While Nashville is officially the capital of Tennessee, it is also known as the home of country music. Featuring legendary venues, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum, and the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville offers plenty for fans of country music. Activities unrelated to music are also abundant, and situated within minutes of many Nashville vacation rentals. Take a ride on a roller coaster, enjoy a walking tour of the city, or listen to the honky-tonk rhythms streaming from lower Broadway. Check out the top 10 things to do in Nashville.
1. Take in the Sights and the Sounds of the Honky Tonk Highway
Downtown Nashville embraces its musical heritage 365 days a year. Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway, located on the lower end of Broadway, is host to restaurants, bars, and live music venues such as Tootsie’s, Legends, and even the Hard Rock Cafe. Live music can be heard from each establishment beginning midday through the early morning hours.
2. Tour the Belle Meade Plantation
History buffs enjoy wandering through the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, a 150-year old home that embraces the history of the Old South. Take in a tour led by guides in full costume, and see the grounds and the rooms of this mansion. The history of the plantation spans from slavery to the Civil War.
3. Visit the Ryman Auditorium
Head over to Fifth Avenue to see the stunning architecture of the Ryman Auditorium, designed in 1892 by Captain Thomas Ryman. While this grand theater was formerly the home of the Grand Ole Opry, it is now home to well-known musicians and artists who offer performances year round. Also dubbed as a museum, the Ryman is open for tours of the facility and the gallery.
4. Head Over to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
You can’t vacation in Nashville without seeing the sights and sounds at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Located in the SoBro district, this museum features exhibits and artifacts from well-known country artists from the past and the present. Take a tour with a guide or sign up for an audio tour to learn more about the country singers’ pasts and musical journeys. This museum hosts seasonal showcases to spotlight country artists, so whether you are visiting in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, there is always something new to see.
5. See the Jack Daniel Distillery
Nashville is home to the Jack Daniel Distillery where Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 evolved and continues to be made each day. Sample some whiskey or tour the oldest U.S. distillery to learn more about Mr. Daniels and his famous concoctions that are still on the shelves at restaurants and bars worldwide.
6. Tour the Belmont Mansion
Spend the day wandering through one of the largest house museums Nashville has to offer when touring the Belmont Mansion. This 19th century home, rich in history, is open for personalized tours so you can admire the architecture and 10,000 square feet. With a guided tour, you can learn more about the mistress Adelicia Acklen who occupied the home.
7. Sign Up For a Science Adventure at the Adventure Science Center
Participate in hands-on science experiments when spending the day at the Adventure Science Center and Sudekum Planetarium, just minutes from your Nashville vacation rental. Let the kids experience the effects of zero gravity in the Space Chase exhibit or play a game of immune system laser tag. The seven-story facility includes a glass pyramid at the top so you can see the beauty of the Nashville skyline. If you need some time to relax, catch a film or documentary in the dome of the Sudekum Planetarium.
8. Take a Nashville Walking Tour with Echoes of Nashville
Get in some exercise and learn more about the history of Nashville with a 90-minute walking tour. When signing up for a tour from Echoes of Nashville, you can find out more about murder and mayhem in the city, the renegade women of Nashville, or the significance of the Hermitage Hotel, Ryman Auditorium, or Riverfront Park. You can choose the type of tour that fits your vacation schedule and walk your way into knowledge while seeing the sights of lower Broadway and the downtown area.
9. See a Show at the Grand Ole Opry
Located within Opryland, the Grand Ole Opry is known as the mecca of country music performances. Featuring stars such as Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley, as well as additional performers throughout the years, the music and the ambiance of the Opry won’t disappoint. A new artist is showcased each week at this Opry that began as a radio broadcasting program in 1925.
10. Tour the Tennessee State Capitol Building
Constructed in 1845, the Tennessee State Capitol Building is a sight to see when vacationing in Nashville. This limestone building serves as the anchor of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, serving as the connector to the downtown area. Take a guided tour of the capitol and the Tennessee State Museum, also located within this historic building. Browse the public galleries on a legislative day or take in the historical artifacts on displays, such as paintings and furniture.
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