Spend a Weekend in Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee, often celebrated as the epicenter of country music, is a city that resonates with vibrant rhythms and rich artistic culture. But music isn’t the only string to its bow. Filled to the brim with an array of activities and attractions, it has much to offer beyond its famous music scene.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a culture vulture, Nashville will not disappoint. Embrace the city’s scenic beauty with a stroll around Centennial Park or get your adrenaline rushing with a kayak tour on the Cumberland River. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love exploring the historic Belle Meade Plantation and the Tennessee State Museum.
For food connoisseurs, Nashville offers a culinary journey like no other. Indulge in down-home southern barbecue, hot chicken, or meat-and-three at one of the city’s many excellent dining establishments. And let’s not forget Nashville’s pulsating nightlife. The city’s numerous bars and clubs, particularly along Broadway, are full of life with live music, dancing, and plenty of camaraderie.
Art enthusiasts will revel in the city’s thriving arts scene, with the Frist Art Museum and the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens being must-visits. Finally, get a taste of Nashville’s unique rhythm with a tour of the iconic Ryman Auditorium or the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
So, buckle up and get ready to explore the wonderful city of Nashville. This guide, featuring our top 8 fun things to do, will help you make the most of your weekend visit. Enjoy the city’s rhythm, its food, its history, and its people. There’s truly something for everyone in Nashville.
Visit Grand Ole Opry
In the heart of downtown Nashville, Tennessee lies a beacon of country music history and heritage – the Grand Ole Opry. This legendary venue, renowned for its weekly country music stage concert, has been a pivotal platform for the biggest stars in the genre, and continues to introduce new talent to audiences worldwide.
The Grand Ole Opry has held a significant position in the American music industry since its inception in 1925, fostering the careers of countless country music legends. From country superstars like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline to modern-day chart toppers, the Opry stage has seen it all.
Offering performances from both well-established and emerging artists, the Opry provides audiences with a unique musical experience that transcends generations. The variety and dynamism of the acts ensure that there’s something for everyone, from the most dedicated country music fan to the casual listener.
The Grand Ole Opry continues to hold regular concerts, maintaining its status as a must-visit destination for fans and musicians alike. The venue’s commitment to showcasing talent is unwavering, making every show a momentous event. Be sure to visit their website for detailed information on upcoming performances, ticket availability and more. Don’t miss the chance to witness a piece of music history at the Grand Ole Opry!
Explore The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
As you delve further into the heart of Nashville, another unmissable sight is the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. This impressive structure stands as an architectural marvel, spanning the Cumberland River and connecting the bustling downtown area with the vibrant neighborhood of East Nashville.
Constructed in 1909 and originally used for vehicular traffic, the bridge was later renovated and repurposed for pedestrians. Its historic charm and the panoramic view it offers of Nashville’s skyline make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The view from the bridge, particularly at sunset, is nothing short of breathtaking. You can see the city lights flickering into life, painting a mesmerizing portrait of the lively music city.
The pedestrian-friendly nature of the bridge provides a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to comfortably share, and its sturdy truss design offers ample photo opportunities. For fitness enthusiasts, the bridge is a popular spot for morning jogs or evening walks, with the added benefit of a scenic backdrop.
To make your experience even more enjoyable, pack a picnic lunch before heading to the bridge. There are several green spaces at either end where you can sit, relax, and enjoy your meal while soaking in the views. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the picturesque scenes, and take your time exploring this beautiful walking path. It’s more than a bridge; it’s a gateway to Nashville’s rich history and a testament to its progress, offering visitors an unforgettable slice of this vibrant city.
Visit Centennial Park
Centennial Park, a sprawling urban green space situated in the vicinity of the Vanderbilt University campus, offers a refreshing respite from the city’s bustling pace. Spread over an impressive 132 acres, the park is a haven for nature lovers, fitness buffs, and art enthusiasts.
One of Centennial Park’s indisputable highlights is its full-sized replica of the Parthenon. Constructed in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, this replica of the ancient Greek temple is starkly reminiscent of Nashville’s apt nickname, the “Athens of the South.” Housing a museum and an art gallery, the Nashville Parthenon pays homage to classical architecture and the city’s cultural roots.
The park also features an array of lush gardens, each boasting a diverse selection of flora. The meticulously manicured landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a morning jog, and the captivating scenery is sure to leave you awestruck. Nature trails wind their way through the park, inviting visitors to explore the verdant surroundings and immerse themselves in the tranquility the park offers.
For photography and street art enthusiasts, Centennial Park offers plenty of inspiration. Unique art installations are scattered throughout the park, each piece telling a different story and adding a touch of artistic flair to the natural setting. These installations range from abstract sculptures to intricate murals, all of which make for excellent photography subjects.
Moreover, the park is equipped with picnic areas, a lake, and a dog park, further enhancing its recreational appeal. Whether you’re planning a family picnic, a scenic boat ride, or a fun day out with your furry friend, Centennial Park has something for everyone. Its combination of natural beauty, historical significance, and artistic expression make it a must-visit attraction in Nashville. Don’t forget to add it to your itinerary!
Take A Tour Of Ryman Auditorium
Nestled in the heart of Nashville, Ryman Auditorium stands as a testament to the rich cultural history of the city. Often referred to as “the church of country music,” the Ryman has been the stage for legendary talents including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and a multitude of others. This iconic venue, with its distinctive architectural features and unparalleled acoustics, has been captivating audiences for over a century.
When you step inside, you’re not just entering a building, you’re stepping into a cherished timeline of American music history. You can almost feel the echoes of past performances resonating around you. The interior is steeped in a nostalgic charm, with the old wooden pews and the stained-glass windows, contributing to an ambiance that carries a sense of reverence.
Taking an audio tour of the Ryman is like leafing through the pages of a fascinating history book, where each corner of the auditorium tells its own tale. The tour will guide you through the history of the auditorium, intertwining tales of its legendary performances and the unique stories of those who’ve graced its stage. You’ll learn about the Ryman’s journey, from its inception as a tabernacle in 1892 to its transformation into a world-renowned music venue.
It’s not just the stories that make Ryman Auditorium remarkable, but also its commitment to preserving and promoting the art of country music. The venue hosts a variety of performances, ranging from country and bluegrass to gospel and blues, ensuring the continued promotion of these timeless genres.
So, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of music history that Ryman Auditorium has to offer. Walk the same halls as music legends once did, stand on the stage that has borne witness to countless standing ovations, and feel the spirit of country music all around you. Visit their website for more details on tour schedules, ticket information, and upcoming performances. Experiencing Ryman Auditorium is to experience a slice of musical history that continues to influence and inspire to this day.
Shop At The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
An indispensable stop on your Nashville journey is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This iconic institution is a treasure trove for any fan of country music, as well as for those who harbor a curiosity for the classic tunes that have shaped the course of American music history. The museum is renowned for its extensive collection of artifacts, which include instruments used by country music legends, recording studios, stage costumes, rare records, and a fascinating array of memorabilia that captures the rich and vibrant story of country music.
But the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum does not only exist to chronicle the past. In addition to being a living tribute to the legacy of country music, it continually cultivates an appreciation for the genre’s present and future, presenting exhibits that feature contemporary artists and explore modern trends in country music.
Another delightful feature of the museum is the gift shop, which is located conveniently inside the premises. The shop houses a unique selection of souvenirs and keepsakes, ensuring that every visitor can take home a tangible piece of their Nashville experience. From exclusive artist merchandise and music-themed apparel to books, CDs, and even instruments, the shop offers something for everyone. You might find a rarities-filled vinyl record that you’ve been hunting for, a T-shirt that celebrates your favorite country music legend, or a poster that brings a touch of Nashville to your home décor.
The gift shop also presents an opportunity to support the national museum*’s mission to preserve and interpret the evolving history and traditions of country music. Each purchase you make helps fund the museum’s programs and initiatives, making your shopping experience meaningful and rewarding.
So, as you immerse yourself in the iconic sights and sounds of Nashville, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Take your time to traverse its fascinating exhibits, and make sure to pay a visit to the gift shop. You’ll not only discover unique mementos of your Nashville adventure but also participate in celebrating and preserving the legacy of country music.
Have Dinner At Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
A culinary adventure in Nashville would not be complete without a visit to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. This celebrated eatery, which opened its doors in 2012, has quickly gained a reputation as one of Nashville’s top dining destinations, and rightly so. Famed for its irresistible southern cuisine, Hattie B’s offers an authentic taste of Nashville, serving up mouth-watering meals that are as memorable as the city itself.
At the heart of Hattie B’s menu is their namesake dish: hot chicken. This Nashville specialty is a must-try for food enthusiasts, with its crispy, perfectly fried exterior giving way to juicy, tender chicken. The true star, however, is the heat. Each bite delivers a flavorful punch of spices that will keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re a seasoned spice veteran or a curious newcomer, there’s a level of heat for everyone–from the milder “Southern” to the daring “Shut the Cluck Up!”
But Hattie B’s is not just about the chicken. Their menu boasts a variety of southern classics that are equally delicious. Try their scrumptious pimento mac and cheese, creamy coleslaw, or crispy crinkle-cut fries; each side dish is a comforting taste of southern hospitality. Don’t forget to save room for dessert, because their sweet offerings, like banana pudding or peach cobbler, are the perfect cap to a hearty meal.
If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, their signature hot chicken sandwiches are a crowd favorite. Stacked high with crispy chicken, pickles, and coleslaw, these sandwiches are a satisfying meal in themselves–a delightful fusion of heat, crunch, and coolness in every bite.
So if you’re looking for a meal that’s sure to hit the spot, make your way to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Whether you’re a fan of fiery flavors or prefer your dishes on the milder side, there’s something to satisfy every palate at this beloved Nashville eatery. Visit their website for location details, opening hours, and to view their full menu. Enjoy a dining experience that’s as warm and welcoming as the city itself, right here at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is not just a location, but an experience. Nestled within the heart of Nashville, this awe-inspiring 55-acre estate is a crown jewel of the city, where nature’s beauty and the sophistication of art converge in a harmonious blend. Perfect for families, couples, or any individual in search of tranquility, this place provides an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
As you step into the lush expanse of the property, you’re welcomed by meticulously curated gardens, each with its own theme and charm. From the stunning tulips in the Color Garden to the serene Japanese Garden, there’s a captivating diversity of flora that is sure to captivate any nature enthusiast. The arriving spring and fall seasons transform Cheekwood into a picturesque canvas of color, making it an ideal spot for photography.
The estate also boasts an extensive network of walking paths that wind through the verdant gardens, offering a peaceful setting for leisurely strolls or morning jogs. These paths guide visitors through a sensory journey, where the soothing sounds of nature, invigorating fresh air, and the gentle rustling of leaves serve as a calming backdrop.
In addition to its botanical allure, Cheekwood also houses an impressive Museum of Art. The museum is home to a diverse collection of art pieces from around the world, including contemporary sculptures, American art from the 19th and 20th centuries, and an outdoor sculpture trail. Regularly rotating exhibits keep the museum’s offerings fresh and engaging, inviting repeat visits.
Cheekwood, however, is more than just its gardens and galleries. It plays host to a variety of seasonal events and educational programs year-round, making it a vibrant hub of cultural activity. From art workshops and horticultural classes to holiday celebrations and music concerts, there’s always something exciting happening at Cheekwood.
So, whether you’re an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is a destination worth exploring. It’s not just a place to visit, but a place to experience, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Check out their website for more information on their exhibits, programs, and hours of operation. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty and cultural richness that Cheekwood has to offer.
Enjoy Live Music On Broadway
One of the most thrilling ways to spend an evening in Nashville is to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Lower Broadway. This bustling strip is the beating heart of Music City, pulsating with the infectious rhythms of live music that emanates from every corner. As you stroll through this lively district, the soulful strumming of guitars, the emotive strains of a fiddle, and the resonating beats of a drum set can be heard wafting from numerous bars and honky-tonks.
Lower Broadway is often referred to as the “Honky Tonk Highway,” a tribute to the numerous iconic venues that line its streets. From famous spots like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Legends Corner to newer additions like Luke’s 32 Bridge, each establishment offers a unique atmosphere, yet they all share one thing in common: phenomenal live music. These honky-tonks are renowned for their talented musicians who play everything from traditional country to bluegrass and rock, offering something for every music lover.
While the music is the main attraction, it’s not the only draw. These honky-tonks also offer a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect for letting loose and having a good time. Most venues are free to enter, and the live music starts early and continues into the early hours of the morning. So, whether you’re a seasoned line dancer or a novice, don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes. The infectious, foot-tapping rhythms will have you out on the dance floor in no time!