum.

musicians hall of fame

There's a lot to see at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum , so plan accordingly! See instruments used by famous artists, like Simon and Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, and more—and actual studio booths used by the likes of Elvis.

Spend an evening at the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory.

dyer observatory

Visit Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory at Vanderbilt University for tours, telescope nights, meet the astronomer evenings, and more. It's not open all year round, so check the website for hours and ticket information.

Headshot of Jessica Booth

Jessica is a freelance writer from New York who loves kale salads and hanging out with her cats.

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38 Things to Do in Nashville for First Timers (with hidden gems)

By: Author Aly Smalls

Posted on Published: November 1, 2022  - Last updated: September 22, 2023

38 Things to Do in Nashville for First Timers (with hidden gems)

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Although Nashville is the bachelorette capital of the USA and known for the birth country music, after spending a week here, I learned that it’s SO much more than that. 

History, hospitality, food, all genres of music…the energy here is unmatched.

Here are the top things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, especially if you’re a first time visitor.

This list includes the main attractions as well as a few hidden gems, and nothing that’s not worth seeing.

Because I don’t want to waste your time by listing absolutely everything possible you can do in Nashville (hint, there’s too much).

These are only the places, sights, experiences and activities that are worth your valuable time in Nashville.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. I only share information about things I know, love and trust!

Lower Broadway Honky Tonks

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nicknamed the honky tonk highway, in downtown Nashville you’ll find Lower Broadway, home of the honky tonks and the best place for nightlife.

This street full of live music is probably the number one attraction in Nashville.

Along 6 blocks you’ll find over 40 bars, and they all have live music every day!

It’s not just nightlife here, the music runs from 10am to 3am everyday.

Some of these bars are even 2 or 3 stories high with a different band or musician on each floor.

The live music is free, but tips are encouraged and appreciated.

And don’t miss checking out the side streets.

For example, the Wildhorse Saloon has the largest dance floor downtown and offers free line dancing.

Doc Holiday’s Bar

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Pay a visit to Doc Holiday’s Bar and add your name to a dollar bill and put it up anywhere in the bar. The entire place is covered in money.

It’s also the only bar left in downtown Nashville where you can smoke.

Printer’s Alley 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Printer’s Alley is a hidden gem that a lot of tourists miss. You’ll find it on church street between 3rd and 4th ave.

The narrow alley and all the lights and neon signs make this a magical spot.

It’s a little more lowkey than Broadway where you’ll find a little less country music and little more blues and jazz music. 

But beyond that, there’s so much history here.

During prohibition, the various print shops here turned into speakeasies which blossomed into an underground bar scene and the reason why you’ll find quaint bars and pubs still there today. 

Rascal Flatts and Gretchen Wilson were discovered at venues in Printers Alley. 

Fun fact: Toby Keith recorded “I love this bar” at Lonnie’s in Printers Alley.

The Arcade is a historic shopping area in Nashville with Diagon Alley vibes!

It’s a hidden gem that everyone misses because it’s tucked away 2 blocks behind Broadway between 4th and 5th Avenues.

It was Nashville’s first enclosed shopping district, opened in 1902.

Ryman Auditorium

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Ryman Auditorium is known as the mother church of country music and the birthplace of bluegrass and where the Grand Ole Opry was born.

Legends that have performed here include Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.

It’s also where June Carter first met Johnny Cash.

While the grand ole opry has since moved locations, you can still buy tickets for live concerts as well as take a tour of this historic building.

View tour info here.

Ryman Alley

famous tourist attractions in nashville

And while you’re there, walk down Ryman Alley, where you can literally walk in the footsteps of country music legends.

Performers would use the back door of the Ryman Auditorium to sneak through the back alley to tootsie’s orchid lounge for a drink after their shows.

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is arguably the most famous honky tonk on Broadway, and you can’t miss the bright purple colored building.

It’s where Willie Nelson got his first songwriting job after performing here.

The most famous patrons who frequented here were Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and since I’m Canadian, a plug for Terri Clark who got her start here.

Grand Ole Opry

famous tourist attractions in nashville

You definitely need to enjoy a night at the Grand Ole Opry, which is not only a concert, but a live radio show that’s been running since 1925.

It’s the longest running radio broadcast in US history.

It’s known as the show that made country music famous.

Each Opry show features live performances by 8 or more artists that range from country music legends, up and coming artists and legendary songwriters.

On this night we saw Terri Clark and Jon Pardi perform among others!

You can also tour the building, learn about the history and go backstage if you didn’t manage to get concert tickets. 

There are two ways for you to enjoy the Grand Ole Opry! The first one is to buy Grand Ole Opry Show Ticket . Another one is to take this Grand Ole Opry Admission with Post-Show Backstage Tour . Choose the best one for you and enjoy the time spent there!

Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conservatory

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is the largest non-casino resort in the United States.

Not only is the hotel impressive, inside you’ll find a massive indoor garden and conservatory complete with a boat ride and waterfalls.

They also have stores and restaurants inside to complete your visit if you’re not an overnight guest.

Johnny Cash Museum

famous tourist attractions in nashville

If you’re a fan of the man in black, the Johnny Cash Museum is a must see in Nashville.

It’s small, but packed with history and all kinds of items from his personal and professional life. 

Combine it with a meal at Sun Diner

famous tourist attractions in nashville

For an exceptional breakfast or lunch before or after your visit, try out Sun Diner next door.

It pays homage to Sun Records’ legendary artists, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

I may have ordered the crème Brule French toast more than once which is cinnamon bread dunked in a Rumchata batter.

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

Opened in 1947, this is the ultimate record shop where you’ll find almost every piece of country and bluegrass music. 

Country Music Hall of Fame

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The country music hall of fame takes you through the origin of country music and bluegrass music all the way to current country rock stars.

This museum is massive and provides an in depth look at the most celebrated genre of music here in Nashville.

After exploring the exhibits, you can also take the Historic RCA Studio B tour.

Historic RCA Studio B

RCA Studio B is the famous recording studio which gave birth to the Nashville sound.

Many famous artists record here including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and many other legends.

Tip: save money and buy the combined Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B Tour ticket combo

Hatch Show Print

Hatch Show Print is the original letter press and poster print shop in Nashville, operating since the 1800s (and still going today).

On a tour here you’ll see the printmaking process in action, view iconic posters they’ve made for country music legends, as well as a chance to design and make your own print.

National Museum of African American Music

According to their website , the National Museum of African American Music is: “the only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans.”

This is a brand new museum in Nashville and a must visit for any music fan.

Old Town Trolley Tour

famous tourist attractions in nashville

One thing I really enjoyed was taking the Old Town Trolley tour of some of Nashville’s biggest attractions.

It’s a hop on hop off style sightseeing tour full of all kinds of fun facts and history from your driver who narrates the whole way.

I recommend this for first time visitors and early on in your trip to get the lay of the land.

There’s 13 stops so you can see many different parts of the city and you can ride as many times all day.

Many of the Nashville attractions listed within this post are accessible from stops on the Trolley Tour. 

View trolley tour prices & info here .

Bluebird Café

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Bluebird Café is one of the most iconic spots for live music in Nashville – you might recognize it from the famous show of the same name.

Established in the early 1980s, this small venue features up-and-coming as well as hit songwriters in an intimate setting.

The vibe here is a listening room where the songs and the stories are the stars of the show.

It was here that I really came to appreciate how respected the songwriting community in Nashville is.

You might recognize some country stars that were discovered here, including Keith urban, Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.

General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise

Cruise the historic Cumberland River on one of the country’s largest paddle-wheel boats, the General Jackson.

Enjoy the Nashville scenery from a different angle and catch the sunset if you do the dinner cruise and indulge in a home cooked southern meal on board.

After dinner, sip drinks and listen to live music from the boat decks.

This is another highly rated experience in Nashville. 

View tour prices and info here.

Tour the Homes of the Stars

Did you know there are tons of famous country stars and musicians that call Nashville their home?

On this comfortable bus sightseeing tour you’ll pass by some of the most beautiful neighborhoods and homes of past and present Nashvillians, including Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon, Garth Brooks and many more. 

Even if you’re not a fan of the rich and famous, this tour provides an in depth tour of some of Nashville’s most varied neighborhoods that most tourists miss. 

Cowboy Boot Shopping

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Now, a lot of locals will tell you that the way they can spot tourists is those who wear cowboy boots and hats.

Because of this I was almost not going to bring my boots, but I’m so glad I did.

I ended up wearing them every single day – because I was tourist and so was everyone else who were rocking their boots.

And there’s no shame in that.

One of my favorite things to do was to go boot shopping and check out all the different and outrageous designs (and price tags) among the fresh leather smell.

Line Dancing Class

If you’re in Nashville, there’s no way you’re leaving this town without hitting a dance floor and joining in on a line dance!

If you need a little help or want to brush up on your moves, you can take part in a one hour line dancing crash course.

This is a really fun activity if you’re in town with some friends for a bachelorette or a birthday party.

Check out line dancing lessons here . 

Tip – you can also learn to line dance for free at the Whiskey Saloon, just off Broadway where they offer line dancing lessons almost every night of the week on downtown’s largest dancefloor.

AA Foot Spa

famous tourist attractions in nashville

After a couple days of walking around town in your cowboy boots, this place is much needed.

This one is a major hidden gem in Nashville, it’s called AA Foot Spa, and it came recommended to us from a friend who regularly works the country music awards.

It was $40 for the most heavenly foot massage I’ve ever had. It’s a good 20 minutes south of downtown but well worth the drive or Uber ride.

You can find it at 224 Thompson Ln #B.

East Nashville

famous tourist attractions in nashville

East Nashville is across the Cumberland River and offers a really different vibe from the honky tonk country music atmosphere in downtown Nashville.

One of my favorite ways to tour this neighborhood was by going on the Brew Hop Brewery Trolley Tour.

It’s a hop on hop off trolley bus that takes you to 7 different breweries. 

View prices & info for the Brewery Tour here .

Go Mural Exploring

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville’s art scene was one of the biggest surprises about visiting this city.

I knew it had a few famous murals, but I didn’t realize you can find them on almost every corner it seems.

If you’re looking for a fun and free activity in Nashville, plan a day or an afternoon with your camera and go mural hopping.

If you don’t have a car, there are some fun guided mural tours you can join, like this one that brings you around in a golf cart .

Try Hot Chicken 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

While some Nashville locals will tell you to visit Prince’s Hot Chicken, others will tell you to visit Hattie B’s.

Either way, you must try Nashville’s most famous food while you’re here – hot chicken.

We tried Hattie B’s where they’ve got different heat levels ranging from mild to shut the cluck up.

I went for the classic bone-in which is the most traditional way to get hot chicken and went for medium which had a bit of kick but not over the top.

Goo Goo Chocolate Co.

Goo Goo Chocolate Co. was the first company to make a combination chocolate bar in the USA.

If you love chocolate and want a taste of history, stop in for a goo goo cluster.

White Limozeen (Dolly Parton’s Bar)

famous tourist attractions in nashville

A unique place to have some drinks and small bites (especially if you’re on a girls trip) is White Limozeen, which is Dolly Parton’s bar.

Everything is pretty in pink. In the summer there’s also the rooftop patio with a pool.

You can find it at the top of the Graduate Hotel in midtown which is about 10 minutes west of downtown.

A visit to White Limozeen is only 1 of 16 unique things to do in Nashville on your Bachelorette party !

Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage is an upscale, swanky hotel that’s been in downtown Nashville since 1910.

But the most interesting thing about them are the fancy bathrooms, decorated in art deco style. Stop in and ask to see them.

Belle Meade Plantation and Historic Site

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The Belle Meade Plantation dates back to the 1840s but was no ordinary plantation.

Here, they bred thoroughbred race horses, where famous bloodlines originated from including Seabiscuit.

There are a few different tours onsite – we chose to tour the mansion, which doesn’t allow photos or video inside, but I can assure you it was fascinating.

But the best part is that there’s a winery onsite, and you can tour the grounds with a glass of wine.  View tour info and prices here.

The Parthenon

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Nashville has a full scale replica of the Parthenon, which has earned this city the nickname, Athens of the South.

Inside, you’ll find beautiful art galleries.

Tip – this is included as a stop on the Old Town Trolley tour.

12 South Neighborhood

famous tourist attractions in nashville

The 12 South neighborhood was one of my favorite areas to visit, home to locally owned shops and restaurants, vintage stores and of course more murals.  

The Gulch 

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Closer to downtown is the Gulch – a higher end neighborhood with boutique shops, famous murals and great eateries.

You’ll find Biscuit Love which is very famous, and also Milk & Honey which was our go-to breakfast spot more than once.

But it’s very popular – sometimes there was a 2 hour wait!

We got lucky and got first come first serve bar seating both times. 

Tip: book a golf cart neighborhood shopping tour and hit all the hot spots without having to walk. 

Frist Art Museum

The Frist Art Museum is home to some of the most prestigious art exhibits in the country and the rotating exhibits are exceptional.

But not only that, the building itself is historically significant. Built in 1934, his building was originally Nashville’s main post office.

Marathon Motor Works

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Marathon Motor Works is a former automobile plant that’s been resurrected into a district full of shops, restaurants, distilleries, wineries,  recording studios and more.

The old brick building is unique and is one of the most popular stops on the Old Town Trolley tour.

Belmont Mansion 

The Belmont Mansion is an ornate Italian-style villa that almost reminds one of a mini-Versailles.

It’s been beautifully preserved and it’s not far from downtown.

If you don’t have much time to get out of the city to see other mansions from the 1800s, this one is a great choice.

Jack Daniels Distillery

famous tourist attractions in nashville

It doesn’t get more Nashville than this – take a tour of Tennessee Whiskey at the Jack Daniel’s distillery.

It’s about 1.5 hours from Nashville (in Lynchburg), so the easiest way to enjoy the tour and tasting is to join this day trip bus tour.

Visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is one of the best and highest rated day trips from Nashville, and I definitely recommend making time to do this one.

View tour prices & info here.

Arrington Vineyards

If you’re in need of some stunning scenery and a glass of wine, Arrington Vineyards will take your breath away.

With picnic areas and live music throughout the summer months, this place is more than just your typical wine tasting experience. 

🍷 Book your transportation to the Arrington Vineyard

Visit award-winning winery with this Arrington Vineyard Winery Round-Trip Shuttle Transportation from Nashville . Luxury round-trip transportation from Nashville will take you right to the Arrington Vineyards Winery!

Wille Nelson and Friends Museum 

This place is a quirky little museum combined with a massive gift and souvenir shop.

Buy your admission tickets online to save a little money.

Catio Cat Lounge

The Catio Cat Lounge is a rescue agency that houses cats until they get adopted.

Until then, visitors are able to book a one hour session (for $12) to play and snuggle with the cats and kittens in their cat café. Check out their website for more info.

Where we Stayed in Nashville (first timers)

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Since we were in Nashville for 8 days, we wanted to stay in two different hotels.

We stayed at the Graduate Nashville (fancy) which is the perfect place for a girls trip because it’s home to White Limozeen – Dolly Parton’s all-pink rooftop bar!

We also stayed at Element Nashville Vanderbilt West End (budget).

We liked it because it was low cost, brand new and only a 10-minute drive to downtown/Broadway.

Each of these hotels worked really well for us even though we didn’t have a car.

We just used Uber everywhere and it was easy!

If you’re coming to Nashville on a girls trip, here are the Best Hotels in Nashville for a Bachelorette Party

famous tourist attractions in nashville

Touring more of Tennessee?

Read my list of 11 Unique Places to Stay in Tennessee (that you can actually afford)!

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  • Top 10 Nashville Tourist Attractions

The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee, United States.

Nashville is the home of country music and is sometimes called the music city of the United States. Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, and it is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County. It has a population of about 654,610 according to 2015 census and a total area of 527.9 square miles. Apart from being a music city, Nashville is a home to many tourist attraction sites ranging from museums to state parks to beautiful architectural design of downtown Nashville. The culture of the city is embedded in the architecture of the buildings and has been evolving around the Vanderbilt University community which has further influenced its development.

10. Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park is a 1,332-acre conservancy located in Oak Hill on the outskirts of Nashville city. The efforts to conserve Radnor lake environment began in 1914 by Louisville and Nashville railroad company but it was officially purchased by the state government in 1973 and immediately made a Class II State Natural Area. It is a beautiful park with more than six miles of trail roads for viewing of wildlife and photography. Camping in Radnor Lake State Park is restricted including human activities like fishing in the lake or sports hunting. The Conservancy has unique species of birds of prey (owls), mammals (otter), reptiles, amphibians, and plants.

9. Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville as seen from a point on the Cumberland Bridge.

Downtown Nashville is an architectural center. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is complete with live performances and musical exhibitions which make Nashville an entertainment destination. The towering AT&T building is visible from a distance making Nashville a true architectural center. There are other numerous entertainment centers, art centers, sports centers and museums all within downtown that visitors can go for sightseeing and other activities.

8. Shop the Flea Market

The Flea Market is a trade fair organized by the market to provide the space to vendors who want to sell or barter merchandise. The bazaar is held periodically which may either be weekly, monthly or even annually depending on the location. The merchandise on sale during the trade fair include antiques, used items, collectibles, and cheap goods but pirated movies and music, and illegal brands of electronics, clothes, and accessories are restricted from being sold in the flea market. The Nashville Flea market is among the top ten flea market in the US receiving between 800 and 1200 dealers and vendors from over 30 states, who offer their merchandise to the public every month. This iconic event has been operational for half a century attracting about 0.5 million visitors annually.

7. Printer's Alley

Printer’s Alley is a famous passageway with numerous clubs located between Third and Fourth Avenues. The alley in early 20th Century began as a publishing district with ten printing shops and two major newspapers. The night clubs in Printer’s Alley were established back in the 1940s when the sale of liquor for on-site consumption was restricted. Currently, there are several major clubs such as Jimmy Hyde’s Carousel Club which is a home to many jazz and country musicians in Nashville.

6. Jack Daniel's Distillery

Jack Daniel’s Distillery is a proud home of Tennessee Whiskey which is located in Lynchburg, Tennessee at a beautiful Stillhouse Hollow. The Stillhouse hollow contains spring water flowing from the bottom of limestone caves which is essential in whiskey distillation because it does not contain iron. The distillery hosts a large number of visitors every day with tours organized several times in a day. The tours are conducted by tour guides, and the visitors have an option to take a bus during the tour to save time. Special premium whiskey tasting sessions can also be organized on request by the visitors.

5. Walking Tour

Nashville City Tours are arranged for visitors who want to have a taste of the city’s diversity ranging from music history to food. The Walk Eat Nashville tour is organised from Thursday through Saturday for lovers of food and those who want to meet with chefs behind the scenes. Visitors who would like to learn the country music legends, Music City Legends Tour delivers exactly that in a more interesting way. People who are 21 years and above looking to have a party should not miss the Music City Pub Crawl which gives a tour of around six bars in a night. The walking tours are open to both locals and visitors to Nashville but the number of people per visit is usually restricted.

4. Shop Hillsboro Village

Hillsborough Village is a four-block radius neighborhood located 3 miles from Nashville downtown and contains a collection of shops. The village was established in the 1920s as a streetcar suburb, but currently, it holds boutiques, used bookstore, restaurants, and art galleries. The restaurants in Hillsborough Village have unique food and entertainment sessions that stretch the evening and make the stay enjoyable. The boutiques found in Hillsboro Village only sell vintage clothes which are from renowned brands only. The Belcourt Theatre opened in 1925 is the center of entertainment providing unique classical movies.

3. Ryman Auditorium

The famous Ryman Auditiorium.

Ryman Auditorium is a large performance venue with the capacity of 2,362 seats located in Nashville City. Ryman Auditorium is a historic building which was officially opened in 1897 for use by Union Gospel Church and in 1943 to 1974 it was changed to Grand Ole Pry. Currently, Ryman Auditorium is owned and managed by Gaylord Entertainment Company and is listed as a national historic place. It is historically respected because of its role in hosting most country music performances a role it still holds to date.

Nashville has a rich history especially connected to country music heritage that has been part and parcel of the city. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum located in SoBro district has a large collection of country video clips and recorded music and also live performances. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is a beautiful park embodying the representations of the counties in Tennessee, rivers, and history of Tennessee. Belle Meade Plantation is a representation of the history of slavery and has a 150-year-old house. There are other museums within Nashville which include Belmont Mansion, Checkwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, and Battle of Franklin Trust among others.

1. Bar hopping (honky-tonking)

Bar hopping is the tradition loved by the natives of Nashville and visitors. It involves moving from one club to another for a drink but not necessarily. The fun in bar hopping or pub crawl is covering as many clubs in a night as possible. It is the culture that makes Nashville City an excellent destination for bachelor parties and birthday parties.

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30 Most Fun Cities in the US

I n this article, we shall discuss the 30 most fun cities in the US. To skip our detailed analysis of the current tourism industry outlook, forecasts for the industry from 2019 to 2033, and the tourism rebound in China, go directly and see 10 Most Fun Cities in the US .

The Global Tourism Industry: Current Outlook and 2033 Forecasts

According to a report by Bloomberg, the tourism industry is strategically well-positioned to become a $15.5 trillion industry by 2033, accounting for more than 11.6% of the global economy. This skyrocketing growth represents more than a 50% increase over its $10 trillion value pre-pandemic, when travel represented a 10.4% of the global GDP. According to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the most powerful and influential travel and tourism economies in 2023 in terms of overall GDP contribution are almost the same as the pre-pandemic outlook in 2019, with the US topping the list owing to massive inflow into the most fun cities in the US , closely followed by China, Germany, Japan, and the U.K, with Japan overtaking the U.K. in the 2023 iteration of the list. Relatively smaller markets like France, Mexico, Italy, India and Spain tended to round out the top ten. The report also asserts that the industry is set to employ more than 430 million people globally by 2033, compared with 334 million in 2019. That accounts for roughly one in nine jobs globally. According to the WTTC, not only is the travel sector representing a substantial slice of the global economy but is also posting greater growth rates than the overall economy at large. Whilst the global GDP is poised to grow on an annualized basis of about 2.6% per annum, the travel and tourism segment is well-positioned to achieve skyrocketing growth rates of more than 5.1%. Some of the biggest players in the global tourism industry are Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG ), Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB ), and Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE ). To read more on companies operating within the tourism industry, check out our article on the 15 Biggest Travel Companies in the World .

The report by the WTTC also highlights a massive geo-economic transition currently underway. The United States, which is the largest travel economy in the world and represents more than $2 trillion in total economic output globally, is likely to lose its throne to China by 2033. Within the 10 year forecast period, China's travel sector is expected to contribute more than $4 trillion to the global economic output and will comprise more than 14.1% of China's economy. In comparison, the United States is expected to trail behind, even in some of its most fun cities in the US , with projected figure maxing out at $3 trillion, a 10.1% contribution to the U.S. economy. Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists represented more than 14.3% of global outbound travel spending. However, their late return to international travel, which can be attributed to extended border closures which were only lifted in January 2023 and ongoing passport and visa processing delays, has largely hindered the rebound of the travel industry in the country. Once the Chinese market makes its return in full force, a significant wave of growth for global tourism is expected, with the Chinese share of global outbound travel spending predicted to touch 22.3% by 2033.

According to the WTTC report, even the short-term outlook for travel paints an incredibly bullish picture. Based on data which studied more than $63.6 billion in fiscal transactions, Virtuoso, which is an elaborate network of more than 25,000 luxury travel advisors, reported that its sales in 2023 surged by more than 69% compared to 2019 level. With more consumers opting for outbound travel to many of the most fun cities in the US , the company is witnessing a 107% increase in sales for 2024 and early 2025, compared to the outlook in 209 and early 2020. The company's data points to rampant increase in nature-based and adventure travel to some of the most most fun cities in the US . When corresponded with the WTTC's report, it becomes apparent that while there is a considerable return to big cities, there is also a growing appetite for lesser-known destinations like Bulgaria and Slovenia. This has caused major players like Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG), Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ:ABNB), and Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) expand their footprint into emerging markets as well. These massive tectonic shifts in the tourism industry have left the United States trailing behind its competitors. However, even in the U.S, stateside employment is rising at a significant rate. To read more on the tourism industry in the U.S, check out our coverage of 25 States With Highest Tourism Revenue in the US.

Tourism Rebound in China: Outlook and Challenges

In a bid to retain its pre-pandemic dominance over the global tourism market, China has been removing travel restrictions rapidly in domestic and international circles. Although the reopening has introduced uncertainty and hesitancy to travel in the short term, there is still a strong sentiment within the larger Chinese population to travel, especially to some of the most fun cities in the US . The removal of quarantine requirements in January 2023 has the potential to encourage foreign tourists into China. According to a report by McKinsey, China's domestic travel market is exhibiting a robust travel recovery, with recent Chinese New Year holidays seeing more than 308 million domestic trips, generating more than RMB 376 billion in revenue. This massive uptick points to the fact that domestic travel volume has returned to more than 90% of 2019 figures, and tourist spending has resurged back to more than 70% of pre-pandemic figures. This has caused major players in Western tourism markets like Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG), Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ:ABNB), and Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) to make reinvestments into the Chinese market to capitalize on this massive uptick in domestic travel. 

However, according to a report by Bloomberg, the Chinese outbound travel may still not come to return to the great numbers of 2019 until 2024, with the visa and passport processing bottlenecks still very much in place. The report predicts that it is likely that Chinese cross-border travel will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024 and make a steady ascent from there. Another factor limiting the speed of the country's outbound travel market growth is geopolitical turbulence, namely the increased fuel costs for foreign carriers not being able to fly over Russian airspace, which tends to translate into higher fares for the average Chinese consumer. In addition to this, another area of weakness in global travel has been the larger business sector, with massive transitions in work patterns and the arrival of hybrid models impacting companies' propensity to spend on travel. However, despite current hurdles, the long-term outlook for China's outbound tourism market is extremely encouraging. As the geopolitical turbulence settles, current bottlenecks subside and companies realize the importance of nurturing in-person relationships, a resounding boom in the outbound market is looming for China.

Our Methodology

To compile our list of the 30 most fun cities in the US , we decided to undertake a consensus-based approach using a diverse variety of credible sources and research ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 ). We then shortlisted more than 60 cities which appeared most frequently during our research. Since the level of fun in each city is an incredibly multifaceted and complex phenomenon, we established a three-pronged criterial; the criteria is premised on the entertainment options in each city (20 points), cultural attractions (15 points), and nightlife (10 points). We then proceeded to award each city a cumulative score according to the aforementioned criteria and selected 30 cities which scored the highest points. Subsequently, we ranked each entry based on the total points scored, from lowest to highest. Where there was a tie, we broke it based on the entertainment options in each city. To get some more perspective on tourist attractions in the U.S, you can also read 30 Top Tourist Attractions in the USA.

To sum it up, we ranked the 30 most fun cities in the US  based on their cumulative scores, using a consensus methodology. By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years ( see the details here ). Whether you are a beginner investor or professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Most Fun Cities in the US

30. nashville, tennessee.

Nashville is one of the most fun cities in the US primarily because of its trendy shopping, live music, and countless restaurants. It welcomes around 14 million tourists every year. 

29. Cleveland, Ohio

Being an affordable and fun city, Cleveland attracts many tourists. It provides its visitors with a variety of fun opportunities like hiking, food tours, and cruising. Some of its main attractions include Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and West Side Market.  

28. Boston, Massachusetts 

Known for its nightlife, Boston is home to various theaters, pubs, clubs, and bars. Some of the main attractions in the city include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Common, and Fenway Park. 

27. Columbus, Ohio 

While visiting Columbus, tourists can partake in many outdoor activities like hiking, apple picking, or zip-lining. They can also visit museums, parks, and markets. It welcomes around 42 million visitors every year.  

26. Sacramento, California

Sacramento offers a wide variety of experiences to its visitors, including river cruises, whitewater rafting, mural tours, and wine tasting tours. The city is primarily known for the sheer variety in entertainment and recreation.

25. Miami, Florida 

Known for its beaches, Miami is one of the most fun cities in the US . Thus, it welcomes approximately 26 million tourists every year. The city is also a great location for food-lovers as it is home to many restaurants.

24. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is known for having the most restaurants per capita in the United States. Thus, it attracts many food-lovers. Tied with San Francisco and Las Vegas, the city also has the most dance clubs per capita.

23. New Orleans, California

Tied with Honolulu, San Francisco, and Tampa, New Orleans hosts the most festivals per capita. The city has an extremely vibrant nightlife; thus, it is a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties. 

22. Austin, Texas

Austin has one of the most vibrant and fun nightlives, which makes it a fun city to visit. Many tourists are attracted to the city because of its live music, clubs, and venues. In 2022, Austin welcomed around 27 million tourists. 

21. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is primarily known for its entertainment and recreation attractions. One of the most iconic landmarks in the city is the Cincinnati Music Hall, which hosts many events like the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Opera.

20. Houston, Texas

Houston is amongst the cities which have the most dance clubs in the United States, causing it to score highly in our nightlife category. The city hosts many festivals, including the annual kite festival. 

19. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

With a vibrant nightlife and countless attractions, Fort Lauderdale is one of the most fun cities in the United States . Some of the best experiences the city offers to its visitors include airboat rides, water taxi rides, and snorkeling. 

18. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is one of the most fun cities in the US . It offers its visitors opportunities to swim, see the wildlife, and visit iconic landmarks

17. Tucson, Arizona

Being an affordable yet fun city, Tucson welcomes many tourists every year. Some of the main attractions in the city include the Pima Air & Space Museum, Reid Park Zoo, and Saguaro National Park. 

16. Tampa, Florida

Tampa ranks number three in terms of festivals per capita. One of the most famous festivals hosted by Tampa is the River O'Green Festival on St. Patrick's Day.  

15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is known for its entertainment and recreational activities. The city has made great contributions to American history; however, it also offers activities like the Philadelphia Zoo and the Reading Terminal Market.

14. Washington DC

Scoring highly in our nightlife and party category, Washington DC attracts many fun-loving tourists. This is mainly owing to its bars, clubs, and iconic landmarks. 

13. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu hosts the most festivals per capita in the United States. The city has various attractions including Chambers Escape Games, Hawai'i Cat Cafe, and The Magical Mystery.

12. Charleston, South Carolina 

Scoring highly in our cultural attractions category, Charleston is an extremely fun city to visit. It offers its visitors several attractions including Pounce Cat Cafe, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, and Charleston Music Hall. 

11. Seattle, Washington

With an abundance of parks, restaurants, and shopping centers, Seattle is one of the most fun cities in the country. It is number 11 on our list of the most fun cities in the US . 

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Disclosure: None. 30 Most Fun Cities in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.

Most Fun Cities in the US

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  1. The 21+ BEST Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee (UPDATED 2022)

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  2. Top 35 Nashville Attractions You'll Absolutely Love

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  3. 17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nashville, TN

    famous tourist attractions in nashville

  4. The 21+ BEST Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee (UPDATED 2022)

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  5. 3 Must Visit Places in Nashville, TN

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  6. 50 Best Things to do in Nashville, Tennessee

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COMMENTS

  1. 28 Best Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

    Grand Ole Opry Grand Ole Opry #1 in Nashville 6 miles to city center Address: 2804 Opryland Drive

  2. 17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nashville, TN

    Another popular attraction and wandering place is Bicentennial Capitol Mall. Grab a beverage and pastry from the adjacent Nashville Farmers' Market. The city is a jumping-off point to explore the rest of Tennessee. Many historical attractions, including old plantations and Civil War sites, are no more than a half-hour drive away.

  3. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Nashville

    Go behind-the-scenes of Nashville's music row at the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame. Then, head downtown for live music, good Southern food, and buzzing nightlife. Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee: See Tripadvisor's 688,859 traveler reviews and photos of Nashville tourist attractions.

  4. The 20 Best Attractions and Sights in Nashville

    Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum It's known as "the Smithsonian of country music" for good reason, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum spans 350,000 square feet of prime Downtown Nashville real estate, which it packs with thousands of artifacts, two performance theaters, and countless rotating special exhibitions.

  5. 30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Nashville (Tennessee)

    1. Grand Ole Opry jejim / Shutterstock Grab your stetson. Pull on your spurs. It's time to visit the Grand Ole Opry. Hailed as "the show that made country music famous," the Grand Ole Opry has been running for almost a century.

  6. 30 Best Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

    While Nashville's reputation as a country music destination precedes itself, there's more to Tennessee's capital than the honky tonks on Broadway, the Grand Ole Opry, and The Bluebird Cafe...

  7. The 15 Best Things to Do in Nashville

    Lane Motor Museum. This is not your normal museum. The idea behind the private Lane Motor Museum is to display vehicles from Europe, Asia, and North and South America from the 1920s to present day ...

  8. Nashville Attractions

    Honky Tonk Highway. Immerse yourself in Nashville at a Honky Tonk Bar and see who's playing your song 365 days of the year. Nashville is known for its music scene, and the best part is that most music can be enjoyed for free. Use this guide to help you find your way around Nashville venues that offer live music.

  9. Top 15 things to do in Nashville

    1. Make a pilgrimage to the Mother Church of Country Music The Ryman Auditorium is Nashville's premier music venue - this historic stage was the original home of the Grand Ole' Opry and where superstars like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash jump-started their careers.

  10. 40 Fun & Best Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

    1. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere Address: 3777 Nolensville Pk., Nashville, TN 37211 Looking for things to do in Nashville with kids? Look no further than the cool creatures at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

  11. 21 Best Things To Do In Nashville, Tennessee (2023 Guide)

    Table of Contents. The 21 Best Things to Do in Nashville. 1) Downtown Nashville. 2) The Grand Ole Opry House. 3) Centennial Park. 4) The Cumberland River. 5) The Country Music Hall of Fame. 6) Johnny Cash Museum. 7) Distillery Tour.

  12. Things to Do in Nashville

    Outside Dining Sit back, relax, and enjoy the weather on a patio or rooftop in Nashville. Music and Entertainment Explore the nightlife, see a show, and dive into Nashville's music scene. Welcome Veterans Nashville welcomes veterans and their families to enjoy the sights, sounds, and... History Attractions

  13. 26 Best Nashville Tourist Attractions * Things In Nashville

    Downtown Nashville is the heartbeat of the city, and it is home to a variety of awesome attractions, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Music City Walk of Fame.

  14. 21 Fun Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

    Among the top tourist attractions in Nashville lie beautiful parks, museums, and art galleries. The city's culinary scene is also among the most innovative in the Southeastern US. In its trendy restaurants & bistros, you'll enjoy delicious Southern comfort food with a modern twist. Need some ideas for what to do on your trip?

  15. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Nashville

    Top Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee: See Tripadvisor's 688,786 traveller reviews and photos of Nashville tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. We have reviews of the best places to see in Nashville. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  16. 25 Best Things to Do in Nashville (TN)

    Another feature of the parks are the two golf courses that are present, Percy Warner Golf Course and Harpeth Hills Golf Course. 20. Relax At Percy Priest Lake. Source: David Newbold / shutterstock. Percy Priest Lake. Percy Priest Lake was completed in 1968, it is 42 miles long and covers an area of 14,000 acres.

  17. 73 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Nashville, TN

    Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee United States 73 Fun & Unusual Things to Do in Nashville, TN By Evan Bryce - December 28, 2023 The heartbeat of American country music and a beacon of Southern hospitality, Nashville is a charming city that has a lot to offer.

  18. Top 20 Nashville Attractions You'll Absolutely Love

    1: Grand Ole Opry Dreamstime/Joe Hendrickson Rate this attraction: 314 33 Map The Grand Ole Opry has been famous in Nashville pretty much since its inception. It started out in 1925 as a radio show and is virtually responsible for putting the city on the map to begin with.

  19. 41 Best Things to Do in Nashville in 2024 (By a Local)

    Ryman Auditorium Visit "The Mother Church of Country Music" and discover why artists and fans love this venue. The Ryman Auditorium in Downtown Nashville 📍 Google Maps | Phone: (615) 889-3060 | Website | Hours 10 am - 4 pm Sun-Thurs, 9 am - 4 pm Fri-Sat | Entrance: $25.95, adults, $16.95 under 12 | 👉 Suggested tour of the Ryman

  20. The 39 Best Things to Do in Nashville

    Once you decide which famous hotel to stay in, there are iconic venues featuring live shows with country music legends (it's not called Music City for nothing), museums teeming with country music history, beautiful state parks with wildlife sightings, adventure parks for kids, and shopping destinations that will leave your luggage a lot heavier ...

  21. 38 Things to Do in Nashville for First Timers (with hidden gems)

    Printer's Alley is a hidden gem that a lot of tourists miss. You'll find it on church street between 3rd and 4th ave. The narrow alley and all the lights and neon signs make this a magical spot. It's a little more lowkey than Broadway where you'll find a little less country music and little more blues and jazz music.

  22. Top 10 Nashville Tourist Attractions

    Top 10 Nashville Tourist Attractions The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Nashville is the home of country music and is sometimes called the music city of the United States. Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, and it is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County. It has a population of about 654,610 according to 2015 ...

  23. 30 Most Fun Cities in the US

    30. Nashville, Tennessee. Total Score: 13. Nashville is one of the most fun cities in the US primarily because of its trendy shopping, live music, and countless restaurants. It welcomes around 14 ...

  24. Memphis in May sells Downtown HQ to Memphis Tourism

    Memphis in May sold its Downtown HQ building to Memphis Tourism for $1.55 million, according to a deed filing. Memphis in May purchased the 14,600-square-foot building at 56 S. Front St. for ...