Nashville, Tennessee, known as the “Music City”, is a city full of southern charm and cultural vibrancy. From country music to hot chicken, Nashville has something for everyone. Whether you’re a music lover, foodie, history buff or just looking for a good time, there are countless reasons to visit this city.
Here Are the Top 10 things to Do in Nashville:
1. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in country music and its rich history. With its extensive collections and state-of-the-art exhibitions, the museum offers visitors a comprehensive look at the genre and its impact on American culture.
Top exhibits at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:
- “Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music” – This is a comprehensive look at the history of country music, featuring artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that trace the genre’s evolution from its roots to its current form.
- “Hall of Fame Rotunda” – The Hall of Fame Rotunda features a bronze plaqued honoring each of the inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with their portraits and instruments.
- “Taylor Swift Education Center” – The Taylor Swift Education Center features interactive exhibits and educational programs that allow visitors to learn about the art of songwriting, music production, and performance.
- “Grand Ole Opry: History of Country Music” – This exhibit explores the history of the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running radio show and one of the most iconic symbols of country music.
- “American Currents: The Music of 2017” – This annual exhibit showcases the year’s most notable country music releases, performances, and trends
These are just a few of the many fascinating exhibits you can find at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. With its rich collections and interactive displays, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the history and influence of country music, making it a must-visit destination for music lovers and fans of all ages.
2. Walk Down Music Row
This is the heart of Nashville’s music industry and home to many of the city’s famous recording studios. Visitors can walk along the street and see the historic studios where famous musicians have recorded their albums. Music Row is also home to the Country Music Association, the premier trade organization for the country music industry.
3. Explore the Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation is a historic plantation and museum located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was once one of the largest thoroughbred horse breeding and training farms in the South and is now a National Historic Landmark open to the public for tours and events.
The plantation, built in 1853, is a beautiful example of antebellum architecture and features a mansion with Greek Revival and Italianate styles, as well as several outbuildings, including a smokehouse, carriage house, and dairy. Visitors can take a tour of the mansion, which has been restored to its 19th-century appearance and is furnished with original and period pieces and learn about the history of the plantation and its owners, including the Harding family.
The plantation grounds are also home to several historic outbuildings, including a slave cabin, which provides a glimpse into the lives of the enslaved people who worked on the plantation. Visitors can take a guided tour of the grounds, including the lush gardens, which feature a variety of native plants and flowers, and the nature trail, which provides a peaceful walk through the natural beauty of the plantation.
In addition to the mansion, Belle Meade Plantation also features several interpretive exhibits, including a comprehensive look at the history of thoroughbred horse racing and breeding in the South. Visitors can learn about the Belle Meade breeding program, which produced some of the most successful racehorses of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and see artifacts, including horse-racing trophies, paintings, and photographs.
4. Take in a Show at the Ryman Auditorium
This historic venue is considered the “Mother Church of Country Music” and has hosted many of the genre’s biggest names. From Patsy Cline to Dolly Parton, the Ryman has seen some of the greatest performances in country music history. Visitors can take a tour of the venue and see its historic stage, as well as attend concerts and shows.
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5. Sample Some Nashville Hot Chicken
Nashville is famous for its hot chicken, a fiery take on fried chicken. This dish is a staple of Nashville cuisine and can be found at many of the city’s hot chicken restaurants. Visitors should be prepared for a spicy experience, as hot chicken is known for its high level of heat. Some popular places to try hot chicken include Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
6. Visit the Frist Art Museum
The Frist Art Museum, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the first art museum in the city. It was founded in 2001 as the Frist Art Museum and is housed in the historic U.S. Post Office and Courthouse building, which was built in the 1930s. The museum features a wide range of exhibitions and programs that highlight the visual arts, including painting, sculpture, photography, and works on paper.
The Frist Art Museum’s permanent collection includes works by American artists from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper. The museum’s exhibitions and programs aim to educate and engage visitors, and the museum provides a variety of resources and educational opportunities, including workshops, lectures, and tours, to support its mission.
In addition to its permanent collection and exhibitions, the Frist Art Museum also features a variety of public programs, including films, concerts, lectures, and special events. The museum also has a gift shop that offers a wide range of art books, gifts, and merchandise, as well as a café that serves light refreshments.
Enjoy the nightlife on Broadway – This street is lined with bars, honky-tonks, and live music, making it the perfect place to enjoy a night out in Nashville. Visitors can see live music performances, dance, and sample local cuisine and drinks. Some of the most popular spots on Broadway include Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World.
Visit the Parthenon – This full-scale replica of the ancient Greek temple is a popular attraction in Nashville’s Centennial Park. Visitors can see the temple and its surrounding grounds, as well as the art museum inside, which features exhibits on classical and contemporary art. The Parthenon is a unique cultural experience and a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient history or art.
7. Explore the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
The Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is a beautiful 55-acre estate located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was once the home of the Cheek family, prominent Nashville residents and owners of the Maxwell House coffee company and is now a museum of art and gardens. The estate features a Georgian-style mansion, filled with antique furnishings and artwork, surrounded by beautiful formal gardens, woodland trails, and scenic vistas.
The gardens at Cheekwood feature a variety of styles, including a formal Italian Garden, a serene Japanese Garden, and a beautiful Rose Garden. There are also peaceful woodland trails, perfect for a quiet stroll or picnic, and scenic vistas overlooking Nashville and the surrounding countryside. Throughout the year, Cheekwood hosts a variety of events, including seasonal festivals, exhibitions, and workshops, making it a popular destination for visitors of all ages.
In addition to the gardens and estate, Cheekwood is also home to an art museum, showcasing works from its permanent collection and special exhibitions. The collection includes American and European art, decorative arts, and a variety of other mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. Visitors can tour the museum and the estate, take part in educational programs and workshops, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and scenic views.
8. Visit the Hermitage
The Hermitage is a historic plantation and museum located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, from 1804 until his death in 1845. The Hermitage was once a 1,000-acre cotton plantation and is now a National Historic Landmark, open to the public for tours and events.
Visitors to the Hermitage can tour the mansion, which has been restored to its 19th-century appearance and furnished with original and period pieces. The tour offers a glimpse into the life of President Jackson and his family, including his wife, Rachel, and adopted son, Andrew Jr. The tour also covers the history of the plantation and its enslaved people, as well as the legacy of President Jackson and his impact on American history.
In addition to the mansion, the Hermitage also features several outbuildings, including a cabin where President Jackson was born, a blacksmith shop, and a smokehouse. Visitors can also explore the gardens, including a vegetable garden and a formal flower garden, and take a walk along the scenic nature trail.
The Hermitage is not only a historical site but also a cultural center, offering a variety of educational programs, workshops, and events. Visitors can attend lectures, book signings, and historical reenactments, as well as participate in hands-on activities, such as spinning and weaving demonstrations. The Hermitage is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history and southern culture and is a unique and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.
9. Enjoy the Nightlife on Broadway
Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee is a popular street known for its lively music scene, with numerous bars and honky-tonks featuring live country music. If you love live music, this is the place for you. The nightlife on Broadway is vibrant and energetic, with crowds of people filling the street to enjoy the music, drinks, and social atmosphere. The street is also famous for its neon lights, which illuminate the night sky and add to the festive ambiance. Visiting Broadway at night is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the music and energy of Nashville.
10. Visit the Parthenon
The Parthenon in Nashville is a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and serves as a museum showcasing a 42-foot statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare. Today, the Parthenon in Nashville is a popular tourist destination that offers a glimpse into classical Greek architecture and culture.
Author bio: Jenny Peterson is a travel blogger who loves exploring new cities.