things to do in nashville

Nashville was born on Christmas Eve.

The country music capital holds many secrets and isn’t afraid to share them. There are a lot of things to do in Nashville, not just music or food-related. Not that it is a bad thing to be known for that.

If you’re looking for a mix of fun things to do, popular and local, this guide is for you. We’ve gathered ten different points of interest, adventures, and activities you can partake in this grand city.

As you explore these places, make sure you hang around, you’ll never know who you’ll meet. Stars and celebrities are known to casually walk around Nashville at places like these.

1. Ryman Auditorium

We begin with one of the most recognized landmarks in Nashville. The Ryman is like the church of country music. This is where all country music stars, new and old, come to play. It’s a sort of rite of passage for many musicians.

The best part is that nothing is set in stone when it comes to shows. Audiences are regularly treated with surprise guests and extended performances.

2. Famous Festivals and Events

Nashville has so many festivals and events year around that we couldn’t pick just one. Depending on your favorite type of music and when your trip occurs, you catch:

  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  • Music City Eats
  • Americana Music Festival
  • The Tomato Arts Festival
  • Much, much more

Nashville is a city that brings the young and old together better than most major cities.

3. Favorite Breweries

What’s a great festival without a great drink, huh?

Nashville is the place to be if you love craft beers and rich spirits. There are so many new breweries added every year, each with their own distinct style and flavor. These enthusiastic entrepreneurs provide a friendly and educational opportunity for all beer lovers.

Take a tasting tour and experience beer like you’ve never tasted before.

4. The Country Music Hall of Fame

Before all of you loyal country music fans ask us: no, this list isn’t ordered by importance/ranking. Like any great travel checklist, we want travelers to experience the best that the city has to offer. One doesn’t need to love country to love this hall of fame.

Experiencing a music hall of fame, for any genre, is a great experience. There is so much local, state, and country history told in these halls, it’s captivating. Even if you don’t know anything about the music, this museum will keep your attention. The stories, memorabilia, and documentation are some of the best in any museum.

5. Two Old Hippies

This next pick isn’t just about one place, but it is the featured act. This is a clothing and music store for hippies and hipsters. Indie fans, new and old, will find Two Old Hippies easy to get lost in. There’s a ton of great music-related souvenirs to buy, including instruments.

Don’t forget to check out the rare instrument collection in the vault. Surrounding Two Old Hippies are a number of other great shops selling rare collections, art, and good food.

6. General Jackson Showboat

Go on a paddleboat cruise down the Cumberland River. This evening of decadence and relaxation is the perfect way to top off a trip. You’ll be served traditional Southern cuisine and Soul Food.

Music entertainment is usually a mix of gospel, soul, and country classics. This boat ride is usually filled with older crowds, but don’t let that deter you. The views that come with this ride is worth the price of admission alone.

7. Germantown

This is actually Nashville’s oldest neighborhood. It’s easy to find Germantown, thanks to its unique architecture. As you may have guessed it, German food here is authentic and surprisingly affordable.

You’ll find a large farmer’s market, upscale restaurants, and humble eateries. Besides food, you’ll love Germantown’s nightlife and active local communities.

8. The Grand Ole Opry

This is the world’s oldest radio show, dating back to 1925. You’ll notice that we didn’t say “was” the oldest, since it still operates. Without The Grand Ole Opry, country music may have never taken off the way it did.

The show continues to host highly talented young acts, musical legends, and live performances every night. You can get up close and personal by buying VIP passes to be on the stage as guests perform. This is a really unique experience, allowing you to see performers from a different light.

9. Barista Parlor

If you’re not a very big beer drinker, you’ll be pleased to hear that Nashville also has a huge coffee shop. The Barista Parlor takes place in an old mechanic shop, giving it a real rustic feel. The coffee speaks for itself, but the atmosphere definitely adds to the experience.

You get a wide selection of dozens of coffee beans and flavors. You can also have a nice hearty breakfast here to complement your brew.

10. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Before you leave Nashville, step into a slice of American history. Located on a cotton plantation, this mansion-turned-museum holds dozens of Andrew Jackson’s own personal belongings. You’ll get to see how a president lived his humble life while leading an entire country.

With so much secrecy and cordoned off aspects of a president’s life, this experience provides a rare look into the man known as “The People’s President.”

More Things to Do in Nashville, TN

There’s a lot to do in this rich city of culture. We highly recommend planning out at least three days of activity. Thankfully, much of Tennessee is very accessible and easy to find. You could also reorder our list based on the proximity of each other to save a lot of time.

Planning things to do in Nashville during offseasons, namely the winter, can allow you to do more while spending much less.

Search our guides to find more information tailored to different types of trips (business, family, romantic).

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