Nashville is a wonderful southern city that seems to have almost everything. It’s one of those places that seems to straddle with so many places to see and some of the best things to do in Nashville without leaving the city. That being said, there are tons of amazing things to do in downtown Nashville, but there are also some on the city’s edge that you won’t want to miss.

Nashville is one of those cities that precedes its reputation (in a good way, of course). With all that musical heritage, southern hospitality and a pretty epic feel, it’s a great city to spend a good few days exploring.

With that in mind, and before I ramble on, I wanted to show you some of the best things to do in Nashville.

We had a great time exploring the city and found some pretty amazing things to do.

Take a look at some of the best things to do in Nashville below.

1.) Eat at Loveless Cafe

Still looking the same as when it first opened (except for a few more tables), the Loveless Cafe One of the best places to go for lunch.

Located about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville, it has become popular with locals and visitors alike. Best of all, the food is delicious… it’s a proper “food for the soul” kind of place.

Once you’re here, be sure to try their hot biscuits (you can read our post on visiting here).

They are a southern staple but this is the best I have ever tasted. If you’re feeling extra hungry (like we did), try their famous Southern Sampler Platter which includes items; Fried chicken, catfish, country ham or meatloaf.

Read more: The best restaurants in Nashville

2.) See a show at the Ryman Auditorium

Located in the heart of Nashville, The Ryman Auditorium One of the most legendary music venues in the world. Played by some of the world’s leading artists, the Ryman Auditorium is steeped in more than 135 years of history (concerts still go on).

Now, if you can, sure Book these Ryman Auditorium tickets For a tour while you’re there. Availability may be thin at certain times, so be sure to book A tour of the auditorium before time.

It’s also a great place to start a stroll around Broadway and experience some of the best live music bars in the South.

later, Book tickets to the Grand Ole Opry It is the home of country music. It is quite iconic and cannot be missed.

Read more: Our visit to the Ryman Auditorium

3.) Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame

So, country music isn’t as big in the UK as it is in the United States, so at first, I was wary of whether I’d recognize any of the artists inside. Country Music Hall of Fame. How wrong I was. It’s one of those places you visit and quickly realize how widespread country music is.

Yes, you have some classics like Loretta Lynn but you also have other artists like Taylor Swift (completely forgot she started in country music) and people like Shania Twain.

It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Nashville if you’re into country music.

Just make sure Book your Country Music Hall of Fame tickets Before arriving in Nashville. This way, you’ll be guaranteed entry, especially since tickets can fill up at peak times.

Book: Country Music Hall of Fame Tickets

4.) Visit Belle Mead Plantation

This Belle Mead Plantation A little on the outskirts of Nashville but easily combined with a trip to Lovelace Cafe and Cheekwood.

Now a museum, Belle Meade is a great way to explore some of the long history of this part of Tennessee.

Tour the house, learn about their famous horses, explore the grounds and hear about the full history of the plantation.

What’s great about Belle Meade Plantation is that it doesn’t just shine on the slave population that was once part of this estate.

It actually shows a very realistic picture of what and how plantations were run, showing how enslaved people lived on plantations. It is an eye opener to see and something that should never be forgotten.

5.) Stroll the John Seigenthaler Bridge

So, one of the best things to do in Nashville (especially for some of the views) is to walk the John Seigenthaler Bridge in the late afternoon or at sunset.

Here, you’ll not only be able to stroll down to Cumberland Park (from downtown Nashville) but you’ll also get some great views of the city from the bridge itself.

Also, to make your trip around Nashville easier, Book this double-decker Nashville city tour. You will get to see some of the best sights in the city and it is very convenient for all the family.

Book: Double-decker Nashville city tour

6.) Discover the Parthenon and Athena Statue

Yes, there is an actual full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville. And you know, it’s pretty epic to watch. Way back in the 19th century, the Parthenon was built as part of an exhibit that celebrated Tennessee’s 100 years in the Union.

Now, you might be wondering why the Parthenon was built instead of some other type of building… after all, they could have chosen anything to build.

Apparently, centuries ago, Nashville was nicknamed the Athens of the South and lo and behold, a full-scale replica came into existence. Still not sure why it stuck but I’m glad it did.

Today, you can still walk around and inside the Parthenon and the Athena statue.

It’s worth the trip and honestly, one of the most iconic and best things to do in Nashville if you’re looking for a bit of history.

Don’t forget to pop in Three Brothers Coffee Then he’s got some of the best coffee in Nashville.

For a truly great and unforgettable experience, Book this helicopter tour over Nashville. It’s a great way to see the city and perfect for a special occasion. Just make sure to book in advance, tickets fill up fast.

Read more: Our visit to the Parthenon

7.) Explore the Cheekwood Estate

The former home of the Cheek family (a proper wealthy local family in Nashville), the Cheekwood Estate is one of the best things to do in Nashville for a big dose of art, history, and incredible home viewing.

Well, I say, the house… it’s a mansion!

About a 25-minute drive from downtown Nashville, Cheekwood Estates has been open to the public for decades.

Wander around the wonderful rooms, stroll the gardens and see the art installations dotted around the estate.

8.) See the Tennessee State Capitol

Based around Victory Park, the Tennessee State Capitol building is quite impressive to behold.

Although it may be a fleeting visit to the state capitol building, be sure to take some extra time to visit the Alvin York statue and the stunning library. That being said, if you’re not a bookworm you might want to give this place a miss!

After seeing the Capitol building, take a stroll through Victory Park and the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

This will take you right into Germantown and 5th and Taylor to a really great place to eat.

Read more: The best restaurants in Nashville

9.) Wander down Draper James and 12th Avenue

Based on 12th Avenue S, Draper James is a clothing store in itself that has made quite a splash in the city (and not just because it’s Reese Witherspoon’s shop).

So, the whole area around Draper James is great, with Bartaco, Burger Up, Five Sisters Bakery (seriously, they make the best donuts) and Imogene and Willy is just around the corner.

It’s a great place to explore street art, grab a tasty bite to eat and do some shopping in a pretty quaint part of the city.

Read more: How to spend 24 hours in Nashville

10.) Discover I Believe in Nashville Muriel

As for 12th Avenue S, make sure you take a moment to find the ‘I Believe in Nashville’ mural just meters away from Draper James.

Created by artist Adrian Saporiti, it has become one of the defining street art images for Nashville.

The mural itself is pretty easy to spot, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled once you get close to Draper James.

11.) Take a selfie at What lifts you Wings mural

So, as it happens, Nashville’s creative scene isn’t just music (for which it’s world-famous) but also a shed load of amazing street art that seems to be dotted all over the city. Made by Kelsey MontagueThe What Lifts You Wings mural has now become an iconic sight to behold in Nashville.

Like the other cities in which she creates her art, Kelsey has created the most epic mural for all of us to enjoy.

That being said, Nashville has one of the biggest (and my personal favorite), even though other global cities have more.

12.) Grab a cocktail at Nashville Union Station

It might not seem like the most obvious place for a cocktail, but the Nashville Union Station Hotel is a fantastic place to visit for an early evening tipple.

Now a hotel, Nashville Union Station’s grand hall is absolutely gorgeous, with the coolest cocktail bar downstairs.

Also take a moment to admire the amazing building. I am sure you will like it.

Read more: Best restaurants in Nashville

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