This post covers the top things to do in Nashville, including nighttime, free, as well as family-friendly activities.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO
There are so many things to see and do - what's worth it? Here we have listed the top 10 things to do in Nashville to help you narrow down your options.
1) Go on a Sightseeing Tour
One of the best ways to see Nashville is to go on a sightseeing tour. One of the most popular ways to get around while learning insider tips is with a bus tour.
2) The Hermitage
The Hermitage is a historical mansion once occupied by the 7th US president, Andrew Jackson.
You can tour the Hermitage, which has been restored and filled with much of the original furniture and belongings.
The garden and grounds are also a large draw, due to the beautiful landscape and peaceful, 19th-century garden. You can find farm buildings and the community’s church as well.
Jackson owned approximately 150 slaves when he died, according to plantation documents, census records, and other paperwork. You can find a list of the enslaved African Americans and learn about their lives on the plantation.
3) Grand Ole Opry House
The Grand Ole Opry is a country and bluegrass radio show that has been running since 1925 and is now synonymous with the best country and gospel music the genre has to offer.
The Grand Ole Opry House itself became the home of the radio show in the mid-1970s as an upgrade from the Ryman Auditorium
Now, you can tour the Grand Ole Opry before and after the weekly shows. Some tours are “led” by country music star Blake Shelton via video recording.
Depending on the venue’s event schedule, you can get your picture onstage with the famous Opry microphone.
4) Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame holds one of the world’s largest collections of music and associated artifacts.
Here you can find the most comprehensive history of the country and bluegrass genre and its roots.
Within the museum are a theatre, event space, and multiple dining options. Most guests spend approximately 2 hours roaming the exhibits, with or without an audio guide.
Click here for more information or to get your Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum tickets.
And remember, general admission is included with some tourist passes.
5) Take a Bus Tour
See more and have a convenient mode of transportation with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. You’ll save energy and gain some insight from your knowledgeable driver’s steady stream of commentary.
The Old Town Trolley tours have 15 stops in Nashville, many of which are at landmarks like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
For a more in-depth comparison of the bus tours on offer, check out our post.
6) See More with a City Pass
Want to see it all in Nashville? A tourist pass will allow you to save 50% or more by bundling your attractions and paying for just one pass. You can find preset packages, choose-your-favorites, and all-inclusive tickets, depending on what you want to see.
See our Nashville City Pass comparison here.
7) Concert Venues
Nashville is the perfect place to find little-known or up-and-coming artists. But what if you want to see chart-toppers? There are great venues for the big-time tours as well.
8) Find Live Music Every Day of the Week
There is no reason to go more than a day without enjoying some live music in Nashville, even if you aren’t a country music fan.
The Honky Tonk Highway is the famous stretch of the Upper and Lower Broadway streets lined with pubs, saloons, and other music venues.
Music is such a Nashville staple that even smaller venues have become must-see spots in their own right. Check out the Bluebird Cafe, B.B. King’s, or the Station Inn - all of their live music is worth hearing.
Festivals, both free and paid, are happening every month in Nashville. You can find events dedicated to everything from blues and indie rock to singer-songwriter nights.
9) Food Scene
Southern food should be comfort food, and Nashville’s food scene delivers.
One staple food in Nashville is hot chicken. Get your fix of deep-fried and spicy chicken at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack - the original - or at any one of the other long-standing Nashville institutions like Hattie B’s or Helen’s.
The perfect biscuit is another Southern mainstay that Nashville is proud of. From biscuit bars at brunch to restaurants that make them fresh around the clock, there are enough biscuits in town that you have to at least try one. We suggest the Nashville Biscuit House or Loveless Cafe.
A few more restaurants worth mentioning:
- Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant
- The Diner
If you want help finding the most delicious dishes and the best restaurants, consider taking the Nashville Secret Food Tour. This outing includes hot chicken, pulled pork tacos, and much more!
Many of these places are great for family time or for entertainment at night.
10) Find Your Nashville Team Spirit
There is a wide range of sports teams available to cheer on in Nashville so you’ll never be without a game or match to watch.
Hockey (October - April)
Football (September - January)
Baseball (March - September)
Soccer (March - October)
Basketball (October - May)
Keep in mind that both the Nashville Predators and the Tennessee Titans have practices and a training camp that are free and open to the public.
FREE THINGS TO DO
Entertaining yourself in Nashville doesn’t have to break the bank - there are plenty of free or cheap things to do in Music City. Here’s a list of our top 10 free things to do.
Our free things to do in Nashville post has even more detail about this tip 10 list and even more ideas for the budget-conscious traveler.
- Find free music on the Honky Tonk Highway.
- Take a self-guided walking tour of Fort Negley.
- Visit the Tennessee State Museum.
- Play with the dragons at Fannie Mae Dees Park.
- Attend the Midnite Jamboree radio show taping.
- Get free samples at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.
- Explore the SoBro and Germantown neighborhoods.
- See the Parthenon at Centennial Park.
- See a Bluebird Cafe show.
- Take your picnic to a winery for a free show.
For more inspiration, check out our free things to do post.
THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT
Spend the night beneath the lights of Nashville’s neon signs! There are plenty of things to do in Music City at night, and here is our top 10 list.
For more things to do after dark in Nashville, take a look at our things to do at night post.
- See a concert or tour the Grand Ole Opry.
- Visit The George Jones museum and connected rooftop bar, which celebrates the singer’s life and has a collection of memorabilia from his performances.
- Catch a sporting event.
- Take a dinner cruise on the General Jackson Showboat.
- Find live music in the SoBro neighborhood.
- Find some of Nashville’s local breweries.
- Take an Old Town Trolley night tour.
- See a film showing at the historic Belcourt Theatre.
- Go on a spooky Nashville Ghost Tour.
- See one of the Adventure Science Center’s open-late events.
- Try to escape The Escape Game
To see everything there is to do at night, check out our full post.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO
Nashville is the perfect place for a family vacation. Here is our top 10 list for things to do with kids.
For a more detailed version of this family-friendly top 10 list, and even more ideas, check out our full post.
- Explore all the free parks.
- Go on a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown.
- Find exotic animals at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.
- See a show at the Nashville Children’s Theatre.
- Learn to line dance at Wildhorse Saloon.
- Attend a sporting event.
- Explore Nashville’s food scene.
- See celebrities of the music industry at Madame Tussauds.
- Hear the music on Upper and Lower Broadway.
- Make your own art at the Frist Art Museum.
Find even more things to do with your kids in Music City on our full family-friendly post.
THINGS TO DO IN NASHVILLE BY MONTH
- January (weather)
- February (weather)
- March (weather)
- December (weather)