The home of country music is a common feature on many USA bucket lists. Whether you’re seeking a visit to the Grand Ole Opry or looking to hit up a classic honky-tonk, Nashville is one of those cities that oozes charm and offers access to a whole array of fun activities.
Situated directly on the Cumberland River, Nashville is the capital of Tennessee. The city dates back to 1779 when it was first founded and named after an American Revolutionary War general, Francis Nash. Following the American Civil War, it boomed as a hub for the manufacturing sector before becoming known for music.
Today, the city’s musical roots are evident and as strong as ever. In fact, Nashville is commonly dubbed ‘Music City’. It is also a thriving business center for industries like banking, healthcare, automotive and publishing, meaning that it draws a significant number of business travelers in addition to general vacationers.
A weekend in Nashville
8 Best Ways To Experience Nashville In 2023
When you start to get tired of listening to the twang of guitar strings and the lyrics of endless country songs, it's time to find something else to do in Nashville other than go to a live music bar. The companies listed below will get you out and about on bicycles, on paddleboards and in kayaks, take you around local distilleries, or immerse you in civil rights history. And when you drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nashville, you’ll be ready to explore the city unencumbered. Read on to find out how to make the most of your stay in Music City, and you'll be so pleased you did, you might even write a song about it.
Best SUP and Kayak Tours – Big Willie's Nashville
Nashville may be a landlocked city in Tennessee but that doesn't mean you need to be a landlubber when you're visiting there. Nashville is intersected by the meandering flow of the Cumberland River which is a great waterway for stand-up paddleboarding. If you want to give it a go, get in touch with Big Willie's Nashville and they'll sort you out with all the equipment you need or take you on a guided sunset paddle if you prefer.
Contact Big Willies Nashville about paddleboarding by emailing email@example.com or give them a call on 1-615-933-9402.
Best Music Tour – Music City Rollin' Jamboree
There really is no escape from music in Nashville so you could find yourself singing along. You'll definitely be stretching your vocal cords if you go on a night out with Music City Rollin' Jamboree – and laughing too. These guys combine their love of country music with a healthy dose of comedy as they drive you from bar to bar in Nashville. You'll hear hilarious anecdotes, sing along with some great tunes and maybe even catch sight of a famous face or two.
Get ready to sing along with Music City Rollin' Jamboree by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call on 1-615-430-3109 for more information.
Best Distillery Tour – Big Machine Tour & Distillery
A tour around the Big Machine Distillery in Downtown Nashville will be a real eye-opener if you've never given much thought to how your favorite tipple is made. This award-winning Tennessee distillery has as many medals for their whiskey and vodka as there are bottles on their store shelves. Tours take just under an hour and include a generous amount of sampling so don't go with an empty stomach or you'll end up with a souvenir hangover.
Contact the Big Machine Tour & Distillery by emailing email@example.com or call 1-615-345-4539 to schedule your visit.
Best Walking Tour – Experience Nashville Tours
Set out on foot to pound the sidewalks of Music City with a guide from Experience Nashville Tours and you'll find out all manner of interesting things. On this two-and-a-half-hour stroll around the Nashville streets, you'll learn about its history, the music, and the people like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson who started their climbs to fame there.
Get in the know about Nashville with Experience Nashville Tours by calling 1-615-788-6384 or drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Best Bike Tour – Green Fleet Bicycle Tours
Nashville is a widespread city so one of the best ways of seeing it in the shortest time is to mount a bicycle and get pedaling. You can hire a bike from Green Fleet Bicycle Tours and self-guide your way around or head out in a small group with one of their qualified local guides. If you're not feeling as fit as you'd like to be, get an e-bike instead of a normal one and it won't be such hard work.
Get ready to cycle Nashville with Green Fleet Bicycle Tours by emailing them at email@example.com or call them on 1-615-379-8687.
Best Black History Tours – United Street Tours
This specialized tour conducted by United Street Tours concentrates on the city's Afro-American culture and the civil rights movement in Nashville and Tennessee. It's a walking tour that embraces many different aspects of the black community including its history, renowned personalities, the arts, and the food scene.
Join this insightful tour with United Street Tours by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-615-447-8107.
Best Food Tour – Dabble Studios
Food tours with Dabble Studios aren't just about going from restaurant to restaurant tasting a variety of dishes. When you take a food tour with Dabble Studios you can combine it with sightseeing major landmarks, make it a paint and sip event, a special date night, or even turn it into a cookery class so you can continue making your favorite Nashville food when you get back home again.
Learn how to prepare shrimp and grits by contacting Dabble Studios on 1-615-678-8784 or email them at email@example.com.
Best Kayak Tour – River Queen Voyages
Turn kayaking into an even more fun adventure by going on a scavenger hunt with River Queen Voyages. You do need to be multi-skilled as it involves reading clues on a mobile phone app while you're paddling down the Cumberland River, but once you've mastered that, it's non-stop diversion all the way. The scavenger hunt makes for a great day out if you're traveling with friends. River Queen Voyages will also guide you on a variety of kayaking tour routes so if you don't want to go solo you don't have to.
Plan your kayaking scavenger hunt with River Queen Voyages by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call on 1-615-933-9778 for more details.
Many of Nashville’s notable attractions revolve around music and you’ll absolutely want to add some of these to your itinerary, but if you’re not a music lover, don’t despair. There’s a whole range of other activities to keep you entertained during your time in Nashville.
If you’re in Nashville for a short time on a business trip or perhaps a weekend getaway, the following sites are a perfect taste of the city. You’ll get to see some of the best the city has to offer without needing a lot of time.
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: This museum was founded in 1964 and is dedicated to the preservation of country music. You can join a tour or wander through the extensive collection of exhibitions on your own to see how the music industry has evolved.
- Grand Ole Opry: For those of you lucky enough to time it right, you can opt to see a live gig at the famous Grand Ole Opry. Even if nobody is playing while you’re in town, a visit to this iconic venue will not disappoint. It’s an absolute must for music-lovers.
- Centennial Park: If you’re looking to move away from the music-themed attractions, head to Centennial Park. It boasts a replica of the Athens Parthenon and a pond that provides the perfect backdrop for picnics, and is often host to various free events.
- Broadway: There’s always something going on at Broadway in Downtown Nashville. Stop by for a live gig, a good meal or a drink at one of the many bars. If you want to head straight out in the evening, put your daypack or shopping into a Bounce luggage storage locker in Nashville and you’ll be ready to dance the night away.
There’s nothing more inconvenient than being stuck with your bags on vacation. It might be due to a late check-in, early check-out, or even a stopover, but whatever the reason there’s no denying that it can be a real hassle. Bounce luggage storage service in Nashville makes traveling easy by providing flexible storage for your belongings, allowing you to explore this great city stress-free. Simply drop your bags, hit the streets and pick them up when it suits you – it’s that easy.
Off the beaten path in Nashville
If you want to get to know Nashville beyond the popular tourist attractions, take a look at our list. These sites will allow you to see the city through the eyes of a local and give you an entirely unique perspective.
- The Pancake Pantry: Some of the best food can be found in hole-in-the-wall establishments that are not listed on ‘top 10’ lists or in tourist guides. The Pancake Pantry is one of them. Locals love this little cafe that boasts more than 23 pancake options.
- Nashville Pedal Tavern: Looking for a bar crawl with a twist? Join the Pedal Tavern. Enjoy a drink while pedaling around town on a bicycle built for… 15! Cruise through popular areas and little streets that you wouldn’t otherwise know existed.
- Frist Art Museum: The Frist Art Museum is home to a range of exhibitions across every genre of art. Try visiting on the first Saturday of the month when the venue holds different events.
What to do alone in Nashville
Nashville is well set up to accommodate solo travelers whether you are on a short business trip or an extended leisure vacation. There’s even easy-to-use bag storage in Nashville that will allow you to navigate the city without the hassle of your luggage, daypack or even shopping. If you’re looking for things to do alone in Music City, add these items to your itinerary.
- 12 South: If you want to indulge in some retail therapy or some people watching over a coffee or a meal, head to 12 South. This area has a range of quaint shops and restaurants where you can easily spend an afternoon.
- Music Row: Immerse yourself in the music environment of Nashville with a walk down Music Row. The strip is home to various record labels and publishers, making you feel as though you are experiencing the real Music City.
- Live gigs: No trip to Nashville is complete without some live music. The good news is that, as a solo traveler, you can pick to see whichever band you like!
The best souvenirs in Nashville
You’ll have such a good time in Nashville that there’s a good chance you’ll want something to remember your trip. You also might need to find gifts for family and friends. Well, you’re in luck, because Nashville has a range of options for souvenir shopping.
Circa on 5th Avenue is a great option for everything from basic tourist objects like shot glasses and bags to more unique Nashville products. For locally made items and jewelry, head to Nashville Music City Visitors Center on Broadway. Nashville Farmers Market is also a good option, particularly if you are looking for artisan goods.