Top things to do in


As one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and a world-famous tourist destination, Nashville is a magnetic city for many reasons. Appropriately nicknamed Music City and the Athens of the South, Nashville has lots to do for visitors, families who just moved in, and those who’ve called Nashville home for years. Following are several recommendations for the best things to do in Nashville.


Country Music Hall of Fame

Nashville is the world’s Country Music Capital, so it seems fitting the city would host a Country Music Hall of Fame. The building is one of the world’s largest music museums, and it acts as a research center dedicated to preserving American folk music, country, bluegrass, blues, jazz, and more. The museum was chartered in 1964 and has since amassed one of the planet’s most extensive music collections. The museum is open daily, with admissions packages available for families and a frequently updated tour schedule.


Broadway Honky Tonks

Nashville wouldn’t be Nashville without the Broadway honky tonks. Lower Broadway in downtown Music City has several city blocks of wall-to-wall bars, each hosting live music seven nights a week. Some establishments have multiple levels, with bars and music on every level, including the rooftops! Broadway offers something for everyone, playing all different genres no matter the weather, holiday, or time of year.


Grand Ole Opry

Founded in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry started as a country music concert venue and a radio broadcast center. The Grand Ole Opry holds the record for the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history. Today, it functions as both a concert venue and a museum. While a tour through the Opry is entertainment enough for the whole family, the nearby Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center with its stunning Garden Conservatory is also a must-see.


Ryman Auditorium

The premier live music venue in Nashville, Ryman Auditorium is one of the most famous places in the city. The auditorium seats 2,362 visitors and has hosted many famous contemporary and past country music stars. An excellent place to catch a live concert by a local or world-famous musician, the Ryman has been given a few nicknames that do it justice, like “The Carnegie Hall of the South.”


General Jackson Showboat

Offering a unique way to see downtown Nashville, the General Jackson Showboat takes visitors for tours up and down the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville. The showboat also puts on a live music show for guests, serenading them with a song while showing them the sights and sounds of Music City. The showboat has a dining room, dinner theater, and other amenities.


Johnny Cash Museum

One of the top destinations in Nashville, the Johnny Cash Museum is housed in a historic red brick building in the heart of downtown. Ranked the #1 music museum in the world by Forbes, Conde’ Naste, and National Geographic Traveler, the museum displays pictures, memorabilia, and interactive displays that highlight the life and career of music icon Johnny Cash.


Radnor Lake State Park

Featuring 1,368 acres of preserved forests, hillsides, hiking trails, paved trails, lakes, ponds, streams, and marshlands, Radnor Lake State Park is the perfect outdoor getaway for those seeking a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of urban Nashville. The park has five miles of unpaved trails and a main paved trail for wheelchair accessibility. The park is known for its wildlife viewing opportunities and has a visitor center with bathrooms and drinking water.


Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Just outside Nashville, Lynchburg is the home of the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery, the makers of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey. In addition to offering tours of the Distillery itself, visitors can also tour other historic sites on the Distillery grounds like the Lynchburg Hardware & General Store, the Barrel Shop, and Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant (which still serves authentic southern meals). The Distillery also offers adult tasting tours, educational segments on how whiskey is made, and history discussions on the founding of the Distillery.


Bluebird Cafe

An iconic Nashville club and live music venue, the Bluebird Cafe is known for featuring both up-and-coming songwriters and experienced music legends alike. The cafe started as a place for talented singers and songwriters to showcase their work, hoping they would be “discovered” by a talent agent. Today, the Bluebird Cafe is one of the most popular attractions in Nashville.


Nashville Zoo

An excellent family-friendly attraction with enough activities to last the day and then some, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere houses a global array of animals. The Zoo's focus is on education and conservation. The Zoo also has a playground which children and adults enjoy.


Frist Art Museum

Located in an old Post Office building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Frist Art Museum is an art exhibition hall that features an ever-changing schedule of incoming art exhibits from renowned artists worldwide. The building’s Art Deco style and its convenient location downtown make it the perfect center for visual arts and a great place to visit for tourists and locals alike.


The Parthenon

Nashville is called the Athens of the South because of Music City’s own Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The building was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Today, the Parthenon functions as an art museum and stands as the focal point of popular Centennial Park.


A City to Explore

One can spend weeks in Nashville and still not see it all. And beyond the popular destinations, museums, music venues, murals, and historical sites, the city is home to an eclectic array of restaurants, bistros, breweries, and cafes. Some local favorites include Hattie B’s, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Fox’s Donut Den, Loveless Cafe, Pancake Pantry, and Edley’s Bar-B-Que. Further, the city is a cultural melting pot, so there is always a new eatery or international cafe to meet any taste.

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