9 Essential Things to Do in Nashville, Tennessee

ATandT building towers over historic buildings of lower Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
••• Danita Delimont/Getty Images

With a reported 100 people moving to Nashville every single day, there’s a reason that Music City has been on your radar for a while. While home to many of country music’s hall of fame roster, a visit to Nashville offers up so much more than country tunes and honky tonk (although there is plenty of that). With a multitude of neighborhoods, each developing their own unique personalities, (and plenty of beautiful boutique hotels,) visitors can explore the dining scene in East Nashville, the walkable ease of shopping in 12 South, and the new energy in Germantown, all in a day’s journey. With these new additions there is more than ever to do here that doesn’t involve a cowboy boot. 

  • 01 of 09
    Pinewood Social, Nashville
    ••• Pinewood Social

    Mornings start with coffee at the scopious Pinewood Social. Crema Coffee’s permanent kiosk in the space serves up a variety of morning pick-me-ups (we recommend the crema Cuban) while you can have your pick of where to enjoy. Sip over a casual conversation in the front work space, enjoy a leisurely brunch in the main hall, savor over a game of bowling in the back, or drink poolside on a hot day in the courtyard. Whatever mood you’re in, there’s a spot for that at Pinewood.

  • 02 of 09
    United Apparel Liquidators
    ••• United Apparel Liquidators

    A vastly underrated city for shopping, Nashville is home to one of the best kept sartorial secrets: UAL. With locations across the south, the West End Nashville location is the headquarters of United Apparel Liquidators, sourcing overstock and past season merchandise from couture brands and contemporary cult favorites, all at a fraction of the original price. Chanel dresses hang casually on the tightly packed racks, while Celine heels and Givenchy boots can be found stacked on the shoe wall.

  • 03 of 09
    Hattie B's Nashville
    ••• Courtesy of Hattie B's

    A visit to the South is synonymous with hot chicken and Hattie B’s is a Nashville institution. With heat levels ranging from Southern to Shut the Cluck Up, there’s a threshold for even the most daring of palates. Pick your meat, grab a few slices of white bread, a side of greens, and a gallon of sweet tea and your lunch plans (and appetite) are set.

  • 04 of 09
    Parthenon in Nashville, TN
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    As unlikely as it may seem, Nashville is home to its very own recreation of The Parthenon, a replica of the original that was crafted for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Situated in Centennial Park, the scene is amusingly confusing, with Greek columns rising in the midst of this Southern park full of dog walkers, idle musicians, and tourists. It's no wonder Nashville is sometimes called the "Athens of the South"!

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  • 05 of 09
    White's Mercantile, Nashville
    ••• White's Mercantile

    Home goods reign supreme at White's Mercantile, a modern general store with locations in Nashville’s buzzy 12 South neighborhood and nearby Franklin. Find adorably packaged biscuit mix blends with candles that double as whiskey tumblers in this ode to the modern southern home crafted by country music star Holly Williams.

  • 06 of 09
    The Station Inn, Nashville, TN
    ••• Erika Goldring/Stringer/Getty Images

    No trip to Music City is complete without an evening of live music and there are quite a lot to choose from. If you can brave the lines, The Station Inn is a classic. Plastic cups of beer and paper plates of pizza are all you can expect to find in terms of culinary supply, but Sunday night’s bluegrass jams are a fantastic way to soak in Nashville’s iconic music scene.

  • 07 of 09
    Robert's Western World
    ••• Courtesy of Robert's Western World

    Broadway is the unquestionable home to Honky Tonk, and Robert’s Western World is the venue of choice. During the day, crowds are sparse and you might find yourself the sole recipient of the singer/songwriter du jour, but at night the music is hot and the crowd is thick. Pair the sounds with the $5 Recession Special: a fried bologna sandwich, chips, and a PBR. 

  • 08 of 09
    Franklin Square,Tennessee,Southern USA
    ••• Dan Reynolds Photography/Getty Images

    For any fans of Gilmore Girls (and even those not acquainted), an afternoon spent in Franklin is a must. A seemingly real-life version of Stars Hollow, this town is the definition of charm. Stroll past the Civil War monuments (just ask any local about The Battle of Franklin) and explore the idyllic delights of Main Street. From Merridee’s decadent baked goods to Franklin Theater’s restored 1930’s movie house, the south’s history goes down a bit sweeter.

     

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  • 09 of 09
    Gruhn Guitars, Nashville
    ••• Louis Quail/Getty Images

    Still seeking some country roots? Cap your musical journey off with a visit to Gruhn Guitars, a veritable walk down music history and the guitars that made the journey so memorable. Purchase your own or peruse the selection from new models to memorabilia.