Explore Nashville

Top Things to Do in Nashville

Nashville is certainly a music lover's destination as the home of country music, but there is much more to this historic city than honky tonks and Johnny Cash. The story of Nashville is one of rich history and Southern hospitality, qualities that draw visitors from around the country and the globe.

Here's our guide to must-hit places during a stop in Nashville—from beautiful plantation homes to charming towns to legendary music halls.

Gray Line Tours

Gray Line offers a number of daily sightseeing tours, including the popular Discover Nashville tour, ABC’s Nashville, the Jack Daniels Distillery, Taste of Nashville food tour, celebrity homes tour and many more. The company's new double-decker buses are the city's first. Tours include free pickup from most Nashville hotels.

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

If it’s country, this hall of fame has it covered. The four-story museum takes up an entire city block with over 40,000 square feet of exhibit space devoted to the genre’s heroes and history. Even the building tells a story.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

In the 1800s—long before Starbucks dominated every street corner—Joel Cheek developed a blend of coffee and sold it at what would be the brand’s eponymous Maxwell House hotel. In 1928, Cheek’s cousin Leslie used his coffee-empire cash to build a limestone mansion and formal gardens in West Nashville.

Grand Ole Opry

What began as a simple radio broadcast from Nashville 90 years ago is now an American entertainment icon and the world’s longest-running live radio show. Each performance of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry showcases the best in country music—from the hottest new superstars to all-time favorites.

Ryman Auditorium

Dubbed “The Mother Church of Country Music,” Ryman Auditorium was a house of worship before it became home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. Today, the historic church-turned-concert hall is regarded as one of the best performance venues in the U.S. thanks to its nearly perfect acoustics.

The Parthenon

A little Greece goes a long way in Nashville, which has bragging rights to the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the U.S. The ornate structure originated as a plaster pavilion for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897 and was rebuilt permanently in the 1920s.

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge

This bright purple Nashville institution offers live music on three floors from morning ’til, well, the next morning. This has been a celebrity hangout since its beginning over 50 years ago—first, Patsy and Hank (whose ghost allegedly still haunts the place) and later, U2 and the Clash.

Downtown Franklin

Fourteen miles and 100 years from Nashville, Downtown Franklin is an oasis of Southern hospitality housed in a 16-block historic district of antique shops, gift and book stores, art galleries, boutiques and restored homes. Franklin’s award-winning Main Street is a charming stretch of antique shops, specialty stores, art galle

Legends Corner

This music venue features some of downtown’s best live sets and one of the friendliest staffs in the city. The only thing you'll pay to attend a show is what you contribute to a jar that's passed to help support the musicians. Open 365 days a year, 10 am-3 am. 21+ after 6 pm.

Johnny Cash Museum

This small-yet-mighty museum pays tribute to the Man in Black. The museum houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Cash artifacts and memorabilia, uniting the acclaimed collection of Cash’s longtime friend Bill Miller with family belongings.

Belle Meade Plantation

Built in 1807, this plantation provides a unique perspective on Southern history. Many modern thoroughbred champions can trace their bloodlines back to this former world-famous breeding farm. Docents dressed in period costumes conduct tours of the Greek-Revival mansion, which was commissioned by John Harding in 1845.

Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

With a slogan of “Come see what you’ve heard,” the 60,000-square-foot museum honors the people behind the music. Memorabilia includes the famed Studio B door and Pete Drake’s steel guitar.

Adventure Science Center

For over 70 years, this nonprofit institution has inspired the lifelong discovery of science. The science museum features nearly 200 hands-on exhibits focused on biology, physics, visual perception, listening, mind, air and space, energy and earth science. The Sudekum Planetarium features state-of-the-art digital projection.

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

Guides in period costume welcome guests to the home of our nation’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson. Built in 1821, the mansion has been restored to the period of Jackson’s retirement in 1837. The 1,120-acre farm is alive with historical figures and livestock. Special farm, garden and wagon tours are available.

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Ostriches, elephants and zebras, oh my! The Nashville Zoo is home to more than 300 animals ranging from the Mexican Redknee Tarantula to the Clouded Leopard and Masai Giraffe. With 200 acres of land, there is tons of exploring to do.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Nashville Symphony's 1,872-seat, $120-million hall named for the symphony's late conductor, Kenneth Schermerhorn, opened in Sept. 2006. The symphony performs more than 100 classical, pop and special concert events each season.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

This 19-acre greenspace explores Tennessee's history. It opened in 1996 to commemorate the city’s bicentennial. A 200-foot granite map of the state, 31 fountains representing Tennessee’s major rivers and a Pathway of History are among the highlights. The mall also offers a great view of the Tennessee State Capitol.

The Mansion at Fontanel

At 27,000 square feet, the one-time home of country-music star Barbara Mandrell is the largest log cabin in the world. The home's interior includes 20 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, two kitchens, a pool and a shooting range. The 186-acre property boasts an amphitheater, restaurants, a distillery, ziplines, trails and more.