Nashville is the capital of Tennessee. It is a city with a lot of music, history, and culture. There are many fun things to do in Nashville, such as visiting historic honky-tonks, and world-class museums, and trying different foods.
Known for its delicious Southern cuisine and lively nightlife in the legendary Printers Alley, coupled with a deep-rooted history, Nashville is sure to provide plenty of exciting activities that will keep you entertained.
Nashville is so much more than just music – the vibrant Downtown area, combined with the peaceful neighborhoods along Cumberland River, offers an array of unique and exciting experiences.
If you live in Nashville or are just visiting, this post will tell you about some of the best and most interesting things to do in the city. So get ready to have a good time, try some new food, and explore Nashville!
Live Music & Entertainment
1. Tour the Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium is a Nashville landmark and music venue. It’s also known as “the mother church of country music”. Take a tour of the historic building, hear stories about its past, and watch performance clips from some of the biggest stars in country music.
2. See a show at the Grand Ole Opry
A trip to Nashville wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. This iconic venue has been entertaining audiences since 1925 and is known as “the mother church of country music”. From up-and-coming stars to legendary performers, there’s always something exciting happening at the Grand Ole Opry.
3. Live Music at Bluebird Cafe
The Bluebird Cafe is an iconic Nashville venue, famous for hosting some of the best songwriters in the world. It’s a small, intimate setting that offers nightly concerts featuring up-and-coming artists as well as established country music stars.
4. Go Bowling at Pinewood Social
Pinewood Social – a one-stop shop for all your needs. This unique and creative space is nothing short of genius, providing everything from delicious food options to bowling lanes and even outdoor seating.
Whether you’re looking for an early morning pick me up, or a late-night hang-out spot to catch up with friends, Pinewood Social will not disappoint! It’s without question one of the best spots in Nashville that has something for everyone.
Pinewood Social is the perfect place to get your work done during the day with a cup of coffee. Afterward, you can take a dip in their pool or grab dinner and one of their signature craft cocktails. And don’t forget to play bocce ball while you’re there!
Best Places to Eat
You can’t visit Nashville without trying some of the city’s famous cuisine. From traditional southern comfort food to modern fusion dishes, there is something for everyone here. Some of the best places to eat include Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, and Peg Leg Porker BBQ.
5. Eat Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s
Hattie B’s is a Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant that opened in 2012. It offers some of the spiciest and most delicious hot chicken around. With four locations, Hattie B’s has become one of the most popular things to do in Nashville.
6. Enjoy Breakfast at Biscuit Love
Biscuit Love is a must-try restaurant in Nashville. This popular eatery serves up some of the best comfort food dishes around. From classic biscuit sandwiches to housemade pies, you won’t be disappointed by this local favorite. With two locations in town, it’s easy to satisfy your craving for delicious southern cuisine.
Biscuit Love is the place to be in Nashville for delectable brunch delights like bloody Marys and mimosas. Even though it may seem busy at first glance, the line moves swiftly for ultimate convenience.
7. Goo Goo Cluster
Imagine a delectable combination of peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow coated in creamy milk chocolate—this is the tantalizing treat called a Goo Goo Cluster! It’s simply perfection condensed into one delicious candy bar. This iconic candy shop has been serving up its signature Goo Goos since 1912, and it’s a must-visit when you’re in Nashville.
8. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
Learn about the history of Tennessee whiskey at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville. Tour the facility and learn how they create their award-winning spirits, sample some of their unique small-batch whiskey, and even pick up a few bottles to take home with you. It’s a great way to get an inside look into the world of craft distilling.
9. Go on a Brewery Tour
Go on a brewery tour and sample some of the local brews in Nashville. From award-winning ales to delicious IPAs, there’s something for everyone here. Many of these breweries also offer food, which makes it easy to make an afternoon out of your visit. Nashville has a growing craft beer scene, and it’s worth exploring.
Museums & Landmarks
Nashville is home to a number of museums and landmarks that are worth checking out. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, The Johnny Cash Museum, or take a tour of the Parthenon. Or explore downtown Nashville on foot to get an up close look at all the amazing architecture the city has to offer.
10. Visit the Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation is a historic site located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was once home to some of the most powerful people in the south, and you can explore its grounds today. Take a guided tour of the mansion, stroll around the gardens and visit the gift shop.
11. Visit the Belcourt Theater
The Belcourt Theatre is an independent cinema which offers films from around the world as well as special screenings, workshops and masterclasses. Located in the heart of Nashville, this is one of the best things to do if you’re looking for some culture in Music City.
Belcourt Theatre is an independent cinema that has been part of the Nashville community since 1925. This gem offers everything from premieres and sneak peeks to Retro Classic screenings and special events
12. Explore the Frist Art Museum
The Frist Art Museum is a world-class destination located in the heart of Nashville. It offers a wide range of exhibitions and programs, from modern art to historical collections. With free admission on select days, it’s one of the best things to do in Nashville for those looking for a little culture.
13. Johnny Cash Museum
The Johnny Cash Museum is a must-see for any fan of the legendary musician. Located in downtown Nashville, this museum offers a look into the life and times of the Man in Black. With artifacts, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits, it’s an interesting and educational experience that will make you feel like a true local!
Broadway is the place to be in Nashville. This vibrant street is lined with bars, restaurants, and live music venues that come alive after sunset. Grab a beer at one of the many local dives or catch some live tunes at legendary honky-tonks like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World.
14. Walk down Honky Tonk Highway on Broadway
There are lots of live music venues and honky tonks on Broadway Street! Take a walk down the street and pop in all of the different honky-tonks.
Tootsie’s is a famous honky tonk in Nashville. Legends like Willie Nelson performed at Tootsie’s before they became famous.
Since its opening in the 60’s, Tootsie’s has established itself as the go-to honky tonk of Nashville. Although it is always bustling with activity and energy, a unique sense of charm still emanates from every corner of this historic establishment.
Spend the night out and experience three exhilarating levels of live entertainment at this honky-tonk on Broadway with a rooftop bar. Revel in great music without worrying about forking over cash for entry, because admission is completely free! Enjoy some drinks while you’re here; it’s sure to be an enjoyable evening!
15. Printers Alley
Printers Alley was once the epicenter of this city’s printing industry, boasting a National Historic District status. However, that is not why visitors flock here — it’s really the hub of nightlife in downtown!
Looking for a fun night out? Printers Alley is the perfect destination! This area has something for everyone, from karaoke bars and live music venues to nightclubs. Dance along to blues songs at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar or sample some delicious eats at Skull’s Rainbow Room – either way, you’re sure to have an unforgettable evening!
16. Sing Karaoke at Santa’s Pub
Are you a fan of dive bars and karaoke? Then this is the perfect spot for you! You can easily recognize it with its giant Santa-painted trailer. Plus, there’s a bonus – a deck in front that was recently built. Enjoy your night without breaking the bank; beers are only $2 (cash only)! And don’t forget about their nightly karaoke events too! Did we mention those tasty cold brews cost only $2 each?!
17. Have a drink at Red Phone Booth
If you have a thing for speakeasy bars, then you will love Red Phone Booth. It’s called Red Phone Booth for a reason–you can only enter this bar through a red phone booth don’t eh side of the street. You have to know the password to get in!
Outdoors & Nature
Nashville has some of the best outdoor activities in the country, thanks to its beautiful parks and trails.
18. Find the Street Art!
Spend a day exploring the city’s amazing collection of street art. You can find artwork everywhere in Nashville, from graffiti murals to country-themed paintings.
- I Believe in Nashville
- The Nashville Wings
East Nashville is, without a shadow of a doubt, the city’s premier destination for street art, yet don’t restrict yourself to one area! Beyond East Nashville, Germantown (extremely pedestrian friendly and with delicious cuisine!), as well as 12South, also offer breathtaking artwork that will surely make your social media followers jealous.
19. Hike at Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park is a 1,332 acre park located just outside of Nashville. It’s a great place to go for hiking, bird watching and other outdoor activities. With its scenic trails and stunning views, it’s no surprise that Radnor Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Nashville.
Radnor Lake is a picturesque haven for nature enthusiasts to escape city life’s hustle and bustle. With six trails specifically designed for hiking and wildlife observation, you’ll be in awe as you observe turtles, otters, owls or some of the many other creatures that call this park home – if you’re lucky! Explore breathtaking views while walking through these trails; Radnor Lake awaits your visit.
20. Walk around Cumberland Park
Located on the banks of the Cumberland River, this park offers a great view of downtown Nashville. There are two playgrounds for children, plenty of picnic areas and a large amphitheater that hosts live music events. Cumberland Park offers a tranquil, picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Nashville.
21. Take a bike ride down Centennial Park
Stroll through the beautiful Centennial Park and take in the sights of Nashville. With bike rental stations throughout the park, it’s easy to explore all this gorgeous space offers. Whether you want to take a leisurely ride or get your heart pumping with a more challenging route, there’s something for everyone here.
22. Take a Cruise on the Cumberland River
Dip into some of Nashville’s fascinating history aboard one of the many sightseeing cruises on the Cumberland River. An experienced guide will tell you stories about how things were in the city during past decades.
23. Visit the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is the perfect place to explore and learn about animals. It’s home to over 2,500 exotic species, including tigers, giraffes, elephants, and more. With interactive exhibits and educational programs for all ages, it’s one of the most popular things to do in Nashville.
24. Take a stroll on Shelby Bottoms Greenway
The Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a 2,100-acre park located in East Nashville. The greenway features biking trails, walking paths, and a huge lake for fishing and boating. It’s perfect for spending some time outdoors – take a stroll, enjoy the scenery and get to know this vibrant area of Nashville.
25. Shop at Marathon Village
Marathon Village is a unique shopping center located in Nashville’s historic Marathon Motor Works building. This vibrant space is filled with boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and more. It’s the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts for everyone on your list!
26. Shop at Nashville Farmers’ Market
Explore the sights, smells and flavors of Nashville at the Farmers’ Market. This bustling market is filled with locally-grown produce, artisanal crafted goods and delicious street food. There’s something for everyone here so make sure to stop by and explore all that the Farmers’ Market has to offer!
27. Explore the 12 South Neighborhood
12 South is the epitome of Nashville’s walkability and a placidly bustling neighborhood that boasts an array of eateries, cafés, bakeries, pubs, and boutiques with locally crafted garments. 12South is the place to be in Nashville! It’s the perfect spot to relax and browse through vintage records at Grimey’s, sip on a refreshing drink, or snack on delicious gelato.
So if you’re looking for the top things to do in Nashville that will make you feel like a local, make sure to check out some of these awesome activities. From food and drinks to shopping and nightlife, there are plenty of things to do that will make your trip memorable. And don’t forget to try the Goo Goos!