Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, and one of the most populated cities in the state. With more than 240 years of history and a diverse array of cultures, it’s certainly one of the most interesting and most entertaining cities in the United States.
But with so many things to do in Nashville, and limited personal experience there, you may wonder whether it’s worth taking the trip—and what to do when you get there.
The Perks of Nashville
These are some of the most attractive hallmarks that Nashville offers:
- Live music. As you likely already know, Nashville has a rich musical history, and has been home to some of the most prominent musical acts of the past century. Today, there’s no shortage of musicians trying to live up to that legacy. On any given night, you’ll find musicians performing genres like country, rock, blues, pop, and jazz.
- Delicious food. Every city claims to have great food, but Nashville has a particularly interesting assortment of local delights. With signature dishes and offers like barbecue, hot chicken, burgers, and sweet tea, there’s something for everyone.
- Friendly locals. Nashville is an active and social city, and its residents offer a hint of Southern hospitality. No matter where you go, you’ll run into people willing to make friendly conversation and meet new people. Whether you’re interested in making some new long-term friends, or you just want some extra travel tips, you’ll stand to benefit from this.
- Filming (and celebrities). In recent years, Nashville has become a popular filming location for TV shows and movies. Depending on your luck and timing, you might get to see something filmed live—and you might even have the chance to be an extra. If not, you might run into a celebrity as you make your way throughout the city.
- Outdoor scenery. While the heart of downtown Nashville is full of buildings and man-made structures like most popular cities, Nashville is surrounded by natural areas. You can visit a smaller park within the borders, or drive slightly out of the city for a bigger, more open area—either way, you’ll enjoy plenty of trees, rivers, and calming wildlife.
- Architecture and cultural landmarks. Nashville also has an impressive collection of architectural and cultural landmarks. There are dozens of museums, art galleries, music venues, and similar places to explore. No matter what you’re interested in, there will be something for you to enjoy.
The Best Attractions to Try
If you’re planning a visit to Nashville for the first time, there are a few attractions that you absolutely can’t miss, including:
- The Grand Ole Opry. The so-called “home of American music” is one of the most famous music venues and radio shows in the world. Opened in 1925, and the site of major acts throughout the past century, it’s a must-visit.
- The Nashville Zoo. With more than 6,230 animals on display spread out across 188 acres, the Nashville Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country. There’s also a selection of other activities, including a playground for the kids and a zip line if you’re interested in something more exciting.
- Centennial Park. If you want to experience the slower, more natural side of Nashville, take a visit to Centennial Park. Two miles west of downtown, you’ll enjoy a man-made lake, intricate jogging paths, and tons of artistic sculptures—as well as a replica of the Greek Parthenon.
- The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Even if you’re not a big fan of country music, there’s no denying the positive effects it’s had on the development of genres like pop, rock, and even jazz. In Nashville, you’ll find this museum that showcases 200,000 rare recordings, 30,000 videos, and hundreds of instruments and artifacts from country music legends throughout history.
- Printers Alley. Printers Alley is a famous alleyway in Nashville that features some of the most prominent bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and jazz clubs in the city. If you’re looking to find something new, or if you want to wander around at night, there’s no better place in downtown Nashville.
- Radnor Lake State Park. One of the best parks for hiking in the entire state, Radnor Lake State Park has more than 1,000 acres of natural scenery. Explore the lakes, rivers, trees, trails, and natural wildlife just minutes south of the Nashville border.
Whether you’re looking for live entertainment, a relaxing time outdoors, or just more interaction with a diverse array of people, Nashville has something to offer. You might not be able to see everything you want in one trip, so take your time and enjoy the sights.