Nashville is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. And for good reason! There are so many great things to do here, from exploring the city’s charming neighborhoods to enjoying some of the country’s most iconic music performances. Whether you’re looking for a day of shopping and dining or just a few minutes of downtime, Nashville has something for you!
Nashville is home to some of the most beautiful architecture and culture in the country. From the iconic Nashville skyline to the Vanderbilt family’s mansions, there are plenty of things to see and do in this wonderful city. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or something more permanent, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll be listing some of the top things to do in Nashville when you’re here.
Free Things to do in Nashville
Nashville is home to some of the best music and arts in the world. From country to rock and roll, there’s something for everyone in Nashville. If you’re looking for a fun day out, check out these great free things to do.
Nashville is known for being one of the most beautiful andhistoric cities in the United States. It’s also home to some of the best free things to do in the city. Whether you’re looking for a day of relaxation or something more active, Nashville has something for you. Here are some of our favorite free things to do in Nashville:
1) Take a walk down Broadway.
2) Visit the Vanderbilt University Library.
3) Eat lunch at a local restaurant called “The Well”.
4) Get lost in Music Row.
5) Drive around downtown on Cumberland Street.
6) Look at the beautiful houses on Wall Street.
What is the funnest thing to do in Nashville?
Nashville is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. However, it can be difficult to find the best things to do in the city when you’re not looking for them. That’s why we’ve put together some of the funniest things to do in Nashville that you won’t find anywhere else. From free concerts and festivals to interesting attractions and delicious restaurants, we’ve got something for everyone.
Nashville is a great place to live. It’s got a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, and there are plenty of things to do. Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun or some serious entertainment, Nashville has it all. Here are a few things you can do while in town:
1) Play golf – There are several golf courses located in the city, making it a great place to play.
2) Watch concerts – Nashville is home to a number of popular music festivals, so there’s always something to see and hear.
3) Ski – The city has a number of ski resorts, making it an excellent place to enjoy winter sports.
4) Eat – There’s no shortage of restaurants in Nashville, so choose one that sounds good and check out their menus for ideas on where to eat.
5) Visit the Vanderbilt University campus – It’s a beautiful campus with plenty of interesting attractions, including the famous Ryman Auditorium.
Here are 62 things to do in Nashville while you’re there!
1 – Ride a golf cart on a street-art tour
The streets of Nashville have some wonderful art on display, including the iconic WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural.
Grabbing a picture in front of that will light up your Instagram!
The open-air golf cart is a great way to absorb Nashville’s streets as your local guide takes you to the city’s best bohemian aesthetics.
2 – Tour the Ryman Auditorium
If country music is Nashville’s soul, then the Ryman is the ‘Mother Church of Country Music’!
This jaw-dropping museum, which contains 125 years of history, uses special effects, holograms, and archival footage with exhibits presented by country music stars including Darius Rucker and Shery Crow.
Even if country music isn’t your thing you’ll be sure to love it!
3 – Get a taste of Nashville on a food tour
Nosh in Nashville will make your mouth water — it’s just a fact.
The Southern state prides itself on its delectable slow-roasted barbecue and hot chicken, as well as local beers and signature cocktail: the Bushwater!
On a dedicated food tour, a guide will show you the low-key eateries only the locals know, while introducing you to Nashville culture as you eat.
4 – Be starstruck at the Country Music Hall of Fame
Put on your cowboy hat, follow the story of country music’s humble folk roots before it shot into stardom, and find all sorts of memorabilia along the way!
From Elvis’ Cadillac limousine to instruments belonging to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, plenty of selfie opportunities await!
Moreover, the Hall of Fame is brimming with modern musical artifacts and interactive multimedia elements to bring the music to life.
5 – Race through Nashville on a scavenger hunt
Break off into teams for a high-tempo tour through Nashville!
Five rounds of games and challenges hosted from your smartphone will race you against the clock through the city’s major landmarks.
Best of all, every scavenger hunt is different with over 75 categories of hunts to choose from!
6 – Take a trolley tour through Nashville
Hop onboard one of Nashville’s quaint trolleys with live commentary on over 100 points of interest in a 90-minute tour!
It’s a great way to start your trip and discover things to do in Nashville with a 20-minute stop at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park (a historic square with Farmers’ Market) to get a snack or drink.
7 – Ride a segway through downtown Nashville
You’ll master the self-balancing Segway in no time, so clip on your helmet and get going!
A friendly guide will give you some one-on-one time to help you get the hang of Segway-riding before showing you the sights and sounds of the city as you confidently zip down its streets.
8 – Spot a celeb on a celebrity bus tour
Don’t forget your camera! Nashville has plenty of starpower with a myriad of celebs choosing to live in Music City.
Buses will take you through the affluent neighborhoods where if you’re lucky you can spot the likes of Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, and Jared Followill from Kings of Leon — just to name a few!
9 – Step back in time with a Civil War tour
Nashville saw its share of the Civil War, including the Battle of Franklin on its front door renowned as being the five most intense hours of the war.
At the time, the Carter House was Federal headquarters and the Lotz House was a field hospital, both with bullet and cannonball holes in their walls until this day. Take a tour and feel the stories.
10 – Beat the clock in an Escape Game
Visit The Escape Game and choose your theme: jungle, deep space, prison, or art heist.
Then the clock starts and you have 60 minutes to complete your mission as you scour the rooms and solve the riddles with your friends.
The rooms are fast-paced, interactive, and above all, fun. If there are a lot of you, split into half and race!
11 – Sing into the mic at RCA Studio B
This is the birthplace of the iconic ‘Nashville Sound’, instantly recognizable by its backing vocals and strings.
Follow the superstars who walked the halls from Elvis to Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson to Chet Atkins, who took country music – and Nashville – to the top.
As you walk the recording studios you’ll be dying to belt out a number!
12 – Sample the whiskey at Jack Daniel’s Distillery
The Jack and Back bus picks you up with a cooler to bring your own drinks through the rolling countryside to Lynchburg and the distillery.
For 90 minutes, tour the world-famous distillery behind one of the world’s favorite whiskeys and yes – there are taste-tests of their premium drinks! For a special souvenir, grab an exclusive-to-Tennessee bottle.
13 – Go walking in Memphis on a day-trip
Your first stop is Graceland, home of Elvis Presley himself!
See his car museum and deluxe planes, before paying respects at his burial site.
Then ride into Memphis, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, and home of both Sun Studios and Beale Street — these iconic locales have seen Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis!
Of course, don’t forget the Memphis barbecue for lunch.
14 – Dine on the General Jackson Showboat
For an epic day out, board one of America’s largest paddle-wheel boats on the Cumberland River and look out over the serene riverside!
When it’s time to eat your lunch or dinner, take your seat at the Victorian Theater for a traditional, hearty Southern feast before a live show with comedy, a live orchestra, and choreographed dancers!
15 – Board a private pontoon boat cruise
Grab a boat and do your own thing on one of Nashville’s azure lakes.
The boat is all yours and equipped with speakers and coolers filled with ice so you can BYO drinks and snacks.
You also get to organize complimentary water-sports activities for your time on the lake; regardless of how you spend your day, make sure to stick around for the sunset!
16 – Find your next ride at Lane Motor Museum
With the largest collection of European cars and motorbikes in the nation, rev-heads are quick to add this to their list of things to do in Nashville!
The museum makes itself unique with quirky exhibits and off-beat cars including a propeller cars exhibit, and ‘hobby gone wild’ which has vehicles you’ve never seen before!
17 – Zipline the tree-tops at Fontanel
Why trek the plush forests when you can fly through them?
The nine ziplines at Fontanel range stretch up to 700 feet long and 85 feet high, spread across over 1.5 miles of glorious greenery.
Among the old forest stands Fontanel Mansion — a giant, quaint log-cabin-style mansion that completes the scenery.
18 – Kayak downtown Nashville
Floating or paddling downstream on the Cumberland River through downtown Nashville and ending up in the thick of Broadway is, without a doubt, a fabulously quirky way to see the city.
Great views of the famous Nashville skyline and Riverfront Park from the water await, so simply relax and take it all in!
19 – Haggle at the Nashville Flea Market
Between 800 and 1200 vendors from 30 states set up at the market every month to sell anything and everything you can imagine: antiques, dishware, clothes, jewelry, leather goods, and any other bits or bobs you could possibly want.
It’s best to get in early before some of the premium items are sold, and remember to bring cash and haggle!
20 – Toast champagne at sunrise in a hot-air balloon
With posh estates of country music superstars juxtaposing the Nashville Skyline and endless forests, the diverse landscape around Nashville is truly astounding.
Seeing it all from above in a calm sunrise is like something out of a postcard and well worth the early wake-up!
Best of all, you’ll be able to cap off your morning with a complimentary glass of champagne.
21 – Visit Madame Tussauds
The Music City’s gallery is all about — yep, you guessed it — the local music scene!
Swing by the wax museum’s soul lounge and jazz bar exhibits to get up close and personal to your favorite celebs; the lifelike wax sculptures are not camera-shy by any means, but they’re unlikely to sign any autographs.
22 – See Hendrix’s guitar at Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
You’ve heard the songs, so come see the instruments and the studios used to make them!
This museum honors all genres of music so there’s something for everyone: from instruments belonging to old legends like Elvis, Ringo Starr, and Jimi Hendrix; to more recent musicians like Garth Brooks, plus interactive exhibits for songwriting, recording, and DJing!
23 – Take a brewery and distillery tour (on a golf cart!)
The open-air golf cart in Nashville’s nighttime is already a wonderful way to tour the city — add to that pubs and breweries with craft drinks at each stop and you end up with a great night out!
Keep your eyes peeled in between stops for some of Nashville’s famous street art, including the WhatLiftsYou Wings mural.
24 – Put on your detective hat at the Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Whodunnit? By the end of your four-course dinner, you tell us!
Follow the clues and interrogate your fellow diners to find the imposters and undercover actors – but don’t be alarmed if you discover that you’re the prime suspect!
This dinner experience will give you a taste of detective work in a hilarious, interactive and quizzical fashion.
25 – Sample the wine at Belle Meade Mansion
This strikingly posh Greek Revival mansion is one of the largest and wealthiest in town!
With its elegant architecture and stunning gardens (which contain a game court, horse farm, and on-site winery offering samples to visitors), any tour of the mansion and its grounds is a delightful experience.
On such a huge plot of land, there are surprises around every corner.
26 – Try the Legendary Burger at Hard Rock Cafe Nashville
The famous Music City meets the famous music restaurant!
The contemporary All-American eatery offers great food and a gallery of music memorabilia belonging to more legends than you can count, plus a stage with live music!
No night at the Hard Rock is complete without trying the famous Legendary Burger with the perfect symphony of flavor.
27 – Go backstage at the Grand Ole Opry
Follow the footsteps of countless country music superstars who have performed on this legendary stage!
Get a glimpse at what really happens behind the curtain including the dressing rooms, green room, and all the backstage nooks and crannies – then take a deep breath before you walk through the artist’s entrance and step out on the world-famous arena!
28 – See the Greek Parthenon in Centennial Park
A full-scale replica of Athens’ ancient Parthenon (complete with a majestic 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena) stands in Nashville’s Centennial Park, a surefire way to transport you back to Greece!
But that’s not all: the Parthenon also hosts Nashville’s art museum, with plenty of temporary exhibits complimenting a permanent collection of 19th- and 20th-century American art.
29 – Meet the blue macaws at Nashville Zoo
With Andean bears, Sumatran tigers, Aussie kangaroos, and clouded leopards among the myriad of creatures on display, Nashville’s incredible zoo is full of activity!
While there are plenty of ways to explore, including the Soaring Eagle zipline and cart tours, visitors typically love the early morning visits with the Rise & Shine with Rhinos experience.
30 – Ride through Nashville with a local on a golf cart
Let your guide reveal the best things to do in Nashville from the comfort and open-air of a golf cart!
You’ll pass 35 sites on your tour with plenty of commentaries, but to get the most out of your day, make sure to ask your guide for the local secrets: where to eat, dance, and explore!
31 – Drink moonshine on a Tractor Party Wagon
Take the party to the roads of Nashville! A roofless party bus has great vantage points; plus a light-up dance floor and on-board bartender to serve your BYO drinks or some of the city’s best moonshine.
Before too long, you’ll stop at the Ole Smoky Distillery, where there are plenty more opportunities to wet your whistle.
32 – Kick it up a gear in a supercar driving experience
Start your engines!
After being coached by a pro, put the pedal to the floor for 3 or 4 heart-pounding laps of this deluxe high-speed racetrack in your choice of supercar, fitted with automatic transmission to make the drive easier.
Drivers typically love the Dodge Charger Hellcat — the fastest, most powerful mass-produced sedan on the planet!
33 – Take a seat on the Rollin’ Jamboree Comedy Country Sing-Along Bus Tour
An adults-only tour led by a side-splittingly funny tour guide, the bus’s stand-up routine will leave you in stitches — and in between, you’ll be caught in the contagious singalong!
Laughing and singing your way through the Music City is the most unique and memorable way to explore as you visit sites like Music Row and Antique Archaeology.
34 – Shop till you drop!
Shoppers love Nashville!
Fatherland District has a little of everything. The historic Arcade and chic Green Hills Mall are as easy on the eyes as the fashions for sale inside, and the 8th Avenue Antique Mall is your one-stop option for antiques.
If you need help getting around with all that shopping, hop on a golf cart to the next store!
35 – Tour the National Museum of African-American Music
Hear how the musical influence of the African-American community transformed the American soundscape in Nashville’s most modern musical museum!
The hands-on exhibit takes visitors through the genres of blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip-hop; recounting fascinating narratives along the way.
Check out the Sips and Stanzas events to rub shoulders with music professionals while emerging artists perform.
36 – Get a custom print at Hatch Show Print
Calling all designers and artists!
For almost 150 years, Hatch Show has been designing iconic posters, reproduced a million times over.
The satisfying tour of Hatch Show’s print workshop with old-timey presses and colorful posters is sure to leave you smiling, before you get behind the press yourself and make a souvenir poster in classic Hatch Show style!
37 – Head to the George Jones Museum
You don’t become the most successful country music artist ever without having a great story behind you.
Explore one of Nashville’s best museums, see his memorabilia up close, and live his powerful story — or better yet, come on a Friday afternoon to round off your visit with line dancing at the Boot Stompin’ Brunch!
38 – Go on a haunted ghost tour of Nashville
The mysterious tunnels beneath Nashville and heading to the Smoky Mountains have been releasing a deep psychic aura to the city since the 2010 floods.
With a paranormal expert guide by your side, brave visitors can learn the secret behind said aura, as well as the spirits inhabiting Broadway, and the bar where the ghost of Hank Williams, Sr. still drinks!
39 – Take a joyride on a monster truck
That’s right, sit shotgun and feel the power on a jacked-up 4×4 monster truck riding through Nashville!
Over the sound of the engine roaring, your driver and tour guide will fill you in on the sights, history, people, and culture of the great Music City.
Don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the monster truck before you go!
40 – Explore Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
The former home and current resting place of President Andrew Jackson is a 1,120-acre landmark with 30 historic buildings and seas of colorful flowers inhabiting the gardens.
While the premises are visually stunning, they carry a dark history of slavery and fire.
Make sure you see ‘The Duel: The Art of the Southern Gentleman’ for the full experience.
41 – Walk the Line at the Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe
The original Man in Black left his mark on Nashville and the world.
This museum is teeming with interactive exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia of Cash; whose music contains themes of dejection, redemption, and heartache.
If you’re (literally) hungry for more, grab some food at the Cafe along with a Man in Black coffee!
42 – Admire flowers at Cheekwood
The 55-acre Cheekwood estate has a Botanical Garden with eleven plush gardens displaying various brightly-colored flora and fauna.
It includes a Museum of Art with painting and sculpture exhibits; a Christmas wonderland for December visitors; and the ever-popular TRAINS! exhibit with delicate model trains running through a playhouse based on ‘The Little Engine That Could’.
43 – See the gardens and sculptures at Belmont Mansion
Tennessee’s biggest house museum is also one of the few whose history follows a woman’s story: Adelicia Acklen.
The gorgeous Italian-esque villa in its heyday boasted expansive gardens, a fine art gallery, a bowling alley, and a zoo!
Today, the house hosts functions and events, but visitors love to come and check out the plethora of sculptures and gardens.
44 – See Nashville from above on a helicopter tour
With the option of day or sunset flights, this is a phenomenal way to see the Music City.
Your friendly pilot will point out things to do in Nashville as you get a birds-eye view of them, even flying lower than the tops of the buildings for some of the most amazing vantage points Nashville has to offer.
45 – Watch the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena
Bridgestone Arena is home to ‘the Preds’, one of the National Hockey League’s newer arrivals.
Locals flock to the rink – which also periodically hosts concerts and comedy tours – to cheer and jeer the teams on the ice!
We promise you’ll never hear a sound like the roar of the Nashville crowd when the Preds take to the ice!
46 – Admire Picasso pieces at the Frist Art Museum
This monolithic museum on the site of Nashville’s grand ole 1930s post office is an artistic masterpiece in and of itself, but on the inside, you’ll find even more!
The museum has no permanent collection, instead, it prides itself on securing the best of traveling exhibitions from around the world and bringing them to Nashville!
47 – Follow the Duke Boys at Cooter’s Nashville
Crazzzzzy Cooter coming at ya!
Come one, come all fans of The Dukes of Hazzard to Nashville’s only Dukes of Hazzard museum and shop run by Ben Jones, who played ol’ Cooter Davenport in the iconic series!
Fans of the show will love seeing Cooter’s tow truck, Daisy’s jeep, and a 1969 Dodge Charger among tons of memorabilia and props. Take a picture with the Dodge Charger!
48 – See the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium
This colossal 70,000-seat stadium is home to the mighty Tennessee Titans NFL side and young Nashville SC MLS side.
Of the two, the atmospheric stadium is more likely to fill up for the NFL match.
Travelers in June should catch the beloved annual CMA festival, where the Music City hosts one of the nation’s premier music extravaganzas!
49 – Sip whiskey and catch a comedy show at Marathon Village
The old 1910s brick-and-mortar car-manufacturing buildings now hold a collection of ambient wineries, distilleries, a live music venue, and a comedy club!
Third Coast Comedy Club has weekly improv shows and a training center; Marathon Music hosts every genre of live music; Nelson’s distill award-winning bourbons, and Grinder’s Switch Winery has great wines to match!
50 – Go to the Moon and learn beekeeping at Adventure Science Center
With over 175 interactive activities and a breathtaking full-dome planetarium show for visitors of all ages, this is the ideal place for youngsters to discover their inner scientists and inventors.
Learn about the wonders of flight before making a popsicle stick biplane; feel what it’s like to walk on the moon; play with magnets, and use a 3D printer!
51 – See the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at Schermerhorn Symphony Center
It’s a no-brainer for music lovers, but even if you’re not into classical music, the symphony center is glorious.
Beyond the building’s beautiful facade, the interior is intricately designed with symbolic imagery: spot Tennessee’s State flower – the iris – along with horseshoes and coffee beans; and listen to the stories behind these and their relation to the conception of the center.
52 – Go flyboarding over Percy Priest Lake
Flyboarding as a trend is really taking off… and so will you!
You start by standing on your board and riding behind the boat before the downward-facing jets launch you into the air.
It’s the love-child of a hoverboard and a jetpack that lets you soar over the lake in a truly once-in-a-lifetime, exhilarating experience.
53 – Buy, buy, buy at Nashville Farmers’ Market
Get your wallet ready!
At the Farm Sheds, over 150 farmers sell the best fresh food including bread, fruit, and cheese; meanwhile at the Gardens of Babylon you’ll find an 18,000 square-foot nursery with plenty of plants and friendly staff offering tips!
Keep in mind, on the third Friday of every month, the Night Market adds live music and craft beer to the menu!
54 – Hear Nashville’s story at the Historic Travellers Rest
The city’s oldest historic house museum is a monument to the rich and often enigmatic history of Nashville.
See the city before European settlement, then see it turned upside-down (twice) during the brutal American Revolution and Civil War; see its industrial boom’ and its rapid urbanization and development into the incredible city we have today!
55 – Pedal as you party on the Sprocket Rocket
Socialites, this one is for you!
How many chances do you get to party on a 15-seater bike with a DJ, bartender, sound system, and party lights to boot?
If the answer is none, hop on the Sprocket Rocket for the best Nashville party on wheels!
56 – Watch (or drive a) NASCAR at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville
After too long an absence, the world-famous, prestigious tournament returns to Nashville!
Grab a ticket and watch the spectacle of 160mph cars burning rubber along the track and racing for the ultimate glory.
If you want to get in on the action, book a lesson with a pro and grip that wheel tight as you race around the track yourself!
57 – Practice your swing at Topgolf
In the comfort of your climate-controlled bay, socialize and chill out with family or friends while indulging in some of Nashville’s most delicious food and drink.
In between, if you feel like it, pick up a club and give Topgolf a go!
If you’re looking for things to do in Nashville that combine physical activity with great food and drinks, look no further.
58 – Eat a world-famous biscuit at Loveless Cafe
Despite the name, you’ll fall in love with the biscuits — served as a side to every meal, all day long!
The Southern cuisine cafe is popular with locals and travelers alike because it offers great, home-cooked-style meals in generous portions with hearty all-day breakfast available.
Make sure to also try the country ham and red-eye gravy!
59 – Explore Radnor Lake State Park
This 1,300-acre natural wonder is beautiful and absolutely brimming with life!
There are plenty of hiking trails, along with the Otter Creek Road trail which is pet and bicycle-friendly.
As you go through the park, look out for the owls, herons, waterfowl, mink, and otters; alternatively, head to the park at night for an astronomy night hike and some sublime stargazing.
60 – Travel the Tennessee Time Tunnel at Tennessee State Museum
Visit the Tennessee State Museum and see Tennessee’s rich history come to life before your eyes.
The tunnel is an interactive timeline that succinctly captures its history.
However, for a different historical lens, check out the ‘Tennessee Transforms’ exhibit: through photography, fashion, technology and music, it covers how the state has changed drastically since World War II.
61 – Try the homemade fried pickles on a Nashville pub crawl
Ready for an unforgettable bar crawl?
Start at Alley Taps, in a building that dates back to 1895 in the historic Printers Alley.
Next, head up Broadway for the best honky-tonks!
Thereafter, make a beeline for Tootsies Orchid — a bar frequented by celebs like Chris Pratt and Pink — and Wildhorse Saloon, where local craft drinks are paired with signature fried pickles.
62 – Relax at Gaylord Opryland Resort
Sporting 9 acres of indoor gardens, gushing waterfalls, and an indoor river, this unparalleled luxury hotel is a great spot to put your feet up!
For a relaxing day, jump on a boat and kick back at the Soundwaves water attraction; for something a little more food-oriented, there are a cluster of Mexican, Italian, and Japanese restaurants available to choose from!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about all of the fun and exciting things to do in Nashville, Tennessee!
If you have anything to add to the list, feel free to let us know in the comments. Happy travels!
Where to go next? Once you’ve smashed through the Nashville bucket list, make sure to check the list of fun activities in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Memphis next door.