9 Cool Things to Do in Nashville Right Now
It’s hard to talk about Nashville and not mention the past: The family-owned meat ’n’ threes and hot-chicken joints that date back decades. The honky-tonks, Hatch Show Print, and the Grand Ole Opry. These are the places that give the city its soul, with music and history oozing out of their walls. Nashville still sits in a blazing-hot ring of fire. With so many spots popping up, it’s hard to see them all. So we’ve included the area’s must-hit places and cool spots that aim to keep Music City unique by adding something with meaning rather than just chasing what lies at the end of the neon rainbow. There are more than a few fun things to do in Nashville. Where are you going to start?
What to Do: Find Art Events
Nashville is bursting with talent: Visit the FirstBank First Saturday Art Crawl downtown, the East Side Stumble, and Arts & Music at Wedgewood-Houston. The Jefferson Street Art Crawl highlights the heart of historically black North Nashville where Jimi Hendrix played blues clubs before construction of I-40 displaced residents and forced businesses to close.
What to Do: Go to Outdoor Concerts
Much has been made of Nashville’s honky-tonks and hallowed music halls like the Ryman Auditorium. (And if you have the chance to see any show at the Ryman, go!) But in recent years, the area has amped up its outdoor venues, providing opportunities to soak up the songs amid the city’s natural beauty. Musicians Corner hosts concerts featuring local artists in Centennial Park, for example. At Ascend Amphitheater, guests can spread blankets on the lawn beside the Cumberland River and sit before a stage backlit by the skyline.
What to Do: Pay Johnny Cash a Visit (Well, Sort Of)
Sure, you can start at the Country Music Hall of Fame, but we’d really prefer to pay our respects and learn a little more about beloved country crooner, Johnny Cash. The Johnny Cash Museum and Café feels less overwhelming than the Hall of Fame, and you’ll get to see the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world. johnnycashmuseum.com
What to Do: Catch a Rising Country Star
What to Do: Go Whiskey Sippin’
Give your taste buds a Tennessee whiskey experience. While we all know Jack Daniels, you can find a distillery a little closer to home base, right in Nashville. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery touts just as much history and offers tours and samples daily. greenbrierdistillery.com
What to Do: Visit The Hermitage
Because Nashville boasts more than just country music and too-cool art districts. We’re thinking the former home of President Andrew Jackson holds a whole lot of history. It’s definitely a looker. thehermitage.com
Fun fact: One of our Southern Living Hotel Collection locations can be found in the heart of downtown Nashville, and it’s named The Hermitage Hotel. thehermitagehotel.com
Where to Shop: The Idea Hatchery
The local boutique scene has been thriving and growing due in part to the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA). With the NFA as your guide, visit designer shops like Black by Maria Silver (who moonlights as a drummer) in East Nashville’s The Idea Hatchery, a collection of tiny stores with lower rents to help incubate new businesses.
Where to Shop: Emil Erwin
Or check out shops like Emil Erwin for luxury leather goods you won’t find at the mall back home. emilerwin.com
Where to Shop: Otis James
Make sure to hit Otis James for caps and neckties along Buchanan Street. Its products make the Southern gentleman stand out in the crowd. otisjames.com