Welcome to Nashville! A cosmopolitan, capital city, ready to welcome you with its southern hospitality. Regularly attracting domestic and international visitors, Nashville boasts a blend of food, culture, and entertainment that’s sure to leave you planning your next visit. Lonely Planet recently ranked Nashville as one of 2016’s Top 10 Cities in the World, even more special as it’s the only city listed from the United States. So, come on y’all – let’s find out the best of what Nashville has to offer!
PEOPLE CALL ME WILD. NOT REALLY THOUGH, I’M NOT. I GUESS I’VE NEVER BEEN NORMAL, NOT WHAT YOU CALL ESTABLISHMENT. I’M COUNTRY. – JOHNNY CASH
Best Time to Visit Nashville
Being from Tennessee, perhaps I am biased in saying there’s never a bad time to visit Nashville. Though, in all honesty, there are a couple times of year that tend to be better than others for various reasons.
Peak season runs from April to October. Sure, prices run higher, but with so many great events on offer, it’s easy to understand why Nashville attracts so many visitors throughout this period. The Music City Marathon is held each April, and thousands of fans flock to the city for the Country Music Festival which runs each June.
November to March is the late Autumn and Winter period. It’s considered low season, so you can find some great deals when booking in your visit. Christmas in the area is simply stunning, with lights throughout the streets and a real holiday feel at some of Nashville’s top attractions.
Still undecided? Spend a few minutes reviewing Nashville’s average temperature and precipitation levels by month to decide when is right for you. For additional input, see what a panel of experts from Forbes magazine rate as their favourite times to explore Nashville.
Top Things to Do in Nashville
Nicknamed “Music City,” you can not visit Nashville without getting involved in the local music scene. Go Honkey-Tonkin’ at a number of the bars on Lower Broadway. Take a stroll down Music Row. Listen to the songwriters at the Bluebird Cafe, considered by many to be one of the Top 10 bars in Nashville. Visit the infamous Ryman Auditorium. Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame. And for something a bit different, take a tour with the girls from Nash Trash. But don’t take our word for it, many of these are consistently listed as top places to visit in Nashville. The Hop-on, Hop-off bus is always money well spent, hitting a number of high points outside of downtown with interesting facts thrown in along the way.
For a taste of the outdoors, visit Centennial Park and scope the full sized replica of the Greek Parthenon. If you are feeling energised, enjoy a beautiful hike along the Natchez Trace Parkway.
For sporting enthusiasts, be sure to cheer on the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team in their recently refurbished stadium. You can also check out the Nashville Predators as they knock the puck around the rink in an ice hockey game. Alternatively, get decked out in your Tennessee Titans gear and get ready for a taste of professional football (and no, I’m not referring to soccer – good ol’ American gridiron).
Where to Stay in Nashville
With public transportation not a strong suit of the city, it’s important to stay somewhere central. Being within walking distance to most of the attractions will end up saving you a lot of time and money. For this reason, Downtown Nashville is a great place to base yourself.
If you are on a budget, but still want the convenience of being close to all the action, why not check out Nashville Downtown Hostel.
If money is no object, you can’t pass up a stay at any of these hotels. They’re considered the best for a reason, but the quality comes with a hefty price tag.
Find and book these hotels on our favourite accommodation search website: Booking.com
In a different part of town (convenient to the airport if you are flying in or out), you may want to stay at the beautiful Opryland Hotel. A self-contained resort, packed with entertainment, restaurants, a rotating bar, and even an indoor boat ride, there is something to suit everyone. It’s also conveniently located to Opry Mills, a large shopping complex, as well as the infamous Grand Ole Opry. Take a ride on the General Jackson showboat day or night for an enjoyable experience as you cruise down the Cumberland River.
Another great alternative for accommodation in Nashville is Airbnb, where private rooms start at $30 and offer a unique way to experience the city from a more local perspective.
Don’t have an Airbnb account yet? Sign up now and receive a discount to put towards your first Airbnb stay!
Where to Eat & Drink in Nashville
You’ll have no trouble finding good food in Nashville – the trouble will be in deciding where to go!
Be sure to check out the top 10 restaurants in Downtown Nashville. I especially recommend checking out Jacks Bar-B-Que if you get the chance. Keep an eye out for some southern staples such as pulled pork sandwiches, fried catfish, “meat & three,” and homemade apple pie. And remember, your meal won’t be complete without washing it down with a glass of sweet iced tea.
As the cocktail scene is heating up, see where to get the best drink in town. Of course, you can’t make a trip to Nashville without trying Tennessee’s own Jack Daniels Whiskey. You can also visit the distillery in Lynchburg, a couple hours drive from the city, but it’s in a dry county, so you can’t actually sample it here (what a shame!)
How Much Time Do You Need in Nashville
With regular flights in and out, you can easily visit Nashville for a long weekend.
Alternatively, if you have a bit more time up your sleeve, extending your stay to take in 5 days in the city, will ensure you cover a lot of ground, without the need to be a “power tourist.”
Including the surrounding suburbs of Nashville makes for a different take on the area. Trendy Green Hills offers an array of shopping and health food. Head south to Franklin for a historical look at Nashville. East Nashville has a growing scene considered quite eclectic, with a strong emphasis on music and food.
However long you decide to stay, enjoy your visit to Nashville; you’re sure to have an incredible time!
About the author: Kim is a freelance writer and the Co-Founder of Simply Travelled. Simply Travelled is a travel blog that encourages people to take a LEAP! An adult gap year, career break, sabbatical – call it what you will. Despite her klutzy nature, she believes life is all about balance. Being the recipient of so much generosity to date, Kim wants to pay it forward, by offering her top travel tips and advice to everyone interested keen on travelling. Follow Kim on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or on her blog Simply Travelled,