Downtown Nashville is a must visit for photographers, Shelby Street bridge is the best place for a Skyline shot and a lot of tourist destinations are located pretty close to each other.
For this walking photography tour, you will see most of what Downtown Nashville has to offer in 3.2 miles. I would plan on 3-4 hours to take it at a leisurely pace. There are 200 feet of uphill and 200 feet of downhill.
1. Start at the Nissan Stadium Lot R1 (W side of S 1st St, N side of bridge) near the Nissan Stadium (Titans Stadium).
Number of Spaces: 149
Miscellaneous Rates: permit only during games
Ascend Amphitheater events: $5 parking in Lot R. For more info about this parking please call: 615-463-2307.
Often times free parking compared to what can be $20-$40 for parking downtown.
2. Walk across the John Seigenthaler aka Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge and get skyline photos. This is the best place to get skyline photos.
3. Walk pass the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to the Music City Walk of Fame Park which is Nashville’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The stars on the Walk of Fame, spanning genres and generations, honor those that make, create, record, perform, and present music to and for the world. The Walk of Fame is uniquely Nashville. Located on Demonbreun Street between 4th and 5th Avenues South
4. After the Music City Walk of Fame Park you are across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, also next to Bridgestone Arena. The home of the Nashville Preds and where many concerts are held. Also at the corner is the Music City Center, a large venue for conferences. It is a pretty building to photograph at night.
5. Walk up to Broadway and you will see “Honky Tonk Highway” or Lower Broad. It is filled with live music at night, it is somewhat crowded and rowdy for those that like that scene. It is a good spot for getting photos of all the neon signs at night.
6. Get on 5th Ave N and swing by the Ryman Auditorium. This is an icon for Country Music. A very popular music venue too.
7. Keep going up 5th Ave N and you get to the Tennessee State Museum at the corner of Deaderick St which is a great free museum that tells you the history of Tennessee and a nice Civil War section.
8. Go up another block and turn left on to Charlotte Ave and a block away you will be at the Tennessee State Capitol. There are multiple statues on the land including a large on to Andrew Jackson and even the tomb of President James K Polk but you have to climb a lot of stairs to get there.
9. Go around to the North side of the Capital and there is an overlook of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Go down the stairs and walk around that park, there are walls filled with historical facts. Right next door is the Nashville’s Farmer Market and a good place to get a bite to eat.
10. Then head down James Robertson Pkwy and you will go past the Musicians Hall of Fame and get on 3rd Ave N and go South and will see Public Square Park which has two towers you can go on top of to get skyline shots, then proceed down 3rd ave and there are some murals/street art along the way or go down 2nd Ave N which has a lot of fun places to eat, shops and other live music venues. The most popular is Wildhorse Saloon.
11. Cross Lower Broad again and the Johnny Cash Museum is on the right side. When are done there then you can walk up on John Seigenthaler aka Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. Take the Elevator down to Cumberland Park, walk around there and then take the greenway up some and you can walk down to the Cumberland River and you can get some nice angles of the skyline there as well. When you are done your car isn’t far away at all and you would have seen a lot of the highlights Nashville has to offer.
Most Affordable Parking Downtown
GENERALLY, Lot R at Nissan Stadium is open for public parking anytime and free or much cheaper than downtown.
The State Employee Parking Lots, which are located near the Capitol and down Capitol Hill near the Bicentennial Capital Mall are free after 5:00 weekdays and on the weekends. These lots are first come-first serve, but unless there is a big event at Farmers Market, Bicentennial Mall or First Tennessee Ballpark, are never crowded. The Music City Circuit (nashvillemta.org/PDF/MusicCityCircuit_Brochu…) Blue line serves this general area, but if you park near the Capitol, it is a short walk to most of downtown.
The best low cost options are The Library Parking Garage ($8) and Metro Courthouse Garage ($5) (This is the link on the first website above that says $5 & $8 Parking Options).