Nashville, Tennessee has turned into not only a hotspot to move to in the United States but also a top destination to travel to. It’s a continuously growing city that only seems to get trendier and trendier. Music blares from the bars. The sweet smell of fried chicken and BBQ fills the streets. Locals epitomize southern hospitality.
For 19 of my 24 years of life, I’ve lived in the suburbs of Nashville, and I’ve seen this city evolve along the way. It’s had a strong connection to music for over 200 years, but Nashville also has a lot more to offer with a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene. Even whenever I move away, I’ll always come back to visit the place that always blows me away. Here’s six reasons you should visit Nashville and what to do when you get there.
Live music. Coined the name Music City, Nashville has had music-lovers visiting for years. It’s easy to get spoiled living in a city with such high quality live music and songwriting everywhere you turn. Honkey Tonk Highway is packed with bars and is what most people picture when they think of Nashville. With historic music venues like the Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry, you can see where some of the most well-known music greats have taken the stage. And there’s plenty of opportunities to see live music for free or cheaply in a variety of areas of downtown Nashville.
Broadway Historic District
Midtown & Music Row
Delicious food. It almost feels like Nashville has turned into a foodie city overnight. There’s endless options of tasty dining experiences throughout the city. The Gulch, Midtown, and East Nashville are all neighborhoods packed with some of the top restaurants and bars. Fried chicken, BBQ, and meat-and-three spots are the Nashville specialties. And don’t skip out on brunch. The city also has a great vegetarian and vegan scene.
Thriving neighborhoods. When many people think of Music City, mainly the sights and sounds of Lower Broadway come to mind. But Nashville has so much more to offer with a variety of unique neighborhoods splitting up its city limits. Each neighborhood has different vibes and something distinct to offer locals and tourists.
Lower Broadway for live music
Printer’s Alley for laid-back night out
East Nashville for local life
Music Row for history
The Gulch for top-notch food
Midtown for lively nightlife
Hillsboro Village for artsy vibes
12South for drinks and shops
Historic buildings. Not only a city with a strong musical heritage, Nashville also has a lot of history to tell. From plantations and mansions to a former president’s home, there’s much to learn about the south’s past in this city — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Unique shopping. Nashville has numerous opportunities to shop locally. You don’t have to leave Music City with the typical souvenirs like tacky t-shirts and shot glasses. Support local businesses with unique merchandise that embodies Nashville’s trendy essence.
Hatch Show Print is a historic letterpress shop located in the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Established in 1879, Hatch made prints for numerous musicians, including Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash. You can purchase iconic or recently designed prints.
Fanny’s House of Music brings music and fashion together selling new, used, and vintage musical instruments, in addition to unique men’s and women’s clothing from local stylists and collectors.
The IDEA Hatchery is a retail development with eight start-up, independently-owned businesses selling items from cowboy boots, clothing, and jewelry to artwork and books.
Shoppes on Fatherland features an eclectic mix of more than 20 locally-owned shops and boutiques. Here you can find just about anything from cooking spices and hand-crafted soaps to stunning home decor and trendy clothing.
Two Old Hippies is a fun lifestyle shop selling a hodgepodge of items, including apparel, guitars, home decor, books, and unique gifts. They even have live music throughout the week.
Serendipity offers locally handcrafted goods like women’s clothing, jewelry, and country-music themed soap.
White’s Mercantile is owned by singer/songwriter Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Jr. The shop is called “a general store for the modern-day tastemaker.”
A Thousand Faces features a “plethora of neat stuff.” It’s an artisan shop with local pottery and clay sculptures, handblown glass, jewelry, and artsy wall decor.
Revv sells women’s fashion with a classic grungy edge. There is a “Nash Collection,” which includes Nashville-inspired hats.
Cool places to go for a walk. As a city destination, you wouldn’t automatically think Nashville has lots of places to enjoy the outdoors. From views of the city skyline and Cumberland River to being out in nature and strolling by beautiful flowers, there’s many areas to get out and enjoy a wander (and work off all the food you’ve eaten).
Visiting Nashville? Download the TripScout mobile app on your phone and purchase the Nashville guide for a local and authentic self-guided city tour curated by me, TripScout, and local food and travel experts. The app is free, and the guide is $1.99.