Rick and I visited Nashville two Labor Day’s ago and we loved it so much that Rick still says he wants to move there (chill out dude, we just bought a house in Pittsburgh). We like to see and do as much as we possibly can when we visit a new city and we definitely packed a lot into our long weekend in Nashville.
Today I’m recapping our Nashville travel itinerary for anyone looking for suggestions on things to do while in Music City, USA!
Day 1: Afternoon Arrival + Broadway St.
We arrived in Nashville early in the afternoon and took a Lyft from the airport to the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in downtown. We didn’t rent a car because we didn’t want to hassle with parking and most things we wanted to see and do were walkable from our hotel.
After we dropped our bags off in our hotel room, we walked just a few minutes down to Broadway Street. Broadway is really something to experience… There is live music pulsating out of every honky-tonk, swarms of people walking the streets in cowboy boots, and colorful neon lights for blocks. We stopped in a few honky-tonks and stayed for a couple of songs at each. Every single honky-tonk on Broadway was unique and fun and every band/musician we listened to was incredible! Our favorite honky-tonks were Alan Jackson’s Good Times Bar and Crossroads.
For dinner, we ate the best hot wings at Rippy’s Bar & Grill while listening to live music. After dinner, we walked a few blocks down from Broadway to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge is completely closed off to vehicles and it offers the BEST view of the city. We got to the bridge just in time to see the gorgeous sunset and then we headed back to Broadway for some more music and drinks!
Day 2: 12 South + Country Music Hall of Fame
On our first full day in Nashville, we got up early and took a Lyft to 12 South, a trendy neighborhood outside of downtown. We had a delicious breakfast at Frothy Monkey, a cute little café and eatery near Vanderbilt’s campus. After breakfast, we walked around and checked out some of the street art and shops. We also stopped in Reese Witherspoon’s boutique, Draper James, which is right next to the ‘I Believe in Nashville’ mural. This neighborhood has a lot of cute shops, eateries, and photo ops. We ended up skipping lunch this day because we were SO stuffed from breakfast, but if you find yourself in 12 South, you should hit up Five Daughter’s Bakery. Next time we are in Nashville we want to try their donuts that everyone raves about!
Around noon, we took a quick Lyft back to downtown and headed over to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now, I like country music, but I would actually recommend to skip this museum. Unless you are a die-hard, old school country-loving fan, I say pass. The museum is pretty big and it was crowded when we were there. It’s mostly filled with iconic country stars’ costumes and instruments. It was cool, but I’m not sure it was worth $26/person. If this is something that has always been on your bucket list, by all means, check it out. Just be prepared to spend a couple of hours reading captions. My favorite displays were anything Taylor Swift related, of course.
Instead of visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, you could book a city tour. Either a hop-on/hop-off tour which you can find and book downtown or a pre-booked tour through a company like Viator. I wish we had learned a little more about the city when we were there from an official guide. Although, I must say, our Lyft drivers were actually very informative!
For dinner, we walked over to Broadway and ate at Tin Roof, one of the honky-tonks. We listened to a band play there for a while and then we grabbed another drink at Tootsie’s before heading back to our hotel for the night.
Day 3: Biscuits + The Ryman + Grand Ole Opry
On our last day in Nashville, we headed out bright and early and took a Lyft to the Gulch, another little upscale neighborhood outside of downtown. For breakfast, we went to the popular Biscuit Love. Although the line was wrapped around the block (literally), it was totally worth the wait! After we stuffed ourselves full of biscuits and bonuts (aka: biscuit donuts), we took a Lyft back to downtown.
We had some time to kill before our Grand Ole Opry tour and it had started to downpour. We needed to find something to do indoors so we decided to take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman wasn’t originally on our itinerary, but it was a great little tour where we learned and saw a lot! The Ryman Auditorium is a church-like building right in downtown and it was actually the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Artists still perform at the Ryman today so if you’re planning a weekend in Nashville, check the list of upcoming events at the Ryman – we would love to see a show there!
Next, we headed to the Grand Ole Opry, again, via Lyft. The Grand Ole Opry is about a 15-minute drive from downtown and it’s right next to a big mall. We had booked our Opry tickets online in advance so we checked-in at the Opry and then headed across the street to the mall since it was still raining. Right inside the mall was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. For $20/person we had a blast taking pictures with all of our favorite [wax] celebs before heading back over to the Opry for our tour.
I highly recommend visiting the Opry for either a backstage tour or a show while in town. This was our favorite thing we did during our weekend in Nashville! The tour is definitely worth the $32/person. You get to go backstage to see the dressing rooms where all of the stars get ready and you even get to walk across the Opry stage! We really want to go back and catch a show at the Opry.
After our tour at the Opry, we took a Lyft back to downtown and ate dinner at a dive-y type bar a few blocks from our hotel called the Back Alley Café. This place was totally up Rick’s alley (ha) – diner food and good beer. After dinner we walked around downtown a bit more, back out to the pedestrian bridge and down Broadway one last time before we retired for the night.
We loved our long weekend in Nashville and we are already planning our next trip back! There is so much to do in this city and there really seems to be something for everyone. Whether you are a country music lover or just looking for a fun long weekend getaway, I highly recommend adding Nashville to your travel plans!
PIN IT FOR LATER: