3 Days in Nashville: Everything You Should Know
Three chords and the truth might be all you need to write a great country music song, but 3 days in Nashville isn't nearly enough to see everything Music City has to offer. With a long weekend to spend in Nashville, you're going to have to prioritize if you want to understand what makes the city so special. And country music is a big part of that.
With no more than a long weekend to spend, you may not want to stray outside of downtown Nashville since it's home to many of the city's top attractions. Enjoy the Nashville skyline, take a walk along the Cumberland River, then visit the Grand Ole Opry, and you'll see exactly why this is called Music City.
But there's more to Nashville than country music, and there's plenty more to add to your Nashville itinerary when you visit. Visiting the city on a Nashville weekend getaway won't allow you to see everything there is to see, but if nothing else, it will give you a good idea of things you could do on a future trip.
On any weekend trip to the city, you may struggle to see everything. That's why it's so important to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville. Traveling light will make it much easier to get around and enjoy everything there is to see here, from incredible live music to vibrant street art to museums and historic attractions.
Nashville Itinerary – Day One
After making your way out of Nashville International Airport and dropping off your bags, you'll be ready to explore downtown Nashville and everything it offers. And you don't need to be a country music fan to fall in love with the city quickly - although it certainly helps. Nashville is a growing city with a lively buzz about it, and you'll soon find yourself swept away in its vibrant atmosphere.
Start your first day in Nashville with a cup of joe from Frothy Monkey. With several locations around the city, you're never too far away from one of their delicious coffees. And if you need something a little stronger to get going, they also serve beer and wine. Then, it's time to walk off that caffeine buzz with a stroll around Nashville.
Head to Broadway, the main strip in downtown Nashville, and take in the sights and sounds of Music City. You'll find plenty of country music bars here - some touristy, some not - as well as live music spilling out onto the street. If you want to catch a live show, there are plenty of options, from big names at the Ryman Auditorium to up-and-comers playing at The 5 Spot.
Once you've had your fill of live music, it's time to explore some of Nashville's other attractions. Stroll down to the Cumberland River and take in the views of the skyline, or visit one of the city's many museums. The Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-visit on any Nashville trip, as is the Johnny Cash Museum if you're a fan of The Man in Black.
In fact, you could easily spend a whole afternoon in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Country music fans will be in heaven in this fascinating place that displays costumes, instruments, handwritten lyrics, and other artifacts from all the greatest names in the history of country music. Many of the exhibits are interactive, meaning the Country Music Hall of Fame is also a great place to bring kids and the perfect way to spend a few hours during your three days in Nashville.
Just remember that this is one of Nashville's most popular attractions, so while it's definitely worth seeing when you visit Nashville, don't expect to escape crowds here.
The Johnny Cash Museum is a great alternative museum to visit in Nashville. While Johnny Cash is an icon of country music, he also has enormous crossover appeal to fans of many different genres. This small but interesting museum tells the story of Johnny's work and life, and you'll leave with a new appreciation of the creative process and of the importance of this singular artist from one of the best museums in Nashville.
As night falls, the energy on Broadway ramps up. This is when all the bars and clubs come to life, so if you're looking for a party, this is the place to be. But if you want something a little more low-key, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from.
If you're in the mood for some southern comfort food, head to Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant. This small chain of restaurants serves up classic southern dishes like fried chicken, pulled pork, and macaroni and cheese. And if you want to try some Nashville hot chicken - a local specialty - Puckett's is a great place to start.
For something a little more upscale, check out The Catbird Seat. This restaurant has an intimate setting with only 26 seats, so reservations are essential. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect fresh, seasonal ingredients and unique flavor combinations.
Nashville Itinerary – Day Two
Start your second day in Nashville with a visit to the Parthenon. This replica of the ancient Greek temple is one of the most surprising sights in Nashville, and it's located in Centennial Park, just a short walk from Broadway. After admiring the Parthenon, take some time to explore the rest of the park. With walking trails, a lake, and plenty of green space, Centennial Park is a great place to spend an hour or two on a beautiful day.
If you're visiting during the summer, you'll also find the park is home to one of Nashville's best family events, Musicians Corner. This free music festival is one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids, and thanks to all the great live music and excellent food on offer here, adults will have just as much fun as the children do.
When you're ready to move on, head to 12South, one of Nashville's trendiest neighborhoods. Start your exploration at Five Daughters Bakery, where you can try one of their famous 100-layer donuts. Then browse the shops on 12th Avenue South, stopping in at White's Mercantile, a general store owned by Reese Witherspoon.
Next, it's time for lunch, and there are plenty of great places to choose from in 12South. If you're in the mood for pizza, try Emmy Squared. This restaurant specializes in Detroit-style pizza, and it's some of the best pizza you'll ever eat. For something a little different, go to Burger Up. This burger joint has a casual vibe but serves up gourmet burgers made with fresh, local ingredients.
Once you've refueled, walk over to Sevier Park. This small park is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and relax for a while. If you're visiting with kids, they'll love the playground. And if you're looking for a little exercise, there's a walking trail that loops around the park. Alternatively, if you haven't seen enough of the Nashville skyline already, head to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to get a great view of the city and the Cumberland River.
In the evening, head to East Nashville for dinner. This neighborhood has some of the best restaurants in Nashville, so you'll have no trouble finding something to your taste.
If you want a truly unique dining experience, go to Rolf and Daughters. This restaurant serves contemporary Italian food in an industrial-chic setting. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect fresh pasta made from locally milled flour and seasonal ingredients.
For something a little more casual, try Husk. This restaurant is known for its southern cooking, and it sources all of its ingredients from local farms. The menu changes daily, so you'll always be able to try something new.
After dinner, walk off your meal with a stroll through Five Points. This neighborhood is known for its lively nightlife, and you'll find plenty of bars and music venues to choose from. If you're in the mood for live music, stop in at The 5 Spot. This intimate venue features a different band every night, so you're sure to find something you like. Or if you just want a place to have a few drinks and relax, go to 3 Crow Bar. This bar has a cozy atmosphere and an extensive list of craft beers.
Nashville Itinerary – Day Three
Start your third and final day in Nashville with a visit to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. This art museum is located in an old post office, and it's one of the best things to do in Nashville if you're interested in art. The museum has a diverse collection of artwork, and it also hosts temporary exhibitions from time to time.
After you've had your fill of art, walk over to Union Station. This historic train station is now home to a hotel, but you can still admire the beautiful architecture. When you're ready to move on, head to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
This park is located just north of downtown, and it's one of the best places to see some of Nashville's most important landmarks. Start your visit at the Tennessee State Museum, which tells the story of Tennessee's history from pre-Columbian times to the present day. Then walk over to the Cumberland River to see the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. This bridge is illuminated at night, so it's worth returning to later in the day.
Next, it's time for lunch, and there are plenty of great places to choose from in downtown Nashville. If you're in the mood for Mexican food, try Bartaco. This restaurant specializes in tacos and other small plates, and it has a relaxed outdoor seating area where you can enjoy your meal. You'll also find some of the best street food in Nashville here if you want something quick and easy.
If you're traveling with kids, consider visiting the Adventure Science Center. This museum has interactive exhibits on topics like space and Earth science, and it's sure to be a hit with the whole family. Alternatively, history buffs won't want to miss seeing the Tennessee State Capitol Building and learning more about Tennessee and its role in the history of the United States. There's more fascinating history on display at The Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson, which is a fascinating place to see for yourself when you visit Nashville.
It may be the last of your 3 days in Nashville, but you can't leave the city without visiting a true icon of country music. Head to the Grand Ole Opry House to see the world's longest-running live radio show. For many people, the Grand Ole Opry is synonymous with Music City and something you simply have to do on a trip to Nashville.
If you're not in the mood for country music, don't worry – there are plenty of other places to enjoy live music in Nashville. For something a little different, check out Station Inn. This bluegrass venue is one of the most popular places to see live music in Nashville, and it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy some great tunes.
No matter what you end up doing on your last night in Nashville, you're sure to have a great time. This city has something for everyone, and you'll create some amazing memories that will last a lifetime.