Heading to Nashville? The Top Must-See Spots to Add to Your Itinerary


If you’ve scrolled through social media at any point over the last year, you’ve undoubtedly seen someone you know post about their recent trip to Nashville and how the city stole their heart (guilty). With Taylor Swift and bachelorette trips at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, Nashville is having a moment. And there’s no better time to take advantage of all it has to offer.

It may be known as the country music capital of the world, but Nashville truly has something for everyone. In addition to music, the city has a fantastic food and beverage scene, fun-to-watch pro sports teams, beautiful historic sites, tons of street art, and more. Makes sense why it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., right?

If you’re itching to experience everything Music City has to offer, read on for our Nashville travel guide, complete with everything from insider tips to must-do activities.



What to Know Before You Go



Know your neighborhoods

Broadway is the infamous street in downtown Nashville where all the bars and honkytonks are located, and it’s always first on everyone’s list of places to visit. Definitely check it out, but know that Nashville has plenty more to offer, so be sure to explore the other neighborhoods, too. The Gulch, 12 South, and Hillsboro Village were some of my favorite areas of Nashville for restaurants and shopping. Midtown is a quieter area of the city, which makes it a great place to stay.

If you’re a country music lover, be sure to check out Music Row. This is where famous record labels, recording studios, and the Country Music Hall of Fame are located. East Nashville is an up-and-coming area of the city known for some of the best restaurants, bars, and small music venues. Last but certainly not least, Opryland is home to the Grand Ole Opry House, which is another must-see for country music (read: Dolly Parton) fans.


Leave your cowboy boots at home

Cowboy boots and denim shorts seem to be the unofficial uniform for all girls visiting Nashville. While I’m all for being a tourist, I left my cowboy boots at home, and I’m so glad I did. My boyfriend and I ended up doing a lot of walking and dancing during our trip, so comfortable shoes were a must. I was worried that I’d feel out of place being the only one without boots on, but I actually enjoyed not blending in with the crowd. That said, if cowboy boots are a non-negotiable for your ‘fit, be sure to pack your comfiest pair. You could also consider adding comfortable shoe inserts or wearing thick socks to avoid getting blisters while you’re out on the town.


Make reservations

As in most busy cities, getting into bars and restaurants in Nashville without a reservation can be tough. I highly recommend making reservations in advance (i.e. as soon as you’ve booked your plane tickets). That said, Nashville is also a pretty casual city, so not all venues take reservations (I’m looking at you, Biscuit Love and Hattie B’s). In this case, you’ll probably have to wait to get in, so plan to arrive before the rush.


Leave room in your suitcase

Shopping is one of my favorite things to do whenever I visit a new city, and Nashville did not disappoint. There are hundreds of local boutiques with unique finds, luxury brands you can only find in bigger cities, and celebrity flagship stores like Kittenish by Jessie James Decker and Reese Witherspoon’s brand Draper James. Moral of the story? If you plan on shopping, make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase to bring home all your new goodies.


Where to Stay



Graduate Hotel

A Dolly Parton-inspired hotel with a pink rooftop bar? Say no more. The Graduate is the perfect location for a girls’ trip or bachelorette weekend. Grab drinks and take pictures at the Instagrammable rooftop bar White Limozeen, sing karaoke in the lounge at night, and cure your hangover the next morning with a delicious breakfast sandwich and latte at the coffee bar.


Gaylord Opryland Resort

If you’re seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry, there’s no better place to stay than the Opryland Resort. With restaurants, shopping, an indoor/outdoor waterpark, and a stunning indoor garden, the hotel has everything you could possibly want. It’s also just a quick 10-minute drive to the airport.


Thompson Hotel

The Thompson Hotel is one of goop’s recommended places to stay in Nashville, so you know it’s good. Centrally located in the Gulch neighborhood, this boutique hotel is close to attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and downtown. It’s also home to the popular rooftop bar and restaurant L.A. Jackson. Be sure to try their champagne glitter chicken!


Where to Eat and Drink




Ask anyone where to eat in Nashville, and they’ll recommend Husk. The menu could be described as high-end comfort food, and all ingredients are locally sourced. For this reason, the menu changes with the seasons and availability of ingredients, so there’s always something new available to try. Another fun touch? The restaurant is located inside an 1870s Victorian home.


The Co-Op

If you visit Nashville on a hot day, be sure to stop by The Co-Op for a refreshing frosé flight and a quick bite to eat. Not only are the drinks and food delicious, but the space is full of murals and aesthetic backdrops to take photos. There are two locations in Nashville: Hillsboro Village (where we visited) and The Gulch.


Pinewood Social

Pinewood Social is the perfect location for, well… everything. Their food and drink menus take you all the way from brunch to dinner and everything in between. While you’re not eating and drinking, enjoy their bowling lanes, outdoor games like bocce ball, and a small dipping pool.



Best Things to Do in Nashville



Check out the murals and attractions

There’s no shortage of things to see and places to visit in Nashville. Murals are major attractions in the city, so much so that there are companies that offer guided tours of the street art (with mimosas in hand, might I add). Whether you book a private tour or scout them out on your own, be prepared to wait in line to snap a photo, especially at the WhatLiftsYou Wings mural. History buffs will also want to check out some of Nashville’s historic sites, including the Parthenon, Ryman Auditorium, and the Belle Meade Mansion. If museums are more your thing, be sure to visit the Johnny Cash Museum, Lane Motor Museum, and the Frist Art Museum.


Hit the stage for karaoke

Whether you’re looking for your big break or just want to have some fun, singing karaoke is a must while visiting Music City. But before you hit the stage, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most karaoke bars charge a small fee to add your name to the queue, so take plenty of cash with you. You may also want to show up early because places fill up quickly, especially on the weekends. To get your karaoke fix, I suggest checking out WannaB’s Karaoke Bar, Ms. Kelli’s Karaoke Bar, Cross-Eyed Critters, or Sid Gold’s Request Room.


Enjoy some live music

Another must-see while you’re in Nashville (and honestly, it’s hard to avoid) is live music. From the bars on Broadway with live performers on every floor to the famous Bluebird Café where Taylor Swift was discovered, there are endless opportunities to find a band or performer you’ll enjoy. During our time in Nashville, we heard a mix of country, ’90s pop, and rock. It was so fun to explore the different venues and hear a variety of music from aspiring artists.