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  • Writer's pictureAmy Leggett

My 10 Favorite Things to Do When I Visit Nashville

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

If you love listening to live music by talented musicians, you need to plan a trip to Nashville, also known as Music City, immediately if not sooner. Nashville has been the launching pad for many past and present popular musicians. As you walk up and down Broadway, there is live music playing in every bar all day and all night by excellent performers hoping to be discovered and make it big.

Even if music isn't your cup of (sweet) tea, Nashville has plenty of other things to keep you occupied. There is amazing food, sporting events, museums, history, and lots of shopping. And don't forget the moonshine! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Nashville and I am sure you will love it too.

Here is a list of my favorite things to do when I visit Nashville:

Old Town Trolley Tours: My favorite thing to do when I get to a new location is check to see if they have a hop on/hop off tour bus. It gives me my bearings and I can determine what things I definitely want to see while I am there. In Nashville, the Old Town Trolley Tours has 14 different stops as it takes you around the city. Some of these stops will be specifically highlighted in this list, but there are many different stops that may be of particular interest to you. The great thing about the hop on/hop off is that it gives you transportation around the city and you can get off and explore where ever you choose. Another Trolley will be around to pick you up about every 30 minutes. To me the cost of the ticket is totally worth the benefits!

Honkey Tonk Bar Crawl: Obviously! This is the main Nashville attraction. Most honky tonk bars are located on lower Broadway, known as Honky Tonk Highway. Live music starts at 10 am every morning and goes until 3 am! There are so many bars and honky tonks it is hard to know where to go. Some of it is just a trial and error effort. There are no cover charges in Nashville, so you can just walk up and down Broadway (and the nearby side streets) and pop into any place that looks interesting. Most bars pipe the music being played inside onto the sidewalk, so if you hear someone you like you can run inside to listen some more. Many of the bars have several different floors with a different band on each floor so make sure to check out every floor of a place you like. If it is a nice day or evening, be sure to head to the very top if the bar has a rooftop. Many of the bars in Nashville are partially owned (or inspired) by today's most popular country music stars: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton to name a few. So if you have a favorite country musician, check to see if they have a place and be sure to put that one on your list. Having been to Nashville twice now, I have found a couple of places that I consistently enjoy:

  • Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row

  • Honky Tonk Central

  • Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock-n-Roll Steakhouse

  • Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge-Especially the rooftop bar!

  • Lucky Bastard Saloon-One of the newest honky tonks on Broadway.

  • Nudie's Honky Tonk-A great spot for a rooftop selfie capturing Broadway lights in the background!

Ole Smokey Distillery/Yee Haw Brewery: We discovered this place after a tip from a local and we are so glad we did! Definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon. Check out my blog on Ole Smoky here [ADD LINK HERE AFTER PUBLISHED].

Line Dancing Lessons at Wildhorse Saloon: The Wildhorse Saloon is an iconic Nashville venue. It has the largest dance floor in the downtown area and an expansive stage for live performances. There are two floors to view the stage and a suspended herd of wild horses on the ceiling. Line dancing lessons are free and taught by an instructor in between sets of live music. The schedule for performances and line dancing lessons can be found on the Wildhorse Saloon website. They also have a full menu, so you may want to consider this place for dinner and a show (plus a little bit of dancing). There really isn't too much room to line dance at the other honky tonks, so it is fun to have the opportunity and the instruction.

Country Music Hall of Fame: This museum is really interesting and takes a few hours to get through. You will especially appreciate it if you are a big country music fan, but I think it is also interesting to music fans in general. There are lots of audio exhibits and it shows the progression of country music from where it started to where it is now.

Ryman Auditorium: You can tour the building that was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. It is cool to see this historic venue up close and personal. There are still live performances at the Ryman and I have been told it is a fantastic place to see a show, so you may want to check out the schedule during your stay to see if you can catch one.

Shopping: I love to get my retail fix in whenever I am traveling. Check out my blog on the best places to shop in Nashville here. [INSERT LINK TO BLOG ON SHOPPING IN NASHVILLE]

Johnny Cash/Patsy Cline Museum: On my last visit to Nashville, I went to the Johnny Cash museum. It is small and doesn't take long, but costs $22.95. Personally, I didn't think it was worth it as I am not a huge Johnny Cash fan. However, for a true fan there was a lot of cool memorabilia that would be interesting. What I did enjoy was the Johnny Cash cafe/bar right next store. There was a cool "Johnny" vibe to the place. That doesn't cost anything to go in! I haven't done the Patsy Cline museum yet, but I do love her music so hopefully I can fit it in on my next Nashville trip.

Gaylord Opryland/Grand Ole Opry: The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center complex is located outside of downtown Nashville. You will require a car or an Uber ride to visit. If you have not been before, it is worth the trip. The complex is amazing and is a one of a kind 9 acre atrium with indoor streams and gardens. There are a variety of activities, shopping and restaurants. Of course it is the current home to the iconic Grand Ole Opry. I went to a show at the Grand Ole Opry on my first visit and am glad I did it. I didn't feel the need to make the trek out there this time, but it is something that everyone who goes to Nashville should do at least once.

Sporting Events or Concerts: I like to schedule some of my trips around a sporting event or concert that I want to see. That way, I can take in an event I would like to enjoy anyway, but also get to check out a new area! The Tennessee Titans play football at Nissan Stadium which is walking distance from downtown. The Nashville Predators play hockey at Bridgestone Arena which also hosts a variety of concerts and is located right on the Honky Tonk Highway. I planned my first visit to Nashville to see the Zac Brown Band at Bridgestone Arena and got the best tickets I have ever had for a concert at a reasonable price! I am spoiled now. If you are interested in going to Nashville, see if you can schedule it around an event or concert. So easy to do both here!

There are many other things to do and see in Nashville. These are just a few of my personal favorites. What do you like to do when you are in Nashville? I will definitely be back so would love some recommendations for different things to do next time I am in town!

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