Welcome to Nashville the home of country music! Tennessee has a lot of great places to explore, but Nashville has to be on the top of the list. Walking along the neon light-studded downtown district you will find live country music flowing from bars to restaurants. At the same time, as the capital of Tennessee, Nashville has plenty to offer beyond its honky-tonks and cowboy boots.
What we love about Nashville is the more you explore, the more you will learn there is to see. You could easily spend an entire week exploring Nashville by foot and still find yourself with full days of fun sightseeing.
Exploring the top 14 attractions in Nashville, Tennessee
1. John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Start by making your way into the center of Nashville on foot by crossing over the Cumberland River on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. When the weather is nice this area is full of tourists and locals enjoying the sunny day and the skyline views.
2. Country Music Hall of Fame
No visit to Nashville is complete without making your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame. As you wind your way through the history of country music from its roots to its pop star status of today. Here you can learn everything and more about your favorite country music star. At the end of the museum, there is an interactive section where you record your first country hit!
Last but not least, it is time to visit the most iconic spot in Nashville, the Parthenon! No, you do not need to hop a flight to Greece as Nashville is a home to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens. It was originally built to celebrate the city's centennial, but its popularity leads to the permanent replica that stands to this day. Inside is also a full-size replica of the 42 foot Athena Parthenos statue, the lost statue that once stood in the Parthenon in Greece.
4. Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium was once the longtime home of the Grand Ole Opry and still remains an important center for country music. Do not miss the chance to see a show at this downtown Mother Church of Country Music. If there is not a concert during your visit to Nashville you can also take a guided or self-guided backstage tour to see the magic behind the music and a glimpse at Roman’s rich history.
5. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Nashville has no limit on green space and one of the best spots to relax and enjoy the sun is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, State Park. This 19-acre park features a tour through Tennessee's history with many informative markers and the state’s natural climates by the designer of the park itself.
Every 15 minutes a 95-Bell Carillon that tops the WWII memorial at the far end of the park plays a portion of the Tennessee Waltz and on the top of each hour, it plays the entire tune.
At the top of the hill in Bicentennial Park sits the majestic Tennessee State Capitol building. This 1859 Greek Revival building has undergone few changes since its opening. You can take a guided tour of the capitol building, home to the General Assembly of Tennessee and Governor's office.
6. The Gulch
The Gulch is an upscale neighborhood at the southern edge of downtown Nashville. It is known for its high-end boutiques, chic hotels, and flavorful restaurants. It is the perfect area to visit near the end of the day and explore the boutiques before sitting down to enjoy a drink.
7. The Hermitage
Nashville was the longtime home of President Andrew Jackson during his post-president years. Learn all about the life and legacy of Jackson at his Hermitage plantation and enjoy a guided tour of his house.
8. Belle Meade Plantation
The Belle Meade Plantation is famous for its thoroughbred horse breeding, since all horses that raced in the Kentucky Derby since 2003 can trace their ancestry to this plantation. You can take a guided tour of the historic mansion, enjoy a handful of conserved buildings on the grounds and enjoy a wine tasting from the plantations latest ventures.
9. Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens features 55 acres of beautiful botanical gardens which are just overflowing with color during the warmer months. Take a walk along the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail, featuring sculptures that focus on a mix of art and nature.
10. Belmont Mansion
The Belmont Mansion was built in 1853 and now stands as a lasting feature of antebellum history on a busy corner of Belmont University. Take a guided tour to enjoy the beautifully restored rooms -- and a tour around the world circa late 1800’s -- as owner, Adelicia Acklen's extensive travels brought in examples of artwork from all corners of the world.
11. Grand Ole Opry
It would not be a visit to Nashville without a stop at the Grand Ole Opry, the stage for country music. From the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, country music stars both young and old come together to play for a live audience and radio show on WSM-AM. You can either catch a live concert during your visit or go behind the scenes with a backstage tour.
12. Marathon Village
Marathon Village is an old car factory with an eclectic mix of new and old. The factory space now houses several boutiques, art galleries, and antique stores. At the same time, the hallways are lined with the old machine and car parts from the factory days of Marathon Village.
13. Music Row
Go for a walk down Music Row, the beating heart of country music in Nashville with an endless row of record labels and recording studios. The most notable stop is Historic RCA Studio B, where you can get a tour of where many country music stars including Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley had the chance to record.
14. Johnny Cash Museum
Walk the line down to the Johnny Cash Museum with the largest collection of memorabilia from the great Johnny Cash. The museum features all the stages of his life and musical career including his time in the Air Force.