Is there a bad time to visit Music City? Not if you're a fan of country music, there isn't. Home of the Grand Ole Opry and some of the most important studios, locations, museums, and performers in the history of country music, Nashville has a powerful draw on country music fans at any time of year.
The biggest country music events such as the CMA Music Festival and Tin Pan South bring musicians and those who love live music to Nashville, especially during the busy summer season. But there are also plenty of attractions such as Nashville Zoo and the Country Music Hall of Fame that make Nashville an excellent place to visit at any time of year. And while the summer crowds can make downtown Nashville a very crowded place, you'll find plenty to do here no matter when you choose to visit Nashville.
When visiting Nashville, it's always better to travel light. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville, and you can explore the city with confidence, knowing your things are being safely looked after. Whenever you choose to visit Music City, you'll have a much better time if you're not carrying more than you need to.
Summer in Nashville
If you plan to visit Nashville during the summer, don't expect to have the place yourself. The city receives millions of visitors every year, and the majority come during the summer when the Nashville weather is at its hottest. Average temperatures in summer hover in the low 90s (low 30s Celsius), but with the humidity, it feels much hotter. That means you should bring plenty of light clothes that will keep you cool and be prepared to sweat through them. Choosing a hotel with a laundry service or a vacation rental with a washing machine can help you travel lighter and still enjoy the city.
Despite the heat, there's plenty to do in Nashville during the summer. The CMA Music Festival is one of the biggest events of the year, and it takes over downtown Nashville for four days in early June. If you're a country music fan, this is a can't-miss event. You'll also find plenty of other live music to enjoy throughout the summer months as well as outdoor attractions such as Shelby Bottoms Park and Wave Country water park.
One of the best ways to enjoy live music in Nashville – and there are many — is to visit Centennial Park during the summer. Check out the Musicians Corner Music Festival, a family-friendly event that takes place in Centennial Park and features great activities for kids and adults alike. Centennial Park is also home to Nashville's famous Parthenon, a replica of the one in Athens, Greece, so chances are you will visit this park anyway. May as well combine it with this popular festival.
And while Nashville may be the home of country music, don't make the mistake of thinking there isn't more to Music City than three chords and tales of woe. Visit in the summer, and you'll be able to experience the Hot Chicken Festival, a celebration of a classic Nashville dish. There's also the Music City Brewers Festival, one of the biggest celebrations of craft beer in the area. Lovers of food and drink should definitely consider visiting the city at this time of year.
Fall in Nashville
Nashville weather in fall is cooler and less humid than in summer, making it a great time to visit if you don't love the heat. Temperatures cool down into the low 70s (low 20s Celsius) in October and November, making for very pleasant days of exploring the city.
Autumn is also a great time to visit Nashville if you want to avoid the summer crowds but still enjoy all the live music the city has to offer. Musicians don't take a break just because the weather gets cooler, so you'll be able to find plenty of live shows to enjoy throughout the fall months. And while downtown Nashville can be very crowded during peak times such as weekends, it's much easier to find a hotel room or get around town during the week in fall.
If you're looking for a unique Nashville experience, consider visiting during the Tennessee State Fair. This annual event takes place at The Fairgrounds Nashville and features all the classic fair attractions such as rides, games, and food. There's also live music, a petting zoo, and other family-friendly activities. This lively southern fair is usually held in early September, so be sure to check the dates before you book your trip.
For many people, fall may be the best time to visit Nashville. There's still plenty going on in the city, and the weather remains pleasant enough that you can spend a lot of time outdoors in locations like Centennial Park. And if the weather does take a turn for the worse, a visit to the Grand Ole Opry or the Country Music Hall of Fame can get you out of the worst of it while you still enjoy your trip. The average high temperature through the fall is still quite warm, and the lows usually don't get too bad, making this a great time of year to enjoy everything Nashville offers, from the great outdoors to live music.
Winter in Nashville
Nashville winters are relatively mild, with temperatures rarely dipping below freezing. That said, it does snow occasionally, so if you're visiting during the winter months, be sure to pack a jacket and some comfortable shoes. The city doesn't generally shut down when it snows, so you'll still be able to enjoy all the great attractions and activities Nashville has to offer.
One of the best things to do in Nashville during winter is to visit the Gaylord Opryland Resort. This massive resort is decorated with over two million lights during the Christmas season, and it's truly a sight to behold. The resort also features a huge indoor ice rink, making it a great place to visit even if the weather outside is less than ideal.
In fact, the holiday season may be the best time to visit Nashville if you want to see the city at its festive best. For something entirely different from the Gaylord Opryland Resort, check out the Christmas decorations at Belle Meade Plantation. This historic plantation is transformed during the holiday season, and the beautiful lights make it easy to forget its dark past. Alternatively, you could see the former home of President Andrew Jackson at The Hermitage or avoid the worst of the weather at the Johnny Cash Museum, a must-do for music fans and a highlight of any Nashville trip.
And if you're looking for something truly unique, consider visiting Nashville during Mardi Gras. This lively festival takes over the city every year, and it's a great opportunity to experience some of the best food, drink, and live music the city has to offer. Just be sure to book your hotel room well in advance, as rooms fill up quickly during this popular event.
If you're averse to crowds and don't mind occasionally bad weather, winter may be the best time to visit Nashville for you. You won't have Music City to yourself at any time of year, but winter is your best bet for avoiding tourists. In Nashville, the music never really stops, even in the winter, so while you may not be attending outdoor events, you'll still have plenty of gigs and shows to choose from. And if you're a fan of Christmas, it's well worth braving the relatively mild Nashville weather during the winter to see this southern city during the festive season.
Spring in Nashville
Nashville springs are warm and sunny, making them perfect for exploring the city's many outdoor attractions. The average high temperature in April is a pleasant 72°F (22°C), and by May, it's already up to 79°F (29°C). This is the time of year when the city really starts to come alive, as the Music City Marathon takes place in early April and the CMA Music Festival is held in mid-June.
If you're visiting Nashville during spring, be sure to take advantage of the fantastic weather and check out some of the city's parks and green spaces. Radnor Lake State Park is a great option if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, or you could stroll through Centennial Park, which is located right in the city's heart. The Nashville Zoo is also worth a visit, especially if you have kids in tow.
And, of course, no trip to Nashville would be complete without seeing some live music. The city is home to a huge number of music venues, so you're sure to find something to your taste. For something truly unique, check out the Grand Ole Opry, which is the world's longest-running live radio show. Or, for a more intimate experience, head to one of Nashville's many honky-tonks, where you can enjoy live music and cheap drinks late into the night.
Additionally, as the Nashville weather improves, you'll find some of the best festivals in the city take place in the spring. For instance, the Nashville Film Festival, the East Nashville Beer Festival, and Nashville Fashion Week all take place during spring.
To add to this diverse selection of cultural events, spring in Nashville means the return of Tin Pan South, the world's largest songwriter festival. If you're a fan of folk music and singer-songwriters, this is the perfect place to enjoy the music of up-and-coming artists along with old favorites. You'll also find plenty of food trucks to keep you happy and well-fed while you enjoy the festival. Alternatively, you could check out the Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate Spring in a more natural way.
Like Fall, Spring may be the best time to visit Nashville if you want a combination of good weather and fewer crowds. There's enough going on in spring to keep you entertained no matter what you're into, and the weather is usually good enough to spend plenty of time outside exploring Nashville for yourself. Plus, it's usually easier to find a place to stay during spring than in the height of summer, and you'll generally find that you pay less for your accommodation, making this potentially the best time to visit Nashville for budget travelers.
Ultimately, deciding when to visit Nashville will come down to how you want to spend your time in the city. The summer months are full of popular festivals and outdoor events, and the greater average high temperature means the whole city is out on the streets. But it also means you'll find crowds just about everywhere you go.
Alternatively, visiting in the low season means you'll have far more space to enjoy the city's top attractions. And Nashville's Christmas celebrations make it a great city to visit for a holiday getaway.
Finally, Spring and Fall both offer a good time to visit Nashville. The mild fall weather or the pleasant spring means you'll get to spend lots of time outdoors and find plenty of events going on. But with fewer visitors and lower accommodation prices than summer, the shoulder seasons can be an excellent time to visit.
Whenever you decide to visit Nashville, you're almost guaranteed to have a great time. That's even more true if you remember to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage so that you can travel light and see more of the city.