From music, history, and sights to parties and family-friendly activities, Nashville has it all. Why miss out on any of the fun?
When you go on a Nashville vacation, you may face the challenge of choosing which activity to do first. After all, there’s plenty of adventure to be had in this city. Many tourists even lose track of everything the city has to offer.
Take your time to explore more than the history of the honky-tonk and you’ll be amazed by what you can find.
#1 – Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Most tourists come to the city to check out the one facility dedicated to all things country music and rock & roll. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is massive and can take up to half a day to explore in its entirety.
It’s collection of artifacts and memorabilia is like no other. You’ll even find Elvis’s famous gold Cadillac limousine here. There’s also a two-story wall featuring every gold and platinum record ever produced in the country genre.
#2 – Head Over to Studio B
Near the CM Hall of Fame and Museum, you have Studio B in the Music Row district. If you’re a music lover, know that touring the studio is one of the most popular activities in Nashville.
People know it as one of the most influential studios in the world. Throughout its existence, the studio produced over 35,000 tunes. Legendary artists like Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, and many more recorded albums in this iconic location.
While parts of the studio are now functioning student facilities, daily tours are still available.
#3 – Get a Taste of Greece
Can’t afford to vacation in Europe? You might find a version of it closer to home than you think.
Some people call Nashville the city of many nicknames, one of which is “The Athens of the South”. That moniker mainly has to do with its educational institutions. But many may link it to one of the most popular activities in Nashville: visiting the Parthenon.
Yes, you read that right.
Built for the 1897 Centennial Expo, the Nashville Parthenon is a fabulous replica of the Greek structure. It’s a top attraction with perfectly kept grounds, superb artwork, and reproductions of the original statues.
#4 – Tour a Different Type of Presidential Home
You probably didn’t know this, but Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is one of the most visited Presidential residences in the country. It’s located 10 miles away from downtown Nashville.
Here, you can go on a self-guided tour or book a tour with a guide to learn more about the seventh US President.
The preservation work is outstanding and primarily responsible for making this a tourist hotspot. You’ll have access to over 30 restored buildings, which include a number of slave cabins. Everything onsite tells Andrew Jackson’s story from early childhood to his death.
#5 – Catch an Authentic Nashville Sound Performance
The Tootsie Orchid Lounge is easily among the most famous venues in Nashville. And if you want to catch some Nashville concerts, know that this is the place to be. It often hosts up-and-coming artists and gives off a cramped but very friendly atmosphere.
The bar is also a stop on a couple of Nashville city tours, so you know it puts on quality shows. Every now and then, you’ll even see world-renowned artists grace the stage and entertain massive crowds.
#6 – Escape the Hustle and Bustle
There are plenty of things to do in Nashville for people who want a few hours of relaxation.
To start with, take a stroll through the 1,368-acre Radnor Lake State Park and see the local wildlife, gorgeous waters, and lush vegetation. Feel free to marvel at the fantastic lake views or start hiking the numerous available trails.
If you’re traveling with kids, you can also stop at the park’s education center, which offers a variety of interactive displays and programs.
#7 – Visit the Adventure Science Center
Most people wouldn’t think of Nashville as more than a party town with a history of wealthy aristocrats. But a visit to the Adventure Science Center might just change your mind.
Seeing firsthand what it takes to become an astronaut may be one of the most popular activities in Nashville. And it’s one of the most unexpected, too.
The facility has numerous interactive displays and exhibits. You can also sit in a flight simulator and pretend to be an astronaut, as well as learn so much about various branches of science.
Going earlier in the day may help you avoid school groups and bigger crowds.
#8 – Tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Jack Daniel’s is perhaps the most famous whiskey in the world, with some arguing it’s the best, too. Whichever the case may be, touring the distillery is among the most popular activities in Nashville.
The tour will tell you all about Jack’s life. You’ll also get to sample some of the goods, see the distillation process, and visit the company founder’s burial site. You can’t miss this if you’re a fan of either the brand or fine whiskey in general.
#9 – Check Out One of the Best Zoos in the Country
The Nashville Zoo is something else. Imagine being able to see everything from local wildlife to fish and from birds to Komodo dragons.
You’ll even find a few interactive programs. Want to pet a kangaroo without going to Australia? Are you curious to see red pandas or a giraffe outside a safari?
Over 375 animal species call the Nashville Zoo their home, many of them the exotic variety. Going here is like visiting multiple zoos across different continents at once. No wonder a trip there is among the most fun things to do in Nashville.
#10 – The Grand Ole Opry
It’s THE SHOW in Nashville. While the Grand Ole Opry changed its venue many times over the years, the show that started broadcasting in the 20s lives on.
Decades ago, it helped elevate Nashville to its Country Music Capital of the World status. These days, the Grand Ole Opry still attracts world-class talent, the likes of Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, and other top-tier country musicians.
If you can’t catch a show, you can still take a regular or a VIP tour to hear fascinating stories and see amazing photos from the Opry’s rich history.
There’s Enough to Keep You Busy for Weeks
Even hopping on a complete Nashville city tour might not satisfy the curious tourists. The city’s rich history, sights, and attractions make it ideal for an extended vacation destination.