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Is Nashville Fun? Here's What You Need to Know

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Nashville is often referred to as the country music capital of the world, and it's easy to see why. This vibrant city has something for everyone, from live music and entertainment to incredible restaurants and shopping. So, is Nashville fun? Absolutely!

Whether you're a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there are always new things to explore in this fantastic city. Ready to have some fun in Nashville? Here are some ideas:

Top 10 Attractions & Things to Do in Nashville

With so much to see and do, it can be tough to narrow down your options. Here are our top 10 picks for attractions and activities in Nashville:

1. Visit the Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee

A visit to the Grand Ole Opry is a must for anyone interested in country music or radio history. The show has been running for over 90 years and is integral to Nashville's identity. The current venue, the Grand Ole Opry House, can seat 4,000 people and offers backstage tours for those interested in learning more about the behind-the-scenes workings of the show.

Tickets can be purchased in advance, and parking is available nearby Opry Mills Mall. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of the biggest names in country music live and up close.

2. Get a Taste of Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville music entertainment establishments

The heart of Nashville is its vibrant and lively downtown area. This is where you'll find all the best music attractions and plenty of nightlife and other activities. Broadway is the central thoroughfare in this district, and it's where you'll find live music spilling out into the streets from the many Honky Tonks lining the street. This is the place to be if you're looking for a good time.

Along with all the fun, Downtown Nashville also has a lot of history. You can see evidence of the city's earliest settlers at Fort Nashborough, and there are plenty of landmarks to see from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. So if you're looking for a mix of old and new, downtown Nashville is the place to be.

3. Explore Nashville Zoo

Grey Ring-Tail Lemur Nashville

This zoo is home to over 3,000 animals from 350 different species. You can find animals from all over the world, including Africa, South America, and Asia. The zoo has a large aviary where you can feed and interact with more than 50 Australian parrots.

Other highlights include the Wild Animal Carousel and Wilderness Express Train. Kids will love the large Jungle Gym, where they can explore, play, and have fun. For a thrill, try the Soaring Eagle Zip Line. You'll want to add this zoo to your list of must-see places in Nashville!

4. Take in a Show at the Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee

The Ryman Auditorium is a historic music venue located in downtown Nashville. It is most famous for being the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. Today, the Ryman continues to host regular performances of classical and bluegrass music, musical theatre, and television shows.

The Ryman is often called the "Carnegie Hall of the South" due to its excellent acoustics. The auditorium also features a museum with exhibits related to its musical history. Guided and self-guided tours are available, as well as backstage tours. Visitors can also try to cut a record in the Air Castle Studio.

5. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is a city located in the heart of Tennessee. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located in downtown Nashville and is a popular tourist destination. The museum celebrates country music and its history with interactive exhibits and displays of costumes, instruments, gold records, and memorabilia from famous artists.

Some of the museum's highlights include a Cadillac that belonged to Elvis Presley, a massive 40-foot guitar, and a tour bus. Visitors can also record their own country music songs in a replica of a tour bus. Guided tours of the nearby historic RCA Studio B are also available.

6. Tour the Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Mansion

Belle Meade Mansion is a beautiful Greek-Revival-style mansion that was built in 1845. During the Battle of Nashville in 1864, Union and Confederate forces fought in the mansion's front yard. The mansion is surrounded by what remains of the former antebellum plantation.

Guided tours are available that tell the history of the estate from the perspective of the slaves forced to work and live here. There are also culinary experiences and seasonal programs offered at Belle Meade. You can explore the plantation stables, gardens, and grounds. If time allows, grab a bite to eat at Harding House Restaurant, a popular spot for lunch or dinner. Belle Meade Historic Site is nine miles from downtown Nashville.

7. Visit The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson

Resting place of US president Andrew Jackson in the Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee

This historic estate is one of Nashville's most beautiful places to visit. The Hermitage was originally built in 1819 and rebuilt 25 years after a devastating fire. It was the home of America's seventh president, Andrew Jackson. When you visit, you can imagine what it would have been like to live there in the 1800s.

The mansion includes a museum exhibiting Jackson's private and public lives. You can also take a wagon ride or participate in a ghost tour. The grounds are well-kept and include the burial site of Jackson and his wife. Nearby, you can visit the Tulip Grove Mansion, once the home of Jackson's family members, Emily and Andrew.

8. Stop by the Johnny Cash Museum

The Johnny Cash Museum on 3rd Ave in Nashville, Tennessee

The Johnny Cash Museum is a must-see for any country music fan. Located in downtown Nashville, the museum features handwritten lyrics to some of Cash's most famous songs, costumes, instruments, letters, artwork, and more. There's also a museum store and café on-site, so you can stock up on souvenirs and snacks before continuing your exploration.

If you're interested in learning about country music's history, visit the Patsy Cline Museum next door. The museum features videos, memorabilia, and personal items from the life of this gifted singer, who tragically died in a car accident at only 30 years old.

9. See the Nashville Parthenon

Parthenon Architecture Replica Building Nashville Tennessee Park

The Nashville Parthenon is a beautiful replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It is located in Centennial Park, just a short walk west of the city center. The original Parthenon was made of wood and was built in 1897 to commemorate the state's first century.

You can admire the 42-foot-high model of the statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos, which is covered in gold leaf. You can also see replicas of the famous 5th-century BCE Parthenon Marbles. The Nashville Parthenon is great for learning about Greek history and culture.

10. Experience the Gaylord Opryland Resort

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is home to a fantastic collection of 50,000 tropical plants worldwide. These plants are housed in a massive indoor garden that takes up nine acres of space and is tended by 20 full-time horticulturalists.

You can find tropical plants in this garden, from palm trees and banana trees to ginger bushes and black olive trees. Two 40-foot Southern magnolias mark the entrance to the garden. You can explore the different garden areas on a delta flatboat and make a wish beneath the Wishing Banyan tree. This is a truly incredible place to see some of the world's most beautiful and exotic plants.

Top 5 Day Trip Ideas from Nashville

The best way to see everything that Nashville offers is to take a day trip from the city. Here are five great ideas for day trips from Nashville:

1. Nashville to Jack Daniel's Distillery Bus Tour

Sign for Jack Daniel's distillery tour in Lynchburg, TN, USA

The Jack Daniel's Distillery is a historic site offering guided tours and premium Tennessee whiskey tastings. This tour from Nashville allows you to explore the distillery, learn about the process of making whiskey, and taste several different kinds of whiskey. You'll also have free time to walk around the nearby town of Lynchburg and explore its shops and restaurants. This tour is a great way to learn about the history of Jack Daniel's and taste some of the best whiskey in the world.


2. General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise

Nashville at the Cumberland River

The General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise is a great way to see Nashville from the Cumberland River. You can choose between a lunch or dinner cruise and enjoy live entertainment, including music, comedy, and dancers. The boat has an authentic paddle wheel, and you can enjoy the scenery on the riverbanks as well as the skyline of Nashville. The cruise also includes round-trip transportation from local hotels.

3. Nashville to Memphis Day Trip

Sign of famous Beale Street in downtown Memphis

For music lovers, a trip from Nashville to Memphis is a must. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is where rock 'n' roll and blues were born. This full-day tour gives visitors VIP access to Graceland, Elvis Presley's iconic former home.

There's also a guided 1-hour tour of Sun Studios, where legends like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded some of their most famous tracks. In addition to these musical highlights, there's also free time to explore other Memphis landmarks like Beale Street and the Peabody Hotel. Or, you can always go on your own and try these fun things to do in Memphis here.

4. Civil War Tour

Luminaries to commemorate the Civil War Battle of Franklin

The Civil War Tour offers a unique look into the Battle of Franklin, which took place in 1864. The tour includes stops at the Lotz House, Carter House, Carnton Plantation, and more. Your guide will provide in-depth information about what happened during the battle and its aftermath at each stop. Walking through the historical sites, you'll see the bullet and cannon ball holes still visible today. This is an excellent tour for history buffs who want to learn more about one of the most significant battles of the Civil War.

5. Full-Day Tour of Chattanooga

Drone shot of Chattanooga before sunrise

On this full-day adventure, visitors explore the best of Chattanooga, TN, and Lookout Mountain, GA. Our tour includes paid admission to the area's top 3 attractions, round-trip transportation from Nashville, water and snack for the trip, and a special lunch.

Highlights of the day include incredible wonders like Ruby Falls and Rock City Gardens. This is the perfect package for visitors looking to experience the best of both states.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Nashville

If you're planning a trip to Nashville, you'll need a place to stay. Here are three of our top picks for hotels in Nashville:

1. The Hermitage Hotel

Hermitage hotel on 6th Avenue N in downtown Nashville, Tennessee

The Hermitage Hotel is a luxurious establishment housed in a beaux arts building from 1910. It is located across the street from Legislative Plaza and the Tennessee State Museum. You'll find that the rooms here are refined, with Italian linens, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi included.

Some of the suites even come with wet bars and formal dining rooms with views of the Tennessee State Capitol. The hotel also has its own Southern restaurant and a wood-paneled library bar specializing in bourbon. You'll be treated to free afternoon cider and cookies in the lobby, and there's also a 24-hour exercise room, spa, and five meeting rooms (including a ballroom) on site.

2. Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville

With a central location in downtown Nashville, the Hampton Inn & Suites is just a 14-minute walk from the Tennessee State Capitol and a mile from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The hotel offers relaxed rooms with flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi, minifridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers. Some suites also feature sitting areas, sofabeds, and wet bars. Guests can enjoy the rooftop pool with city views, work out in the fitness room, and start the day with a complimentary breakfast. Parking is also available.

3. The 121 Hotel

The 121 Hotel is a popular group choice, as it's just a two-minute walk from the main shopping street. Additionally, the hotel is just five minutes walk from Centennial Park. If you're looking to explore the music scene, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is only three miles away. However, if you want to stay in touch with the outside world, all rooms include Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. The suites are also a great option, as they come with either a living room or a balcony. Additionally, some of the suites have an extra bedroom with bunk beds. Lastly, if you're looking for a luxurious experience, check out the penthouse. It features chandeliers, a kitchen, and a dining table.

Final Thoughts

Aerial shot of skyscrapers in downtown Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is a great city for tourists who want to experience the best of both worlds. You can enjoy historical sites and then relax in one of the many luxurious hotels that Nashville offers. Whether you're looking for a centrally located hotel or one with amazing views, there's something for everyone in this Tennessee city.

Regardless of what activities you get up to, we would like to wish you all the best on your trip! Remember to take lots of pictures!

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