I have spent a lot of time in Nashville Tennessee so I always get asked what to do in Nashville TN. It is so much it can seem overwhelming. You can plan a trip 100% based on country music, or you can plan your trip and not see a single things country music-related. You can take in the history, shopping, and amazing food. In fact, I broke this post down to those exact topics.
What to do in Nashville TN – Over 80 Fun Ideas!
Before we dive into the amazing things to do I want to answer some questions readers have had about Nashville. You can skip ahead using the links below.
What is there to do in Nashville cheap?
If you are looking to visit Nashville on a budget I highly recommend grabbing the Nashville Sightseeing Pass®. Here’s why: It’s completely customizable!
You can choose between 3-7 attractions per pass. Then you can pick from over 20 attractions and tours (and they keep adding more!)
The list includes many of the places listed below including Andrew Jackson Hermitage, Belle Meade Mansion, Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Hop on Hop off the bus, and many more.
Your savings all depends on the attractions you pick and how many days your pass is, but saving can be up to 58%. Head over to Nashville Sightseeing Pass® and take a look around!
Is Nashville safe?
Every city has its ‘bad areas’ but we spend 4 months in Nashville in our Rv for the Amazon Caperforce program and didn’t have a single issue.
Looking at stats while Nashville is listed a bit higher than the national average, crime rates have dropped quite a bit in the last few years. Most crimes seem to center around downtown where the population is higher, you just be safe and alert.
Where do Nashville locals hang out?
Loveless Cafe is one of the places locals rave about. It’s also a tourist place and is listed below! Expect a wait time!
Radnor Lake is cited by several country music stars, like Taylor Swift, as a place they go to clear their heads when writing and recording music.
What is the best time of year to visit Nashville?
Generally, weather-wise April through October will be the best time to visit Nashville. This is also one of their busier times. Christmas is also a good time to visit because of the events and lights.
Now on to the list! Each link below will lead you to a post I did on the location with tons of details and picture overload!
What to do in Nashville Tn
When it comes to things to do in Nashville there is such a range from country music, Civil War history, and even an abundance of things for nature lovers. With that in mind, I want to share these two posts with you first.
Top 21 Things To Do on Your Nashville Vacation – This list is my top things that we did while in Nashville and I link to a few just outside the city too.
45 Amazing Free Things to Do in Nashville TN – Save your budget and add a few (or all!) of these free things to do to the list. Everything from concerts and bus rides, to sports practices, hiking, and museums.
Adventure Science Center – This is the first thing we did when we got to Nashville. We wanted to take the kids and have some fun because we drove 2 very long days to get there! It was the right choice with all sorts of hands-on activities the kids kept asking to go back!
Belle Meade Plantation – This one was on my bucket list and we ended up going on my birthday, which is in December, and it was all decorated up for Christmas and we did a wine tasting it was a great way to spend the day.
The Belmont Mansion – Located on the Belmont Campus, this home belonged to Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham, the richest woman in Nashville in a time when women couldn’t own anything. You can find out her amazing story here.
Grand Ole Opry – you really can’t come to Nashville and not see this place. This is the heart of country music and has so much history when it comes to having built this town. Plus behind-the-scenes tour is amazing you can see the dressing rooms, the green room, and even get your photo taken on stage!
The Hermitage, Home of Andrew Jackson – This is one of the most visited presidential homes in the country. There is so much history from his presidency and also from the time of slavery since he did own slaves.
Johnny Cash Museum – We love all things Johnny Cash and this museum did not disappoint. Lots of history of him and June, some of Elvis, and a lot of country music info too.
Visiting The Johnny Cash Grave & Home Site – On the outer East side of Nashville is where Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash are buried. Just down the road in their home and land that has burned down but you can see the ruins.
Nashville Zoo – My kids loved walking in the kangaroo encloser here and the animal footprints along all the sidewalks.
Tennessee State Fair – If you are in town when the fair is, make sure to check it out. They had some amazing southern food, rides, and even a 9/11 memorial.
Yogi Bear RV Resort Christmas Light Show – One of the best light shows I have seen! They decorate rows and rows of lights that are synchronized to music, they have a petting zoo, hot chocolate, and more.
Places to East in Nashville
15 Tennessee Fun Food Challenges – These are the Man vs Food style challenges and several are in Nashville and the surrounding area. If they aren’t your things the food is still good and worth checking out.
Aquarium Restaurant Nashville, Tennessee – An Underwater Dining Experience – This is one of the most popular places to eat for tourists and a great special place for locals. They have it set up so you feel like you are eating underwater.
From the massive aquariums in the lobby to the aquarium tunnel you walk through to your set to the massive aquarium in the center of the dining room. You will have amazing fish views from where ever you are.
The Loveless Cafe – Loved by tourists and locals alike this is probably one of the most famous restaurants in Nashville. More country music singers have eaten here than I can count (and you can try because their photos are on the walls).
The old motel surrounding the restaurant has been done up in shops and things to do while you wait. Oh yeah plan to wait at least an hour but they offer drinks, games, and other things to do.
Claim Jumper Restaurant – Located in the Opry Mills Mall this had a Smoky Mountains theme of wood and stones but also based around a gold mining theme.
The Old Spaghetti Factory – Built in an old factory downtown. They preserved so much of the old building from the bricks walls to the woodwork. The good is good and huge portions mean lunch the next day!
Opry Backstage Grill – Located near the Opry Mills Mall this makes this list for a few reasons. One they offer live music so you never know who you might hear. Two the menu offers many recipes from your favorite country music stars and the menu keeps rotating with new recipes. One like Diamond Rio’s BBQ Trio, Trace Atkins Catfish, and Little Jimmy’s Tator Tots.
Rainforest Café – Located in the Opry Mills Mall this restaurant transports you into a rainforest setting. Complete with moving animals, a changing sky, stars, and a thunderstorm every 30 minutes.
Food Challenges in Nashville – The city of Nashville is known for a lot. You can’t go wrong doing a food challenge in Nashville, Tennessee.
Shopping in Nashville Tennessee
Antique Archaeology Nashville Tennessee & Surrounding Shops – If you are a fan of History Channel American Pickers then you have to check out their Nashville store. It’s in an old factory which suits them very well. The factory has been turned into a small mall with some handmade shops with local goods, a winery with tastings, and more.
Opry Mills Mall – This is one of my favorite malls. It’s not the biggest or the most extravagant but it’s true to its music city roots. I remember visiting it as a kid and really all I remember is the ‘circle mall’. it’s littery goes in a circle so you can walk in and start and stop in the same place. They have a very Smoky Mountain, Tennessee, Country Music theme. Many themed restaurants here, a massive Bass Pro Shop, Dave and Busters, and more.
Lego Store – Located in the Opry Mills Mall this is as much an activity as it is a store. They have different stations you can build and play with the Legos in. They also allow you to mix and match a set to buy and take home.
So what do you think of our list of what to do in Nashville TN? What would you add? Let me know in the comments below.