Look to Nashville for haute cuisine, live performances, and kid-friendly things to do
While it’s easy to see how “Music City” earned its nickname, there’s no shortage of things to do in Nashville that don’t involve country music. From East Nashville’s bohemian vibe to Belle Meade’s refined roots and the mural-lined streets of 12 South, Tennessee’s capital has a diverse mix of neighborhoods beyond the raucous bars along Broadway. Start with curated cocktails and boutique shopping in the fashionable Gulch neighborhood before heading out to revel in Midtown ́s famed nightlife.
Looking to see Nashville on a budget? The Tennessee State Museum celebrates the Volunteer State ́s heritage with exhibits of art, textiles, furniture, and photos. Snap a selfie on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, a vast truss bridge spanning more than 3,000 feet. Just west of downtown, Centennial Park has more than 130 acres of green space with a picturesque lake and a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon (yes, that Greek Parthenon).
Reasons to go:
- Music that isn’t country: Nashville’s music tastes include everything from rock and reggae to hip-hop and electronica. Stroll nightlife spots along Printers Alley and sidle into a downtown blues club. Or check out a jazz set at a cozy West End haunt. Did someone say salsa? About 10% of Nashville’s community is Hispanic, and Plaza Mariachi is the place to find Latin-themed entertainment, from live music and dancing to aerialists and fire-breathers.
- Beyond biscuits, barbecue, and hot chicken: Yes, you should feast upon these local delights—and Nashville serves up more than its share of divine Southern fare. But the city’s modern culinary culture draws inspiration from across the globe. You can scarf down Greek street food in East Nashville, discover Indian fusion downtown, and taste exquisite Mexican dishes in 12 South.
- Bourbon and craft beer: Given Tennessee’s long whiskey tradition, it’s no surprise that Nashville has a number of artisanal distilleries. Stop by producers like Corsair and Pennington for samples of barrel-aged spirits. But don't overdo it! The city’s craft beer scene is one of America’s best known for breweries like Yazoo, Jackalope, and Czann’s.
- Parkland aplenty: Looking for things to do in Nashville with kids? Go from city to country in minutes with a drive to the Warner Parks, southwest of downtown. Hiking and biking trails weave among forest and fields in these twin outdoor havens. The nearby Harpeth River is popular for adventurous canoe trips, while Radnor Lake’s paths wind through a wooded wonderland with spectacular lake views.
- Historical homes: See how the Southern elite of yesteryear lived at the Belle Meade Plantation, a 19th-century mansion that’s welcomed presidents. Embrace opulence at the Belmont Mansion, an Italianate villa dating to the mid-1800s, and tour the sprawling grounds of the Hermitage Plantation, home of US President Andrew Jackson. When spring tulips are in bloom, you don’t want to miss the dazzling display at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens.
When to go
The city celebrates food and wine in autumn, with festivals such as Music City Food & Wine (September), the Nashville Whiskey Festival (September), and Taste Nashville (November). The Tennessee State Fair puts down stakes in mid-September, bringing in about 200,000 fun-lovin’ folks for concerts, amusement rides, and deep-fried treats. Over the holiday season, GLOW Nashville features a craft market, outdoor ice-skating, and the city’s tallest Christmas tree.
With more than 130 miles of bike lanes on streets and more than 90 miles of greenways, Nashville makes it easy to pedal around town. You can rent a B-cycle at more than 30 stations across the city and ride by the hour.
Ready with your list of things to do in Nashville? Book with Radisson Hotels to discover more than country music in “Music City.”
I would like to stay at ...
My kind of trip is ...