This post covers the top things to do in July in Nashville (updated for 2023), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do in Nashville for even more ideas.
This top 10 list has concerts, events, attractions, and festivals to check out during July. Don't forget to check out our popular Nashville posts:
- Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
- Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
- Country Music Hall of Fame Discounts
- Madame Tussauds Nashville
- Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Discounts
1. See a Concert
If you’re looking for a concert, Music City is the place to find it. We've listed the highlights below.
For other shows, look into the famed Ryman Auditorium and of course the Grand Ole Opry House.
- Kid Rock | July 1st
- Souls of Mischief | July 2nd
- Foreigner | July 11th
- Beyonce | July 15th
- Blink-182 | July 16th
- Ed Sheeran | July 22
- Ryan Adams | July 25th, 26th
- The Chicks | July 27th
- America | July 28th
- Chris Stapleton | July 28th, 29th
- George Straight | July 28th, 29th
- Sam Smith | July 29th
- Sad Summer Festival | July 23rd | Ascend Amphitheatre | Featuring: Taking Back Sunday, The Maine, PVRIS, and more
- Nashville Symphony Orchestra: Jurassic Park | July 6th, 7th
Check out all the Nashville events in July on Stubhub.
2. Take a Food Tour
There are a lot of great places to eat in Nashville, but if you're not familiar with the best dishes in Music City, you might want to consider taking a food tour to learn more.
One of the best options available this year is the Nashville BBQ, Beer, and Bourbon tour.
This outing includes stops at three popular hotspots with several samples to enjoy.
Read more about food tour options from our post on various types of tours of Nashville.
3. Take a Sightseeing Tour
July in Nashville is a great time to explore the city on a guided tour, be it on a walking tour or a bus tour.
There are a number of walking tours in Nashville, including pay-what-you-like tours, self-guided tours, and paid small-group tours.
On days that are warmer than you'd like, you can stay cool and still see the city by taking an air-conditioned bus tour or a hop on hop off trolley tour.
4. Celebrate the Fourth of July
Celebrate America's independence in the Music City at the annual free celebration Let Freedom Sing: A Nashville July 4th.
The Nashville Symphony will perform at Ascend Amphitheater during the fireworks show. Before the fireworks, there will be food vendors and kids' activities to enjoy.
Also on July 4th, there is the Hot Chicken Festival an annual tradition since 2007.
This free event takes place at East Park, 700 Woodland St., rain or shine, and includes plenty of music and kids' activities.
As the name implies, this festival celebrates a favorite Nashville food -- hot chicken!
There will be free samples of hot chicken from a variety of restaurants.
Finally, the 12th Annual Firecracker Pub Crawl takes place on the 4th for those 21+.
5. Activities at Cheekwood
Cheekwood Estate and Gardens plans to host multiple fun and interesting activities and events during the month of July 2023.
They have an exhibit of the works of artist Carmen Herrera called Estructuras that runs from May - September.
The Under the Stars Concert Series will take place over 5 nights from July 21st - September 8th. Jazz Under the Stars is on July 21st.
The dates of the Annual Bonsai Show haven't been released yet but it usually takes place in July.
This event usually includes 30 bonsai trees and demonstrations of how they are trimmed.
Cheekwood Estate admission is included in many of Nashville's tourist discount passes so if you plan on seeing a number of Nashville attractions, including Cheekwood, you may want to consider a pass.
6. Go to a Sporting Event
Nashville is a competitive city that loves its sports. July has a number of sporting-related events to be enjoyed.
Taking in a game is a great way to spend the day with the family. For more family-friendly activities, check out our full post.
- Monster Jam | July 1st
Take a look at StubHub to see all the concerts happening in Nashville in July.
7. Music City Brewer’s Festival
Music City Brewer’s Festival is one of the longest-running annual beer festivals in Nashville. .
There will be tastings from more than 40 local, regional, national, and international breweries.
You can also dine on food from various and enjoy live music.
Your beer will taste even better as a portion of ticket sales will go to assist the Nashville Humane Association.
Note that the date for the 2023 festival has not been released as of March, but we expect it will take place in July again.
Beer lovers who miss this event may want to look into taking a brewery tour or pub crawl of Nashville.
8. Bluegrass Along the Harpeth
Bluegrass Along the Harpeth is a two-day celebration of bluegrass music.
Along with music performances, there will be food and craft vendors. It takes place on July 21st-22nd, 2023.
This annual Nashville tradition is in its 32nd year!
To see the lineup and plan your trip, check out their website.
9. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
As you're in Nashville, there might be a chance you're interested in what the city is most known for country music.
Where better to visit than the Country Music Hall of Fame?
The museum's goal is to teach audiences "about the enduring beauty and cultural importance of country music"
They do this through photographs, movies, digital collections, a library, special exhibits, and collections. You'll find information on Hall of Fame members such as Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Tammy Wynette, and a host of other brilliant musicians.
Hours are Monday - Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Tickets can be purchased here.
10. Save Money with a Nashville Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
With all the exciting things there are to do in Music City, we suggest getting a tourist city pass for Nashville.
All-inclusive passes are available, and others can include up to 55% discounts on retail prices for select attraction admission, gift shops, and restaurants.
Here are some of the attractions included in at least one of Nashville’s tourist passes:
- Ryman Auditorium Backstage
- Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage & Gardens
- Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Madame Tussauds
- Hop-On-Hop-Off Tours
- and more!
Read more about Nashville tourist discount passes.
July is a lovely month weather-wise so spending some time outside after the sun goes down is a treat!
Several items throughout this post are ideal for the nighttime, like the Under the Stars Concert Series at Cheekwood, the Music City Brewers Festival, and the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Here are a few more nighttime activities for the month of July.
For more nighttime activities, visit our post on things to do at night in Nashville.
Enjoy the Theatre
Music City isn’t only about concerts. If you're interested in musicals, comedy, or family-friendly performances, you can find those too.
- The Sound of Music | July 1st - 16th
- Diva Royale Drag Queen Show | July 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
- Nashville Ballet | July 21st
- Kindling Arts Festival | July 27th-30th
- The Shiners | July 1st-29th
- Inebriated Shakespeare | July 29th
- KIDZ BOP | July 28th
Take a look at all the theater and comedy events in Nashville this month on StubHub.
Jefferson St. Jazz & Blues Festival
Held every summer in June, this annual festival is a great way for newcomers and longtime enthusiasts to hear the best of the blues here in Nashville.
This is a celebration of not just music, but the history of the neighborhood.
Along with music, there will be a kick-off block party, music, and activities to celebrate the entire culture.The Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival is taking place on July 22nd 2023.
For more details, check the festival's website.
Find Live Music
There is live music everywhere at almost every time of day, but Music City lights up with even more options when the sun goes down.
The Honky Tonk Highway and its close-by SoBro neighborhood are the two most walkable areas to sample the largest variety of music.
Honky Tonk Highway: Walk down the famous Upper and Lower Broadway streets to find street performers, free music venues, saloons, and restaurants with their own live music.
SoBro Neighborhood: Turn off of Broadway to find the SoBro neighborhood. There is plenty of history with converted industrial buildings, some of which are now bars with music.
Bluebird Cafe: Thanks to the Nashville TV show, the Bluebird is now one of the most famous places to find up-and-coming singers in the Nashville area.
Tickets go on sale one week in advance, but you better be quick. Shows sell out year-round.
Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar: If you’re looking for an interactive and improvisational show, go to the Big Bang Bar.
Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 pm until 2:00 am, two piano players will be dueling it out to your requests. You’ll hear every genre, from country to pop to 90s alternative.
The Douglas Corner Cafe is one of the more well-known establishments for those wanting to start their music career.
Starting Tuesdays at 8:00 pm, singers perform two songs each. The night doesn’t end until every registered singer has sung.
Take a Night Tour on a Trolley
This two-hour night tour in an Old Town Trolley is narrated by an entertaining guide.
You’ll see the neon signs lit up and learn about all the genres of music, and the history of those genres, that make up the Nashville music scene.
Tickets can be purchased online.
Note: This tour is for guests 18 and older. Photo ID is checked before boarding the trolley.
Nashville has a bunch of free stuff to do year-round. We've mentioned some in our other sections but here are more free things to do in Nashville in July.
For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our post on free things to do in Nashville.
Crockett Park Concerts
On select dates, head to the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater in Crockett Park for the Brentwood Summer Concert Series.
The family-friendly concert series runs June until July.
In 2023 you'll find The Smoking Section Band on July 4th from 7pm-10pm.
Watertown Jazz Festival
Located at the Historic Watertown Square, outside of Nashville, is the Watertown Jezz Festival.
There's not just live entertainment but dancing and a variety of food vendors.
The festival takes place on July 15th, 2023 and is completely free.
For a list of performers, click here.
First Saturday Art Crawl
Across the city center, art galleries open their doors to the public on the first Saturday of every month. This event is free!
The participating galleries for the First Saturday Art Crawl swap out and are easily accessible by walking and using the Gray Line Trolley.
Most offer refreshments, including wine. Many of the galleries are at the Nashville Arcade Mall.
Music in the Vines
Arrington Vineyards hosts Music in the Vines, a free event taking place every Saturday and Sunday from April through October.
July is the perfect month to come out and enjoy the music, the wine, the whole atmosphere!
You can bring your own picnic or order a gourmet one there so you don't have to prep.
There's something different happening every weekend, so we encourage you to check out their calendar to plan your visit.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN JULY
Nashville is super family-friendly! Other activities listed throughout this post are suited for kids, like seeing a family-friendly musical, attending the Hot Chicken Festival, and seeing the fireworks on July 4th.
Below are a few more kid-friendly things to do in July.
Be sure to read our master post on things to do with kids in Nashville for even more ideas.
Get Creative at the Country Music Museum
The Country Music Museum offers activities for kids and teens.
You can find everything from hat making, bandana and braid making, songwriting workshops, a musical petting zoo, dancing, and more.
Check their calendar for a schedule of activities.
Visit the Frist Art Museum
Head to the Frist Art Museum where kids 18 and younger get in for free!
They offer free family programs throughout the year. It also has Martin Art-Quest, a hands-on art experience for kids offering ways to draw, animate, printmake, and paint.
To learn more and plan your visit, see the museum's website.
Visit the Adventure Science Center
The science center "offers engaging learning experiences and science fun through hands-on, interactive exhibits, innovative programs, and full-dome productions in the state-of-the-art Sudekum Planetarium"
You'll find live demonstrations, permanent exhibits, seasonal events... and a 63-foot dome theatre in the planetarium. It's not possible for kids to be bored here!
To plan your adventure, click here.
Storytime at the Nashville Library
The Nashville Library offers story times at various locations.
They have Preschool StoryTime, Babies and Books Storytime, Music and Movement classes, Stary Night Story Time, Family Story Time and more.
Visit their calendar for a list of locations and times.
Attend the Music City Jerk Festival
This festival brings authentic Jamaican and Caribbean food vendors to Walk of Fame Park
In addition to some delicious eats, there's a Kids Zone with face painting and family entertainment.
This fun happens with a background of great music. Tickets can be purchased here.
Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair
The Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair is one of the most popular summertime events in Tennessee and is celebrating their 48th year!
Hosted in the Gatlinburg Convention Center this event has live music, plenty of beautiful handmade items to peruse and purchase, as well as demonstrations.
It takes place July 7th - 16th, 2023. Admission is $10 for adults and FREE for children 17 and under with a paid adult.