Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in East Nashville, TN

  • Published 2023/04/03

You may already know Nashville, but have you heard of East Nashville?

This section of the Music City features a laidback atmosphere.

Likewise, it is a historic neighborhood with excellent dining, local music, arts, and craft beer.

Many musicians and artists have embraced the area’s welcoming atmosphere.

Check out beautiful historic homes and the unique vibe of a culturally diverse neighborhood.

East Nashville helped put Nashville on the map thanks to restaurants like Marche Artisan Food and the Margot Cafe & Bar.

Later, East Nashville has undergone a massive revitalization, which has attracted quite a following, especially among young adults and families.

Stay on this side of the river and prepare for an experience like no other.

Here are the best things to do in East Nashville, Tennessee.

Visit Greece in Nashville at the Parthenon

Exterior of the Parthenon replica

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You need not go to Greece to see one of the world’s famous landmarks, the Parthenon.

Instead, go to Centennial Park in East Nashville to find the full-scale replica of this wonder of the ancient world.

It comes with a full-size replica of Athena, standing at 42 feet.

Statue of athena in the Parthenon

Steve Heap /

The replica of the Parthenon in Greece doubles as the Nashville museum.

It has a permanent collection includes 63 paintings from 19th and 20th-century American artists.

Plus, there are also additional spaces for temporary exhibits and shows.

Details of the Parthenon structure

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Check Out East Park

View of East Park

Stephen Yeargin, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

East Park is where you can find locals enjoying themselves.

This community center offers residents and visitors a modern place to exercise and gather with friends.

East Park’s programs and activities are open to everyone of all ages and skill levels.

You might need to sign up for a paid membership in the park’s fitness programs and classes.

You can check out the dance/aerobics studio, full-service fitness center, water exercise, yoga, indoor swimming pool, and an indoor walking/running track.

Commune with Nature at the Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area

Wooden footbridge at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area

Jeremy Christensen /

Spanning 960 acres, the Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area is one of the best nature spots in East Nashville.

Behold wetlands, open fields, bottomland hardwood forests, and streams where deer, amphibians, and more wildlife thrive.

Try family-friendly activities like walking, running, and biking.

Curved pathway at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area

Jeremy Christensen /

If you’re more adventurous, you can go skating with your older kids or observe the wildlife with the younger ones.

However, don’t touch any of the fungi, plants, and wildlife if you don’t have a permit.

You can bring your dog to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Area if they are on a six-foot leash.

A stream at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area

Jeremy Christensen /

Join the Tomato Art Fest

In 2004, the former Art and Invention Gallery owners hosted an art show featuring tomatoes, among other vegetables and fruits.

This event signaled the beginning of the Tomato Art Fest.

In 2017, hundreds of tomato lovers gathered to break the world record for the number of people dressed in vegetable costumes.

Various magazines like Travel and Leisure and Southern Living have named this tomato fest the “Best Festival” for 13 years.

Enjoy paintings, food, people, costumes, performers, music, fun, and a party at the Tomato Art Fest!

Bring Your Dog to the Bark Park

You will not always find a park dedicated to your dog.

The Bark Park does double duty as a dog and human park, where they can play and enjoy their time together.

Let your dog roll, run, and fetch on a square block of landscaped green space with dozens of comfy spots.

The humans can enjoy the park’s free wifi, comfy seats under the shade, and restrooms.

Bring your dog to Bark Park!

Learn about American Vernacular Music at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

f11photo /

Visit one of the world’s largest research centers and museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

It contains one of the most extensive musical collections across the globe.

You’ll see archival materials and collections documenting country music from its beginnings until today.

Guitars displayed in Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Brenda Kean /

The museum stores some artifacts inside a 46,000-square-foot climate-controlled collections room on the third floor.

Otherwise, you can check out 500,000 digital images, transparencies, negatives, and photographic prints.

You can also find 900 musical instruments at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Record awards wall in Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Michael Gordon /

Try Beer at the East Nashville Beer Works

With the motto ‘Beer is Community,’ East Nashville Beer Works opened in 2015 with the idea of creating something different.

They came up with a brewery that brewed only fantastic beer, with a taproom that welcomes everyone.

The brewery also provides food that complements its beer, such as pizza.

You can also enjoy tons of good vibes.

The shop offers four year-round beers, including East Bank, Cumberland Punch, Miro Miel, and Tennessee Sipper.

The East Nashville Beer Works also sells seasonal beers like Grip and Rip, Cosmic Sipper, Retrograde Espresso Cream Ale, and the Schwarz Army Romance.

Grab a Meal at Cafe Roze

East Nashville helped put Nashville on the map because of its restaurants.

One of its unmissable restaurants is Cafe Roze, whose name means “pink” in Croatian.

The owner, Juliet, has Croatian roots; her place features beautiful colors splashed throughout its interiors.

Bring your friends and family to Cafe Roze for a hearty meal.

Try their waffles, burgers, smoothies, and egg bowls.

Enjoy Country Music at the Grand Ole Opry

Exterior of the Grand Ole Opry

CrackerClips Stock Media /

For 95 years, the Grand Ole Opry has seen American country music’s past, present, and future.

Live performances, radio, and TV broadcasts feature rising stars and country legends weekly.

Seating arrangement at Grand Ole Opry

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You can join tours, walk with the stars for a backstage tour and learn about the stage, celebrities, and country music.

Country music concert in Grand Ole Opry

jejim /

Check Out the Historic Roxy Theatre

In 1938, the Roxy Theatre opened in East Nashville, with a seating capacity of 500.

In July 1960, it closed as a theatre.

Ten years later, it reopened as a laundromat.

Then, in 1980, it reopened as the renovated Roxy Production Center, with a 24-seat theatre and a recording studio.

Numerous Nashville-based stars frequented the Roxy Theater building until it closed again in the early 1990s.

Today, the locals have many efforts to revive and save the Roxy Theatre.

Do your part in preserving an essential piece of Nashville history and stop by the Roxy.

Dine and Drink at the Peninsula

Bring your date to the Peninsula in East Nashville.

Enjoy superb Iberian dishes, including Spanish and Portuguese, accented with French techniques.

Start with a cocktail at the bar before enjoying a meal in the dining room.

With dim lighting and a specially-designed menu, you will feel like you’re in a high-end restaurant.

Whatever else you’re having, try their broth served in a teacup for the complete experience.

Bring a date to the Peninsula!

Meet the Animals at the Nashville Zoo

Kakak tua bird on a tree at Nashville Zoo

Stan DaMan /

Located six miles south of downtown Nashville, you can find the Nashville Zoo, a dynamic zoological park.

It encompasses 188 acres, though only 90 acres are developed.

Still, this place is the 9th largest zoo by landmass in all of America.

Tall giraffes at Nashville Zoo

Terry Bonham /

The Tennessean named it the Best Day Trip and Regional Attraction, thanks to the number of tourists it draws.

The zoo houses almost 3,000 animals from all over the world, representing over 350 different species.

Find amphibians, reptiles, and birds to fish, mammals, and arthropods.

A siberian tiger at Nashville Zoo

Terry Bonham /

Devour Delicious Pizza at Folk

Stop by Folk in East Nashville to get more pizza.

This pizzeria serves wood-fired pizza, which you can pair with excellent organic wines.

Check out the exposed lanterns and brickwork that contribute to the overall ambiance of the place.

The pizza is made only with the freshest ingredients and flour sourced from the best mills.

Besides the pizza, you will also love their bar snacks and dishes since they change menus regularly to keep you on your toes.

Try the Izakaya Experience at Two Ten Jack

Two Ten Jack is a Japanese-inspired neighborhood pub known as izakaya.

You’ll fall for their Japanese dishes like yakitori, kodawari ramen, and more Japanese-inspired pub comfort food.

For the drinks, you’ll never go wrong with their sake and shochu, handcrafted cocktails, wines, and craft beers.

Many locals stop by Two Ten Jack after work to grab dinner and drinks while basking in the ambiance.

Enjoy a nightcap at this Japanese restaurant.

Grab American Favorites at Dino’s Bar & Grill

Head out to Gallatin Avenue and enjoy American favorites, such as the classic burger and fries, at Dino’s Bar & Grill.

Established in the 1970s, it’s the oldest dive bar in East Nashville, a watering hole for residents and visitors alike.

The late Anthony Bourdain once ate here for his show, ‘Parts Unknown,’ in 2016.

‘Dino’s Cheeseburger’ is also known across the country.

Bon Appetit Magazine voted this burger as one of the Top 3 Burgers in the Country.

Dino’s Bar & Grill is where good food and ice-cold beer come together.

Grab a Meal at the Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden is one of the most famous restaurants in East Nashville and beyond.

It attracts thousands of people every week, a must-visit for a unique culinary experience in East Nashville.

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden got its name because it was in a former pharmacy, converted into a vintage-style restaurant.

One of the restaurant’s most famous gimmicks is its operational soda fountains; its beer garden also has many German brands.

Their stellar food will deliver a gastronomic experience; even simple burgers and tater tots will leave a lasting impression on you.

This restaurant is along McFerrin Avenue.

Enjoy Recreational Activities at Shelby Park

View of the Shelby Park

Rick Pecoraro from New York, NY, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shelby Park is one of the best places in East Nashville to enjoy recreational activities with the family.

The park has walking trails, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, and a dog park for families.

Perhaps the best thing to do there is to picnic and enjoy Servier Lake, which you can access through Shelby Park.

This park is excellent for a breather amidst serene Nashville, thanks to the trees, wildlife, and birds.

This park is a few minutes from Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area.

Catch an Event at Nissan Stadium

Entrance of the Nissan Stadium

Hendrickson Photography /

Nissan Stadium hosts several exciting events in East Nashville.

As Nashville’s premier entertainment district, Nissan Stadium hosts several concerts, motoring events, and sports tournaments year-round.

The stadium has a long history of hosting top singers, so check out their schedule when you visit.

Exterior view of the Nissan Stadium

4kclips /

If you’re a big fan of the NFL, catch games at Nissan Stadium.

Besides, Nissan Stadium is an architectural marvel and an iconic Tennessee building.

Nissan Stadium is along Titans Way.

Bird's eye view of the Nissan Stadium

Felix Mizioznikov /

Experience Asia at Hawkers Asian Street Food

Hawkers Asian Street Food is one of the biggest cultural hubs along East Nashville’s Main Street.

As one of the best dining spots in East Nashville, this spot offers various cuisines from various Asian countries.

Besides the classic Japanese, Chinese, or Korean dishes, this place offers underrated gems from Thailand, India, and many others.

Thanks to its diverse and exciting menu, Hawkers Asian Street Food is perfect for large groups or families.

Visit Hawkers Asian Street Food to satisfy your cravings for Asian food.

Start Your Day Right at Shugga Hi Bakery and Cafe

Shugga Hi Bakery and Cafe is one of the best restaurants in Nashville.

This small homegrown restaurant has steadily gained a loyal customer base thanks to its flavorful food and exciting desserts.

Its brunch menu features crowd favorites like chicken and waffles, mimosas, and juicy steaks.

They also play live jazz music, creating a pleasant atmosphere everyone can appreciate all day.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Shugga Hi Bakery and Cafe, which offers a breakfast buffet everyone loves.

You can find Shugga Hi Bakery and Cafe along Dickerson Pike.

Final Thoughts

Choose East Nashville for your next family vacation.

Its combination of music, arts, history, food, and nature lets everyone in the family have their slice of heaven.

Pack your bags and discover the best things to do in East Nashville, Tennessee!

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