The A – Z Guide of things to do in Nashville
Nashville is a city that loves to have fun. Nashville is Tennessee’s capital and is strategically positioned along the Cumberland River. Nashville is a replica of the Parthenon, and because of various universities and colleges, it is called “Athens of the South.” It was founded in 1779 and established itself as the hub of country music approximately 100 years ago, with a radio station dedicated to the Grand Ole Opry. The Music Row and the Country Music Hall of Fame are in the city.
Nashville is a creative and dynamic city with a lot to offer. It’s a tourist destination, an entertainment destination, and a great place to live. However, the choices can be overwhelming because it’s such a big, vibrant city.
You may have many questions in your mind: what should you see? Where should you eat? What to do in Nashville? If you are planning a trip to Nashville, it is best to have a list of things to do in Nashville. This blog will discuss the A-Z guide to things to do in Nashville.
Top Attraction in Nashville:
The Grand Ole Opry:
The Grand Ole Opry show is the country’s longest-running radio program. The Opry has staged over 5,000 events since its inception in 1925. It is still essential to Nashville’s identity as a Music City.
The show moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the 4,000-seat Grand Ole Opry House northeast of downtown Nashville in 1974. Performers have entertained followers of country, bluegrass, gospel, old-time music, popular music, and comedy throughout their existence.
Country Music Hall of Fame:
Country Music Hall of Fame is in the middle of downtown Nashville. This remarkable building’s large windows elegantly imitate piano keys.
It encompasses 350,000 square feet of prime downtown real estate, packed with thousands of items, two concert theatres, and countless rotating special exhibitions. The museum displays historical performances, costumes, instruments, gold records, and souvenirs in a multi-media format.
Other attractions include Elvis’ Cadillac, a gigantic 40-foot guitar, a tour bus, and a recording booth. Knowledgeable guided tours are also available at the neighboring historic RCA Studio B.
Tour the museum on your own, enhance the experience with audio support from legends like Dolly Parton, and record your country music song.
The Ryman Auditorium, which housed the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, is still utilized to broadcast the popular radio show. The Ryman, which opened its doors in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, has excellent acoustics for regular bluegrass performances, classical music, TV events, and musical theatre.
The Ryman Auditorium is known as the “Carnegie Hall of the South.” The auditorium, located just off Honky Tonk Row, includes a museum with exhibits connected to its rich musical history. In the Air Castle Studio, try making your album. Backstage tours are offered, but you must book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Today It is a revered performance venue for artists of many genres, as well as comedians and authors. Both guided and self-directed tours are available. Daily self-guided tours are available for 17 USD for youngsters (4-11) and 27 USD for adults.
Every city has areas that have developed into prominent tourist destinations. Midtown Manhattan, Little Havana in Miami, and Downtown Nashville.
Many of the city’s most popular music attractions are in Downtown Nashville, including the Honky Tonk Row, Ryman Auditorium, and museums honoring well-known country music musicians such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Broadway is the epicenter of nightlife in this neon-lit zone, with live country music wafting onto the street. The earliest settlements can be located along the Cumberland River’s beaches at Fort Nashborough. Views in Downtown Nashville include landmarks visible from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.
Man in Black at Johnny Cash Museum:
Whether you’re a die-hard lover or casual listener of Johnny Cash, it’s difficult not to be moved as you stroll through the Johnny Cash Museum. Johnny Cash, also known as the “Man in Black,” had a hardscrabble upbringing that enabled him to win the Grammy 17 times and become one of country music’s most beloved stars.
Visit the museum dedicated to him in downtown Nashville.
This museum is a comprehensive look at Johnny Cash and his career, from his humble beginnings in Arkansas to his breakthrough Folsom Prison performance to his love affair with June Carter. You can see Johnny Cash’s outfits, instruments, letters, artwork, and songs on display. A museum store is available where you can purchase souvenirs for your loved ones, and a café next door is where you can get whatever you need to fuel an extra hour of museum touring.
Visit the Historic Site – The Belle Meade Mansion:
The Historic Belle Meade Mansion was built in 1845 in the Greek-Revival style and is surrounded by what remains of the previous antebellum estate. Union and Confederate forces fought in the mansion’s front yard during the two-day Civil War Battle of Nashville in 1864. There is still evidence of gunfire in its lofty stone columns.
Guided tours are available, including one that tells the history of the estate from the perspective of the enslaved people who were compelled to work and live here. Attend one of Belle Meade’s culinary experiences or seasonal events. Look around the plantation’s stables, gardens, and grounds.
If you have time, stop by the Harding House Restaurant, which is famous for lunch and dinner. The Belle Meade Historic Site is around nine miles from downtown.
Glorious Gardens at Gaylord Opryland Resort:
The Gaylord Opryland Resort’s most recognized asset is its collection of 50,000 tropical plants, many of which are rare international types. This unique show, located on nine acres of indoor space and nurtured by 20 full-time horticulturists, is a visual and aromatic feast.
The Garden Conservatory houses one-fifth of the collection, which includes palms and banana trees up to 60 feet tall.
More than 8,000 tropical ornamentals for the Cascades Atrium were sourced from Florida. There’s a 40-foot palm tree with ginger plants taller than the typical man.
The third colossal garden, Delta Atrium, welcomes you into a zone of subtropical vegetation you can explore in a delta flatboat. Make a wish while passing beneath the Wishing Banyan tree. Exotics such as black olive trees and mahoganies draped with Spanish moss, as well as more than 100 palm trees, banana trees, gardenias, and camellias, are on display. Two 40-foot Southern magnolias adorn the entryway to the Delta Mansion.
Spend Some Time at the Hermitage of Andrew Jackson:
Andrew Jackson, America’s 7th president, lived at the Hermitage. The estate is one of Nashville’s most lovely sites. The Hermitage, located 16 miles from downtown, was erected in 1819 and restored 25 years after a disastrous fire.
Visitors to the Hermitage see the place as it was when Jackson lived there from 1837 to 1845. Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm, a new million-dollar exhibit featuring interactive displays and a deep dive into his complicated life.
Take a formal guided tour of the site. Wagon rides and themed events such as ghost tours are also enjoyable. The grounds are well-kept and include Jackson and his wife’s graves. Visit the neighboring Tulip Grove Mansion, the former home of Emily and Andrew Jackson Donelson.
If you’re seeking one of the best free things to do in Nashville, go to the famed landmark of Nashville, a replica of the Parthenon in Athens. The Parthenon was constructed as a temporary exhibit for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition in 1897. Over the years, updates have included the neighboring Centennial Park, a complete exterior refurbishment, and the installation of a 42-foot-tall Athena statue. Don’t miss the fine art museum on the bottom level if you go.
The Parthenon is home to a permanent art collection comprising 63 works by American painters from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Admire the 42-foot-tall gold-leafed model of the goddess Athena Parthenos’ statue. There are also replicas of the famed Parthenon Marbles from the 5th century BCE on display.
Visit the Zoo:
The Nashville Zoo is an excellent destination for families with children. Explore the plains of Africa, the rainforests of South America, and the diverse animal population of Asia. Almost 3,000 animals from 350 species, including clouded leopards, Baird tapirs, toucans, and Sumatran tigers, can be seen. The animals at the Nashville Zoo live in habitats that mimic their native settings.
Lorikeet Landing allows you to visit an aviary and be surrounded by over 50 Australian parrots. Ride the Wilderness Express Train and the Wild Animal Carousel at the zoo. On the zoo’s big Jungle Gym, where children slide, swing, climb, crawl, and explore, they intuitively know what to do. The Soaring Eagle Zip Line takes your zoo experience to new heights.
Up to this point, we have seen the best top things to do in Nashville. If you’re wondering what to do, check out the list of enjoyable outdoor activities in Nashville below.
Outdoor Activities in Nashville:
Fontanel Zipline Forest at Nashville North:
Escape to the Fontanel Zipline Forest, only 15 minutes from downtown Nashville, for an exciting outdoor adventure. Climb the trees and take on an adrenaline-fueled course of 8 ziplines that reach heights of up to 85 feet (30m). The 1.5-hour session is appropriate for youngsters as young as eight, making it an excellent option for a family day out.
Cumberland Caverns & The Great Stone Door:
Cumberland Caverns is a 30-mile-long network of caves, underground corridors, fantastic rock formations, stunning underground waterfalls, and dazzling ponds. A live performance venue is also located 333 feet underground in one of the world’s largest natural cavern rooms.
Following our thrilling excursion deep into the underworld, stop for refreshments before making the short journey to Stone Door.
Gigantic Fall Creek Falls plus four other Falls:
Prepare to discover some of Tennessee’s most beautiful waterfalls on this guided hike departing from Nashville. This fascinating trip includes transportation and lunch. Hike deep into a gorge, traverse massive suspended swinging bridges, and enjoy Tennessee State Parks’ natural splendor. Expect to visit Cane Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls, Rocky Point Overlook, Piney Creek Falls, the Betty Dunn Nature Centre, and other attractions.
Full-Day Guided Rainforest Hiking:
On this full-day excursion, we go deep into the upper Cumberland Plateau to a beautiful temperate rainforest. It is one of the plateau’s most remote and rugged areas, and the Honey Creek Trial is the MOST DIFFICULT in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.
It has several creeks, waterfalls, cliffs, natural “rock dwellings,” boulder fields, tight squeezes, rope-assisted climbs, rough scrambles, steep drop-offs, and incredible vistas. This hiking is a rigorous and challenging trip across rugged and steep terrain (about 1,000 feet of elevation change), but the scenery and experiences make every step worthwhile.
This trail contains multiple social trails and spurs and is poorly signposted. But don’t worry; knowledgeable guides will walk you around this stunning terrain, ensuring you see and enjoy all of the best sights and experiences.
Radnor Lake State Park Small Group Morning Hike Tour:
Radnor Lake Park, named Park of the Year as part of the Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence, offers natural ecological beauty while hiking on roughly 85% wooded/15% paved trails.
There’s a good chance you’ll see some animals on our trip, so be prepared to take a few photos here and there! You can take restroom breaks at the Walter Criley Visitor Center before and after the hike.
Largest Stone Arches in Eastern US:
On this full-day, private excursion, we go to a beautiful temperate rainforest to view a 60-foot waterfall and climb amid some of the most stunning natural stone arches in the Eastern United States.
The biggest one soars 70 feet above the ground and is 135 feet wide!! Hike to, though, and around these gigantic stone arches!! Hike under the arches, squeeze through a tight squeeze at one of their bases, and climb to the top for fantastic mountain vistas.
These historic cave-like buildings were used as a refuge by early humans. This hike across rugged and steep terrain comes under moderate to tough difficulty. However, the scenery and experiences make every step worthwhile. Your hike guides will show you the best routes and give historical and geological information to ensure that you have a great experience.
There are so many activities and places to visit in Nashville. You are unable to cover them on your own. You can take in the tour in Nashville in a variety of ways. There are numerous ways to tour Nashville, ranging from golf cart to helicopter.
Ways to tour Nashville:
Tour the City of Nashville by Golf Cart:
Nashville car services can be pricey, so save money and time by taking this city tour that combines round-trip transportation with a fun sightseeing experience. You can not only customize your tour based on what you want to see, but you can also request picture stops at specific areas. Along the walk, your guide will give you exciting information about the city.
Monster Truck Ride:
Rally across Nashville in Cowboy, a jacked-up 4×4 vehicle. This one-of-a-kind tour takes you on a journey in a real monster truck while your guide provides comments about Nashville and the surrounding area.
Pub Crawl Golf Game Tour:
This bar golf game tour sticks out among the many Nashville bar tours. Ride on a golf cart to each bar and stop along the way to put on a movable green. A caddie, mobile putting green, and set of putters accompany you to several Nashville pubs, and after your round of golf and drinking is over, the group member with the lowest score wins.
Downtown Nashville Party Tractor Tour:
Discover Downtown Nashville on this one-of-a-kind 75-minute Private Party Tractor Tour, complete with an onboard dance floor and DJ. Your group’s expert tractor driver will take you on an incredible ride around Music City, where you will enjoy music, a light-up dance floor, and more while seeing the city from a new viewpoint.
Nashville Trolley Tour:
Save time and money by taking this 90-minute trolley tour of Nashville. With 14 stops and live commentary on prominent Nashville landmarks, this tour allows you to explore over 100 points of interest. A trolley tour is a quick and inexpensive way to experience the best of Nashville.
Sightseeing on Double Decker Bus:
On the Nashville City Tour double-decker bus, you may see more than 100 points of interest in less than an hour. It’s an excellent choice for first-time visitors looking to get a feel for Music City. Sit on the upper level, be open to the elements and listen to fascinating commentary on Nashville. Bring your camera to Ryman Auditorium, Nissan Stadium, the Musicians Hall of Fame, and Vanderbilt University.
Homes Of The Stars – Bus Tour for Celebrity Houses:
This Nashville homes of stars tour make it simple to locate homes owned by superstars such as Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Dolly Parton, and Taylor Swift. Ride in style in a climate-controlled van while hearing stories about Nashville’s country music scene and passing by famous Nashville sites.
This entertaining, interactive Segway tour across Nashville provides a variety of tour schedules and lengths to accommodate your schedule. If you’ve never used a Segway before, don’t be afraid; Guide will train you before you get on your two-wheeled vehicle.
Ride the Helicopter at Downtown Nashville:
A helicopter ride is a fun and luxurious way to get a quick tour of Nashville’s best attractions. Instead of being caught in traffic, take a helicopter ride over the sky and view the best of Music City from above. Along the route, listen to narration about the sites you see and soar over a variety of significant local monuments, including the Ryman Auditorium, Tennessee State Capitol, and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Enjoy your Dinner at General Jackson Showboat:
Enjoy your lunch or dinner on the cruise with live entertainment, a Southern-style meal, and stunning vistas of the Cumberland River for a low fee, allowing you to have more sightseeing and entertainment for less. This Nashville tour is on one of the country’s largest paddle-wheel boats and also includes hotel pickup and drop-off, making it even more tempting to visitors.