Nashville and country music go hand-in-hand. That’s what iconic Nashville is known for and that’s what everyone thinks. Although country music was born in Bristol, Tennessee, Nashville, was responsible for its growth over the past 100 years. Because of this, it’s no surprise that people travel across the world to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and Grand Ole Opry among many others. But, what if you aren’t on board with the whole history behind country music? Even if you just want to have a gala time, Nashville has a way to not disappoint anyone. With plenty of nightlife activities, live music scenes, distilleries and breweries, amazing restaurants, and not just that, this city is filled with fun and frolic for the over 21 crowds. For accommodation, while you check out the famous hotels and RV rentals, keep reading for the top things Nashville is famous for.
1. AT&T Building
One of the most memorable parts of the Nashville skyline is the current AT&T Building. Why, you ask? Look at the picture, and you be the judge! It resembles the one and only Batman with its wing-like ears. The Batman Building is even its alternative name. This Nashville Postmodern-style structure has 33 levels and stands at 617 feet (188 meters). It was designed by Earl Swenson Associates and was completed in 1994. Currently, the AT&T Building is the tallest one in Tennessee. Besides its resident offices, the building is also home to a winter garden atrium.
Address: 333 Commerce Street; Nashville, Tennessee, United States
2. Goo Goo Cluster
You may have had one or two of these in your childhood. Goo Goo Cluster is the famous candy bar that Howell Campbell and Standard Candy Company created in 1912. The candy contains marshmallow nougat, roasted peanuts, and caramel covered in chocolate. What makes this treat special is that it is regarded as the first “combination” candy bar in that it’s the first to have different types of candy as opposed to the all-chocolate bar. Goo Goo Cluster got its name from the gibberish sound that babies make, “goo goo.”
3. Music City
It is quite obvious how Nashville got its well-deserved nickname of Music City. But for those unfamiliar, here is the long story short of what makes Nashville special for music lovers. The moniker is said to have been derived from the late 1800s during the rise of Fisk Jubilee Singers from Fisk University. The acapella group was established in 1871 and went on tour to raise funds for the slaves after the end of the Civil War. This is the first recorded source of the famous nickname, although, of course, with Nashville being the center of many genres of music (most notably country music), the rest of the States just dubbed the city as such.
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4. The Hermitage
Nashville is home to one of the most historic places in the States—the Hermitage. It is a historical museum that was owned by the USA’s 7th President, Andrew Jackson, who also resided at the Hermitage until his death in 1845. The estate follows a Greek Revival style and is built on 4580 Rachel’s Lane. As of December 19, 1960, this Tennessee structure was registered as a National Historic Landmark. Almost six years later, it was finally listed into the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 4580 Rachels Ln, Hermitage, TN 37076, United States
Website: The Hermitage
Opening hours: Thu - Mon: 9am - 5pm (closed from Tue - Wed)
5. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Although Nashville is not a big a city as New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago, it is still home to one of the largest hotels in the world—Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Donning over 2,800 rooms, this hotel and convention center initially opened in 1977 and has met several expansions since. It is currently owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties and operated by Marriott International. Featured at the hotel are the Cascades Atrium, a waterfall, and a garden conservatory.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Address: 2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, United States
6. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
What is Nashville known for? Most will say it’s country music. If you ever thought you must this music genre just to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, then you’re wrong. This is one of the quintessential things to do and must-see places when you visit Nashville. Home to 2.5 million artifacts, including recordings, photos, instruments, and many more, this is one of the world’s largest museums that pays tribute to country music’s heritage, while also focusing on contemporary and crossover artists. You’ll also get to witness some awe-struck collection of cowboy boots and clothes, one-of-a-kind items like Elvis’ “Solid Gold” Cadillac painted with crushed diamonds and fish scales, which is nothing but mind-blowing.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Address: 222 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 25 USD
7. The Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry - one of the popular destinations that’s also on the definite must-see list in Nashville. If you’d pass up on the opportunity to visit this place, you’re not doing your vacation right. If you want to know what made country music what it is today, this place was it and was also responsible for putting Nashville on the map. Enjoy taking a backstage tour or just watch a good show.
The Grand Ole Opry
Address: 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, USA
Website: The Grand Ole Opry
Opening hours: As per shows
Price: 55 USD
8. Tomato Art Festival
Join nearly over 45,000 people at Five Points, the festival that’s an ode to the tomatoes — known to be one of the summer’s best veggies. The festival’s been around for around 13 years; it’s a free event that unites Nashville’s neighborhoods for some great live music, food vendors, a parade, pet fashion show, recipe contests, a design contest, and much more. Come join this famous thing in Nashville - don amazing costumes, have fun, and make new memories to take home with you.
Tomato Art Festival
Address: 1106 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206, USA
Website: Tomato Art Festival
Opening hours: Aug 9th & 10th: 9am - 9pm
9. The Nashville Parthenon
A gorgeous replica of Parthenon straight from Greece, Parthenon of Nashville’s Centennial Park was originally built in 1897. Functioning as an art museum, this amazing sculpture features a group of paintings from 19th-20th century by American artists and also provides space for temporary exhibits. Unlike what you’d normally see in America, you’ll get to spot a 42-foot-tall statue of Athena covered in gold leaf, just like the ancient Greece replica.
The Nashville Parthenon
Address: 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Website: The Nashville Parthenon
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 4:30pm; Sun: 12:30pm - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 6 USD
10. Radnor Lake State Park
Although Nashville is filled with its hustle and bustle, there are rather plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors life, on the outskirts of town. Radnor Lake State, located 9 miles (14kms) south of downtown, is a perfect getaway for those looking for a calm and serene space to unwind, relax, and dwell in nature. This 1368-acre (553.61 hectares) park is great for long walks, jogging, running, trails for hiking and biking with mesmerizing views of the lake. You’ll also witness a unique ecosystem of plants and animals, including owls, waterfowl, and herons.
Radnor Lake State Park
Address: 1160 Otter Creek Rd, Nashville, TN 37220, USA
Website: Radnor Lake State Park
Opening hours: Thu - Mon: 9:30am - 6pm (closed on Tue & Wed)
11. Fort Nashborough
A site where it all began for Nashville — Fort Nashborough came into play to protect people from wild animals and Indian attacks. Constructed solely out of logs and covering around 2 acres (0.8 hectares) of land, this stockade was rebuilt in the 1930s out of used telegraph poles and depicts a wonderful story about the history and origins of the city.
Address: 170 1st Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201, USA
Website: Fort Nashborough
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
12. Nashville Zoo
A zoo, unlike any other — Nashville Zoo, is a fun experience to be a part of for both adults and children. Spread over 200 acres (80.9 hectares), the zoo hosts myriad activities to get involved in, rather than just witnessing the animals. Explore the zoo by getting in the jungle gym where you’ll be swinging like a gibbon, running like a zebra, crouching like a tiger, and also experience and see the world from meerkats perspective.
Address: 3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211, USA
Website: Nashville Zoo
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 17 USD
13. Belmont Mansion
Constructed between 1849 and 1853, Belmont Mansion, an Italianate Villa covers an area of approximately 16,000 square feet (1486.4 square meters) and was once a summer home for Adelicia Acklen, a local socialite who used to spend time here with her family. Other than being a leisure summer home, this mansion has also been the headquarters of the Union Army, and an all-girls college. The Belmont Mansion operates as a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: Acklen Avenue &, Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212, United States
Website: Belmont Mansion
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:45am - 4pm; Sun: 10:45am - 4pm
Price: 15 USD
14. Tennessee State Capitol
The Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville is a historic architectural gem that offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history and government. This neoclassical-style building stands tall with its grand façade and impressive columns.
Step inside to explore the Capitol’s magnificent interior, adorned with stunning artwork, intricate woodwork, and ornate details. Take a guided tour to learn about Tennessee’s political heritage, visit the legislative chambers, and discover the significance of the Capitol’s architecture and design. As you stroll through the halls, you’ll encounter exhibits showcasing Tennessee’s past, including notable figures and pivotal events. The Capitol is also surrounded by picturesque grounds, perfect for a stroll or a picnic.
15. Athens Of The South
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Nashville, often referred to as the “Athens of the South,” is a cultural and educational hub that echoes the spirit of ancient Athens. Known for its thriving arts scene and renowned educational institutions, Nashville has earned its nickname as a center of intellectual and artistic pursuits.
Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural landscape by exploring its world-class museums, art galleries, and performance venues. From the Frist Art Museum to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville offers a rich tapestry of artistic and educational experiences. Discover the city’s literary heritage at the Nashville Public Library or attend a thought-provoking lecture or performance at one of the many universities and colleges that call Nashville home.
Covering over 5400 acres (2185.3 hectares) of land, Belle Meade Plantation was once home to one of the wealthiest families in Nashville, in the late 19th century. Harding family — the owners of the estate had the largest thoroughbred horse farm in the country and also welcomed celebrities, presidents, and southern gentlemen to their home. Although the plantation is just 24 acres (9.7 hectares) now, you can take a tour of Belle Meade plantation by walking around the grounds to see the carriage houses, the slaves’ quarters, the old dairy, smokehouse, and beyond.
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
One way to explore the country’s music capital of the world is to jump in a hop-on-hop-off trolley that gives you the chance to visit the city’s famous landmarks at your own sweet time. With over 15 stops to explore, you get to take a comprehensive in-depth tour of the city and get to learn about the many secrets of Nashville. Start by exploring your way through honky-tonk bars on Lower Broadway or stroll through Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and many more.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Which place would you go and explore?
Nashville is a thriving city, and it has a lot to offer to every type of visitor. This includes romantic places to visit and fantastic things to do in Nashville. No matter what you explore from this list, you’re bound to enjoy strolling around Nashville.
Frequently asked questions about things Nashville is famous for
1. Which sites in Nashville are a must-visit for music and art lovers?
If you are a lover of music and art and would like to explore the musical and art scenes in Nashville during your holiday here, you can visit Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or The Nashville Parthenon.
2. What are some fun things to do for families with kids visiting Nashville?
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