Top Things To Do In Nashville Destinations | Travel Zone by Best Western

Top Things To Do In Nashville

By Virginia Brown

From catching live bands in some of music’s most hallowed halls to savoring a gooey smash burger with crispy curly fries, exploring surprising museums, and touring historic estates and gardens, make any trip to Music City one to remember with these top things to do in Nashville. 


Catch a Show at the Ryman Auditorium  

Soak in the unparalleled history of one of the world’s greatest music stages with a show or tour of the Ryman Auditorium. Opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle – a revival hall later named the Ryman for its founder, Thomas Ryman – the auditorium is known as the “Mother Church of Country Music” and has played host to acts from bands from Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash to Coldplay. Its sanctuary-style design, with wooden seats and ceiling, make for ideal acoustics that many top performers consider the best in the world.  


Tour the Gardens at Cheekwood 

Escape the buzz of the big city with a trip out to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. Nestled among 55 acres of lush green space just southwest of Nashville, Cheekwood is the former home of Leslie and Mabel Cheek, who amassed their fortune in a grocery distribution company. Tour the estate, built in 1929, for incredible orchid and other flower displays and serene art galleries. Visit in spring for Cheekwood in Bloom, a stunning showing of over 250,000 colorful bulbs, and outdoor music performances on the grounds. At Christmas, the estate offers a mile of twinkling holiday lights.  


Grab a Burger at Joyland 

The brainchild of Chef Sean Brock, every burger lover must make a pitstop at Joyland. Located in trendy east Nashville, Joyland is known for the original “Crustburger,” a cheese-smothered smash burger, sandwiched between two ultra-thin buns with red onion and a side of signature “fancy” sauce. Stacked hot dogs, fried chicken, breakfast sandwiches, curly fries, and shakes all make for popular picks.   


Step Back in Time at Belle Meade 

Just outside of the city, stop by Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery for a dose of Nashville’s equine history, wine tastings, soul food, and more. Sign up for a docent-led tour of the antebellum estate, constructed in the Greek Revival style popular of the era, and learn all about the many generations that called Belle Meade home and how it became a prolific horse breeding farm. Ask about Robert Green, an accomplished Black horse breeder, groomer, and trainer, and longtime head hostler at Belle Meade. Grounds-only admission, wine and bourbon experiences, and a tour dedicated to the women of Belle Meade are all available, plus a meat-and-three restaurant and ice cream shop.  


Take in a Museum or Two 

Many music lovers travel to Nashville to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, but just off Music Row, you’ll find other worthy music museums. At the National Museum of African American Music, songs guide you through the many rooms dedicated to incredible Black influences on music, from early gospel to R&B and hip hop, and beyond. Through a massive collection of instruments, recording equipment, costumes, sheet music, and much more, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the many contributions of world-famous musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Tom Petty plus dozens of the lesser-known but  highly influential names who made music history.  


See a Live Show at the Opry 

For an electric live music experience, book a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Presented in its original 1920s radio show style, the Opry showcases a wide variety of incredible singer-songwriters and refreshingly diverse acts over the course of a music-packed evening. Performers range from the Fisk Jubilee Singers, founded in 1871 at the historically Black Fisk University, to major international stars like Mexico’s Carín León and classic country acts from Connie Smith to Vince Gill.   

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