14 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Nashville, Tennessee

non touristy things to do in nashville
| 5 min read

The capital of Tennessee, Nashville, is famous for its many country music venues and radio shows. The District is an area where honky-tonks play live music and visitors can enjoy the Johnny Cash Museum, which celebrates the famous singer’s life. Other interesting places to visit are located Downtown, including the historic Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Grand Ole Opry House is another famous venue, which hosts the popular “Grand Ole Opry” radio and stage show. To get a real feel of this famous city, go a little off the beaten tourist track and experience some of the best non-touristy things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.

Of course, you need the best accommodations to enhance your stay, so check out the famous hotels and hotels with free parking in the area.

1. Have fun on a zipline tour (from USD 60.0)

Boost your adrenaline by taking a 1.5-hour ziplining tour from Nashville through an old growth forest. There are various ziplines on the course which range from up to 700 ft (213m) long to around 85 ft (26m) in height. Along the way hear a commentary from your guide about the native wildlife and plant life in the region as you soar above it.

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Nashville 1.5-Hour Zipline Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

530 reviews

2. Spend quality time at Cumberland Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park visitors center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ann Cason used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Cumberland Park is a vibrant and picturesque waterfront park nestled along the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville. This urban oasis offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and family-friendly amenities. The park’s stunning location provides breathtaking views of the Nashville skyline, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists.

The innovative and interactive play area is one of the park’s main attractions. Designed to engage children of all ages, it features a variety of unique structures, including climbing walls, slides, and water features. The playful splash pad is a favorite during the summer, providing a refreshing respite for kids and families. Cumberland Park also offers various recreational opportunities, including bike rentals, a riverfront amphitheater for live performances, and open spaces for sports and games. Additionally, the park hosts various events throughout the year, such as concerts, festivals, and community gatherings.

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3. See a show at Ascend Amphitheater

Ascend Amphitheater on August 1, 2015
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shane Raynor used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ascend Amphitheater is a premier outdoor music venue in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. Known for its state-of-the-art acoustics and modern design, Ascend Amphitheater has become a sought-after destination for established and emerging artists. The venue can accommodate around 6,800 people, creating an intimate setting for live performances across various genres, including rock, country, pop, and more.

The amphitheater’s tiered seating and spacious lawn area provide excellent sightlines from every vantage point, ensuring that concert-goers enjoy exceptional views and immersive sound quality. The venue also offers convenient amenities like food and beverage concessions, restroom facilities, and ample parking options nearby. Beyond its role as a concert venue, Ascend Amphitheater hosts various events, including movie screenings, festivals, and community gatherings.

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4. Experience a Nashville Music Row walking tour (from USD 36.0)

Enjoy a walking tour of Nashville’s famous Music Row, where artists such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and more have, or are still recording. The tour visits more than 20 recording industry sites, along with several famous guitar statues. As you stroll around the historic music recording mecca of Nashville, listen to recorded guide of the various sites. Most of the sculptures and statues are located at the end of Music Row and are truly beautiful and perfect for that selfie to post on Instagram.

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Nashville Music Row Walking Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

3 reviews

5. Take a walk on the wild side of Nashville (from USD 70.0)

Experience Nashville’s off-the-beaten-path tracks on this scenic nature hike. After meeting up at a designated area, you’ll head off to the first trailhead that’s an hour’s drive away. This is a relatively easy 2-mile (3.21-kilometer) hike through a flat creekbed all the way up to a waterfall. After that, you’ll return to the vehicle and head down the road to the next trail - a short 0.25-mile (0.4-kilometer) hike to another huge waterfall with a swimming hole. This is a great place to chill before driving back to Nashville. Don’t forget to take lots of photos.

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Hike a trail less traveled

Duration: 6 hours

49 reviews

6. View Nashville from the skies onboard a helicopter (from USD 110.0)

Want to see Nashville like never before? Well, this exhilarating 15-minute tour will give you that opportunity. You’ll launch from the hangar where the helicopter is housed and take to the skies to pass by all of Nashville’s famous attractions. From the Parthenon to Tootsies Orchid Lounge, you’ll glide through every point of interest there is in the city. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Nashville, this is a great option.

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Helicopter Tour of Nashville

Duration: 1 hour

77 reviews

7. Have an adrenaline rush flyboarding on Percy Priest Lake (from USD 189.0)

Try out the ultimate adventure on a Nashville flyboarding experience above Percy Priest Lake. No experience is required, as training and all equipment is included to ensure a fun and safe flight. In the meanwhile, you can take in the beautiful views over the lake as you maneuver in the air like a superhero, looking down on other boaters on the lake. There is a choice of a quick flight or there are options to make the adrenaline experience last longer.

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Percy Priest Lake Nashville Flyboard Hoverboard or Jetpack

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

37 reviews

8. Take a canoeing adventure on the Harpeth River

Narrows of the Harpeth River
Source: Photo by Flickr user Cryo Mariena used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Enjoy a scenic canoe or kayak trip on the Harpeth River. You will be provided with canoes, life vests and paddles, along with transportation to and from the river. The river is slow-moving with some mild rapids but is ideal for fishing, swimming and relaxing. Along the way are several sand bars where you can stop and enjoy a picnic, take a swim or sunbathe. This is the perfect way to get out in the fresh air, on the water.

Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak Rentals

Address: 1270 Highway 70, Kingston Springs, Tennessee, USA

Website: Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak Rentals

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 3pm

Price: 29 - 39 USD

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9. Enjoy a baseball game at First Tennessee Park

First Tennessee Park
Source: Photo by user Shane Raynor used under CC BY-SA 2.0

First Tennessee Park opened in 2015 in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville. It is home to the Nashville Sounds Baseball Club. Here you can primarily enjoy a baseball game, but the ballpark is also an events center where you can watch soccer matches, popular festivals, concerts, and some smaller events. Visitors can enjoy America’s favorite past-time by choosing from around 70 dates between April and September.

First Tennessee Park

Address: 19 Junior Gilliam Way, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Website: First Tennessee Park

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 10 - 37 USD

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10. Indulge in wine tasting at Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards
Source: Photo by user Denise Mattox used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Arrington Vineyards has been running since July 1, 2007, and has become “Nashville’s Wine Country,” and is set in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee. Here you can enjoy two types of wine tasting, namely the AV Classic Tasting at the tasting bar, or the AV Picnic Tasting at outside picnic tables with your own lunch or dinner (pictured here), both of which offer four sample wines. It is possible to join the Arrington Wine Club and enjoy special benefits, as well as have the vineyard’s wines shipped to your home.

Arrington Vineyards

Address: 6211 Patton Rd, Arrington, Tennessee, USA

Website: Arrington Vineyards

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 8pm

Price: 7 - 14 USD

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11. Walk, bike or skate on the Middle Tennessee Greenways

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Murfreesboro’s Greenway is an unassuming tourist attraction in Nashville that offers the chance to walk, bike, or skate on various trails along the Stones River in Middle Tennessee. Ideal for family fun, there are a number of paved trails to suit everyone, varying from 0.7 mi (1.1 km) to 10.2 mi (16.4 km).

For the more adventurous, there are also a number of unpaved trails, which vary in length from 0.5 mi (0.8 km) to 8 mi (12.8 km). All offer beautiful scenery and plenty of chances to stop and enjoy a picnic along the way.

Middle Tennessee Greenways

Address: Middle Tennessee

Website: Middle Tennessee Greenways

Opening hours: 24 hours

Price: Free

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12. Experience a Full Moon Pickin' Party

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Live like a local in Nashville and experience the pickin’ tradition in the park, where Bluegrass and Roots pickers stroll around the barn, along with three headlining bands that perform on stage. While there, enjoy a delicious snack from the food trucks on-site, or take some fun photos in the Southern Style Photo Booth.

Besides all the fun that can be had, all proceeds raised from the Full Moon Pickin’ Parties aid the protection of the parks in the area and fund special projects and educational programs.

Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Address: Warner Park Equestrian Center, 2500 Old Hickory Boulevard, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Website: Full Moon Pickin’ Party

Opening hours: Fri: 7pm - 11pm

Price: 20 - 100 USD

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13. Enjoy the pageantry of the Iroquois Steeplechase event

Steeplechase 2008
Source: Photo by Flickr user vermillion used under CC BY 2.0

On the lookout for unique things to do in Nashville? Why not check out the Iroquois Steeplechase event? This spectacle sees more than 25,000 spectators from all over the world who come to enjoy the energy and pageantry of this traditional sport. Horses and riders from all over the world race on a well-manicured turf track.

Not only is the event exciting, but it gives back to the local community, including the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt, along with the Friends of Warner Parks and a number of other non-profits.

Iroquois Steeplechase

Address: 203 3rd Ave. North, Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Website: Iroquois Steeplechase

Opening hours: 8am - 5:30pm (event days)

Price: 75 - 1,000 USD

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14. Shop at The Factory in Franklin

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Experience the best retail therapy at the Factory at Franklin, close to Franklin’s Main Street. The complex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a unique retail and entertainment complex. There are restaurants and stores offering varied and distinct options which showcase the local culture, as well as artisan goods. There are also entertainment venues in the complex which hosts plays, concerts and other entertainment events.

The Factory in Franklin

Address: 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Website: The Factory in Franklin

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 8am - 6pm

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Experience Nashville like a local

If you have already done all the normal country music sights in this exciting city, it’s time to tackle the off-the-beaten-path in Nashville, Tennessee. Don’t forget to check out the best seafood restaurants and other dining options to complete your weekend trip!

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Frequently asked questions about the best non-touristy things to do in Nashville, Tennessee

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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