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Things to do in Nashville

Things to do in  Nashville

Welcome to Nashville

Nashville may sound like twangy country music and smell like barbecue, but this Tennessee city is swinging past stereotypes and fast becoming the hipster hub of the South. Think street art, coffee shops, craft breweries, farm-to-fork dining, and of course, plenty of live music (not limited to country)—all happening along the banks of the Cumberland River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Come for the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of its counterpart in Athens, and stay for literally everything else.

Top attractions in Nashville for Spring

#1
Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

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Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” Ryman Auditorium helped transform Nashville into a legendary music destination. Since 1892, the venue has hosted notable stars such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, and Minnie Pearl. Today, visitors can tour the 2,362-seat auditorium, visit the museum, or catch a live show.More
#2
Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville

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Music City’s lively downtown doesn’t disappoint. Nashville’s entertainment hub is home to a who’s who of restaurants, hotels, and cultural hot spots, including the Frist Art Museum, Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. After dark, live music takes over the bars of Honky Tonk Highway.More
#3
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

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From Elvis Presley to Dolly Parton, Nashville's stars have earned the place its title as “Music City,” and you can dive into that history and culture at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Learn about the best of this classic American music genre with historic video clips, recorded music, and a menu of live performances and public programs.More
#4
Grand Ole Opry House

Grand Ole Opry House

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From radio broadcast to world-renowned stage show, the Grand Ole Opry showcases genres from country and bluegrass to folk, comedy, and gospel both live and on the radio. Unlike a typical concert, the Grand Ole Opry presents six or more artists during each show, giving the audience a variety of great music at each event. Superstars who have performed here include Patsy Cline, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, and Carrie Underwood.More
#5
Nashville Riverfront Park

Nashville Riverfront Park

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Nashville’s Riverfront Park was built in the early 1980s on the site where the area’s first settlers founded the city back in 1780. Today the sprawling green enclave on the banks of the Cumberland River is home to several attractions, including Fort Nashborough, Bicentennial Park, and the Ascend Amphitheater.More
#6
Music Row

Music Row

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No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to Music Row. This is the home of the country music industry, with a slew of record labels, radio stations, and recording studios working side-by-side. There are also live venues on or near Music Row, to check out established artists as well as up-and-comers looking to break through.More
#7
Centennial Park

Centennial Park

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Like New York’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the lush green landscape of Nashville’s Centennial Park provides welcome refuge from congestion, crowds, and bustling city life. The most notable, and possibly most out-of-place, feature of Centennial Park is its impressive Parthenon replica.More
#8
Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum

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Lavish cream and green marble floors and wall paneling, high ceilings with and cast iron doors surround guests with the art deco charm of the Nashville’s original post office completed in 1934. The historically significant building kept its original charm through a public/private partnership-driven revamp into the non-profit Frist Art Museum in 2001. The space now holds art exhibitions, interactive art workshops as well as a gift shop and café.The Frist is a different kind of museum that does not have permanent collections. Instead, it sources a host of themed exhibits that roll through every six to eight weeks. Traveling national and international shows including classical pieces by Michelangelo and Monet have hung on Frist walls, as have collections of American folk art, modern photography, European classical works from the age of exploration and even an exhibit deconstructing Italian sports car design. The building’s 24,000 square feet of gallery space includes 30 interactive stations on the upper level for kids and families to get creative and make their own stop motion animation, printmaking, watercolor painting, etching, sculpture creation and more—some of these stations also rotate to match visiting exhibits. In the summer, Frist Fridays bring bands—also often tied to exhibit themes—to jam at the museum, and live music features year-round on Thursdays and Fridays in the Grand Lobby or café. Be sure to check what’s on before stopping by—it’s a new experience every time.More
#9
Tennessee State Capitol

Tennessee State Capitol

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The Tennessee State Capitol stands tall on Nashville’s highest hill as a symbol of its time, virtually unchanged since its construction in 1859. The structure is the masterpiece of notable architect William Strickland, who passed away during construction and was laid to rest in the building. The National Historic Landmark was built in Greek Revival style and is one of few state capitols without a dome. It was modeled after an Ionic Greek temple. Though classic in design, at the time it was considered innovative in construction.The capitol building is beautiful to see and historic to visit, with statues of many important political figures as well as the graves of President James K. Polk and his wife. Its walls are lined with beautiful murals, frescoes, and paintings, while its halls are lit by ornate chandeliers. It is still in use by the Tennessee state government today. It is the oldest operating state capitol in the country.More
#10
Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion

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Belmont Mansion offers Nashville visitors the chance to experience an antebellum-era home, complete with antique furnishings and period details. Uncover Belmont’s history and learn about its owner, Adelicia Acklen—one of the wealthiest and most successful women in 19th-century Tennessee.More
#11
Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

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Nashville is known for its eclectic music scene, live entertainment, and commitment to country. Nowhere is this more evident than at the world-famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. This Nashville institution has been a part of this dynamic city since the 1960s and boasts three stages that host live music performances.More
#12
Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash Museum

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Despite its small size, the Johnny Cash Museum manages to hold one of the world’s largest collections of Johnny Cash artifacts. Bill Miller, one of Cash’s closest friends, gathered and cataloged the country music superstar’s memorabilia for decades, resulting in this popular Nashville attraction and Cash-fan pilgrimage site.More
#13
Jack Daniel's Distillery

Jack Daniel's Distillery

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Go behind the distilling scenes at the oldest registered distillery in the United States: Jack Daniel’s, founded in 1863 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Learn the history behind the distillery that’s emblematic of Southern culture and find out how the legendary old No. 7 whiskey is made at the source.More
#14
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

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Opened on June 1, 1996, to mark the bicentennial of the founding of Nashville, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is both a popular recreational area and a scenic tribute to Tennessean history. In the shadows of the Tennessee State Capitol and stretching over 11 acres (4.5 hectares; it’s dotted with monuments, memorials, and open-air exhibits.More
#15
General Jackson Showboat

General Jackson Showboat

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Take in views of the spectacular Nashville skyline while rollin’ down the Cumberland River aboard the General Jackson Showboat. This Victorian-style riverboat includes a 2-story theater hosting a range of dinner shows, such as Taste of Tennessee and Music City Nights, as well as a Southern Sunday brunch.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Nashville

How to Spend 2 Days in Nashville

Top activities in Nashville

Grand Ole Opry House Guided Backstage Tour in Nashville
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General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville
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Nashville's #1 All-Inclusive Pub Crawl with Moonshine, Cocktails, and Craft Beer
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Nashville to Memphis Daytrip with Graceland VIP Tour and Sun Studio Admission
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Nashville’s Biggest & Wildest Party Public Tractor Tour
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Nashville Combo Tour: Sightseeing, Murals, and Brewery
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Nashville Public Party Bus Experience with Bartender and DJ
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Explore the City of Nashville Tour by Golf Cart
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Mural Art Tour of Nashville by Golf Cart
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Taste of Nashville Food & Sightseeing Tour
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Nashville Brewery & Distillery Tour by Golf Cart
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Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting
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Recent reviews from experiences in Nashville

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Fun adventure
Lisa_G, May 2022
Nashville's #1 All-Inclusive Pub Crawl with Moonshine, Cocktails, and Craft Beer
We would recommend this fun experience to visitors and locals as well😃
star-5
Worth the time and money!
Christine_R, May 2022
Nashville Evening Trolley Tour
You get to see so many historical places that you wouldn’t know was in Nashville.
star-4
Great way to see Memphis from Nashville
Cathy_R, May 2022
Nashville to Memphis Daytrip with Graceland VIP Tour and Sun Studio Admission
Bus driver was pleasant with some good tips for places to visit on route.
star-5
Trolley tour
Rachel_R, May 2022
Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
I will go back again to visit Nashville.
star-5
An absolutely beautiful experience.
Ellena_C, May 2022
National Museum of African American Music Nashville Admission Ticket
My main reason for going to Nashville was to see this museum and it was completely worth it.
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Enjoyed learning about...
Scot_V, May 2022
Explore the City of Nashville Tour by Golf Cart
Great way to see the different sites and areas around the city.
star-5
Amazing tour and convenient way to get around and see Nashville
Sherry_D, May 2022
Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
Such a great way to see Nashville
star-5
Great tour
Lynne_M, May 2022
Discover Nashville City Tour with Entry to Ryman & Country Music Hall of Fame
So much to see in Nashville and now we know where to look.
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Trip to Nashville
Dianne_R, May 2022
Discover Nashville City Tour with Entry to Ryman & Country Music Hall of Fame
We’re able to see and learn about many of the sites in a Nashville.
star-5
Great Nashville tour
Jennifer_S, May 2022
Jacked Up Monster Truck Joyride of Nashville
Great tour of Nashville - nice to see the other parts of Nashville besides Broadway- had a great driver - would do it again!
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Worth the ride
Chuck_S, May 2022
Best of Nashville City Tour on Double Decker Bus
Great way to see and learn about many places in Nashville in just an hour.
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Give it a Try!
Sue_E, May 2022
Electric Fat Tire Bike Ride Music City Nashville TN
This bike tour was a fabulous way to see Music City!
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Highly recommend this mural tour!
Katy_M, Apr 2022
Mural Art Tour of Nashville by Golf Cart
Very fun experience and the easiest way to see 10-20 Nashville murals in under 2 hours + learn about some interesting Nashville history, architecture and famous locals!
star-5
Fun way to spend a few hours
Heidi_R, Apr 2022
Downtown Nashville Walking Food Tour
She gave us great tips on other places to visit in the area and we appreciated being shown around by a local guide.
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Excellent
Kayla_L, May 2022
Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
Awesome to do on your first day to see highlights of Nashville & to learn more of the history & places to visit on the rest of your trip
star-5
Fantastic Tour
Christopher_T, Apr 2022
Explore the City of Nashville Tour by Golf Cart
Great way to see Nashville Landon was outstanding and very knowledgeable Got a great understanding of the city in 90 minutes Highly recommend
star-5
Great when traveling with kids!
Kelly_H, Apr 2022
Best of Nashville City Tour on Double Decker Bus
This was a great way of exploring downtown Nashville with kids and not having to walk through crowds!
star-4
Awesome show!
Debra_I, Apr 2022
General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville
We love that we got to eat enjoy the show and got to see City of Nashville.
star-5
Excellent
Michel_F, Apr 2022
Downtown Nashville Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour
Excellent tour guide Thé tour itself was OK Not much to see in Nashville but the stories were very interesting
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YES YES YES AMAZING!
Carmen_G, Apr 2022
Grand Ole Opry Show Admission Ticket in Nashville
This was wonderful however if you are planning a trip to Nashville dont wait, start booking your activities NOW!

All about Nashville

When to visit

After cold, snowy winters, locals and visitors alike look forward to warmer weather. Spring, particularly April, is packed full of festivals, including the Cherry Blossom Festival, Wild West Comedy Festival, and Nashville Film Festival. While summer brings higher temperatures and a bit of humidity, it’s still a great time to get in on the outdoor music scene, especially at Ascend Amphitheater or Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater.

Getting around

Nashville’s MTA bus system can get you around, but it’s slow, so renting a car makes the most sense for quickly traveling around the car-friendly city. Bike rentals and walking are another alternative, and ride-sharing apps are essential if you forgo a rental. Also, if you're staying at a hotel, check to see if they offer a shuttle service to or from the airport before shelling out the cash for a taxi.

Traveler tips

The Johnny Cash Museum is about a 3-minute walk from Paradise Park Trailer Resort, a trailer park–themed bar where a Doublewide Cheeseburger gets you two 1/3-pound beef patties on a bun with a side of tater tots or sweet potato fries. If you’re more of a daredevil, try Nashville’s original hot chicken at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack at one of the two locations: 123 Ewing Drive or 5814 Nolensville Road.

People Also Ask

Is Nashville safe for tourists?

Yes, Nashville is considered safe to visit. The most common reported crime is theft. Tourist-friendly neighborhoods, such as downtown, Sobro, Germantown, and The Gulch, remain some of Nashville’s safest areas. As with any major city, avoid walking alone at night and travel along well-lit, busy routes.

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What is Nashville Tennessee famous for?

Commonly known as the Music City, Nashville is home to legendary country music venues including the Grand Ole Opry and the historic Ryman Auditorium, as well as gritter honky-tonks where visitors can catch live music performances nightly. And while the city is synonymous with country music, many artists of all genres call Nashville home.

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Is Nashville worth visiting?

Yes. Nashville boasts historical sites, museums, art galleries, and, of course, plenty of music venues—from lesser known to large scale. Visitors are able to catch local, regional, and major touring musicians on stages throughout the city. In addition to sightseeing, travelers can also chow down on Southern comfort food, including the city’s famous hot chicken.

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What should you not miss in Nashville?

When visiting Nashville, don’t miss the live music scene and Southern eats such as hot chicken, biscuits, and Tennessee whiskey. Swing by the lively honky-tonks along Broadway to hear upcoming and established musicians, and tour historic venues like the Ryman Auditorium or the Country Music Hall of Fame to learn more about the city’s musical roots.

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How do I spend a day in Nashville?

Because Nashville’s main attractions are located in a relatively compact area and are easily accessible on foot or by car, visitors can see and do a lot in one day. Along Broadway, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium. Head over to Music Row to go behind the scenes at RCA’s Studio B. Check out Printers Alley and the honky-tonks in the evening.

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What is the first thing to do in Nashville?

Get acquainted with Nashville by taking a river cruise along the Cumberland River, which runs right through the heart of the city. If you opt to stay on land, head to the Country Music Hall of Fame to learn about Nashville’s rich musical heritage, followed by a stop at Tootsies, Robert's Western World, or one of the many watering holes on Broadway—they open early—for a shot of whiskey.

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What are 4 things you can do in Nashville?

Visitors can explore Nashville’s musical history at spots like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, and the National Museum of African American Music. Take in the current music scene at venues such as the Bluebird Cafe. Indulge in Southern comfort food like biscuits and hot chicken. And learn more about the city’s past at historic sites such as Belle Meade.

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What is there to do in Nashville besides Broadway?

While Broadway, downtown Nashville's main thoroughfare, serves as the center of the action thanks to its bustling bars and music venues, the city also includes diverse neighborhoods and attractions to explore. For example, in the 12 South area, travelers will find some of the best BBQ in Nashville, and Centennial Park, located near Vanderbilt University, boasts a life-size replica of the Parthenon.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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