Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Davidson County, TN

  • Published 2023/05/21

Davidson County is a consolidated county that covers the entire city of Nashville and its suburbs.

Previously, this county featured other municipalities and communities, but it has since been merged into one that’s now called Metropolitan Nashville.

Visiting Davidson County, I could tell that it’s packed with so many things to do, especially in the midtown and downtown areas of Nashville.

Tons of museums focusing on music and history are found here, and there’s plenty of art and entertainment districts as well.

If you’re traveling to this part of the state, check out my guide of the best things to do in Davidson County, Tennessee.

Tour the Grand Ole Opry

People clicking pictures in front of the giant guitar placed outside the Grand Ole Opry

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When I visited Davidson County, it was a no-brainer to prioritize Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The ultimate icon of the “Music City” of the United States, Grand Ole Opry is a music venue established in 1925.

It’s the heart and soul of American radio broadcasts featuring country music, and touring this icon is a must in any itinerary involving Nashville.

Musical performance at the Grand Ole Opry

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For the most authentic experience, I recommend catching a live performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

On top of that, be sure to avail the walking tours here that will let you extensively learn about this amazing music icon.

Cowboy boots displayed at the Grand Ole Opry

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Do Urban Exploration at Music Row

Sculpture at the Music Row

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After visiting the Grand Ole Opry, another must-see in Davidson County is Music Row.

Music Row is not a specific destination but a sort of neighborhood in Nashville, acting as the core of the city’s music industry.

The place is jampacked with plenty of record label offices, music shops, and plenty of historical remnants found in its public spaces.

People looking at the shops in Music Row

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You can do a driving tour at Music Row, but if you love walking like me, you can easily spend hours getting lost in this neighborhood.

There are also studios and music clubs here, so go check them out if you want a full experience.

Old Church at the Music Row

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See the Vintage Vehicles at Lane Motor Museum

Motorbikes at Lane Motor Museum

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Lane Motor Museum is a great place in Davidson County to appreciate all things vehicles.

Formerly a bakery house, Lane Motor Museum has since been converted into a stellar home for various vintage cars that date back to the 19th Century.

One of the most memorable things here for me are the amphibious vehicles and military cars from years past.

Sports car displayed at Lane Motor Museum

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Seeing them displayed here up close is a remarkable sight, especially since it’s not everyday that you see such remnants of history.

Lane Motor Museum is one of the many awesome museums I saw in Davidson County—you can find it in Nashville’s Murfreesboro Pike.

Vintage car exhibition at Lane Motor Museum

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Take Photos of The Parthenon

Golden statue of the athena at the Parthenon

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Are you a big fan of Greek mythology or simply Greek aesthetics? The Parthenon is one of the most iconic landmarks to see in Davidson County.

I stumbled upon The Parthenon exploring Centennial Park, located in Midtown Nashville.

Not only is it a beautiful replica of the one found in Greece, but it also doubles as an art museum.

Exterior view of the Parthenon

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You can see many art sculptures and statues inside inspired from Greek mythology, and the sheer beauty of the interiors will leave you speechless.

Seeing The Parthenon during my visit felt like entering Greece, so count this as a can’t-miss during your visit.

Columns at The Parthenon

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Go Swimming at Old Hickory Beach

Found in the community of Old Hickory, Old Hickory Beach is one of the best ways to cool down in Davidson County if you’re visiting during summer.

Lined with a sizable sandy shoreline, Old Hickory Beach is both relaxing and serene.

You’ll get sweeping views and access to the Cumberland River here, making it one of the best places to have picnics as well.

There’s a lot to do and the place is always lively during the humid months, so it’s great for family bonding.

While I didn’t stay long at Old Hickory Beach, seeing this quaint side of Davidson County was a great change of pace in my visit.

Learn Local History at Tennessee State Museum

Exterior view of the Tennessee State Museum

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If it’s your first time in Nashville or Tennessee, touring the Tennessee State Museum is a great idea.

Personally, I always allot a day or two learning about the roots of the city or state I visit, as it’s a great way to appreciate its local culture and tourist destinations.

You can do exactly that at Tennessee State Museum, as the place is brimming with artifacts and relics that portray life centuries ago.

Wagon at the Tennessee State Museum

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Dating back to the native American Indians to the Civil Rights Movement, there’s a lot to unpack in this beautiful museum.

Furthermore, it’s situated right at a major park in Nashville called the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, giving you more incentive to add this to your itinerary.

Exhibits at the Tennessee State Museum

Thomas R Machnitzki (, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wander Around Printers Alley

View of the Printers Alley

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One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city for the first time is to check out a trendy area where you can just get lost in the city’s culture.

Printers Alley is a great way to do this in Nashville, as it’s right in the heart of the downtown area.

The place is aesthetically vibrant, most especially when the neon lights are up during the evening.

Shops at the Printers Alley

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Tons of shops, bars, and restaurants can be found here, so urban exploration is really what this place is all about.

Printers Alley is also close to a lot of other attractions, making it a great addition to any itinerary.

Signage at the Printers Alley

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Immerse in the Wildlife of Radnor Lake State Park

Deer at the Radnor Lake State Park

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Radnor Lake State Park is easily one of the most popular outdoor hiking attractions in Davidson County.

Found in the southern part of Nashville near Forest Hills, Radnor Lake State Park is the natural habitat of many local wildlife such as wild turkeys, bald eagles, and deer.

There’s an abundance of other animals here beyond those three, as I also saw various turtles, herons, and chipmunks during my trek.

Serene water at the Radnor Lake State Park

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It’s up to you how comprehensive you want your exploration to be—as for me, I mostly checked the scenic lake and the visitor center here.

A haven for outdoor adventurers, Radnor Lake State Park is a great way to appreciate another side of Davidson County.

Ducks swimming at the Radnor Lake State Park

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Pose in Front of the Nashville What Lifts You Wings Mural

If you love art or would just like a neat photo souvenir, Nashville What Lifts You Wings Mural is an icon in Downtown Nashville.

An artwork by street artist Kelsey Montague, many locals and tourists have been enamored by this art icon—thousands visit it weekly.

I experienced a line when I went there, but don’t worry—it won’t take long before you can have your turn.

Overall, I find the place and crowd memorable because it’s all fun and laid-back vibes in the area.

Nashville What Lifts You Wings Mural also has surrounding trendy cafes and other murals to explore, so feel free to keep walking after you take a photo here.

Visit the Musician Hall of Fame and Museum

Entrance to the Musician Hall of Fame and Museum

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The Musician Hall of Fame and Museum is another place to add to your plans if you love American music history.

When I went there, I appreciated that the museum paid tribute to many iconic legends from the 20th Century.

Particularly, you’ll find icons such as Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley to name a few.

Exhibits at the Musician Hall of Fame and Museum

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The place was vibrant and exciting—you’ll see a ton of vintage instruments, albums, and other representations of iconic American music legends.

It’s just a stone’s throw away from the Tennessee State Museum, so it’s a no-brainer to visit if you love music like me.

Bird's eye view of the Musician Hall of Fame and Museum

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Take a Stroll at Riverfront Park

Top view of the Riverfront Park

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Another nice destination in Downtown Nashville is the Riverfront Park.

Situated along the Cumberland River, this is the best place to appreciate the scenic waters of Nashville.

Going here was a great experience for me because it allowed me to catch my bearings and just take in the simple beauty of Nashville.

People walking around the Riverfront Park

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There’s beautiful scenery here accentuated by the bridge you’ll find, and sometimes there’s also live music events.

Easy to stop by because of its proximity to several of the Downtown Nashville attractions here, go and relax at Riverfront Park if you get the chance.

View of the Riverfront Park

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Appreciate Art Deco at Frist Art Museum

Exterior view of the Frist Art Museum

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Frist Art Museum is another cultural landmark in Davidson County, located also in the heart of Nashville’s downtown area.

The museum specializes in art deco pieces, featuring a lot of art deco architecture on top of its huge collection.

Beyond the exhibits, Frist Art Museum is also a treat to the eyes because of how amazing the interior design is.

Entrance to the Frist Art Museum

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Personally, this was my favorite part of visiting Frist Art Museum—I just can’t get enough of how gorgeous the building is.

Plenty of rotating exhibits are held here as well, making each visit all the more special.

Beautiful rose art installation placed outside the Frist Art Museum

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Do Recreational Activities at Cedar Hill Park

Cedar Hill Park is a quaint recreational space that’s found in Madison, a suburb of Nashville.

The park is well-known for its ponds that have sprawling ducks, making this one of the more serene places in Davidson County.

Beyond that, Cedar Hill Park has plenty of sports amenities to do some exercise.

I saw tennis courts, a disc golf course, and baseball fields during my stay here.

Still, my most favorite part about this gorgeous park is its sprawling nature trails, something you can appreciate on foot or via bike.

Explore the Cheekwood Estates

Interior view of the Cheekwood Estates

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Cheekwood Estates is both a historical and aesthetic landmark in Nashville, famous for its lavish gardens and mansion.

This dates back to the 1930s, so you can see a lot of vintage furnishings, architecture, and relics as you tour the place.

My favorite part about Cheekwood Estates are the gardens and art exhibits that you’ll find here.

Duck fountain at the Cheekwood Estates

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You can see all sorts of flowers and greenery, beautifully landscaped as if you’re entering royal gardens.

I also learned here that if you visit during Christmas, the place becomes laden with all sorts of lightworks.

Water flowing through the garden at Cheekwood Estates

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Catch an Event at Nissan Stadium

Entrance to the Nissan Stadium

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Tennessee and Nashville aren’t only known for music and art, they’re also famous nationwide for their sports culture.

Nissan Stadium is the central attraction for all things sports, as this is the home of the Tennessee Titans, a team under the National Football League.

While watching a football game can be exhilarating, attending a concert here is just as nice.

Exterior view of the Nissan Stadium

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When I visited Nissan Stadium, the architecture and vibes made the place worthwhile as well.

So, whether your favorite artist is holding a concert here or you’re a big fan of the NFL, Nissan Stadium is a neat way to diversify your itinerary in Davidson County.

Bird's eye view of the Nissan Stadium

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Tour Andrew Jackson’s

Exterior view of the Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

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Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is one of the only few places in the world where you can learn and appreciate the life of the 7th President of the United States.

The mansion and gardens tour is what I did here, and it was all worth it if you love not only American political history, but architecture and design in general.

Exhibit of clothes at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

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Featuring a lot of Greek-style stone furnishings, visiting Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage felt like entering prime estate during the 19th Century.

The place is brimming with relics inside as well, perfect if you love historical immersion.

One of the coolest parts about my trip here were the slave homes inside—it’s a unique aspect in U.S. political history that you won’t often see firsthand.

Interior view of a cabin at the Andrew Jackson’s  Hermitage

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Visit the Johnny Cash Museum

Exterior view of the Johnny Cash Museum

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Johnny Cash Museum is more for those who have a certain love for the iconic musician.

Found in Nashville, this is the only place in the world where you can find a comprehensive collection of artifacts, documents, and exhibits dedicated to the life and career of Johnny Cash.

Exhibits at the Johnny Cash Museum

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The place isn’t just some normal museum too—it’s a haven for photography due to its visually pleasing layout.

You’ll see a lot of guitars, outfits, and record labels displayed all throughout.

While I wasn’t a big Johnny Cash listener, the Johnny Cash Museum was a great visit solely because of how nice the exhibits were.

Display at the Johnny Cash Museum

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Final Thoughts

Davidson County is all about the beautiful attractions found in Nashville.

While the city is primarily known for its significance in music, I soon realized that it has way more in store.

Attractions like the Cheekwood Estates, Printers Alley, and the Parthenon were one of the most memorable for me.

What’s best is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are plenty more for you to explore.

Either way, I hope this list of the best things to do in Davidson County, Tennessee will be helpful in planning your trip!

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