What to Do in Nashville If You Have One Day
So much to experience in Nashville, something to do for many different interests. However, sometimes visitors are just passing through or just have a weekend to take in the sites. So this is a sample itinerary for those that want to soak in the most of Nashville in a short period of time.
7-9am Start off at Loveless Cafe
Open 7am to 9pm 7 days a week at Loveless Cafe, 8400 Tennessee Highway 100, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 (615) 646-9700.
Located near the Northern terminus of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. Started in 1951 by Lon and Annie Loveless, their homemade Southern dishes became very popular. Today it is Nashville landmark that sees about half a million visitors a year. This is the first place I think of when I think of Nashville food.
Fun fact they make up to 10,000 biscuits every day. The walls are covered with famous people photos and autographs.
They have been on national TV many times, I’ve personally driven past it when the Today Show was there.
The reason you want to go in the morning is the wait is either nothing or low. This is a very popular spot with waits of 1-2 hours during weekend lunch and summer dinners.
Each table gets biscuits and different jams (Blackberry, Peach, and Strawberry) Peach and Strawberry are my favorites which that and many other food items can be purchased across the parking lot at the Hams & Jams shop.
Nashville is best known for its Country music. This is for sure tourist destination for those who have an interest in Country music, its history and detailed exhibits of popular artists.
You can also enjoy a guided tour of RCA Studio B on famous Music Row which is owned by Country Music Hall of Fame. RCA Studio B has lots of history to it as it was a placed used by Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, and the Everly Brothers. Stars such as Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Willie Nelson, and Floyd Cramer, among others have also recorded there.
Walk across the street to the free and always open Music City Walk of Fame Park which is Nashville’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located on Demonbreun Street between 4th and 5th Avenues South.
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 and completely Music City.
Due to parking cost, sometimes it is best to just stay downtown. Downtown has a lot of great eating options.
Acme Feed & Seed, Pinewood Social, Merchants Restaurant, Puckett’s are great food options near the Country Music Hall of Fame. On Second Ave, they have BB King’s Blue club, The Melting Pot, and Wildhorse Saloon. On 3rd and Commerce is Demo’s which is great Italian food on a budget.
1:30 Popularly known as the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge to locals but officially known as the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Starts at 3rd Ave South next to the Pinnacle building and across from Schermerhorn Symphony Center and ends near Nissan Stadium. There is an elevator you can take down to Cumberland Park. Walk on the Greenway towards the Stadium and you get a nice view of the skyline from the ground.
One of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world at 3,150 ft also has the best view of the Nashville skyline. It was the first bridge in North America to have concrete arched trusses. You will be able to walk to the Tennessee Titan’s football Stadium on the opposite side of downtown. There are overlooks in various spots on the bridge that are great for selfies and photographers alike.
Since it is a landmark in Nashville you can often see in Country music videos.
Ryman has tours 9am to 4pm daily and is located downtown at
The Ryman Auditorium, built in 1892 is today, a National Historic Landmark. Known throughout the world as “The Mother Church of Country Music,” and the birth of Bluegrass, the building is one of Nashville’s true icons and a must-see for any Nashville visitor.
The Parthenon in Centennial Park about a 10-minute drive from Downtown (2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203), is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. Greece. It was designed by Confederate veteran William Crawford Smith and built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Nashville’s Athena stands 41 ft 10 in (502 inches (12.8 m)) tall, making her the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World.
You need a ticket in order to see Athena and the inside Art Museum that includes a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th-century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits. The outside of The Parthenon is free and very pretty at sunset and at night when it is lit up by lights.
The Parthenon self-guided tours are only $6 for Adults and open Tuesday–Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 12:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed Monday.
6:00pm Dinner with an “In The Round” style show at the famous Bluebird Cafe.
Bluebird Café, 4104 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 (615) 383-1461
This is a very small listening room music venue and very popular as famous artist do drop by unannounced often. It is highly recommended getting tickets in advance at 8am one week before the show. Many famous people have gotten started at this spot such as Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.
“In The Round” is a popular Nashville style which has the songwriters in the center of the room, where they perform together, telling stories and accompanying each other. It’s a unique set up that allows the audience an up close and personal experience of how songwriters create their music.
On any given night, artists such as LeAnn Rimes, John Prine, Jojo Herman, (Widespread Panic) and Phil Vassar mingle with writers such as Marcus Hummon (Bless the Broken Road/Rascal Flatts), Allen Shamblin, (I Can’t Make You Love Me/Bonnie Raitt), Matraca Berg (Strawberry Wine/Deana Carter, Hilary Lindsey (Jesus Take the Wheel/Carrie Underwood) and Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear (Before He Cheats/Carrie Underwood). A typical nightly performance consists of three or four songwriters seated in the center of the room, taking turns playing their songs and accompanying each other instrumentally and with harmony vocals. It is an experience that few forget, and one that reflects why Nashville is known as Music City.
They serve food and it is a great way to hear from singer/songwriters that make the hits you hear on the radio.
Some shows are first come, first serve and people line up early.
10pm+ Time to visit the Music City’s Honky Tonk Highway aka Lower Broadway Downtown.
On Broadway from 5th Ave to 2nd Ave is where the party is every night until 3am. It is filled with lights and live music.
One of the best parts is it doesn’t cost a thing. Meaning no cover charge. Meaning save your money for more important things like the tip jar! Because in Music City we understand music should be shared to all. And you never know who you’ll see in these Lower Broadway clubs.
Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Gretchen Wilson, Dierks Bentley and other stars began their careers on this amazing street. The person you see singing on the stage in Music City might be the next big hit.
Some the most popular places that tourist enjoy is Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Margaritaville, The Big Band Dueling Piano bar, Tequila Cowbow, Honk Tonk Central and the famous Wildhorse Saloon.
If you follow this one-day itinerary you will most likely be sore and exhausted but would have gotten a great sampling of what Nashville has to offer.