26 Best Things to Do in Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

As someone who's called Music City home for several years, I've had the privilege of exploring every nook and cranny of this vibrant southern city.

From its pulsing live music scene to its world-class culinary delights, Nashville, Tennessee, is a city that constantly surprises and delights me.

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler returning for another taste of southern charm, you'll find that Nashville's rich history, diverse culture, and dynamic energy offer an inimitable experience that's always worth discovering.

So get ready, put on your best cowboy boots, and let me take you on a tour of my city — a bustling metropolis with a small-town heart, where every corner hums with music, every plate is a feast, and every moment is a memory waiting to happen.

With this guide, I'll share the best things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, offering insight into what makes this place a city like no other.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Enjoy Country Music at Grand Ole Opry

Exterior of the Grand Ole Opry
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I've strolled down the same halls as the greats countless times.

The Grand Ole Opry has been my go-to spot for years.

Whether it's a traditional Tuesday night show, a laid-back Saturday matinee, or one of Opry's special televised nights, there's something about that sacred stage that hits the soul like no other music venue can.

My most unforgettable experience was when I attended a Friday night show during a family reunion.

The show flew by in what felt like minutes.

Even my kids, who aren't the biggest country fans, couldn't help but tap their feet to the rhythm of the music.

The energy within those walls is palpable, a testament to the legends who've graced the stage and the talent that continues to keep country music alive.

I've found the backstage tour to be equally as thrilling.

Every step taken is a walk through country music history.

Guitar sculpture on the grounds of Grand Ole Opry
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The iconic circle on the stage where artists perform, it's like standing in the heart of country music.

Trust me on this, don't miss the opportunity to explore backstage.

The guides are genuinely knowledgeable, and their love for the Opry, and its history, is infectious.

And if you're looking for something else to do before the show, there's a massive mall next to the Opry that could easily keep you occupied the entire day.

But make sure you grab your Opry tickets soon, they disappear faster than hotcakes on a Sunday morning.

It's easy to see why the Grand Ole Opry is a Nashville treasure.

It's not just a venue, it's an experience, and it's right here in our backyard.

It's a testament to the city, the music, and the artists who've turned this place into a legend.

Interior of the Grand Ole Opry
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Discover Country Music History at Ryman Auditorium

Exterior of the Ryman Auditorium
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There's something magical about the way the night lights up in Nashville, but nothing quite captures that enchantment like a visit to the Ryman Auditorium.

The venue, known as the "Mother Church of Country Music," holds a special place in my heart.

It's an intimate place where there's truly no bad seat in the house.

The acoustics are second to none; the sound is so clear and powerful that it feels like the artist is performing just for you.

What strikes me most about the Ryman, though, is the rich tapestry of history woven into its very fabric.

I once took one of the daily tours that the auditorium offers, and it was like stepping back in time.

The stories, the memorabilia, the dressing rooms adorned with photos of stars past and present – all of it serves as a vivid reminder of Ryman's illustrious past.

Interior of the Ryman Auditorium
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It's both a history lesson and a tribute to the glittering stars of country music.

And then there are the concerts. I've seen a myriad of artists grace the stage, from up-and-coming acts to seasoned stars.

I remember seeing Noah Kahan on his Stick Season tour in February 2023.

His performance was simply breathtaking, a testament to the caliber of artists that Ryman attracts.

Oh, and parking is a breeze too! There's a garage right next door and plenty more across the street.

The only thing you need to bring is your love for music and perhaps a cushion for the charming old church pews.

A concert in the Ryman Auditorium
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Immerse in the Serene Beauty of Radnor Lake State Park

Trail leading to the waters of Radnor Lake State Park
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One of the absolute gems in our area is, without a doubt, the Radnor Lake State Park.

Covering over 1,300 acres, this park is a haven for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts alike.

The park boasts six distinctive hiking trails, both paved and non-paved, allowing you to choose your own adventure based on your skills and preferences.

The park is like an oasis of tranquility, especially the non-paved wooded trails.

There's a calmness in the air that soothes the soul.

And believe me, hiking here, amidst the native wildlife and plants, is a genuinely rewarding experience.

Radnor Lake is breathtakingly beautiful – one of the most picturesque spots I've had the pleasure of exploring.

I've hiked all around the country, and still, this park holds a special place in my heart.

Boardwalk at Radnor Lake State Park
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Some of the trails, particularly those on the ridge, can be a bit challenging, but they're worth every step.

If you're not up for a rigorous hike, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake.

The trail is totally shaded, making the hikes cool and pleasant, even during the summer months.

One word of advice, though - parking can be a bit of a challenge, especially on beautiful, sunny days.

If the park's lot is full, you might have to park at a nearby church and walk a quarter mile to the park.

Don't let this deter you, though. After all, you're here to hike, so consider it a warm-up!

A visit to the Radnor Lake State Park visitor center is also recommended.

A deer at Radnor Lake State Park
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See Vintage Cars at Lane Motor Museum

Interior of Lane Motor Museum
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On any given weekend, you'll find me browsing the vast array of vintage European cars at the Lane Motor Museum.

This museum, charmingly housed in a converted bakery, has a unique mix of automobiles that will take any car enthusiast's breath away.

I particularly love the rare, one-off microcars and unusual three-wheeled models.

The collection doesn't stop at cars either; they also have a few small aircraft, scooters, and motorcycles that will surely catch your eye.

Exploring this museum is like taking a trip down memory lane.

Everywhere you look, there's a piece of automotive history, each with its own fascinating story.

And let's not forget about the amphibious model - a highlight of the museum's collection that is a sight to behold!

Lane Motor Museum is not just for adults, it's perfect for a family outing too.

My kids absolutely adore the large indoor playground, and the clean and tidy restrooms make the visit comfortable for everyone.

Cars in Lane Motor Museum
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One of the features that make this museum even more unique is the “underground” tour.

It's a guided tour of the lower floor of the museum that houses additional unique and hard-to-find models.

Make sure to come at the right time for it; trust me, it's worth it!

Another interesting part of the museum is the side garage.

With a handful of military vehicles and the huge amphibians landing craft at the back, it adds an exciting element to the visit.

Lastly, don't forget to stop by the gift shop. It’s full of cool collectibles that are perfect souvenirs.

Vintage bikes in Lane Motor Museum
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Discover the City's History at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Daytime view of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
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One of my favorite places to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

This 11-acre park is not just a green space, it's a living, breathing history lesson about Tennessee.

The pathways are lined with plaques that tell the story of our state, from its foundation to the present day.

Taking a stroll here is like walking through time. One of the major highlights for me is the marble walkway.

As you journey along it, you traverse the timeline of Nashville, accompanied by the comforting sound of water splashing from the fountains.

It's not just a walk but an immersive history lesson.

What never fails to move me is the WWII memorial.

It stands as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers.

The grounds of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
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The spinning globe water fountain is a spectacle in itself, symbolizing the global scale of the war and its impact.

One of my favorite parts about the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, though, is the view it offers of the state capitol.

This architectural marvel, one of the only twelve US capitol buildings without a dome, is a sight to behold.

Standing there, capturing its grandeur in a photograph, always fills me with a sense of pride and awe.

For those feeling peckish after soaking in history and views, there's also a charming 'farmer's market' nearby.

It offers a variety of food and drinks, making it the perfect spot to refuel after exploring the park.

Have a Night Out at Robert's Western World

Exterior of Robert's Western World
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There's something magical about the slow hum of a country band, especially when it's performed live.

One of my favorite spots to catch a show is at Robert's Western World, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Broadway.

Stepping inside Robert's is like stepping into a different era.

The dance floor may be small, but the energy is infectious.

It's charming in its own way, especially with the rows of boots adorning the back wall, exuding that authentic cowboy charm.

Take a seat, and you'll find yourself comfortably settled in a cozy environment that truly captures the spirit of old-time country.

The service is always on point, with the friendly staff making sure your beer is always cold, and your belly is filled with delicious grub.

The griddle grill on the opposite wall churns out mouth-watering dishes that put a Southern spin on comfort food. And oh, the fried bologna sandwiches!

Interior of Robert's Western World
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They're a specialty here and believe me, they're worth trying.

Unpretentious yet delectable, it's the sort of food that warms your soul.

But what truly sets Robert's Western World apart is the music.

The bands that play here are simply phenomenal. I remember one night when Kelley’s Heroes took the stage.

Their powerful vocals filled the room and left us all in awe of their incredible talent. It's moments like these that make Robert's a must-visit.

Don't be fooled by its unassuming exterior. Robert's Western World is not just another bar on the strip.

It's a place that serves up a hearty slice of Nashville's country music scene and does so with a warm welcome and a cold beer.

It's the real deal, not just another tourist trap.

Performers in Robert's Western World
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Journey through the State's Past at Tennessee State Museum

Exterior of Tennessee State Museum
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Every time I pass through the Tennessee State Museum , I feel like I'm traveling through time.

There's something genuinely mesmerizing about stepping into the museum's hallowed halls and being instantaneously transported into the state's rich and varied past.

This place is a treasure trove of historical artifacts.

From impressive Indian relics all the way through to Civil War memorabilia, it's a place that houses more than a few pieces of the puzzle that is Tennessee's history.

One of the most engaging exhibits is the timeline exhibit.

It's a meticulously laid out journey through more than 250 years of our state's past.

Each step takes you further into the depths of time, unraveling the tales of pioneers, warriors, and everyday folks who made Tennessee what it is today.

It's a fantastic place to soak up some culture and history, far removed from the typical tourist trail. And the best part? It's absolutely free!

Exhibit in Tennessee State Museum
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Apart from the history, the museum also offers an exquisite view of the city.

Looking out from the balcony, the Nashville skyline stretches away into the distance – a stark contrast to the historic depictions inside.

Now, it's not just the exhibits that impress me about Tennessee State Museum, it's also the people who work there.

They are incredibly welcoming, always ready with an interesting tidbit about the exhibits, or a helpful nudge in the right direction if you find yourself a bit lost.

Some of my most memorable moments have been my interactions with the enthusiastic security guards who are always ready with a fascinating story or two.

Interior of Tennessee State Museum
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Marvel at the Splendor of Cheekwood

The grounds of Cheekwood
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Walking through the gates of Cheekwood (check out more details at their official site) is like stepping into a different world.

It's not just a sprawling 1930s estate with an art museum; it's a place where history, art, and nature beautifully collide.

My favorite time to visit is during the fall.

The lucid autumn colors paint an enchanting backdrop as you amble along the Scare Crow Trail and drop by the whimsical Pumpkin House.

However, the cherry on top of this perfect seasonal visit has to be the Beer Garden.

It's an awesome spot to catch up with friends, and family, and even make new acquaintances.

The meticulously maintained gardens are nothing short of magnificent.

Whether you're a botanical enthusiast or not, the sheer beauty and tranquility of these gardens can't fail to impress.

The hidden stone staircases and winding paths always make me feel like I'm on a secret treasure hunt.

And let me tell you, the treasures are the unexpected vistas and hidden spots that are scattered all around the place.

Interior of Cheekwood
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The grand Cheekwood mansion is a sight to behold.

Each step inside the mansion takes you back in time; the rooms whisper stories of a bygone era while the antique furnishings and exquisite art pieces add a touch of grandeur.

The volunteers are a wealth of information, and their passion for the history of the place is palpable.

For military personnel, Cheekwood offers a generous discount as a testament of their appreciation.

This makes it an affordable day out for those of us who have served.

While Cheekwood is filled with splendor and elegance during the day, I've heard that the night lights transform it into an ethereal wonderland.

Although I haven't experienced it myself, it's definitely on my to-do list.

And remember, when you plan your visit, be sure to bring a water bottle, especially in the summer.

The Tennessee heat can be pretty intense, but it's totally worth it for the chance to explore this hidden gem right in our backyard.

A waterfall at Cheekwood
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Hike the Percy Warner Park

A haven of peace, nestled in the heart of Nashville, that's what Percy Warner Park is to me.

With its splendid forest and expansive green space, it's a sanctuary where I often find myself soaking in nature's abundance.

Why, you ask? It's because the park is so much more than just that.

It's my personal retreat where I plunge into serenity, away from the city's hustle and bustle.

I make it a point to visit Percy Warner Park every weekend.

The hiking trails are my favorite, particularly the one with the 5-mile loop.

It's a delightful little journey, with a landscape that rolls up and down, making it an engaging experience.

The other one, an 11.5-mile trail, is equally enchanting.

Walking along these trails, immersed in the tranquility, I often lose track of time.

One of the unique features of Percy Warner Park is its equestrian trails, bicycle routes, and athletic fields.

It's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts like me.

The park has something to offer for everyone, regardless of age or skill level.

From paved rolling hills to dirt and rock paths with steep climbs and switchbacks, it's a hiker's dream come true.

The view from the top of the climbing stairs is breathtakingly beautiful.

Dotted with athletic fields and vibrant wildlife, Percy Warner Park paints a pretty picture.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, the park provides a refreshing change of scenery.

What adds to the charm of this park is the fact that it's a pet-friendly place.

Dogs are welcome here, and it's always a delight to see them frolicking around.

The park is densely wooded, providing plenty of shade and making it a perfect spot even on hot summer days.

Percy Warner Park is also home to the Edwin Warner and Percy Warner parks. Both are stunningly beautiful and provide a calming atmosphere.

They are known for their fantastic hiking trails, including the new Burch Reserve trails.

These parks serve as the perfect backdrop for a peaceful, relaxing day out.

Take a Voyage through the Heart of Country Music: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
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I've been living in the heart of Music City for years, and I'll let you in on a local secret - the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is not just another tourist attraction.

It's a vibrant, living testament to the rich history of the music that Nashville is known for.

From the moment you step inside, you're wrapped in the warm embrace of the country's rich heritage.

The museum is home to an immense collection of artifacts and interactive exhibits that tell the tale of popular American music.

The audio tour? Absolutely unbeatable. It brings the story to life in a way that static exhibits can't.

One of my personal favorites? The dazzling display of stage outfits and instruments.

Each one has its own tale to tell, its own song to sing.

They paint a picture of the artists who once stood in them, strummed them, and played them.

Guitars displayed in Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Brenda Kean / Shutterstock.com

And stand in the rotunda, looking at the plaques?

That's a spiritual experience. You think about all the giants of the genre whose names are engraved there. There's a sense of awe and respect.

If you aren't a die-hard country music fan yet, by the time you leave, you may well be.

From the enthralling stories of past country artists to the fascinating Taylor Swift exhibit, there's something at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for every music lover.

Not to mention, the trip to the RCA Studio B is a must - trust me, sitting at the same piano that Elvis played is nothing short of surreal.

So, even if you're not already a country music aficionado, it's worth the $30 admission - it might just change your tune about country music.

Outfit displayed in Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
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Snap a Memento at the Parthenon

Front view of The Parthenon's exterior
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I've been living in Nashville for more than a decade, and the Parthenon located in our very own Centennial Park has always held a special place in my heart.

It's a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, built back in 1897, and it also doubles as an art gallery with collections of American art.

Walking through Centennial Park, the grand structure of the Parthenon never fails to stop me in my tracks.

The columns are a sight to behold, standing tall and proud against the skyline.

It's always impressive, but on sunny days, the stone seems to glow, making it even more majestic.

If you're not up for a tour inside, just strolling around the park and admiring the architecture from the outside is also a treat.

But the real magic happens when you step inside.

The centerpiece is a stunning statue of Athena, a testament to the marvels of craftsmanship and dedication.

It’s hard to believe that it took eight years to build.

Side view of the The Parthenon's exterior
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The art galleries are quite fascinating, filled with paintings that tell a story of their own. However, don't expect a deep dive into Greek mythology here.

It’s more about appreciating the beauty of the architecture and the art.

And let's not forget about the artifacts from the time the Parthenon was built.

These pieces of history are a window into the past, telling tales of the city's heritage.

Whether you're a history buff or not, it's worth spending an afternoon here.

One thing to note though - parking can be a bit of a challenge, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty straightforward.

And the best part? It's free!

Athena statue in The Parthenon
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Learn about a Leader's Life at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

Exterior of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
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Every time I cross the threshold of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, it feels like stepping back in time.

The Greek Revival mansion, which now serves as a museum and historic site, tells the tale of our seventh president's life in a way that no history book ever could.

From the moment you step onto the well-kept grounds, you're greeted with the sense of peace that seems to have settled over the area.

Walking around, it's easy to imagine the place as it was centuries back.

The sprawling plantation and accompanying outbuildings are a testament to the history that's been preserved here, with the main mansion serving as the crown jewel.

Once you step inside, the grandeur of the place truly hits you.

The entire home feels like a love letter to the past, with much of the original decor still in place.

The mural, in particular, is a sight to behold.

It's disheartening not being allowed to take photos inside, but when you understand that a large portion of the items belong to Jackson and his family, the reason becomes clear.

One of the highlights of the visit has to be the tour.

The guides are a wealth of information, presenting every detail of Jackson's life and the history of the home with professionalism and knowledge, making the experience all the more enriching.

Exhibit in Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
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The museum offers a comprehensive look into Jackson's life, providing great insights into the era he lived in.

It's refreshing to see the museum not shy away from the less glamorous parts of history, including the slaves Jackson owned.

If you're like me and love to explore, take the time to walk around the property.

The older buildings on the grounds have additional historical information that adds to the richness of the experience.

And don't forget to visit the garden after the house tour.

The sight of the vibrant blooms is the perfect way to end the tour.

Oh, and if you're feeling peckish, the cafe serves up some delicious-smelling food.

I haven't had the chance to visit the winery yet, but I've heard they have a great special of trying three wines for just $3.

Display in Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
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Journey through the Life of the Man in Black at the Johnny Cash Museum

Exterior of the Johnny Cash Museum
Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You know, there's something about Nashville that just breathes music. It's as if melodies and lyrics are etched into the very soul of this city.

And, if there ever was a time when Nashville was silent, the opening of the Johnny Cash Museum brought back the music in full swing.

Stepping into this red-brick museum feels like stepping into a time capsule.

Johnny Cash's life and legacy are exhibited all around in vivid detail, from rare photographs to personal memorabilia.

The exhibits are so well laid out that even if you didn't know much about Cash, you'd come out feeling like you've known him your whole life.

One thing that sets this museum apart is the interactive audio exhibits.

You can pick up headphones and listen to various songs, some by Cash and some by other artists like Elvis Presley.

This gives a unique insight into Cash's music and its influence. A trip to the museum doesn't just satiate your curiosity, it's an immersive journey through the life of a music icon.

Now, talking about icons, there's an in-house photographer who does a brilliant job of taking pictures with a life-size Johnny Cash.

For a reasonable price, you get a lovely keepsake of your visit, complete with a digital download.

It's a fun experience, one that leaves you with a tangible memory of the Man in Black himself.

What's more, the place stays open till 7 pm every day.

So, if you're like me, someone who often finds themselves looking to fill some evening hours, this museum is absolutely perfect.

And don't let the size of the museum fool you.

Yes, it's not the largest around, but it's packed with a richness that's worth every penny of the admission fee.

There's a sweet gift shop too, and let me warn you, it's going to be hard to resist the temptation to take home a piece of the legend.

But then again, who wouldn't want a slice of the Man in Black's legacy?

Get Inspired at Frist Art Museum

Entrance to Frist Art Museum
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There's something about the Frist Art Museum that always draws me in.

Maybe it's the grandeur of the art deco building, originally a post office, now home to a constantly evolving showcase of visual art.

One of the things that I love about the Frist Art Museum is the rotation of exhibits - there's something new to see every three to four months.

My last visit was quite memorable. There were two main exhibits on the ground floor and one upstairs.

Each was insightful, offering a peek into the minds of the artists and their work.

I was particularly taken by a video art exhibition that was projected on large format screens. It was bold, modern, and felt very cutting-edge.

What struck me as a delightful surprise was a hall displaying 36 works by Tennessee high school students, chosen from 700 entries.

Aerial view of Frist Art Museum
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The museum's initiative to support and showcase young talent was really heartwarming to see.

Apart from the exhibitions, I also got the chance to create my own art in their art studio area, a unique hands-on experience you don't get at many museums.

If you're planning a visit, don't forget to get the parking validation ticket - it helped me save on parking fees.

And the best part? Kids get in free!

Embark on a Journey to Discovery at the Adventure Science Center

Night view of Adventure Science Center's pyramid
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Imagine being a kid again, full of curiosity and wonder and eager to discover the world around you.

That's me every time I pay a visit to the Adventure Science Center.

Hands down, this is one of my favorite spots in town. A multilevel museum that doubles as a playground for all things tech, health, and ecology.

The magic begins the moment you step inside the huge three-story building.

Yes, you read that right, three levels of fun and learning!

My 12-year-old nephew, who’s just as excited about science as I am, often joins me.

He’s particularly fond of the rock-climbing wall, which spans across the heart of the center.

Just remember, though, if you're planning on a climb, you must be 8 years old, and don't forget your closed-toe shoes!

The rock climbing isn't the only highlight. The museum is filled with live science demonstrations that leave us both in awe every time.

However, be prepared, this place can get pretty loud, even during weekdays.

But hey, that's the sound of kids having fun and learning, right?

However, it's not all science and tech at the Adventure Science Center.

There's a huge playground in the center, towering over three stories tall.

It's definitely a hit among the little ones, but be warned, it can get quite packed.

We've often found ourselves wishing for a staff member to monitor the playground and ensure everyone's playing nicely.

Dine and Enjoy Local Talent at The Bluebird Cafe

Exterior of The Bluebird Cafe
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There's something magical about evenings spent at The Bluebird Cafe that I find hard to put into words.

It's a tiny spot tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle of Nashville, but step inside, and you'll be transported to a world of soulful music and heartfelt words penned by both rising stars and established songwriters.

On Wednesdays, I often head over there for their 'in the round' performances - a unique setup that offers an intimate experience with the artists.

Make sure you do your homework and read up on the online ticket-purchasing process beforehand.

A little planning can go a long way in securing a spot at their coveted tables.

I've seen many friends scramble last minute to secure tickets, only to be disappointed.

Getting to the venue is easiest with rideshare, given the limited parking and ongoing construction in the area.

Don't let the exterior fool you - inside, it's cozy and welcoming.

Once you're in, the line for ticket holders is on the left, and those on standby are on the right.

Be prepared for a food or drink minimum purchase along with your ticket.

I must say, the food is surprisingly good.

From the eggroll appetizers to their drinks, I've never been disappointed.

The service is quick and friendly, adding to the overall charm of the place.

One thing I love about The Bluebird Cafe is the memorabilia that adorns its walls, each piece a testament to its rich history in Nashville's music scene.

Make sure you take a moment to browse through.

Also, don't miss out on their merchandise at the small counter near the entrance.

I always make it a point to pick up a shirt, adding to my growing collection.

While the space might seem unassuming, the talent that graces the stage is anything but.

Every time I visit, I find myself awestruck by the raw emotion and passion that pours out from each performance.

It's a reminder of why I keep coming back, week after week.

Go Bar-Hopping along the Honky Tonk Highway

A building at Honky Tonk Highway
Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's something about the Honky Tonk Highway that just gets into your soul.

I'm talking about that part in each of us that appreciates good music, good company, and good times.

The kind of place that makes the stresses of everyday life just fade away.

That's exactly what the Honky Tonk Highway does for me, and it has for years.

You can find me there most evenings, exploring the various bars, each one a different world where music is the lifeblood.

Every single night, the heart of the city beats a rhythm that calls everyone to dance, laugh, and enjoy life.

You can hear the music from the streets, drawing you in with its melody.

One of the best things about the Honky Tonk Highway is the sense of camaraderie that exists there.

Everyone is there for the music and the atmosphere.

And why not? When was the last time you walked into a bar and there was live music playing without a cover charge?

Visit the Honky Tonk Highway and that's the norm, not the exception.

And the music! Oh, the music!

It's the heartbeat of the city.

It's not unusual to hear different bands playing on different floors of the same bar.

And they're all so talented. I remember one night, I was listening to Dean James & The Treatment, and they were absolutely fantastic.

Go Wine Tasting at Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery

Nothing quite beats the magic of stepping back in time, especially when it's accompanied by the sweet taste of locally made wine.

That's precisely the experience the Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery offers.

Nestled in the heart of our city, this Greek Revival-style plantation house and its sprawling grounds dating back to the 1840s have been a part of my regular weekend getaways.

On a typical visit, I start my day off with a guided tour of the stately mansion.

The staff, always eager to share their wealth of historical knowledge, never fails to captivate me with tales of the plantation's rich past.

In a span of an hour or so, they weave a fascinating tapestry of history that never grows old, no matter how many times I've heard it.

But the mansion is just the tip of the iceberg.

The surrounding grounds, shaded by magnificent magnolia trees, are an oasis of tranquillity.

The perfect spot to unwind with a good book or simply soak in the timeless beauty of the place.

An added bonus is the game area, where you can challenge your friends to a friendly game of cornhole.

Of course, no visit to Belle Meade is complete without their complimentary wine tasting.

Their selection of wines, especially the Carriage House White, is a testament to their dedication to the craft.

It's not uncommon for me to leave with a bottle or two to enjoy at home.

After a day of exploring and savoring fine wines, I usually cap off my visit with a hearty meal at The Belle Meade Meat & Three, located right on the property.

The food is as delightful as the rest of the experience, making it the perfect end to a perfect day.

Catch a Concert at Ascend Amphitheater

Exterior of Ascend Amphitheater
Shane Raynor, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every city has its hotspot, that one place where you can always count on a good time.

For me, in Nashville, it’s the Ascend Amphitheater.

Nestled in the heart of Riverfront Park, this outdoor music arena is a must-visit for any music enthusiast.

One of my favorite things about the Ascend Amphitheater is its capacity.

With room for 6,800 people, it feels like a mini music festival right in our backyard.

The venue offers a variety of seating options, from reserved and lawn to VIP, ensuring a comfortable experience for every attendee, whether you want an intimate concert experience or just want to sprawl out on the grass and enjoy the music.

What really sets Ascend Amphitheater apart, though, is the level of organization and the ease of navigation.

The flow of pedestrian traffic is seamless, with new ticket-scanning technology making entry a breeze.

Once inside, finding amenities such as concessions and restrooms is a piece of cake, thanks to well-placed signage and helpful ushers.

Additionally, Ascend’s location makes it a prime destination for a night out.

The venue is a mere walking distance from Broadway and a plethora of restaurants and bars, allowing you to easily extend your evening beyond the concert.

Go Timetravel through Music in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum

Exterior of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Every city has its heartbeat, and for Nashville, it's the rhythm of music that pulses through its veins.

And at the heart of it all is the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, a treasure trove of memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of the artists who've shaped the music industry.

I live within the hum of this vibrant city, and a trip to the museum never fails to leave me in awe.

The moment you step onto the lowest level of the building, where the entrance is slyly tucked away, you feel a shift.

It's like stepping back in time into a world filled with echoes of legendary melodies and the whispers of music history.

Your journey starts with an introductory film, setting the stage for an experience that weaves a complex tapestry of stories from the music world.

As you navigate through the sprawling exhibits, be prepared to be awed by the variety.

But be vigilant, as some of the showcases are not marked well or might seem like mere passageways.

One of my favorite parts of the museum is the interactive section.

It might be easy to miss, but trust me, it is worth the exploration.

Exterior of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

I still recall feeling a thrill as I tested various instruments, each one telling a story of a musician's journey.

There is no denying the sense of legacy that permeates this place.

As a music enthusiast, it is like being given a backstage pass to the lives of musicians, some of whom I have grown up listening to.

The wealth of information and the artifacts on display offer a deep dive into the evolution of music.

I've been to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum countless times, and each visit reveals something new.

I've spent hours getting lost in the stories, the music, and the history that wraps around you like a well-loved melody.

It's not just a museum; it’s a testament to the power of music and the musicians who continue to shape its history.

Soak Up the Sun at Cumberland Park

Aerial view of Cumberland Park
4kclips / Shutterstock.com

It isn't unusual to find me soaking up the sun and the breathtaking views of the Nashville skyline at Cumberland Park.

This isn't just any park, it's an innovative play space that stretches along the riverbank with a climbing wall, splash areas, and an amphitheater.

One of the things I genuinely enjoy about this park is its ability to transition from day to night.

As the sun sets, the lights from the city reflect on the river, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

It's an ideal spot for evening strolls across the pedestrian bridge or simply lounging on the park's lawn.

The ambiance is peaceful yet alive, giving you a break from the hustle and bustle without taking you too far away from the city's vibrancy.

Cumberland Park isn't just for strolling or admiring the view, though.

People at Cumberland Park
4kclips / Shutterstock.com

The climbing wall is a hit among the kids, and the amphitheater is an excellent spot for concerts and plays.

The pedestrian bridge is a gateway to the city's downtown, making it an exciting starting point for urban exploration.

Perhaps one of my favorite memories of the park was when I boarded the "Tennessee River Cruise" by American Cruise Lines.

The cruise started from this very park and navigated through the Tennessee, Ohio, and Cumberland Rivers.

The staff was incredibly accommodating, taking care of everything and allowing me to sit back and enjoy the scenery without worry in the world.

Unravel the History of Belmont Mansion

Exterior of Belmont Mansion
Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com

I've always loved immersing myself in the history that surrounds us, and one of my favorite places to do that is right here in Nashville, at Belmont Mansion.

Having been built in 1853 for a wealthy cotton heiress, this grand estate now serves as a historical house museum, providing an intriguing glimpse into a bygone era.

Walking through the opulent rooms of the mansion, I often find myself lost in thoughts of the past, pondering the lives of those who once called this place home.

The docents do an excellent job of presenting the history and intricate details about the mansion, its owners, and how it has evolved over time.

I always encourage visitors to opt for the guided tour - it's just a few dollars more and provides a wealth of information you can't get from just wandering around.

The Belmont Mansion isn't just a house, it's a testament to the people who lived and worked here.

A gazebo at Belmont Mansion
Angela N Perryman / Shutterstock.com

The Foundation behind the mansion is continually doing research to uncover more about the enslaved individuals and later hired help who were integral to the home's functioning - a reminder of the not-so-glamorous side of history.

Parking can be a bit tricky, so I always recommend getting there early.

And while you're there, don't forget to take a stroll around the campus.

Nestled right in the heart of it, the mansion's stately grandeur juxtaposed with the modern university buildings is truly a sight to see.

The garden of Belmont Mansion
Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com

Pamper Yourself at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

Exterior of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

As a lover of all things Nashville, I had to take a trip to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

Right from the moment I stepped inside, I was enchanted.

Beneath the sprawling glass atrium, I found myself surrounded by stunning indoor gardens, waterfalls, and even pools.

Not to mention, the boat rides around the resort, it's quite the spectacle!

Honestly, it's so much more than just an upscale resort.

Although I do find the prices a tad steep, especially parking ($35 for self-parking still stings), the overall experience is worth the splurge once in a while.

You just need to manage your expectations.

For instance, the boat ride costs around $67 for a family of four, and while it does seem costly, the captivating views of the gardens and the insightful narration from the guide make it a must-do.

That said, since the resort has become a part of the Marriott chain, a few things have changed.

Interior of Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

It feels a bit less personalized now, a bit more corporate.

The resort is visually stunning and immaculate.

The staff are always cleaning, and for the most part, they're friendly and helpful.

If you're planning to visit, remember to download their app - it's a lifesaver when navigating the resort's expansive grounds.

And, if you get a chance, spend a day at Soundwaves, their indoor and outdoor watermark.

A lounge at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

Meet and Greet Animals at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Golden eagle at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Kevin D. Oliver / Shutterstock.com

Whenever I need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, I head over to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

This place is more than just a zoo; it's a home away from home, a sanctuary for animals and humans alike.

The early morning visits are my favorite. The weather tends to be cooler and there's a certain peace and tranquility that hovers over the park.

The vast array of animals from all corners of the globe never ceases to amaze me.

They're all so uniquely beautiful, making it impossible for me to choose a favorite.

What I love about the zoo is that it's not just for kids, it's for everyone.

Even without kids in tow, I always manage to have a fantastic time.

One of my most memorable experiences was watching the kangaroos.

Red panda at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Joanne Merriam, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They're such fascinating creatures, and the staff were incredibly knowledgeable about them, sharing interesting facts and insights that added to the overall experience.

I also appreciate the ample shaded areas and walkways, which provide much-needed respite on hot days.

They're currently renovating the rhino and giraffe area. I'm excited about the upgrade and can't wait for it to be completed.

Although I appreciate the modern wayfinding methods, like scanning QR codes for directions, I do miss having physical maps at the entrance.

Despite the occasional rainfall that cuts visits short, every trip to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is always worth it.

I particularly love their year-round events, which keep things fresh and exciting.

Bongo at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Joanne Merriam, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Buy Local Produce at the Nashville Farmers' Market

Signage of Nashville Farmers' Market
Josiah True / Shutterstock.com

Every chance I get, I find myself wandering through the aisles of the Nashville Farmers' Market, basking in the energy of the bustling local vendors and the vibrant colors of our Tennessee produce.

The market is teeming with a gamut of delectable foods, handcrafted items, cooking classes, and live chef demonstrations, making each visit a unique culinary adventure.

One sunny afternoon at the market, I stumbled across the gem that is Kyleigh's Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade. Jimmie, the owner, brews the most incredible lemonade I've ever tasted.

The balance of tart and sweet in his lemonade is pure magic, and the exact amount of ice makes it the perfect cooling refreshment.

I found myself returning the same day for a second glass, the cravings were that intense. His stand is a must-visit.

Apart from the food and drink, one can't help but admire the unexpected beauty of the Gardens of Babylon, nestled right in the heart of Nashville.

This beautifully designed plant shop houses a fascinating array of garden sculptures, adding an artistic flair to the vibrant greenery.

I also had a chance to buy a handmade Turkish towel from one of the stalls.

The quality was superb, and it was fascinating to watch the artisan work his craft.

Fresh produce at Nashville Farmers' Market
KennStilger47 / Shutterstock.com

The market isn't just about the goods on offer, though.

The friendly, welcoming atmosphere is what sets the Nashville Farmers' Market apart.

From the vendors to the visitors, everyone is filled with a contagious jovial energy that makes the market such a delightful place to spend the day.

And if you're looking for a family-friendly outing, this market is a great choice.

With ample restroom facilities, a food court with a wide selection of cuisine, and eco-conscious features like recycling and composting bins, it's a place that caters to everyone.

Fall harvest at Nashville Farmers' Market
KennStilger47 / Shutterstock.com

Hang Out with the Locals at Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Exterior of Tootsies Orchid Lounge
Hendrickson Photography / Shutterstock.com

There's something truly special about Tootsies Orchid Lounge, a legendary honky-tonk bar nestled in the heart of my city.

It's not just another watering hole, it's a piece of history tucked away across the alley from the iconic Ryman Theater.

Whether you're after a cool beer on a hot day or some delicious food, Tootsies has got you covered.

Its multi-level design allows for a variety of experiences, from the lively bustle of the ground floor to the chill atmosphere of the rooftop.

And the price? Surprisingly reasonable, especially for the hearty portions they serve.

Live music is the soul of Tootsies, with multiple bands performing across the levels.

However, the bands do have a habit of coming around asking for donations, which, although a bit tacky, doesn't really dampen the overall vibe.

My personal favorite spot is the third level, where the musicians are super friendly, and the view of the city is breathtaking.

Entrance to Tootsies Orchid Lounge
Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock.com

It's a great place to unwind and enjoy some good music.

Even though the alcohol is a bit on the pricier side, they do have a selection of unique IPAs that are worth a try.

The rooftop area is perfect for those days when you just need to feel a cool breeze while sipping on your drink.

When you visit Tootsies Orchid Lounge, don't forget to take in the nostalgia of the place.

The bright purple walls adorned with iconic photos, the lively atmosphere, and the good service make it a must-visit place on Broadway.

I guarantee you'll have a blast.

Final Thoughts

After living here for so many years, I am still in awe of the multifaceted charm of Nashville.

Whether it's the soul-stirring melodies echoing from the Grand Ole Opry, the timeless exhibits of the Tennessee State Museum, or the tranquility of Radnor Lake State Park, every corner of this city unfurls a new tale.

With each visit to these landmarks, I discover something new, something exciting.

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