The Most Exciting Things to Do In Nashville, Tennessee

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Nashville, the State Capital of Tennessee, also known as the “Music City”, is the heart of Southern hospitality.

With its prime location on the Cumberland River and as a hub for the music industry and particularly country music, it attracts visitors from around the world.

There are many diverse experiences aside from the music. Let us review some of them now.

Fun things to do

Fun things to do in Nashville guide
Fun things to do in Nashville

Nashville is well known for its party vibes, filled with music, especially country music.

Chill out or dance the night away in Tennessee’s capital “The Music City”

  • Wild partying
  • Check out the “Wild Horse Saloon”

With the largest dance floor in Nashville (66 000 square meters) and a live entertainment stage, it is a restaurant, bar, concert site, and dance venue all together in one place.

Location: 120 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37201

The restaurant offers local fried pickles and hot chicken. As a family venue, it also gives a chance to take free line dance lessons.

Party while you enjoy river views on the ‘General Jackson’s Boat’

You can cruise the Cumberland River and get the best views of Nashville.

The showboat is named after the first steamboat that operated on the Cumberland River in the early 19th Century.

Location: 2812 Opryland Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214

Boat capacity: 1000 passengers & crew. While cruising, you will enjoy delicious meals cooked onboard.

Hot Tip – Book the evening cruise “Rollin ‘on the River” to celebrate the music from river towns with jazz, swing, blues, and soul. Board around 6 pm and cruise for 4 hours!

Tickets start at $98 per person for the cruise, meal, and show.

Visit the Ryman Auditorium and go to a live concert

Visit Ryman Auditorium
Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium opened in 1892 and major names of the music industry once performed there, including Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash.

It is “where music lovers belong” and “where legends perform”. It is not only country music stars that took the stage, but also Louis Armstrong, or Harry Houdini.

There are walking guided tours of the auditorium as well as an on-site museum.

Nowadays, it also has live concerts almost every night. You can just check the program while you are in Nashville.

Its capacity is 2300 seats and people come from around the world to enjoy the music here.

Some of the artists lined up for 2023 include:

  • Leann Rimes
  • Margo Price
  • Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros
  • Il Divo
  • Kountry Wayne

Free things to do in Nashville

For those on a shoestring, there are also plenty of free things to do in Nashville.

Discover hiking trails and outdoor activities

There is a lot to see around Cheatham Wildlife Management Area and Harpeth River State Park.

  • Cheatham Wildlife Management Area is a popular recreational spot with hiking trails. Trails are full of wildlife and not very crowded. In summer, the dense forest is humid. Note that there are some hunters in specific areas and seasons.
  • Harpeth River State Park has three trails originating close to the park entrance.

The park includes several natural, archeological, and historical zones. You can bring your own canoe or kayak, although there are also rentals available.

Some of the trails include:

  • The Gossett track trail, labeled as easy, goes on 2 miles
  • The Hidden Lakes Trail, labeled as moderate, goes on 3 miles.

Walk around Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville at night
Downtown Nashville

You can walk freely around the downtown area then stop at the Nashville Music Garden and the Walk of Fame Park.

Further on, you can discover the design of the Music City Center.

There is a lot of live music everywhere, and the atmosphere is mostly safe and lively.

Centennial Park

You can walk freely around the park and admire the sights, including the replica of the Parthenon (an extra charge of $10).

Centennial Park Nashville Tennessee
Centennial Park Nashville

It is a stunning location for free activities both in summer and winter.

What visitors love about it: it is a gorgeous park with picnic areas, wild birds, and mini music festivals in summer. Parking is free. You can bring your own food and sit on the lawn.

Enjoy the holiday light-ups in winter

Nashville does get its share of snow in the winter months. However, you can still have a good time and enjoy hundreds of illuminations and seasonal events in town.

Nashville with kids

Music City is as exciting for kids as for adults.

Here are the top 3 things to do with children in Nashville.

Sign up for a candy making class at Goo Goo Chocolate Co.

Children can make their own candy bar in this traditional Nashville store.

There is a facility tour and you can taste great bonbons and milkshakes afterwards.

It is located in the downtown area.

Visit the Country music hall of fame

The museum experience includes the Fame Rotunda with permanent exhibitions, workshops, and lives music.

There are family activities and hands-on experiences including the Hatch Show Print at the America’s oldest letterpress print shop.

Location: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S Nashville, TN 37203

Hot Tip – Ask for the free family bag ‘young explorer bag’. It is a bag with goodies to use in the galleries for fun and educational activities.

Go ice skating in winter

  • Nashville pop-up ice-skating rings are family paradise when visiting the city in winter.
  • The sportsplex ice ring right in Centennial Park offers skating lessons from January.
  • Board the Nashville Trolley Tour

The hop-off hop-on trolley tour takes you around Nashville. It is a perfect activity when traveling with children or for first-time visitors.

The drivers and tour guides have cheerful personalities and they are also very knowledgeable about the city.

You will discover Downtown Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music hall of Fame, the Tennessee State Capitol, Marathon Village, and Centurial Park.

Keep In Mind – Tours depart daily, every hour or so, and last for 1,5 hours.

Things to do in Nashville for music fans

Nashville, Tennessee walk
Nashville, Tennessee

Visit the RCA Studio B

Built in 1957, it is one of the first recording studios in Nashville, and major stars recorded in it, such as Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson.

Address: 1611 Roy Acuff Place

Its operations ceased in 1977 until 2012 when Dan & Margaret Maddox donated the studio to the Country Music Hall of Fame museum.

There is a guided tour of the studio that helps you understand the music recording process.

Fun Fact – By the end of 1956, RCA recordings had sold 800 000 copies of Elvis’s first two albums, making him the best music act ever for this recording studio. That is when they moved into RCA Studio B.

Explore the Johnny Cash museum

  • Open daily from 9 am to 7 pm.
  • Tickets cost $23,95 for general admission and $19,95 for children.
  • You can purchase advance tickets to skip the line.

Location: 119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201

Why people love it?

It is a small museum packed with personal items, records, and memorabilia.

Johnny Cash Nashville
Johnny Cash

You can see some of Johnny Cash’s drawings, or learn about his wife. Some of his famous costumes are also on show.

Shopping in Nashville

Not a visit to Nashville could be complete without some shopping time. There are plenty of malls and shops to choose from.

The Nashville Flea Market

  • The market has been up and running since 1969, held on the last weekend of every month, in The Fairgrounds Nashville.
  • A total of 1200 vendors coming from various neighboring states sell antiques and vintage items.
  • Referred to as one of the top ten flea markets in the US it is also packed with food trucks and visitors can enjoy a quick bite on the go.
Nashville flea market Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville flea market

Where to find it? 625 Smith Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Shop at Opry Mills, the largest outlet mall in Tennessee

Open from 11 am to 6 pm Opry Mills is the largest outlet mall in the state, conveniently located between Downtown Nashville and the international airport.

  • Shop alcoholics will find more than 200 designer-label stores but also an extensive range of dining options.
  • If you feel like it, there is also an escape room, The Escape Game, in the mall.
  • The mall has other entertainment suggestions, for example, Madame Tussauds Nashville.


Nashville is a striking, lively, and easy-to-approach destination. It gives everyone the chance to enjoy their time in Tennessee, with fun-filled activities for the kids, the music lovers, and the partygoers. And do not forget to taste the Hot Chicken!

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