Best Places to Visit in Nashville: Nestled along the Cumberland River, Nashville is a vibrant city that boasts abundant natural beauty and a rich musical heritage. From its greenway trails to sprawling parks and serene lakes, the city’s various natural attractions draw nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
It is also known as the capital of country music and is home to many attractions such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, Music Row, and the Music City Walk of Fame where visitors can take a music-themed walk.
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You’ll also find many reputed universities and colleges, and a replica of the Parthenon, owing to which the city is also called the “Athens of the South”.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy its vibrant music and entertainment scene, seeking a cultural escapade, or wish to indulge in some tranquil moments amidst nature, the capital of Tennessee won’t disappoint.
Wondering where to begin?
We’ve got you covered with our list of the best places to visit in Nashville: –
The Grand Ole Opry #1
The Grand Ole Opry radio show played a vital role in establishing the city’s reputation as a hub of country music. First broadcast in 1925, it’s the country’s longest-running radio show.
The venue for the show has changed numerous times in the past but it has continued to host impressive performers of country, gospel, bluegrass, old-time music, as well as popular music and comedy.
A tour of the 4,000-seat Grand Ole Opry House is a must-have on your Nashville vacation itinerary.
A tour will offer you a behind-the-scenes look. You can opt for a daytime backstage tour or a post-show tour and immerse yourself in the history of this iconic show.
Feel like enjoying a performance?
Book your tickets in advance to ensure your seat.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum #2
If you’re a history buff or a music lover, this place is sure to delight you. Located downtown, the museum houses a multimedia display of historical performances, various instruments, gold records, and memorabilia.
From Johnny Cash’s guitar to Elvis Presley’s Cadillac limo and a recording booth, there are many notable highlights here to keep you entertained.
The building itself is impressive with windows resembling piano keys.
You can also enjoy fun experiences such as recording your own country song and listening to the audio backup of celebrities such as Dolly Parton.
Got some more time on your hands?
Explore the nearby Historic RCA Studio B, one of the most famous recording studios in the country.
Belle Meade Historic Site #3
Travel back in time as you take a tour of the Belle Meade Mansion. Built in the mid-19th century, it features Greek-Revival style architecture. There are remains of the antebellum plantation around it.
The mansion was one of the sites where Union and Confederate forces fought during the Civil War Battle of Nashville in 1864. The mansion’s stone columns still show evidence of gunfire.
You can take a guided tour and find out more about the site’s history including the plight of the slaves who worked here.
From exploring gardens, stables, and grounds to savouring delicacies at the on-site Belle Meade Meat & Three restaurant, there is plenty to keep you engaged.
Got a sweet tooth?
Get some ice cream at the Coop N’ Scoop, located in a 160-year-old chicken coop.
Make a splash at this indoor/outdoor waterpark. Located at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, it houses huge slides, a wave pool with music, a large movie theatre, cabanas, a surfing simulator, and a lazy river to name a few.
It also has two adults-only pools and bars and a surfing stimulator among other notable highlights.
Want to spend the night?
You can book a room at the resort and make a staycation out of it. There are many deals and offers that the resort offers.
The Nashville Zoo #5
Meet beautiful animals and birds at this impressive zoo. Home to more than 3,000 animals from 350 species, the zoo offers an opportunity to learn more about the rich wildlife of various regions.
From the rainforests of South America, and the plains of Africa, to the wildlife of Asia, you can explore it all here.
You’ll find clouded leopards, Sumatran tigers, red pandas, Baird’s tapirs, and many more animals.
The zoo also offers numerous engaging experiences. From petting kangaroos to feeding Australian parrots and brushing goats, there is a variety of special experiences to indulge in.
There’s also a zip line, a 4D theatre, a historic home and garden, and an animal-themed carousel here.
You can also go on a ride on the Wilderness Express train. Kids will especially love to climb, swing and slide at the Jungle Gym.
Ryman Auditorium #6
Ryman Auditorium is famous for being home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. The venue still hosts performances that range from classical, and bluegrass music, TV shows, musical theatre, and contemporary acts.
Get a behind-the-scenes experience of the venue through a guided tour.
You can also try to create your own record at the studio, and learn about the rich musical heritage of the venue through its various exhibits.
The auditorium also offers a multidimensional experience of learning about its music history at the “Soul of Nashville” screening.
It portrays archival images and footage of notable performances that have been held here. With so much to offer, it’s one of the best places to visit in Nashville.
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens #7
From art enthusiasts to nature lovers, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens draws many visitors to explore its beautiful environs.
Sprawled over 55 acres, this Botanical Garden is home to several distinct gardens including a rose garden, a garden of boxwoods, a dogwood garden, a Japanese garden, and a herb garden.
There’s also a garden that aims to inspire writing and features an amphitheatre for literary events. You’ll even find several small trains in the Turner Seasons Garden.
After rejuvenating your senses in these stunning gardens, head to the art museum on-site.
It is inside the Cheekwood mansion and features various exhibits including 19th and 20th-century American paintings, antique furniture, photographs, prints, sculpture, and artefacts from across the globe.
There are numerous walking trails for exploring the area.
Relish your favourite drink as you enjoy live performances at one of the many Broadway bars.
Located at the heart of downtown, bar hopping on Broadway is one of the best ways to enjoy the city’s live music scene.
As you stroll along Lower Broadway, you’ll find many spots that host live acts throughout the week.
This has earned it the nickname, “Honky Tonk Highway”. With no cover charge, you can explore as many bars as you wish.
Nashville Parthenon #9
Looking for a free activity to enjoy in the city?
Explore the Nashville Parthenon, an iconic landmark in the city that is a replica of the Parthenon in Athens.
It’s located in Centennial Park and houses an impressive art collection featuring works by 19th and 20th-century American painters. One of the most notable highlights is the statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos covered in gold leaf. It is around 42 feet high.
While the original Parthenon replica was made in 1897 using wood, brick, and plaster, this current replica is made using concrete.
National Museum of African American Music #10
Learn about the evolution of African American Music at this museum.
Established in 2021, the museum aims to spread awareness of the powerful influence of African American people on popular music across different genres.
There are different galleries, each of which portrays how African American music changed in different time periods.
You can learn about the music traditions of New Orleans and the emergence of Jazz music at “A Love Supreme” gallery, find out more about the call-and-response spirituals of the 1600s in the “Wade in the Water” gallery, and enhance your knowledge on the emergence of blues music at the “Crossroads” gallery.
There are several other galleries too. You’ll also find interactive elements and intriguing exhibits such as costumes and sheet music here.
Tennessee State Museum #11
Immerse yourself in the rich past of Tennessee at this museum. Sprawled over 137,000 square feet, this museum is located next to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
It features a variety of collections ranging from original items to multimedia displays.
From appreciating the various artworks and paintings here to witnessing period weapons from the time of the Civil War, there is plenty to keep you engaged here.
No wonder its collections are seen as the “Smithsonian of Tennessee”. The museum also houses an education and learning center and a theatre.
Seeking a souvenir?
Get something from the on-site gift shop.
RCA Studio B #12
From Elvis Presley to Chet Atkins, RCA Studio B has hosted many legendary artists.
Established in 1957, the studio gained popularity for playing a significant role in creating the city’s reputation as an international recording center.
It promoted the “Nashville sound”, and is the home of 1,000 hits.
You can explore the studio yourself or go for a guided tour to learn about the history of the place. It’s currently a teaching facility and the most well-protected landmark in Music Row.
So, start with exploring the places that attract you the most and bring back beautiful memories from your Nashville vacation.
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Q. What 3 things is Nashville known for?
Nashville is popular for its excellent food, rich music scene, and down-home hospitality.
Q. What is the most popular part of Nashville?
The most popular areas of Nashville include Downtown, 12 South, and the Gulch which offer plenty of dining, entertainment, and partying opportunities.
Q. What is the main tourist street in Nashville?
Broadway is the main tourist street in Nashville. It goes through the core of downtown, running from the southwest to the northeast.