The Best Time to Visit Nashville

View of Nashville skyline at sunset from the cumberland river

Ray Sandusky / Brentwood, TN / Getty Images

Nashville is a city with a vibrant nightlife, great food, amazing attractions, plenty of events, and things to see and do all year round. But, as with any travel destination, there are some times of the year that are better suited for travelers than others. Thanks to the smaller crowds, more moderate temperatures, and cheaper airfare, most will find spring and fall suit their needs best. Of course, there are other things to consider when planning your visit to Music City. Read on to decide when you should go.

Weather

As with much of the American South, Nashville is known for its long, hot and humid summers. Those conditions can make the city an uncomfortable place to visit for unsuspecting travelers, who are often caught off guard by the heat. If consistently high temperatures and muggy weather doesn't sound all that appealing, avoid visiting between mid-May and mid-September, as summer tends to arrive early and stay late.

That said, spring and fall are two seasons that feature warm days and cooler nights, with less humidity as well. Spring tends to arrive on the scene in March and runs into mid-May, while the fall weather takes hold in late-September and continues into early-December. During those times of the year the Nashville weather is usually very pleasant and comfortable, although it is important to point out that March through May can be quite rainy, while the autumn tends to be a bit drier.

Winter in Nashville can be surprisingly cold at times, with temperatures often hovering around freezing. Snow and ice are rarities however, so even though the mercury may drop, there are seldom any challenges to travel throughout the city or the surrounding area.

Crowds

Summer is definitely the busiest time for travelers to visit Nashville. During the months of June, July, and August, the local hotels, restaurants, shops, and other attractions can get quite busy, with the city's iconic honky tonks often packed to the brim. If avoiding the crowds is your goal, then don't schedule your visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

During the winter crowds thin out due to cold temperatures. With the exception of the holiday season, mid-December through late-February finds the city much less crowded. This makes it a good time to visit, provided you don't mind dealing with chillier conditions. The cold can limit access to some outdoor events however, so keep that in mind when scheduling.

The shoulder seasons of spring and fall offer a nice blend of smaller crowds and good weather. From March to mid-May and mid-September through November, the city is busy, but not overrun with travelers. Those times of the year often make for a good time to visit for those who can squeeze in an off-season getaway.

January

During the month of January the average high temperature in Nashville is roughly 47 degrees F, while the average low falls to 28 degrees F. Precipitation, which usually comes in the form of rainfall, is about 3.7 inches, although it does snow from time to time. The city is quite busy at the beginning of the month, in part because of holiday celebrations and a massive New Year's Eve party downtown, but by late January things tend to quiet down, leaving hotels, restaurants, and bars a lot less crowded.

Events to Check Out:

  • The Battle of New Orleans Festival at the Hermitage celebrates that important part of American history involving former U.S. President Andrew Jackson.
  • The Nashville Auto Fest draws in car enthusiasts from across the country.
  • The Nashville Boat Show is one of the biggest in the region and is a lot of fun for serious shoppers and casual boating fans alike.

February

February is a quiet month by Nashville standards, with fewer visitors making it easier to navigate the city. Temperatures range from an average high of 52 degrees F to a low of 32 degrees F, although persistent humidity can make it feel cooler than that. Precipitation averages just under 4 inches for the month, with some chances of snow and ice on colder days. Those types of storms are few and far between however, generally making travel easy.

Events to Check Out:

March

Spring arrives in Nashville in style with warmer temperatures (average highs are 61 degrees F and lows are 39 degrees F). The city sees more than 4 inches of rainfall during March, but the longer days also mean more sunshine. While still a relatively quiet time, the number of visitors begins to pick up as northerners looking for a little warmth start to head south. Still, availability at hotels and restaurants continues to remain high, making it easy to book a stay.

Events to Check Out:

  • The Nashville Home and Garden Show, which shows off the latest accessories, decorations, and furnishings for your yard.
  • Catch the largest gathering of songwriters in the U.S. at Tin Pan South, which sees more than 100 artists perform at 10 different Nashville venues.
  • Tennessee Flavors is a one-night only sampling of the best local foods, hosted annually by Nashville State Community College.

April

With day-time temperatures creeping into the low 70s and overnight lows in the upper 40s, April is a very pleasant month in Nashville. As a result, travelers begin to flock to the city, looking to take advantage of everything the city has to offer before the arrival of the summer rush and hotter conditions. Hotels and restaurants begin to get a little busier , although crowds remain relatively light and manageable. Rain showers are not unusual, but spring is in full effect with life returning to the city.

Events to Check Out:

May

During May temperatures generally range from an average low of 57 degrees F to an average high of 78 degrees F, making it a very pleasant time to visit. That said, May is also the rainiest month of the year, with average precipitation reaching as much as 5.5 inches. Early in the month the crowds remain manageable, but later things begin to pick up noticeably. The busy high season hasn't quite started yet, but it can get more challenging — and expensive – to book a hotel room.

Events to Check Out:

June

By June, Nashville's spring is quickly becoming a distant memory as the city's infamous heat and humidity begins to build. High temperatures climb into the upper-80s, while the lows rarely drop below 65 degrees F at night and there's an average rainfall of 4 inches. With the summer travel season now in full swing, hotels are booked up weeks in advance and prices start to climb.

Events to Check Out:

July

Heat and humidity are the norm in Nashville during the heart of summer, so expect long, hot, muggy days if you visit during July. Summer travel season in in full swing and it can be tough to book accommodations and prices skyrocket. If July is your target date to visit, get your reservations in early.

Events to Check Out:

August

Summer continues unabated in Nashville, with average temperatures ranging as high as 89 degrees F and dropping to 68 degrees F. It isn't the heat that you'll need to be wary of however, as the ongoing humidity can make it feel much warmer than those temperatures would indicate. August is one of the driest months in Nashville however, so expect plenty of sunshine and clear skies. The summer crowds continue until late into the month but start to thin out the school year starts.

Events to Check Out:

  • The Tomato Art Festival puts the quirky and fun East Nashville scene front and center, embracing Nashville's more eccentric side.
  • Proving that Nashville isn't just about live music, Shakespeare in the Park gives the Bard himself a moment to shine too.

September

The Nashville humidity beings to break at long last. The days are still plenty warm, but not unbearably so, while the nights are extremely comfortable. Precipitation remains relatively low and the number of visitors remains high through the Labor Day Weekend, but begins to fade off fairly quickly afterwards. That means increased availability in hotels, restaurants, and clubs.

Events to Check Out:

  • If you still haven't gotten your fill of music in Nashville, the Americanafest brings together some of the most well known folk, blues, and country artists from the past 50 years.
  • Whiskey is serious business in Tennessee and the Nashville Whiskey Fest celebrates that heritage every year in September.
  • Visit the Tennessee State Fair for a variety of activities, including live bands, livestock exhibitions, games, thrill rides, and much more.

October

October is a wonderful time to be in Nashville. The temperatures are mild (average highs of 72 degrees F and lows of 49 degrees F) and it's the driest month of the year. Crowds tend to be moderately light during this time of year, with hotels and restaurants fairly quiet and open. If there is one month to choose to come to Nashville, this just might be the one.

Events to Check Out:

November

As the crisp, cooler air arrives in Nashville the crowds begin to dwindle and fade away. The city is once again fairly quiet — at least by Nashville standards —throughout November, making it a good time to visit too. Hotel rates tend to be more less expensive at this time of year, and it is easy to visit some of the local hot spots that can be very busy during the busier months. Expect daytime temps to climb into the low 60s with the mercury dropping down into the 30s overnight.

Events to Check Out:

  • The Country Music Association annual awards event takes place in November, honoring the biggest names in the business.
  • The Tennessee Titans are in the midst of their NFL season and November is a good time to visit Nissan Stadium.

December

The start of December tends to be a quiet time in Nashville but the city gets busy again during the holiday season, with large influx of people arriving for New Year's Eve celebrations. If you're a holiday traveler, be sure to book your accommodations early and expect to pay higher prices as a result. The weather in December has average highs of about 49 degrees F and lows of 31 degrees F, so a definite chill will be in the air. Dress warm for those nights out on the town and bring a rain jacket to fend off the more than 4.25 inches of precipitation.

Events to Check Out:

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