Best places to visit in Nashville: top attractions you don't want to miss

There's plenty to keep you busy during your stay in Music City. Read on for 20 of the best places to visit in Nashville to add to your itinerary.

There's plenty to keep you occupied during your stay in Nashville. From historic landmarks and monuments to museums and exhibitions celebrating the rich musical history of this dynamic destination. Looking to take in some history? Discover more about Nashville's role in the American Civil War. Keen to soak up some culture? Art lovers can look forward to some of the most impressive collections in the country.

Heading into town with little ones? There's no shortage of family-friendly activities and outdoor experiences to enjoy. Looking to unwind? Nashville's renowned for its nightlife. This list presents 20 of the best places to visit in Nashville.

Best places to visit in Nashville for history

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1.  The Country Music Hall of Fame

At the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, you'll be able to explore fascinating exhibits that celebrate every decade of this popular genre. Music lovers can even enjoy unique recordings you won't find anywhere else.

Highlights:

See one-of-a-kind instruments once played by iconic country music stars. Marvel at pieces that once belonged to Earl Scruggs, Mother Maybelle, and more.

Address and opening hours:

222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville. Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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2. The Hermitage

Explore the home of one of America's most celebrated presidents; The Hermitage is a 19th–century property which was once the home of Andrew Jackson, the United State's seventh president. Today, visitors can explore the main house, slave quarters, and surrounding gardens.

Highlights:

With a grounds pass, you'll also be able to access the Andrew Jackson Center, which boasts an extensive museum housing hundreds of presidential artifacts.

Address and opening hours:

4580 Rachels Ln, Hermitage. Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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3. Woolworth Theater

It's no secret that Nashville was at the heart of America's Civil Rights Movement.  In 1960, Woolworth’s was a five–and–dime store, and it was at its lunch counter that one of the most defining peaceful protests of the Civil Rights Movement took place. Today it’s been transformed into a theater, located in the Fifth Avenue Historic District.

Highlights:

Take a Civil Rights Tour of Nashville, where you'll be able to explore some of Music City's off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Address and opening hours:

501 Broadway, Nashville. Start times vary.

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4.  The Carter House and Carnton Plantation

Just thirty minutes’ drive from central Nashville is Franklin, the site of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles, which took place in 1864. Today you can still explore some of the oldest mansions and monuments in the Deep South, including the Carter House and the Carnton Plantation.

Highlights:

On a Civil War history tour, every stop offers fascinating insights into the infamous Battle of Franklin. Once you're done exploring sprawling mansion interiors, head to Downtown Franklin to stock up on souvenirs.

Address and opening hours:

108 1st Ave S, Nashville. Start times vary.

5. The Lotz House Museum

The Lotz House Museum offers visitors the chance to discover how the Civil War affected everyday men and women. The Museum chronicles the experience of Johann Albert Lotz and his family, who constructed the house in the 1850s.

Highlights:

This museum is a must for any student of history. Inside, you'll be able to walk through one of the most beautifully preserved 19th-century properties in the state, where many Civil War artifacts are also on display.

Address and opening hours:

1111 Columbia Ave, Franklin. Monday-Saturday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, Sunday 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.

Best places to visit in Nashville for art

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6. The Hatch Show Print Shop

Feast your eyes on some of the most iconic music posters of all time

At the Hatch Show Print shop, you'll be able to learn more about the iconic letterpress poster, and admire examples from the past 150 years, many of which featured stars from the Grand Ole Opry and vaudeville, circus and minstrel shows. You’ll also find out how the industry found its feet in Music City.

Highlights:

Once the tour's over, you can head to the UMG Space for Design, where you can create your own souvenir poster.

Address and opening hours:

224 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville. Monday-Sunday 9:30 AM-5:30 PM.

7. The Frist Art Museum

Even by contemporary art standards, the Frist Art Museum is unique. This center focuses on creating its own works and regularly welcomes traveling exhibitions from across the globe. With its Art Deco-inspired architecture, the building itself is a work of art.

Highlights:

This museum hosts an interactive gallery experience, Martin ArtQuest, where visitors can paint, draw, and print their own bespoke pieces.

Address and opening hours:

919 Broadway, Nashville. Thursday-Sunday, opening times vary.

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8. The Parthenon

Built in 1897, the Parthenon is an exact replica of the eponymous building that still stands proud in Athens. It's now the home of a sprawling art museum, hosting everything from 19th-century paintings to life-size reproductions of statues found in the original Parthenon.

Highlights:

If you're visiting Nashville during the summer, this museum regularly serves as the stage for free performances of classic Greek plays.

Address and opening hours:

2500 West End Ave, Nashville. Monday-Thursday, opening times vary.

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9. Belmont Mansion

The Belmont Mansion was built by the prominent Acklen family in the 1850s. While the antebellum property was originally a family home, it's always maintained an art gallery. Works from Joseph Mozier, Chauncey Ives, Randolph Rogers, and others have all been displayed here.

Highlights:

There's plenty to admire at this sprawling summer estate. Its interiors are some of the most elaborate in the state, with the Grand Salon generally considered an architectural marvel.

Address and opening hours:

1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville. Monday-Sunday 10:00 AM-3:30 PM.

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10. Find the perfect photo op with a mural tour of Music City

If traditional art museums are a little stuffy for your liking, why not check out some vibrant street art instead? Explore some of Nashville's trendiest neighborhoods, savoring the sights and colors of Music City. Once the sightseeing is done, retire to a secluded rooftop and relax as you sip on freshly-made cocktails.

Highlights:

Nashville is home to hundreds of murals. "What Lifts You", aka the “Nashville Wings”, by Kelsey Montague is arguably the most iconic, but there are many more waiting to be discovered.

Address and opening hours:

250 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville. Start times vary.

Best places to visit in Nashville for families

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11. The Grand Ole Opry House

The Grand Ole Opry House has played host to some of the biggest performers on the planet, from Johnny Cash to Carrie Underwood. It's still an important live performance venue, with the stage regularly welcoming family-friendly comedians, rising stars of country music, and more. You'll never experience the same show twice.

Highlights:

Your entrance ticket will get you priority seating and access to the Circle Room Lounge. Enjoy delicious appetizers, premium bar privileges, and the chance to rub shoulders with performers.

Address and opening hours:

600 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville. Start times vary.

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12. Music Row

Home to record label offices, radio stations and recording studios, Music Row is at the heart of Nashville’s country music industry. See this, and many more of the city’s landmarks, on a unique tour from a local’s perspective as you zip past dozens of tourist attractions such as Midtown, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Gulch.

Highlights:

If you're only visiting Nashville for a couple of days, there's no better way to tick off all those must-see attractions from your list. Your tour guide is on hand to provide you with the best dining and nightlife recommendations.

Address and opening hours:

833 9th Ave S, Nashville. Start times vary.

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13. Nashville Zoo

Originally a wildlife park, Nashville Zoo is now one of the largest zoos in the state and is home to more than 330 exotic species. Alongside dozens of domestic species, the zoo houses tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, and more.

Highlights:

The zoo holds regular events, and you can enjoy amphitheater animal shows, explore the Grassmere Historic House, and see the wildlife in beautifully recreated outdoor habitats.

Address and opening hours:

3777 Nolensville Pk, Nashville. Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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14. Berry Hill

A charming, picturesque Nashville neighborhood known as the Design District, explore its small, quiet streets, check out the local independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and browse its antiques and interiors stores. Don’t leave without taking part in an exciting escape room adventure, where you’ll need to have your wits about you to beat the clock.

Highlights:

Take on the role of a secret agent tasked with tracking down a priceless painting, or put yourself in the shoes of a prisoner who needs to break out of their jail cell.

Address and opening hours:

510 E Iris Dr, Nashville. Start times vary.

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15. East Bank

Nashville’s redeveloped waterfront area is known for the Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. See this, and other sights on the city’s skyline, with a kayaking excursion along the water. You’ll spot the distinctive red metal “Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks” scuplture, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, and more.

Highlights:

It’s easy to rent a kayak; all you need to do is turn up and take to the water. All the gear you'll need will be provided, while first-timers will get a crash course in kayaking 101.

Address and opening hours:

E Bank Greenway, Nashville. Start times vary.

Best places to visit in Nashville for culture

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16. Bicentennial Mall

Located next to Nashville’s Capitol building, this landscaped park is modeled on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and features design elements which provide visitors with information on Tennesee’s history, landmarks and musical heritage. See it by night on a fun trolley–car tour which will also take you to the Parthenon, Broadway and Nissan Stadium.

Highlights:

Your tour guide will provide you with all the insights you'll ever need. You'll also see Broadway come into its own once the sun goes down and the music starts playing.

Address and opening hours:

108 1st Ave S, Nashville. Start times vary.

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17. Graceland

You can’t come all the way to Tennessee and not visit the home of one of America’s, if not the world’s, most famous singers. At Graceland, you'll be able to walk in the footsteps of Elvis himself, explore nearby Beale Street, and enjoy a guided tour of Sun Studios. If Nashville is the cradle of country music, nearby Memphis is the home of rock 'n' roll.

Highlights:

On a tour here from Nashville, you can explore the parts of Graceland that most visitors don't see. What's more, all transportation is taken care of.

Address and opening hours:

108 1st Ave S, Nashville. Departure times vary.

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18. RCA Studio B

Make some time for a trip to a true music mecca; RCA Studio B became known as the birthplace of the "Nashville Sound," a unique musical style that set this city apart from the rest. Elvis, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and more have all recorded hits here.

Highlights:

Take a tour where you’ll learn more about the historic sessions which have taken place here; afterwards, head out and explore the historic Music Row district.

Address and opening hours:

222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville. Departure times vary.

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19. Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Just a short drive from Nashville is Lynchburg, the home of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, even though the founder’s real name wasn’t Jack, but Jasper Newton Daniel. Established in 1866, this distillery was the first to be registered in the United States, and the brand is still going strong today.

Highlights:

Take a tour departing from Nashville, which will introduce you to the finer points of making whiskey. You'll be able to brush up on local history, learn more about Jack Daniel himself, and, of course, sample the goods.

Address and opening hours:

250 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville. Departure times vary.

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20. Ryman Auditorium

Often referred to as "The Mother Church of Country Music," Ryman Auditorium has remained a popular music venue for more than 125 years and is one of Nashvielle’s most beloved performance venues. Explore this iconic building at your own pace and marvel at the priceless music artifacts and memorabilia on permanent display.

Highlights:

Ryman Auditorium boasts an impressive collection of signed Hatch Show Prints. If you're looking for the perfect memento of your visit, why not have your photo taken on one of Nashville's most celebrated stages?

Address and opening hours:

116 Rep. John Lewis Way N, Nashville. Monday-Sunday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

FAQs

How many days should I spend in Nashville?

You can pack plenty into a weekend trip. If you're only visiting for a couple of days, focus on exploring iconic landmarks and bustling districts like Downtown. If you're staying for a longer time, think about booking a day trip to nearby Memphis.

What is the best time of year to visit Nashville?

Nashville enjoys a subtropical climate, meaning you can look forward to glorious weather throughout the year. May is a great time to visit, heralding the arrival of the summer music scene without the heaving crowds that come later in the year.

How do I get around Nashville?

Nashville's bus network connects just about every corner of the city, and it's fairly reliable and inexpensive. If you're prepared to spend a little more on getting around town, think about a trolley tour so you can take in the sights in style.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Nashville?

Downtown, Midtown, and Music Valley tend to be at the top of most people's lists. If you're looking for trendier locales, try The Gulch. Here, you'll find upmarket eateries, exclusive boutiques, and craft breweries aplenty. Hillsboro Village is another popular destination with visitors, offering elegant architecture, diverse dining options, and plenty of historic attractions.

What are the best places to go shopping in Nashville?

Searching for brands you know and love? Head to Green Hills. Here, you'll find premium labels like Burberry, Nordstrom, and Louis Vuitton. In the market for something more exclusive? Try 12 South. This up-and-coming retail hub is home to many independent retailers, along with specialty labels and vintage stores aplenty.