Going to Nashville Soon? Don’t Forget These 5 Experiences

Welcome to Nashville, the Music City! If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, look no further. In this enchanting city of live music and southern hospitality, countless experiences are waiting to be discovered. From honky-tonk bars to historic landmarks, Nashville has something for everyone.

Exploring the Vibrant Music Scene

Nashville is known as the Music City for a reason – it’s a haven for music lovers of all genres. Whether you’re a fan of country, rock, blues, or jazz, you’ll find live performances that will leave you wanting more.

One of the must-visit places for music enthusiasts is The Gulch. This trendy neighborhood is home to numerous galleries, boutiques, and live music venues. Grab a drink at one of the rooftop bars and enjoy the cityscape while listening to talented local musicians.

If you’re a fan of country music, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry is a must. This iconic venue has been showcasing the biggest names in country music for decades. From Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash, you never know who you might see on stage. The Opry offers backstage tours that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the venue’s rich history. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand on the famous circle of wood that was transplanted from the original Ryman Auditorium.

For a more intimate music experience, head to the historic Bluebird Cafe. This small venue has gained worldwide recognition for its intimate performances by both established artists and up-and-coming songwriters. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the Bluebird Cafe is known to sell out quickly.

Discovering Nashville’s Rich History and Culture

Nashville is steeped in history and culture, with countless landmarks and museums to explore. One of the most iconic and historically significant places in the city is the Ryman Auditorium, also known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Built in 1892, the Ryman has hosted legendary musicians such as Hank Williams and Elvis Presley. Take a guided tour to learn about the venue’s fascinating history and enjoy the stunning acoustics of the auditorium.

Another must-see attraction for history buffs is the Belle Meade Plantation. This historic site offers a glimpse into the city’s plantation era and provides a comprehensive look at the antebellum South. Take a guided tour of the Greek Revival mansion and explore the beautifully preserved grounds. Don’t miss the chance to sample some of Tennessee’s finest wines at the on-site winery.

To delve deeper into Nashville’s history, visit the Tennessee State Museum. This free museum showcases the state’s rich cultural heritage through exhibits on Native American history, the Civil War, and more. Learn about the state’s role in the women’s suffrage movement and explore the diverse contributions of Tennesseans to art, music, and literature.

Indulging in Southern Cuisine and Culinary Experiences

No visit to Nashville is complete without trying out Nashville food tours, which include the city’s famous hot chicken. This fiery and flavorful dish is a local specialty that will leave your taste buds tingling. Head to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, where the dish originated, and prepare for a spicy culinary adventure. Choose your preferred level of heat and savor the crispy chicken served with pickles and white bread.

In addition to hot chicken, Nashville has a thriving food scene that offers something for every palate. For a taste of Southern comfort food, visit Arnold’s Country Kitchen. This local institution has been serving up delicious meat and three dishes for over 30 years. Choose your meat and three sides from a daily menu that includes classics like fried catfish, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.

For a more upscale dining experience, book a table at Husk. This acclaimed restaurant showcases the best of Southern cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients to create innovative and delicious dishes. From fried green tomatoes to braised pork belly, every bite is a celebration of Southern flavors.

Outdoor Adventures and Natural Beauty in and around Nashville

While Nashville is known for its vibrant music scene, the city is also surrounded by natural beauty and offers numerous outdoor activities for adventure seekers.

For a day of hiking and biking, head to Percy Warner Park. This expansive park is located just outside the city and offers miles of trails for all skill levels. Take a stroll along the Harpeth River or challenge yourself with a hike up the park’s highest hill, known as the Warner Woods Trail. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline from the park’s overlooks.

If you’re a fan of water activities, make a trip to the nearby Center Hill Lake. This picturesque reservoir is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the peaceful coves and hidden beaches. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at wakeboarding or jet skiing.

For a more relaxing outdoor experience, visit the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. This 55-acre botanical garden is a feast for the senses, with stunning displays of flowers, sculptures, and art installations. Take a stroll through the Japanese Garden or explore the woodland sculpture trail. Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic Cheekwood Mansion, which offers a glimpse into the city’s past.

Unique Shopping and Entertainment Experiences in Nashville

In addition to its rich music scene and outdoor activities, Nashville offers unique shopping and entertainment experiences that are sure to delight visitors.

One of the must-visit areas for shopping enthusiasts is 12South. This trendy neighborhood is home to a variety of boutiques, galleries, and specialty stores. Browse through the racks at Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s acclaimed boutique, or discover unique home decor at White’s Mercantile. Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic “I Believe in Nashville” mural.

For a taste of Nashville’s creative side, visit the Frist Art Museum. Housed in a former post office, this art museum showcases a diverse range of exhibitions, from classical to contemporary art. Explore the interactive exhibits and attend one of the museum’s many educational programs and events.

If you’re in the mood for some live entertainment, head to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. This state-of-the-art venue hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and ballets. Check the schedule and book your tickets in advance to secure a seat for a memorable night of entertainment.

Top Attractions and Landmarks to Visit in Nashville

In addition to the experiences mentioned above, Nashville is home to several top attractions and landmarks that should not be missed.

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city is the Parthenon. Located in Centennial Park, this full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens is a sight to behold. Marvel at the majestic columns and explore the art gallery housed within the building. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the park and enjoy the serene surroundings.

For a taste of Nashville’s sports culture, visit the Nissan Stadium. Home to the Tennessee Titans, this state-of-the-art stadium offers guided tours that take you behind the scenes of an NFL game day. Walk in the footsteps of the players as you visit the locker rooms, press box, and field.

If you’re interested in American history, a visit to the Hermitage is a must. This historic plantation was the home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. Take a guided tour of the mansion and explore the beautifully preserved grounds. Learn about Jackson’s life and his impact on American politics and society.

Planning Your Visit to Nashville – Accommodations, Transportation, and Logistics

When planning your visit to Nashville, it’s important to consider accommodations, transportation, and logistics to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Nashville offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, you’ll find a place to rest and recharge after a day of exploring. Consider staying downtown if you want to be close to the city’s main attractions, or opt for a more relaxed vibe in neighborhoods like East Nashville or Germantown.

Getting around Nashville is relatively easy thanks to the city’s extensive public transportation system. The Metropolitan Transit Authority operates buses and the Music City Star commuter train, providing convenient options for getting around the city. If you prefer to drive, there are plenty of rental car services available. Just be aware that traffic can be heavy during peak hours, so plan your routes accordingly.

Insider Tips for Making the Most of Your Nashville Adventure

To make the most of your Nashville adventure, here are a few insider tips to keep in mind:

  • Timing is everything: Nashville can get crowded, especially during peak travel seasons and major events. Consider visiting during the off-peak months to enjoy smaller crowds and better deals on accommodations.
  • Don’t forget your dancing shoes: Nashville is known for its lively nightlife and honky-tonk bars. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes and get ready to two-step the night away.
  • Embrace the local culture: Nashville is known for its friendly locals and Southern hospitality. Take the time to strike up conversations with the locals and learn more about the city’s culture and history.
  • Plan for popular attractions: Some of Nashville’s top attractions, such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Cafe, can sell out quickly. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure a spot.
  • Explore beyond downtown: While downtown Nashville offers a lot to see and do, don’t be afraid to venture out and explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Each district has its unique charm and attractions.


Nashville truly offers a unique blend of music, culture, and Southern charm that will leave you with unforgettable memories. From the vibrant music scene to the rich history and delicious cuisine, this city has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a fan of country music, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie looking to indulge in Southern delicacies, Nashville has it all. Take the time to explore the city’s top attractions, enjoy live performances, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

So pack your bags, put on your cowboy boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Nashville, the Music City!

Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.