Six reasons to visit Nashville, Tennessee & what to do when you get there

Nashville, Tennessee

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

Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge

Robert’s Western World

Legends Corner

Acme Feed & Seed

The Gulch

The Station Inn

Midtown & Music Row

Tin Roof

Winner’s Bar and Grill

Losers Bar and Grill

East Nashville

The Family Wash

Green Hills

The Bluebird Cafe

Live Music in Nashville, Tennessee

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

Fried chicken spots: Prince’s Hot Chicken, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Pepperfire

BBQ joints: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Edley’s Bar-B-Que, Jacks Bar-B-Que, and Peg Leg Porker

Meat-and-three meals: Arnold’s Country Kitchen and Puckett’s

Breakfast and brunch restaurants: Monell’s and Pancake Pantry

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

Lower Broadway - Nashville, Tennessee

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.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Belmont Mansion

Belle Meade Plantation

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.

The IDEA Hatchery - Nashville, Tennessee

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).

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

Cumberland River Greenway

Shelby Bottoms Natural Area

Centennial Park

Radnor Lake State Park

Cheekwood Botanical Garden

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.

Nashville, Tennessee


14 thoughts on “Six reasons to visit Nashville, Tennessee & what to do when you get there

  1. I’ve heard so much about Nashville, especially when it comes to the music scene. And yet I still haven’t managed to visit! Sounds like the perfect place, how many days do you suggest us to stay?

  2. Sounds like a really cool city with a great vibe! I love your passion for Nashville, it really does make me want to visit. The music scene sounds terrific too!

  3. I haven’t been to Nashville in a million years. If fact Opryland Amusement park was still the last time I was there. Le sigh, need to go back. Being from new Orleans I love to travel for food & Music and Nashville would easily fit the bill. With the food is the Meat & 3 a meat and 3 sides and if so what do you “Northerners” recommend for my 3?
    Love that you showcased local businesses too, really love supporting locals

  4. Nashville looks like such a cool town. Comfort country food and great music sounds like the perfect combo. I love that it’s not all centred around the city too and there are some cool neighbourhoods that sound like they have something unique to offer.

  5. I love Nashville! I live in Kentucky so it’s not too far for me to go, but unfortunately most of the times I’ve gone it has been for Bachelorette parties and not for touring around- I still have so much more to see 🙂

  6. I think Nashville is one of those places that we in Australia only hear certain things about so it’s great to read this and see that there is so much more. the food would be amazing and even though I’m not a country music fan, it would just be perfect here to get right into the mood of it all.

  7. What a complete and cool post about Nashville. I have never been there but after reading this post I have the feeling I know it already. I liked how you described the different neighborhoods with just 2 or 3 words.

  8. Nashville for me is all about Country and western music. Johnny Cash was the big name from there whilst i was in my teens. So its good to learn that the city has another side to it. Very interesting read. Just a pity i am not in the States to experience the Nashville scene.

  9. Nashville indeed has all the ingredients for a great time. Lovely music combined with great food makes for a deadly combination. On top of it wallops of history washed down with amazing natural open spaces make for a really amazing experience.

  10. Your post made me wanna visit Nashville so badly. Especially the food and music part got me. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  11. I really like how detailed is this post. I want to visit Nashville for the food (I have heard so much about it) but I have to remind myself that there is a lot of history having to do with the city. Several friends from California have moved to the area in the past years. In theory, I have places to stay!

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