69 Best Things to Do in Nashville, TN

Nashville, also known as “Music City,” is a vibrant and dynamic city in Tennessee’s heart. Famous for its lively music scene, rich history, and southern charm, Nashville has quickly become one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. From live music venues to historical landmarks, Nashville has no shortage of things to do. This guide will take you through the city and highlight some must-visit places that make Nashville an unforgettable experience.

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Music Hall of Fame and Museum

One of the most iconic landmarks in Nashville, the Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit for any music lover. Established in 1961, the museum honors the country music legends who have shaped the industry and pays tribute to their contributions. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits and memorabilia and even catch a live performance at the Ford Theater. With over two million artifacts, this museum offers an immersive experience that will leave you feeling inspired and entertained.

Nashville Zoo

Located on over 200 acres of land, the Nashville Zoo is home to a diverse range of animals worldwide. From giraffes and elephants to kangaroos and red pandas, there is no shortage of fascinating creatures to see. The zoo offers unique experiences such as giraffe feedings, a zipline tour, and even an overnight safari adventure. Perfect for families and animal lovers alike, the Nashville Zoo is a must-visit attraction that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Nashville Farmers’ Market

Nashville Farmers’ Market offers a unique blend of local produce, artisanal goods, and diverse international cuisines. With over 2,000 farmers and artisans, this market is a foodie’s paradise where you can taste flavors worldwide. From fresh fruits and vegetables to handcrafted goods, this vibrant marketplace has something for everyone. With events like Night Market and Farmhand’s Table Supper Club, the Nashville Farmers’ Market is more than just a place to shop; it’s a culinary adventure.

National Museum of African American Music

Opened in early 2021, the National Museum of African American Music is one of Nashville’s newest attractions. This museum celebrates the rich and diverse contributions of black artists to all genres of music. With interactive exhibits, live performances, and educational programs, visitors can explore the evolution of music and its impact on society. A visit to this museum is informative and a powerful experience that highlights the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the world of music.

Honky Tonk Highway

No trip to Nashville is complete without experiencing the famous Honky Tonk Highway. This stretch of bars, restaurants, and live music venues on Lower Broadway is the heart of Nashville’s music scene. With a lively atmosphere and talented musicians playing around the clock, Honky Tonk Highway offers an authentic Nashville experience. Visitors can hop from one bar to another and enjoy some of the city’s best country, rock, and blues performances.

Frist Art Museum

Located in a stunning neoclassical building, the First Art Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. With rotating exhibitions featuring local and international artists, this museum offers diverse visual arts. In addition to its exhibits, the Frist hosts lectures, workshops, and performances highlighting the intersection of art and history. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply appreciate beauty, the Frist Art Museum is a must-see in Nashville.

Cumberland Park

Nestled along the Cumberland River, Cumberland Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages. With a playground, splash pad, and rock-climbing wall, this park is perfect for families with kids. Adults can also enjoy a leisurely walk along the river, play a game of basketball, or have a picnic while taking in the beautiful views of Nashville’s skyline. Cumberland Park is ideal for relaxing and unwinding amidst the bustling city.

Robert’s Western World

For those looking for an authentic honky-tonk experience, Robert’s Western World is the place to be. This iconic live music venue has been around since the 1950s and continues to attract visitors from all over the world. With a diverse lineup of talented musicians playing traditional country music, Robert’s Western World offers a glimpse into Nashville’s rich musical heritage. Visitors can also enjoy delicious food and drinks while listening to some of the best live music in the city.

Pinewood Social

Pinewood Social is not your average restaurant. This unique establishment offers a variety of activities, including bowling, bocce ball, and even an outdoor pool during the summer months. In addition to its recreational offerings, Pinewood Social also serves delicious food and drinks made with locally sourced ingredients. Whether you are looking for a fun night out or a relaxing day by the pool, Pinewood Social has something for everyone.

Fisk University Galleries

Located on the historic campus of Fisk University, the Fisk University Galleries feature an impressive African-American art collection. With over 4,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs, this gallery offers a comprehensive look at African-American artists’ rich history and culture. The Fisk University Galleries also hosts special exhibitions and educational programs highlighting the importance of black art in shaping our society.

Music Row

Known as the heart of Nashville’s music industry, Music Row is a must-see for any music lover. This iconic street is lined with record labels, recording studios, and other businesses that have played a pivotal role in creating some of country music’s biggest hits. Visitors can take a self-guided tour or book a guided one to learn about the history and evolution of Nashville’s music scene. With its vibrant vibe and rich history, Music Row is a must-visit for anyone interested in music.

Civil Rights Room

Located inside the Nashville Public Library, the Civil Rights Room honors the city’s significant role in the fight for civil rights. This powerful exhibit features photographs, documents, and artifacts that showcase the struggles and triumphs of the African-American community in Nashville. Visitors can learn about important events and figures in the civil rights movement, including the historic sit-ins at downtown Nashville lunch counters. The Civil Rights Room is a thought-provoking and educational experience that showcases the importance of diversity, equality, and justice.

Radnor Lake State Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the peaceful beauty of Radnor Lake State Park. Located 8 miles from downtown Nashville, this state park boasts over 1,300 acres of pristine forests and a tranquil lake perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. Visitors can choose from several trails that wind through the park, offering stunning views of scenic vistas and abundant flora and fauna. Watch for deer, owls, and other wildlife that call this park home.

Belle Meade Historic Site

History buffs will love visiting the Belle Meade Historic Site, a beautifully preserved antebellum mansion that showcases the lavish lifestyle of Nashville’s elite during the 19th century. Take a guided tour of the meticulously restored Greek Revival-style mansion and learn about its rich history as a thoroughbred horse farm. You can also explore the surrounding grounds, including a winery, carriage house, and slave quarters.

Arrington Vineyards

No trip to Nashville is complete without sampling some of its famous southern cuisine and delicious wines. Located in the rolling hills of Tennessee, Arrington Vineyards is a 25-minute drive from downtown Nashville. It offers visitors the chance to taste award-winning wines while taking in breathtaking views of the vineyards. Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon sipping wine, enjoying live music, and indulging in delicious homemade desserts.

Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

As a city deeply rooted in music, Nashville is the perfect place to learn about the iconic musicians who have shaped American music. The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum pays tribute to these talented artists with interactive exhibits, rare artifacts, and memorabilia from some of the biggest names in the business. From legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to modern-day stars like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, this museum is a must-see for music lovers of all ages.

Warner Parks

Covering over 3,100 acres of land, the Warner Parks are a nature lover’s paradise. Located just minutes from downtown Nashville, these parks offer endless outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Spend a day exploring the lush forests and rolling hills, or head to Old Fort Park for a picnic and birdwatching. Don’t forget to stop by the historic Belle Meade Plantation in the park.

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

For an out-of-this-world experience, visit the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory and explore the universe’s wonders. This iconic observatory offers educational programs, public telescope nights, and special events for visitors to learn about astronomy and view celestial objects up close. Located on a hilltop just outside Nashville, this unique attraction is a must-visit for anyone interested in space and science.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Nashville, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway is a hidden gem that offers visitors a peaceful escape from the city. The greenway features over 5 miles of paved and unpaved trails that wind through wetlands, forests, and fields. Visitors can also explore the nature center to learn about the local wildlife and participate in educational programs and events.

Historic RCA Studio B

For music lovers, a visit to the Historic RCA Studio B is a must-do. Some of the biggest names in music have used this iconic studio, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Roy Orbison. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of this legendary recording studio and even get a chance to sit on the same piano used by Elvis himself.

Adventure Science Center

Located just south of downtown Nashville, the Adventure Science Center is an interactive museum that offers fun and educational experiences for all ages. With hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, and live science demonstrations, visitors can learn about everything from outer space to the human body. This is a great place for families to spend a day and have fun while learning.

Johnny Cash Museum

No one represents Nashville’s music scene quite like Johnny Cash; his legacy lives on at the Johnny Cash Museum. Located in downtown Nashville, this museum showcases the life and career of the “Man in Black” through rare artifacts, personal items, and interactive exhibits. Fans of Johnny Cash will not want to miss this tribute to one of the most excellent musicians in history.

The Parthenon

Believe it or not, Nashville is home to a full-scale replica of the iconic Parthenon in Athens, Greece. This stunning structure in Centennial Park features a 42-foot replica of the Athena Parthenos statue inside. Visitors can take a self-guided tour to learn about the history of ancient Greece or simply marvel at the impressive architecture and sculptures.

Gaylord Opryland

Look no further than the Gaylord Opryland Resort for those looking for a little luxury during their stay in Nashville. This sprawling resort features over 2,800 guest rooms and suites, multiple restaurants and bars, an indoor garden complex, a spa, and even a boat ride through the hotel’s river. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day exploring all Nashville offers.

Carl Van Vechten Gallery

Located on the campus of Fisk University, the Carl Van Vechten Gallery is a must-visit for all art lovers. This beautiful gallery features a diverse collection of African-American art, showcasing the history and cultural heritage of the community. The gallery was named after the famous photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten, who significantly promoted African-American artists during the Harlem Renaissance. Visitors can admire this free-to-enter gallery’s paintings, sculptures, and photographs from various eras.

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

Stroll on the iconic John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and enjoy some of the best views of the Nashville skyline. This 3,150-foot-long bridge is a popular spot for locals and tourists, offering stunning views of the Cumberland River and downtown Nashville. You can also catch live music performances or events on the bridge throughout the year. Don’t forget to take some pictures to capture the beauty of this iconic bridge!

Nashville Flea Market

For a unique shopping experience, head over to the Nashville Flea Market. Held on the fourth weekend of every month, this market features hundreds of vendors selling various items such as antiques, collectibles, handmade crafts, and much more. You can easily spend hours walking through the different booths and finding hidden gems. So, whether you’re looking for souvenirs or just want to browse, the Nashville Flea Market is a must-visit for all tourists.

Hatch Show Print

If you’re a fan of music and design, then Hatch Show Print should be on your itinerary. This iconic print shop has been creating posters for musicians and events since 1879, making it one of America’s oldest working letterpress print shops. Take a tour to see how these beautiful posters are made, and even purchase some as souvenirs. You can also attend workshops where you can create your custom poster!

Bluebird Cafe

For an intimate music experience, head over to the Bluebird Cafe – a small and cozy venue that has launched the careers of many famous musicians. This iconic cafe has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, making it a popular tourist spot. Enjoy live performances while sipping on some coffee or grab a bite to eat from their delicious menu. Keep an eye out for surprise appearances by famous singers!

General Jackson Showboat

Experience Nashville differently by taking a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat. This paddlewheel riverboat offers lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment, showcasing some of the best local musicians. You can also learn about the history of Nashville and its role in the music industry while enjoying the scenic views of the Cumberland River.

Wander Hillsboro Village

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and walk through Hillsboro Village. This charming neighborhood has unique shops, cozy cafes, and delicious restaurants. You can also catch a movie at the iconic Belcourt Theatre or visit the historic Pancake Pantry for mouth-watering pancakes. Don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs at the local boutiques.

The Hermitage

History buffs will enjoy a visit to The Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson. This beautiful mansion and its surrounding grounds offer a glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential leaders. You can take a guided tour of the house, explore the gardens, or attend special events held throughout the year.

Marathon Village

For a unique shopping experience, make your way to Marathon Village. This former automobile factory has been transformed into a hub of local businesses and workshops. You can find everything from handmade jewelry to locally crafted beer in this vibrant community. Take a distillery tour or attend one of the many events held in this creative space.

Nashville Public Library

Get lost in books and history at the Nashville Public Library. This beautiful building is filled with interesting exhibits, including a replica of the Parthenon’s Athena statue. You can also attend free events such as book readings, musical performances, and workshops. Don’t forget to explore the outdoor reading room, which offers stunning views of downtown Nashville.

Printers Alley

Return in time by visiting Printers Alley, a historic area in downtown Nashville. This alley was once the center of Nashville’s printing and publishing industry, but today, it is known for its vibrant nightlife. Live music venues, bars, and restaurants are in this bustling alley. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to experience the lively energy of Printers Alley!

Grand Ole Opry

No trip to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. This iconic venue has showcased some of the best country music artists since 1925, making it an important part of Nashville’s history. You can attend a live show and even take a backstage tour for a behind-the-scenes look at this legendary stage.

Hit the Hall

For all the baseball fans out there, a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must. This museum celebrates the history and evolution of country music, featuring exhibits of famous artists and artifacts such as Elvis Presley’s gold Cadillac. You can also catch live performances and attend workshops at this iconic music institution.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Get some fresh air and learn about Tennessee’s history by visiting Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. This park features several monuments, including a 200-foot granite map of the state, walking trails, and beautiful fountains. You can also attend concerts and festivals at this scenic outdoor space.

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Located on 55 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and an elegant estate, the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a perfect escape from the busy city. This historic estate was once home to Nashville’s prominent Cheek family and has now been transformed into an art museum and botanical garden. Visitors can explore the 30 unique gardens, view world-class art exhibitions, and attend various events such as outdoor concerts and festivals.

Jefferson Street Sound Museum

Head to the Jefferson Street Sound Museum for a taste of Nashville’s rich music history. This museum celebrates the African-American music scene in Nashville, showcasing jazz, blues, and R&B artists who have helped shape the city’s musical culture. Visitors can also catch live performances by local musicians and learn about the significant contributions made by African Americans in the Nashville music industry.

Union Station Nashville Yards

Once a bustling train station, Union Station Nashville Yards is now a luxurious hotel that offers guests a glimpse into the city’s past. The stunning architecture and grand lobby of this historic building will transport you back in time to the golden age of rail travel. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s worth stopping by for a drink or meal at one of their top-rated restaurants.

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Sports enthusiasts will love the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, which honors the state’s greatest athletes and sports figures. The interactive museum showcases memorabilia from various sports and offers an engaging experience for children and adults. Visitors can also test their skills in the virtual reality football exhibit or swing at the batting cages.

Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant

No trip to Nashville is complete without trying authentic Southern cuisine, and Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant is the perfect place. This family-owned restaurant serves delicious comfort food, including their famous BBQ pulled pork and homemade desserts. You can also catch live music performances while you enjoy your meal at this popular Nashville spot.

Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort

Escape the summer heat at Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort, a waterpark and lakeside adventure park just outside Nashville. With thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river, there’s plenty to keep you entertained all day. The resort also offers activities such as ziplining, wakeboarding, and paddleboarding for those seeking adventure.

Jack Daniel’s Distillery

For whiskey lovers, visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in nearby Lynchburg is a must-do in Nashville. Take a tour of the historic distillery and learn about the process of making this famous Tennessee whiskey. The tour concludes with a tasting, where you can sample some of their signature products.

Ryman Auditorium

Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Ryman Auditorium is a must-visit for any music lover. This iconic venue has hosted legendary performances by artists such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Presley. Visitors can take a self-guided tour or catch a live show at this historic landmark.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Explore country music history at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which features exhibits of country music legends and memorabilia from their careers. The museum also hosts live performances, film screenings, and educational programs for visitors.

Tennessee Central Railway Museum

Step back in time and experience train travel from the past at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. This railway museum offers various train excursions, including a historic steam-powered train ride through the scenic Tennessee countryside. Visitors can also tour the museum’s vintage trains and railroad artifacts collection.

Trolley Tour

One of the best ways to explore Nashville’s downtown area is by taking a trolley tour. These narrated tours take you through Music City, highlighting famous landmarks and providing interesting facts and stories about the city’s history. You can hop on and off at different stops to explore specific areas or take a full loop to see it all.

Celebrity Bus Tour

For a chance to spot some of Nashville’s famous musicians and celebrities, consider taking a celebrity bus tour. These tours take you through popular neighborhoods where many country music stars live, including the homes of Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton. You may even get lucky and see a celebrity during your tour.

Tennessee State Museum

Learn about the history of Tennessee at the Tennessee State Museum, which features exhibits on Native American culture, the Civil War, and the state’s role in shaping the nation. The museum also offers hands-on activities for children and adults, making it a fun and educational experience for all ages.

Jack Daniel’s Distillery

No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Located in Lynchburg, Tennessee, about an hour from the city center, this historic distillery has produced the world-famous Tennessee whiskey since 1866. Take a guided tour to learn about this iconic brand’s distillation process and history. And don’t forget to sample some of their finest products at the end of your tour.

Lane Motor Museum

Car enthusiasts will love spending an afternoon at Lane Motor Museum, home to a unique collection of over 500 cars and motorcycles worldwide. This museum has something for everyone, from vintage European cars to rare prototypes. You can even ride in one of the museum’s featured vehicles on select days.

Belmont Mansion

Built-in the mid-1800s, Belmont Mansion is one of Nashville’s most treasured landmarks. This stunning Italian-style villa was once the home of Adelicia Acklen, one of the wealthiest women in America during her time. Tour the mansion and its beautiful gardens to learn about its fascinating history and see original furniture and artwork.

Cumberland River

Experience Nashville differently by taking a cruise on the Cumberland River. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening cruise or a fun sightseeing tour, there are various options. You can even take a dinner cruise while enjoying live music and breathtaking city skyline views.

Bike Around Nashville

Nashville bike tours are a great option for those who prefer an active way of exploring the city. These guided tours will take you through some of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods, including Music Row and Downtown Nashville. You’ll also see some hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the city’s history.

Madame Tussauds

Get close and personal with your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds in Nashville. This popular wax museum features lifelike wax figures of famous musicians, actors, and historical icons. Take photos with your favorite stars and learn about their achievements through interactive exhibits.

Tour Belle Meade Mansion

Step back in time at Belle Meade Mansion, a historic plantation house that offers guided tours of its grand interiors and beautiful grounds. Learn about the lives of the Harding-Jackson family, who called this mansion home for over a century. You can also try some award-winning wines from grapes grown on the estate.

Centennial Park

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life at Centennial Park. This 132-acre urban park features various recreational activities, including walking trails, picnic areas, and a lake with paddle boats. The park is also home to the iconic Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the famous Greek monument.

Historic Travellers Rest

History buffs will enjoy visiting Historic Travellers Rest, Nashville’s oldest historic house museum. Built in 1799, this beautifully preserved plantation house offers guided tours that showcase its impressive architecture and unique artifacts from the early 19th century. You can also explore the beautiful gardens and grounds on your own.

Explore Mammoth Cave National Park

Located just a short drive from Nashville, Mammoth Cave National Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore the world’s longest-known cave system. Take a guided tour through its fascinating underground formations or hike on one of the park’s scenic trails. You can also camp or stay in a cabin within the park to fully immerse yourself in nature.

Tractor Party Wagon

For a unique experience, hop aboard the Tractor Party Wagon and explore Nashville’s nightlife in style. This fun-filled wagon ride takes you through some of the city’s most popular bars and attractions while you enjoy drinks, music, and a lively atmosphere. Perfect for groups looking for a memorable night out.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

History comes alive at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, the former home of the 7th President of the United States. Take a tour of the mansion and grounds to learn about Jackson’s life and achievements and see original artifacts from his time. You can also visit his tomb and the nearby museum to immerse yourself in history.

Nissan Stadium

Sports fans will love catching a game at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans football team. Whether attending a game or taking a stadium tour, this state-of-the-art facility offers an exciting and memorable experience. You can also catch other events and concerts at the stadium yearly.

Percy Priest Lake

Escape the city heat and enjoy a day of water activities at Percy Priest Lake. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Nashville, this scenic lake offers boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking opportunities. You can also take a guided tour to explore nearby islands or rent a jet ski for adrenaline-pumping fun.

Cooter’s Nashville

For fans of the hit TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard,” visiting Cooter’s Nashville is a must. This museum and gift shop is dedicated to the beloved classic series and features memorabilia, props, and vehicles from the show. You can also ride in the iconic General Lee car or challenge your friends to a game of mini-golf.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Nashville, also known as Music City, is famous for its vibrant music scene. And there’s no better place to experience it than at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. This stunning concert hall hosts various performances throughout the year, featuring a range of musical genres. You can also take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the history and architecture of this iconic venue.

Nashville Municipal Auditorium

The Nashville Municipal Auditorium is another popular venue for concerts, sporting events, and live performances. With its unique circular design and state-of-the-art acoustics, this venue offers an unforgettable experience for attendees. Check the schedule and catch a show during your visit to Nashville.

Nashville has something for everyone, and its vibrant music scene is just one aspect of this dynamic city. From museums and galleries to outdoor parks and iconic venues, there are countless things to do in Nashville that will leave you lasting memories.

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