I recently road tripped to Nashville, Tennessee and had a great time. There is a lot to see and really good food. If you like live music (especially Country), you will really enjoy Nashville. You can find a lot of history in the city and you might even catch someone famous performing at a local bar. A few of my top things to do in Nashville include bar hopping on Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Parthenon.
Top Things to Do in Nashville
Broadway is the main street in downtown Nashville where you will find all of the action. Lower Broadway, also called Honky Tonk Central, is where you can find bars with live country music at just about any hour of the day. Broadway really comes to life at night with neon lights flashing and good music coming out of the windows and rooftop bars. Honestly, you can’t go wrong when picking a bar to check out because they all have great entertainment.
Pro tip: If you go to Nashville on a weekend, be prepared to run into a lot of bachelorette parties. I honestly preferred Broadway on a weeknight as it was much less crowded.
One of the things I really liked about downtown Nashville was that the Cumberland River ran right through it. If you want a break from the music, head down to Riverfront Park. The park has walking paths right along the river. You can also take in great views from the Cumberland Pedestrian Bridge. I recommend walking the bridge at night for a great view of the city. You can also get a nice view of the pedestrian bridge from the rooftop of Acme Feed and Seed.
Ryman Auditorium was built in 1892 and was home to the original Grand Ole Opry for about 30 years. The Grand Ole Opry has since moved to a larger venue, but you can still catch shows at Ryman Auditorium. You can also take a tour of Ryman and go backstage for a closer look at the great history of the auditorium. I would go ahead and get tickets in advance if you want to tour Ryman as the spots can fill up quickly.
Grand Ole Opry
If you are making the trip to Nashville, you have to see a show at the Grand Ole Opry. I would definitely buy tickets in advance because the shows frequently sell out. If you are lucky, you can catch some pretty big names performing there depending on the night. The Opry’s new location is a little bit of a drive from downtown and security is tight so get there plenty early. The show is broadcast live on the radio so they will have ‘commercial breaks’ throughout the night. We saw some really great performers while there and I recommend making an evening out of it!
If you like history, check out the State Capitol. Unfortunately, we were there over a holiday so we didn’t get to take a tour. In the area around the State Capitol, you can find the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. The Park is home to a World War II memorial and a granite map of the state of Tennessee. The park is beautifully landscaped and has several landmarks that are worth spending some time walking around on a nice day.
The Parthenon might seem out of place in a city like Nashville, but it is a really cool building. It is actually a replica of the well known Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 in Centennial Park, west of downtown. The building is now home to an art museum where you will have to pay a small fee ($6 for adults) to enter.
Country Music Hall of Fame
Whether you are a country music fan or not, the Country Music Hall of Fame is worth a visit. Plan on spending at least 2 hours going through the museum. The museum will take you on a tour of the birth of country music up until the artists of today. They have special exhibits that switch in and out. While we were there they were featuring Shania Twain and Jason Aldean. Right outside the Country Music Hall of Fame, you can find the ‘Walk of Fame’. The Walk of Fame is where many famous artists and musicians have a star in their honor.
I hope my top things to do in Nashville is helpful in planning your trip! What are some of your favorite sites in Music City?