Top 15 Things to Do in Nashville: Tours, Shopping, Festivals, & More

Experience Nashville’s energy, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems, there’s always something to do in Music City.

Discover Nashville through its many attractions, shopping, dining, and music scene. Located along the Cumberland River, Nashville is a lively city known for its rich musical heritage, historical landmarks, and eclectic neighborhoods like East Nashville and Germantown. From the bustling honky-tonks of Broadway to the historic charm of Belle Meade, Music City offers a unique blend of Southern hospitality and urban excitement. Visitors can explore world-renowned music venues, indulge in Southern cuisine, and enjoy a variety of festivals and events that showcase the city’s dynamic spirit. With its lively nightlife, scenic parks, and shopping districts, Nashville has something new for anyone to enjoy.

So whether you are searching for apartments in Nashville, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here’s a list of the top 15 things to do in Nashville, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

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Tours and Attractions

1. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to dive into the rich history of country music. This expansive museum features exhibits on legendary artists, interactive displays, and a comprehensive collection of memorabilia. Located in downtown Nashville, it’s a must-visit for music enthusiasts looking to explore the roots of country music.

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2. Ryman Auditorium

Experience the historic Ryman Auditorium, known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” This iconic venue has hosted countless legendary performances and continues to be a premier location for live music. Take a guided tour to learn about its storied past and enjoy the exceptional acoustics that make every concert unforgettable.

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3. The Parthenon

Explore The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek temple, located in Centennial Park. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating art museum and the towering statue of Athena. It’s an architectural marvel and a unique cultural attraction that offers a glimpse into classical history right in the heart of Nashville.

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Shopping and Dining

4. 12 South

Discover the 12 South neighborhood, a vibrant area filled with boutique shops, trendy restaurants, and coffeehouses. Stroll down the picturesque street to shop for unique gifts, enjoy delicious meals, and soak in the lively atmosphere. It’s a perfect destination for those looking to experience local flavor and style.

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5. The Gulch

Explore The Gulch, a trendy neighborhood known for its upscale dining, chic boutiques, and vibrant nightlife. This revitalized area offers a mix of high-end restaurants, rooftop bars, and stylish shops, making it a hotspot for both locals and visitors. Don’t miss the iconic “Wings” mural for a perfect photo opportunity.

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6. East Nashville

Venture to East Nashville, an eclectic neighborhood famous for its diverse culinary scene and artistic vibe. Here you can enjoy a variety of restaurants serving everything from gourmet burgers to vegan delights, shop at vintage stores, and experience the area’s vibrant street art. It’s a hub of creativity and innovation.

Music and Nightlife

7. Broadway Honky-Tonks

Experience the electric atmosphere of Broadway, lined with honky-tonks and live music venues. From classic country tunes to modern hits, the music spills out onto the streets, creating a lively and unforgettable experience. Grab a drink, dance the night away, and immerse yourself in the heart of Nashville’s music scene.

8. The Bluebird Cafe

Visit The Bluebird Cafe, an intimate venue known for its songwriter’s nights and acoustic performances. This legendary spot has hosted some of the biggest names in music and is a place where new talents are discovered. The cozy setting provides a unique and personal live music experience.

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9. Ascend Amphitheater

Enjoy a concert under the stars at Ascend Amphitheater, an outdoor venue located on the Cumberland River. With a diverse lineup of artists and beautiful views of the Nashville skyline, it’s a fantastic place to catch a live performance. The open-air setting adds a special touch to any concert experience.

Festivals and Events

10. CMA Fest

Join the excitement of CMA Fest, Nashville’s premier country music festival. Held annually, this multi-day event features performances from top country artists on multiple stages throughout the city. It’s a celebration of country music that attracts fans from all over the world for an unforgettable musical experience.

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11. Nashville Film Festival

Attend the Nashville Film Festival, one of the longest-running film festivals in the U.S. This event showcases a diverse selection of films from around the globe, including independent films, documentaries, and shorts. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the art of filmmaking and participate in Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

12. Tomato Art Fest

Celebrate creativity and community at the Tomato Art Fest, a quirky and fun event held in East Nashville. This free festival features art, live music, parades, and contests, all centered around the beloved tomato. It’s a unique and lively event that captures the spirit of Nashville’s artistic community.

Outdoor Activities and Parks

13. Centennial Park

Relax in Centennial Park, a large urban park that offers beautiful walking trails, a lake, and the iconic Parthenon replica. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or attending one of the many events hosted in the park throughout the year. The park’s serene environment provides a refreshing escape from the city bustle.

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14. Radnor Lake State Park

Explore the natural beauty of Radnor Lake State Park, a peaceful retreat with scenic hiking trails and abundant wildlife. Just a short drive from downtown Nashville, this park is ideal for nature lovers looking to enjoy birdwatching, photography, or a tranquil walk in a picturesque setting. The park’s protected environment ensures a pristine outdoor experience.

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15. Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Enjoy outdoor recreation at Shelby Bottoms Greenway, a sprawling park offering walking and biking trails, sports fields, and scenic views of the Cumberland River. This greenway provides ample space for various activities, from jogging and cycling to birdwatching and picnicking. It’s a versatile outdoor space perfect for enjoying Nashville’s natural beauty.

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