Travels

Best Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

February 8, 2017
Nashville Tennessee Skyline Fearless Captivations

Last month I was excited to go back to Nashville, Tennessee to visit one of my best friends and explore the city. While Nashville has some great restaurants, the city also has plenty of fun things to see and do. The “Music City” is known for its songwriting and country music, so you have options to hear live music, see historic music venues, and learn about music history.

Parnassus Books

This is an independent bookstore co-owned by best-selling author Ann Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes. They opened this shop in 2011 when all the independent bookstores disappeared. I liked that they had Nashville author and history sections.
Parnassus Books Nashville Tennessee

Classic Music Venues

Musicians flock to Nashville to secure contracts, find inspiration, and share their talent.
  • Bluebird Café: This iconic spot is known for giving up-and-coming artists the stage.
  • Station Inn: Known as THE venue for bluegrass music.
  • Grand Ole Opry House: Grand Ole Opry started as a radio show and moved to this venue from the Ryman Auditorium when they wanted a bigger space. Music’s big names grace the stage here. You can take a tour of the venue and/or buy tickets for a show.
  • Ryman Auditorium: This historic venue is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and where many music legends have performed. You can tour the venue and see a show here. For all you lovebirds, this is where Johnny met June.

12South Neighborhood

This neighborhood is a great option for walking around to shops and restaurants.
  • Craft South: Love yarn crafts? This colorful shop will be heaven for you!
  • White’s Mercantile: A great little shop for home goods, from Nashville poster prints and kitchen goods to candles and blankets.
Craft South

Craft South

White's Mercantile

White’s Mercantile

Street Art

From music to paintings, Nashville is an artistic city. You’ll spot some photo-worthy street art around town. You’ll find many in 12 South, including a blue and white striped wall at Draper James.
I Believe in Nashville Mural Street ArtMake Music Not War Mural Nashville

Dancing Bears Mural Nashville East Nashville

Museums

Nashville’s well-known museums are focused on art. Learn about the history of country music or see traveling exhibits.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: If you love country music, this museum is where you should go. It collects and preserves country music history.
  • Hatch Show Print: Legendary print shop connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Historic RCA Studio B: This recording studio has been the place for many music greats, including Elvis. It is also connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • The Frist Center for the Visual Arts: This small art museum hosts non-permanent exhibits. When I visited we saw an exhibit about Samurais (historic artifacts), a very cool video exhibit by Ragnar Kjartansson called “The Visitors,” and art by Harmony Korine.

Frist Center Art Museum Nashville

Historic Sites

  • Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art: This place was originally a home in 1929 and is now a 55-acre botanical garden and museum.
  • Parthenon at Centennial Park: A full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens? Yes. And don’t forget the 42-foot replica of Athena. It was built for the 1897 Centennial Exposition. If the Parthenon isn’t quite your thing, Centennial Park is a great place for a walk!
  • Belle Meade Plantation: This plantation holds 34 acres (once 5,400 acres!) and its mansion and original homestead. Visit if you want to learn about Tennessee history and architecture
  • The Hermitage: Andrew Jackson’s home is now a historical plantation and museum
  • Tennessee State Capitol: High on a hill, you’ll find the State Capitol building.

Fatherland District

Another area for shops and restaurants is the Fatherland District. I found some of my favorite gift shops here.
  • Her Bookshop: I loved this book shop because the books here are finely curated.
  • Project 615: This local t-shirt shop had some cool and fun designs on the softest shirts.
  • Gift Horse: This gift shop features lots of printed art (posters and cards), comic books, and gifts.
Her book shop

Her Bookshop

Gift Horse

Gift Horse

Craft Breweries

It’s no secret one of my favorite activities is visiting craft breweries, and Nashville has plenty for your to-do list.

Yazoo Brewing Nashville Craft Beer

Jackalope Brewing Nashville Craft Beer Taproom

Sports

For all the sports fans, Nashville has two strong options.
This list should keep you busy in Nashville for a couple of days! Have recommendations? Add it in the comments below!

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  • I love these types of posts to save for when I visit a city…now I just need to plan a trip to Nashville 😉 I’d be alllll over those craft breweries!!

    • Absolutely visit Nashville! There are many and we ran out of time and stomach space for all the craft beers!