If you love country music, fabulous food, and vibrant nightlife, you’ll love spending a week or weekend in Nashville, TN. Because of these fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, it’s the perfect destination for a girl’s trip, bachelorette weekend, or romantic getaway.
However, regardless of your interests, there are plenty of fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, that everyone will love. With so many beautiful parks and interesting museums, Nashville, TN, is also an excellent spot for a family vacation. Because of the many nearby day trips and weekend trips from Nashville, it’s the perfect “home base” for exploring more of the Southern USA and Midwest USA.
Nashville, TN, is one of my favorite cities in the United States, and since I have family living here, I’ve visited several times. These are the best & most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent visitor like me!
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Fun Things to Do in Nashville, TN
1. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Nashville is known for one thing, and one thing only — country music! While you’re here, you can’t miss the chance to learn about country music history and the country stars of yesterday, today, and tomorrow at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.
While you’re here, you must visit the Hall of Fame Rotunda, featuring plaques of country music legends who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, such as Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire. You can also see rotating exhibits about current country stars, learn about country music history, and see award-winning records in the museum.
I highly recommend visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum on a Sunday, so you can attend the Musician Spotlight. These performances showcase up-and-coming artists, and they are entirely free to attend with the purchase of a ticket to the museum!
2. Go bar hopping on Broadway Street
People come to Nashville from around the country (and even the world!) to visit Broadway Street — where you’ll find all the honky-tonks and country bars in Nashville. Nashville has recently been nicknamed “Nashvegas” because of the vibrant nightlife the city is known for!
Popping in and out of the best bars on Broadway Street is a fun way to spend a night out (or, let’s be honest, a few nights out) in Nashville. There are no cover charges, the bars are open every night of the week (with live music playing pretty much 24/7), and you can easily walk from bar to bar, making it convenient to enjoy a night out. You can also take a night trolley tour to soak in the sights.
I highly recommend visiting Wildhorse Saloon, a three-story bar offering line-dancing lessons (for free!), dinner, and drinks. Jason Aldean Kitchen + Bar is a great option to visit for the fabulous rooftop bar on a warm spring or fall day. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is a must-visit historical venue that has hosted famous musicians like Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline.
3. Catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is the longest-running radio show in country music (or otherwise) and is the most famous stage in country music. In fact, it’s even known as the home of country music. The broadcast began in the 1920s and, since then, has been broadcast live every Saturday night.
Before your trip to Nashville, check the calendar to see which artists will be performing. If you aren’t in town for a show, definitely book a backstage tour of the Opry to get a peek at what the Grand Ole Opry looks like up close and personal.
4. Explore the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
If you can’t find a room to stay here, walking around the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is one of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is a huge hotel with tons to see inside, including a beautiful tropical garden, a massive waterpark, and 15+ restaurants and bars. You can even take a boat ride on the river that snakes through the hotel. It’s kind of like a resort in Vegas — further proving that Nashville is, indeed, “Nashvegas.”
It’s smart to book a room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort so you can have plenty of time to explore all the resort has to offer, but even if you pay for parking to visit for the day, you’re sure to have a great time exploring the massive hotel.
5. Try Nashville Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s
Nashville is known for good ‘ole fashioned southern cooking, so one of the staple meals you must try here is Nashville Hot Chicken. Nashville Hot Chicken is like fried chicken — but better. It’s coated in spicy seasoning, so it’s like fried chicken with a kick. You can usually order it on a sandwich, meal, or chicken strips.
Though it’s not hard to find Nashville Hot Chicken throughout the city, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is by far the most popular place to order this local favorite. This local chain has several locations, including one on Broadway Street if you’re looking for a late-night meal after a night out.
6. Get brunch at Biscuit Love
Another one of the best places to eat in Nashville, TN, while you’re in town is Biscuit Love. Biscuit Love is a brunch chain in Nashville with a few locations (and another location in Franklin, TN). They serve breakfast biscuits with gravy, fried chicken, and other tasty meals.
However, the one thing you have to try at Biscuit Love are the “bonuts” — donuts made with biscuit dough. They’re served up with cream cheese frosting, lemon curd, and blueberry compote, and they’re so good! Get an order for the table. You won’t regret it!
7. Take a day trip to Franklin
Franklin, TN, is an adorable town just a short 20-minute drive from Nashville, filled with Civil War history, antique shops, cute boutiques, and fabulous eateries.
If you’d like to trade city life for a day in the countryside, you will love Franklin. While you’re here, enjoy some of the best things to do in Franklin, like shopping at the Factory at Franklin, visiting Arrington Vineyards, touring Carter House (the location of the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War), and heading to Noble Springs Dairy to hold a baby goat.
8. Listen to emerging artists at The Bluebird Café
The Bluebird Café is a popular music venue and restaurant in Nashville where several famous artists have performed and were discovered over the past 40+ years. It’s actually where Taylor Swift was discovered and landed her first record deal, and other artists, like Garth Brooks and Faith Hill, have had career-defining moments here.
Whether you come here for dinner, a show, or just drive by, make sure to stop and soak in all the greatness that’s come from the Bluebird Café!
9. See the Parthenon at Centennial Park
Centennial Park has been around for centuries but was officially named and built in 1897 to celebrate the state’s centennial. There are tons of awesome things to do at Centennial Park, but the one thing you can’t miss (literally) is the replica of the Parthenon right in the park’s center.
Nashville’s Parthenon is a real-size replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Though it’s impressive to admire from the outside, it’s equally as impressive to tour on the inside as well. Inside, you’ll see a 42-foot-tall sculpture of Athena, the Greek goddess. This is the largest indoor sculpture in the Western Hemisphere. The museum also contains permanent and temporary exhibits, including replicas of the Parthenon Marbles housed in the British Museum.
10. Try biscuits at Loveless Cafe
Loveless Cafe is another one of the most iconic places to eat in Nashville. Though it’s a bit of a drive from Downtown Nashville — if you have a car, the food is worth it!
Loveless Cafe serves breakfast and dinner. They are well-known for their “world-famous” biscuits that come with every meal (breakfast, lunch & dinner!). They serve traditional breakfast food, like eggs, bacon, and pancakes, and for dinner, you can enjoy salads, sandwiches, fried chicken, and other delicious southern meals.
11. Snap photos of the murals & street art
Nashville is well-known for its fabulous murals and street art — 100+ murals, to be exact. One of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, is to go on a mural scavenger hunt and take photos in front of the murals, or you can go on a guided tour with a professional photographer to get professional photos in front of your favorite murals!
Some of the most popular murals in Nashville are found in 12 South, The Gulch, and Hillsboro Village. Some favorites include “I Believe in Nashville,” “Looking Pretty, Music City,” “What Lifts You – Wings,” and “Drippy Lips,” and you can follow this Nashville mural guide to find them!
12. Walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge at sunset
Nashville has a beautiful skyline, so one of the most fun things to do in Nashville is to cross the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge at sunset to admire the views and snap a photo.
The bridge crossing is just a short walk from Lower Broadway Street, so it’s easy to reach before a night on the town. The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge crosses the Cumberland River. It connects to Nissan Stadium, where the Tennessee Titans play, so if you’re in town for a football game, you’ll cross this bridge to get to the game!
13. Explore the 12 South Neighborhood
12 South is one of the most adorable neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee, filled with cute boutiques, shops, restaurants, and murals.
You’ll find tons of things to do in 12 South Nashville, but a few places you can’t miss include grabbing coffee at the Frothy Monkey, enjoying ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, shopping at Draper James, the “I Believe in Nashville” and “Looking Pretty, Music City” murals, and the 12 South Farmer’s Market at Amelia’s Flower Truck.
14. Explore the Cheekwood Estate & Garden
Cheekwood Estate & Garden was once a private residence that’s now a public botanical garden, museum, and arboretum in Nashville, Tennessee.
Although the gorgeous gardens, filled with plants and flowers, are one of the most popular places to visit at Cheekwood Estate & Garden, you can also tour the art galleries and historic rooms inside the mansion. This beautiful estate is one of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee if you love history and architecture!
15. Stay at the Graduate Hotel Nashville
The Graduate Nashville is one of the coolest places to stay in Nashville, and even if you don’t stay here, it’s one of the best places to visit and the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Graduate Nashville is home to an adorable coffee shop, Poindexter Coffee, and a chic rooftop pool and bar themed after Dolly Pardon called White Limozeen. You’ll also find an animatronic karaoke bar, Cross-Eyed Critters, and other fun things to do at this fun, funky hotel.
16. Tour the historic Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium is another one of the most iconic music venues in Nashville. The Ryman was the former home of the Grand Ole Opry before the show moved to its current location, so this building has been around for 130+ years!
The Ryman Auditorium draws performers and musicians from all genres of music, from country and pop to classical and rock ‘n’ roll. Check the calendar to see who’s performing during your trip to Nashville and snag tickets to a show, or buy tickets to tour the Ryman Auditorium during your trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
17. Travel back in time at the Andrew Jackson Hermitage
Have you ever visited a former president’s home before? If not, then Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is the perfect place to visit during your trip to Nashville. This historic house and farm were owned by the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, and offers several guided and independent tours allowing you to explore the property.
When you’re here, you can visit Natchez Hills Winery and Vineyard to enjoy a glass of wine or enjoy lunch or dinner at FKS Kitchen. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is easily one of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, for history lovers!
18. Explore the Johnny Cash Museum
You’ll probably see and hear lots about Johnny Cash during your time in Nashville — after all, he is one of the greatest country music artists of all time! However, if you want to learn more about the “Man in Black” himself, head to the Johnny Cash Museum just off Broadway Street.
This museum is home to the world’s largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to Johnny Cash. After touring the museum, you can head next door to enjoy a barbecue lunch or dinner at Johnny Cash’s Bar & BBQ.
19. Wander through the Frist Art Museum
If you love art, one of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, is touring the Frist Art Museum, the premier art museum in Nashville. The Frist Art Museum opened in 2001, and since then, it has invited tourists and locals to enjoy beautiful artwork in the heart of Nashville.
The Frist Art Museum is a non-collecting museum, which means that you’ll see new exhibits on display each time you visit. They usually have 12+ artwork exhibits on display at a time and rotate them with new exhibits every two to three months.
20. Enjoy a southern meal at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant
Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant is a Tennessee staple that’s been around since the 1950s. They have locations in Nashville, Franklin, Chattanooga, and Pigeon Forge, so grabbing a southern meal here is a must during your trip to Nashville.
You can visit Puckett’s Grocery & Kitchen for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You’ll find southern favorites, like Pimento Cheese Bites and Fried Pickles, and entrees like Southern Fried Chicken. For dessert, order the “Cobbler of the Day,” made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
21. Explore Radnor Lake State Park
If you want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful terrain that Nashville, TN, offers, head to Radnor Lake State Park. This popular state park is located right outside the city, and it’s filled with trails perfect for hiking, birding, and exploring.
While in Radnor Lake State Park, keep your eyes peeled for critters like beavers, river otters, and white-tailed deer. It’s not uncommon to see these animals (and others!) during your visit to the park.
See the Best of Music City with These Fun Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee
Whether you want to enjoy the nightlife on Broadway Street, take photos in front of the gorgeous murals, or enjoy a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy from this list of the most fun things to do in Nashville, Tennesee!
Which of these fun things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, would be at the top of your list? Let me know in the comments below!
Save These Fun Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee, for Your Upcoming Trip
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- Ultimate Guide to Centennial Park in Nashville, TN
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- 10 Charming Things to Do in Franklin, TN