How you have fun in Nashville really depends on what you like to see, do, eat, and hear. Fortunately, there really is something for absolutely everyone, whether you’re visiting for the weekend or planning to call Music City home.
Because we’re known for our music, you’ll find plenty of historic sites and live music venues. Here are a few of the best.
We can’t mention music in Nashville without starting with the Mother Church of Country Music. Located right downtown, the Ryman is easy to find. Check the calendar to see if any of your favorites are playing, and then look with awe upon the list of legends who’ve lit up the stage.
The Grand Ole Opry still features the hottest country music singers of yesterday and today in regular concerts. See up-and-coming artists perform alongside the legends of yesterday. There is nowhere else in the world you’ll see so much star power in one place.
If you’re interested in the music history of Nashville, you can’t pass up a trip to RCA Studio B. Some of the most famous artists of all time spent time on this hallowed ground, including Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis himself.
With rotating exhibits featuring all the country music stars through the ages, there’s always something fascinating for absolutely everyone who visits. The Hall of Fame gives honor to the best and brightest of yesterday and today, from Minnie Pearl to Carrie Underwood.
If you want to see where the songs are born, the Bluebird Café is a definite must. Songwriters with credits that span decades perform weekly, showing off their newest creations and sharing some of the most famous songs to ever hit the airwaves.
Nashville isn’t only country music. Our Grammy-winning symphony orchestra is proof of that. Whether you visit just to see the incredible building or step inside to hear beautiful renditions of classical masters, you’ll love every minute of your time with the Schermerhorn. Be sure to check the calendar for the Pops performances, because these sell out quickly.
The builders at Gruhn Guitars have always understood the art involved in making instruments and have continued their careful craft while others cut corners to make more money. When you visit, you’ll be in the presence of some of the best instruments on Earth.
Parks and Green Spaces
Nashville offers dozens of parks with gorgeous rolling hills and mature shade trees. Whether you’re looking for a spot to relax and read or to play your favorite sports, you’ll find it here.
Our largest park, located on West End Avenue, is Centennial Park. Created to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Tennessee’s statehood, the park featured incredible replicas of an Egyptian pyramid and the Greek Parthenon, gondolas, and various other stunning buildings. The Parthenon is the only surviving structure, made permanent between 1921 and 1930. The park now features fountains, flowers, and plenty of running paths.
Percy Warner and Edwin Warner Parks collectively span over 2600 acres of rolling Tennessee hills. Visitors can enjoy golfing, picnics, horseback riding, walking trails, and even scenic roadways. In addition to stunning nature, you’ll also love the historic stone walls, steps, and entryways.
Though smaller than other green spaces, the Bicentennial Park is a true oasis within the hustle of city. Located in the shadow of the capitol building, the 200-year commemorative mall features a granite map of the counties of Tennessee, 95 stunning carillon pillars, and several fountains.
Though not a public park, the Nashville Zoo does offer plenty of nature and green space. The zoo at Grassmere differs from most, in that most of the animals are enclosed in larger areas, allowing for free-range movement. This a hugely popular destination for the kids, but the zoo also works hard to please adults, too. Keep an eye out for the Brew at the Zoo beer festival that’s for grown-ups only
Whether you love some good retail therapy or just want to wander through the stores to see the latest trends, Nashville has what you need.
Perhaps the upscale shopping mecca you seek, Green Hills Mall features all the luxury brands, including Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Coach, and Kate Spade. You’ll also find plenty of smaller boutiques within, all with the latest styles.
If you’re a socially conscious shopper, Hill Center in Green Hills will have what you need. The outdoor shopping center boasts Anthropologie, Merrill, Whole Foods, Paper Source, and dozens of other hot brands.
Though relatively new, the Shoppes on Fatherland feature goods both vintage and contemporary. The stops are all start-ups, which means you’ll find something amazing and unique in every store. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone special, you should give one of the boutiques on Fatherland in East Nashville a try.
It’s not easy for a restaurant to become so popular that it becomes an actual tourist attraction. Nashville has a few must-eat spots located all over.
Be prepared for a long wait, especially if it’s too hot, rainy, or cold for the outdoor beer garden to open. The burgers within are worth every second, and so are the hand-cut fries, old-fashioned sodas, and extensive craft beer list. You’ll understand why visitors and residents flock here every night of the week.
A part of the Nashville dining scene since 1892, Merchants on Broadway is a must. With delicious classic fare of steaks, pasta, burgers—each with a special twist—there really is something for everyone. What’s better is you can watch spectacle on Broadway as you dine.
If Nashville is known for one food, it’s hot chicken. We’re not talking about Buffalo wings, either. This is seriously spicy stuff, and it all started at Prince’s, just outside of the city. There are several other options within, and all have delicious versions of the original, but if you’re going to do it only once, you should do it right with the original.
The Loveless Café, located on the western outskirts of the city, is your destination for the best biscuits and gravy, country ham, sausage, bacon, grits, hash browns, and eggs breakfast you’ll ever taste. Unless you stop in after 10:00 a.m. on a weekday, be prepared to wait a while. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of shopping to keep you occupied.
This particular hotspot could also be classed as a music venue, too. With several locations in the Greater Nashville area, Puckett’s has become the very name in intimate live music performance paired with good Southern cooking. If you can’t get a seat in Nashville, try Franklin and Leiper’s Fork, too.
There is no shortage of live music venues in Nashville. No matter what genre you love, you’ll find it here in Music City. Some of the most popular venues also boast a very intimate feel, where you’ll rub elbows with your favorite artists before and after their sets.