Nashville is one of the places in Tennessee that made a huge contribution to the American music industry. But this city isn’t just a place for musicians. Nashville is also a place for those looking for a nice vacation with their family and/or friends. From downtown Nashville to every corner of the city, it definitely has so much to offer than just music.
Nashville began its rise to eminence since it was founded in 1779. From then on, it grew in popularity that made it beat Charlotte as the capital of the state. Music then began flooding into the city as many musicians sought fame on the region’s stages. Because of this, it quickly gained recognition as the nation’s music center. With that, many people from the music industry made it a mission to come, learn, and play with the greats across the city. Also because of that, the city’s musical attractions started booming.
Probably one of the most popular musical attractions in the city is the Bluebird Café. Basically, it’s just a small restaurant serving food, wine, cocktails, and beer. But it provides a nice platform for up and coming songwriters to be heard and discovered. In fact, it is where Taylor Swift was discovered by music executive Scott Borchetta. Garth Brooks was also discovered here after auditioning for the café’s show and got booked shortly thereafter for a showcase. Up until today, the café also features hit songwriters.
Grand Ole Opry is also one of the sought-after stages for the aspiring musicians throughout the region. Originally called as the WSM Barn Dance, this Grand Ole Opry also features superstars and legends.
The city is so into music that it even has one of the world’s largest and most active popular music research centers and the world’s largest repository of country music artifacts, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In fact, it houses over 2.5 million priceless artifacts such as stage costumes, recordings and photographs, as well as musical instruments outlining the history of the country. There are also films to watch and listen to plus interactive media that educate visitors on the genre that the city is famous for.
Of course, most country music wouldn’t be complete without guitars. And the city also has its own museum, the Gallery of Iconic Guitars (The GIG), which celebrates some of the iconic and even the rarest guitars and other stringed instruments ever known.
Some of the recordings studios in the city also offers tours. Some even have its doors open to the public where they can get rare access to live recording sessions such as the Soundstage Studios.
But these aren’t the only reasons why you should see the city. Nashville also has plenty of other things to offer that makes it worthy to visit no matter what kind of travel experience you’re looking for. In case you’re curious to know what other things await you, we listed some of them that we’re sure will also guide you as you explore the city.
- 1 Nashville Attractions
- 1.1 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
- 1.2 Madame Tussauds
- 1.3 The Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum
- 1.4 National Corvette Museum
- 1.5 Lane Motor Museum
- 1.6 The Johnny Cash Museum
- 1.7 Nashville Children’s Theatre
- 1.8 Schermerhorn Symphony Center
- 1.9 OZ Arts Nashville
- 1.10 Frist Art Museum
- 1.11 Special Art Events
- 1.12 Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure Nashville
- 1.13 The Escape Game Opry Mills
- 1.14 The Rabbit Hole
- 1.15 Grand Old Golf and Go Karts
- 1.16 Peg Leg Porker BBQ
- 1.17 Meat and Three
- 1.18 Solario Cantina
- 1.19 Asian Cuisine
Nashville has plenty of museums to offer that are as varied as the genres reverberating from the many music venues and recording studios in the city. This, of course, makes even a quick tour in the city all the more worth it, especially if you’re traveling with your family. In case you’re wondering which museum should you start with, check these out.
1Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
As its name suggests, this attraction is all about celebrating and honoring more than 500 American athletes, teams, coaches, sports writers, as well as sports executives for their contributions to sports in Tennessee. Here, you can get to see their uniforms, pictures, and more that lets you get to know the hall of famers better. In addition to that, you can also get to find interactive games, as well as college football and basketball exhibits. Kids can even get to dress up like a hockey player or a football player. It will only take you an hour to fully explore the whole place but it sure is worth it.
Speaking of hall of famers, Nashville also has Madame Tussauds. But this museums presents its hall of famers in a more unique way. Instead of memorabilias, this museum features realistic wax figures of lyrical legends that helped shape the musical landscape of America. The wax figures are so realistic that they look like the actual artist even when captured on cam. On top of that, it has various immersive settings that make every picture perfect. The wax figures’ clothing can also be the original ones that they wore or replicas made by the original designers.
3The Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum
This museum, on the other hand, focuses more on the history of the state. At the Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum, you can get to explore exhibitions that interpret America’s overseas conflicts from the Spanish-American war in 1898 to the Vietnam War. Through this, you can get to have a glimpse of the state’s interesting past. And the best part of it is that its doors are open to the public for free.
4National Corvette Museum
If anyone in your family is a car enthusiast, we suggest that you don’t miss out on the National Corvette Museum. For starters, this is a museum that showcases America’s sports car with more than 70 Corvettes displayed in periodic settings which enhances your visiting experience. Here, you can get to see classics in mint condition, unique prototypes, and special exhibits, including a new Mid-Engine exhibit. The museum also has an interactive exhibit that features hands-on activities dedicated to kids who are six years old and under. In addition to that, you can even sit behind the wheel of a Corvette for a photo opportunity like no other. The museum also has a racing simulator that will really make you feel what it’s like to drive the amazing race cars on display.
5Lane Motor Museum
Speaking of cars, if the one at the National Corvette Museum aren’t enough, don’t forget to see Lane Motor Museum too. Here, you will not just get to see cars but you can also get to see hundreds of extraordinary motorcycles from around the world too. Here, you can get to discover oddities such as amphibious vehicles, propeller-driven vehicles, military vehicles, competition cars, and more.
6The Johnny Cash Museum
If you’re a fan of Johnny Cash, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, we also suggest that you visit the Johnny Cash Museum. Located at the heart of downtown Nashville, this museum is dedicated to remembering the life and music career of the late Man in Black. Here, you can get to feast on the sight of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia. From stage costumes, instruments, and even personal letters, this museum will give you a peek of what his life was like.
Nashville is also good at visual and performing arts. And you can get to see them almost everywhere. They are as diverse and approachable as the city’s music scene. And if you’re an art enthusiast, you will surely love this city even more as it has many attractions and events that will inspire the inner artist in you. Check out these places where you can see great art.
7Nashville Children’s Theatre
If you’re traveling with kids, Nashville Children’s Theater is also a must see. This is because it produces season of plays for kids, as well as the whole family, to enjoy. Ranked as one of the top five children’s theaters in the US by TIME magazine, this theatre lets you see various plays like Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Ghost, as well as The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. But seeing plays aren’t the only thing that makes it worth visiting. Apparently, Nashville Children’s Theatre also offers lobby activities and crafts before the play starts.
8Schermerhorn Symphony Center
Schmerhorn Symphony Center is actually the home to the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashvile Symphony. But it’s not the only reason why it’s worth-seeing. Apparently, this place also plays host to a wide range of concerts, including pop, classical, and jazz, as well as special events every year. What’s more to love about the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is that it can also be rented for private events such as galas, weddings, corporate meetings, and receptions. Public and private tours are also available, where you can get to learn more about the building and its history. Led by the center’s knowledgeable and friendly staff, you will surely enjoy such tours too.
9OZ Arts Nashville
OZ Arts Nashville, on the other hand, is a place to be when you want to see innovative contemporary art. But this place isn’t just about showcasing paintings. OZ Arts Nashville also features other types of visual arts such as dance. In fact, last February, the museum let its visitors witness unparalleled contemporary dance performances that challenged the audience to re-envision limitations as opportunities to uncover new strengths. Apart from that, the museum already held various visual art-related events including a fashion show. Of course, the museum holds various events and exhibits for every season so you might want to keep an eye out on their calendar to see what’s on as you visit.
10Frist Art Museum
If you want to see more of the visual arts that the city boasts of, we also suggest that you visit the Frist Art Museum. Located in downtown Nashville, this place is filled with artworks that will inspire you in many ways. It has an amazing array of art from around the world. The best part of it is that Frist Art Museum doesn’t house permanent collections and exhibitions. Instead, they are changed every four to six weeks. This means you have more opportunities to get to know more artists, as well as their masterpieces. But apart from the artworks that the museum houses, it also has a significant architectural structure that you need to see. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or not, this place is definitely one of the things worth-seeing be it in downtown Nashville or any corner of the city.
11Special Art Events
What we love the most about Nashville is that it also plays a host to a number of festivals and events that will make you enjoy the city’s art scene even more. One of the events that you need to look out for is the FirstBank First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown. During this event, art galleries across downtown Nashville host receptions and art openings from 6 to 9 PM for special events and exhibit openings for free. The best part of it is that most galleries would even offer wine and refreshments for free.
Nashville also knows how to have fun. While museums, art centers, and theaters also offer fun experiences for both locals and visitors, Nashville also has other attractions that will make everyone’s visit even more exciting and memorable. Check out some of that attractions and other activities.
12Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure Nashville
Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure Nashville is actually a unique city tour. Here, you can get to tour the city and at the same time feel as if you’re a contestant in the Amazing Race. This is because it is a guided tour where you can get to explore the city’s gems such as the city’s memorials, landmark hotels, and more. At the same time, you are tasked to solve clues and complete other challenges that will let you play and learn the local history. The best part of it is that you don’t have to worry about the pandemic as you take this tour. This is because you will only need a smartphone for a guide and no other outside parties will participate with your team. From sunrise to sunset, this unique tour is always available.
13The Escape Game Opry Mills
Unlike the Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure, The Escape Game Opry Mills does not involve a city tour. But it is equally fun as it offers an immersive adventure as you try to escape a room. In fact, it is named as the city’s number one escape room, offering a lot of excitement and fun for both locals and tourists. Basically, it’s like the other escape rooms where you will solve puzzles and take on other challenges. But what makes this experience one of a kind are the stories, twists, turns, and shocking surprises that await you around every corner. This experience is not to be missed, especially if you’re traveling with your friends.
14The Rabbit Hole
Whether you are sporty or a gamer, you will love The Rabbit Hole too. It’s not Alice in Wonderland-related, though. But it will take you in another world – the virtual reality. Here, you can try your hand at archery, challenge your friends in paintball or even fight off hordes of zombies into their fully-immersive interactive VR games. But The Rabbit Hole doesn’t just offer VR game experience on-site. They also offer their off-site VR rentals for product demos, conventions, birthday parties, and even corporate events.
15Grand Old Golf and Go Karts
Another place that you shouldn’t miss is the Grand Old Golf and Go Karts. Here, you have more games to choose from. First off, have three mini-golf courses for when you want to try out playing tee. The place also has an arcade where you can try your luck or challenge your friends. On top of that, you can get to enjoy bumper cars and outdoor go-karts.
The Music City also has spots that placed it on the map as a culinary destination offering you both comfort food and southern cooking. And if you need to fuel up before or after exploring the whole city, you might want to check out these restaurants.
16Peg Leg Porker BBQ
Located in Downtown Nashville, Peg Leg Porker BBQ is one of the famous restaurants in town as it has starred in numerous TV shows and won countless awards. But this place isn’t famous for nothing. This restaurant is also known for its delicious barbecue. Its nachos with pulled pork is also one of the crowd favorites.
17Meat and Three
Speaking of meat, if Peg leg Porker BBQ isn’t enough, you can also try out the city’s restaurants that specialize in Meat and Three. Here, you can get to choose your meat (the choices vary daily) then load your plate with three side dishes; hence the name. There are a couple of restaurants that offer such meals. Some even offer them buffet style. However, don’t expect upmarket formal dining. Instead, expect some comfortable home from home country-kitchen feel. Some of our favorite restaurants specializing in this style across Downtown Nashville are Arnold’s, Puckett’s, and Katies.
If you crave for Latin American cuisine, don’t worry, the city also has countless spots for you. Solario Cantina is one of our favorites. Aside from the delicious dishes, this place also lets you enjoy over a hundred tequila sections and signature margaritas. But this place is also a must-visit for its beautiful outdoor patio seating set in the beautiful Garden Conservatory atrium. You’ll not just get to fill your stomach with good food but you can also get to feast on the sight of beautiful surroundings that will make you enjoy every bite of your meal.
When you’re in Nashville, you also don’t need your passport to experience the other side of the world. This is because the city has countless restaurants bringing a taste of other countries to locals and tourists through their dishes. The city even has authentic Asian restaurants that you also need to check out. Whether you’re craving for Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese, there is a restaurant for you that will satisfy your Asian cuisine cravings.
These attractions prove that Nashville isn’t just all about music. It is also filled with a colorful history and other fun attractions that will any trip with your friends and/or family more memorable. But these attractions are just the tip of the iceberg. There are still far more places to explore in the music city that you need to discover. No matter what kind of travel experience you are looking for, there will always be a place in Nashville that will fit you rliking. But we’re sure that these spots will already make your visit fun and worth it whether you’re traveling with friends or your family.