When I visit a popular destination, I want to know what the hidden gems and must-see attractions are.
If you want to experience a lot of unique things to do in Nashville, Tennessee, I have the list for you.
Thanks again to Visit Music City for hosting a portion of our visit. This article contains affiliate links.
Eat a Meal at the Iconic Loveless Cafe
8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN
World famous for its scratch-made southern cooking that includes biscuits and fried chicken, the Loveless Cafe is a rite of passage for your visit to Nashville.
The Loveless Cafe is loved by locals and celebrities alike, many of whom grace the walls as you enter the cafe.
What started as a roadside stand in 1951 to sell biscuits, jams, and fried chicken later turned into a restaurant and motel.
The Loveless Cafe is around 30 minutes from downtown Nashville so you will need to plan accordingly.
The motel has since been converted into event space and shops which will help occupy your time if you need to wait for a table.
If you do have a wait when you arrive you can wander the grounds, shop, take a photo op, or play a game of corn hole.
This is a popular destination so I would try to come at a non-peak time/day.
World Famous Biscuits at Loveless Cafe
We started our visit with biscuits and delicious jam. Their world-famous biscuits are served alongside every meal all day long. The Loveless Cafe now makes over 10,000 biscuits from scratch every day!
If you decide that you want to bring home more of their biscuits or don’t want to wait for a sit-down meal, Biscuit Kitchen is an option.
Biscuit Kitchen is located right next door to the Loveless Cafe inside the Natchez Trace Market (the Shell Station at Highway 100 & McCrory).
They sell popular menu items in the cafe including biscuits, fried chicken and BBQ pulled pork as counter service or drive-thru.
To check all the meat boxes off our list, we split the pulled pork BBQ omelet and ordered the Biscuit Sampler. The pulled pork BBQ omelet was definitely unique in a good way!
Pick Four: Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese, Country Ham, and a double order of Fried Chicken.
We also tried a side of sausage gravy and their hash brown casserole. Our strategy was to order a lot of variety so that we could split and sample more menu items.
Take a Boat Ride at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN
The Delta Riverboat Company at the Gaylord Opryland Resort offers a 15-minute boat ride on a 1/4-mile indoor river in the Delta Atrium.
I would say that the boat ride is worth trying at least once. The boat glides along a track with a tour guide narrating your cruise.
You will learn a lot about the hotel’s history along with fun facts about the hotel and the plants you pass along the way.
The boats are a replica of flat bottom boats to transport cargo to float down shallow waters
Be on the lookout for the following fruit trees along the way:
The cruise allows you another vantage point of the incredible glass dome. Each glass panel weighs 250 lbs. and would equal 7 football fields if the panels were laid side by side.
The boat tour is very relaxing and takes you near several waterfalls along the way with a dual purpose to help clean and oxygenate.
After your tour, make sure you check out the plaques displaying the names of the 1700 sites from around the world that contributed to the blended water in the Delta River.
Explore the Atriums at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
You don’t have to be an overnight guest to explore the atriums at the Gaylord Resort for free.
You can get a map of the hotel near the front desk to help you find all of the points of interest in the hotel. Have your camera ready because there are so many great photo ops in the hotel.
You’ll also want to check the schedule to catch a fountain show choreographed to music and light in the Delta atrium.
Is There FREE Parking at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center?
No, but you can park at the Opry Mills Mall for free and walk to the Gaylord Opryland Resort.
Otherwise, expect to pay $30 for self-parking at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.
If you prefer to park for free, park in the parking lot toward the Regal Cinemas entrance. Leave your car in a free space outside the Gaylord Events Center and walk to the resort from there.
I would rather save on parking and walk a little farther so that I can spend money on something more fun inside.
Tour the Ryman Auditorium and Stand on the Stage
116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN
The Ryman Auditorium is a 2,362-seat live-performance venue with a legendary list of performers who have graced its stage.
This building has SO MUCH history!
It has a religious history, was the spot where bluegrass was born, where Johnny Cash met June Carter and from 1943 to 1974, Ryman Auditorium was the home of the Grand Ole Opry…just to name a few.
There isn’t a bad seat in the house which is why this intimate auditorium is still a popular venue for artists who fill stadiums.
The self-guided tour kicks off with a FANTASTIC Soul of Nashville immersive theater experience. It really brought the history of the building to life and honestly exceeded my expectations.
After watching the short film you can view the remaining exhibits at your own pace.
Guests also get the opportunity for a photo op standing on the Ryman stage. My favorite part was being able to see the crowd from the performer’s perspective.
After your tour, make sure that you walk the alley by the Ryman Auditorium, where previous performers have been known to get some liquid courage from Legends Corner bar prior to performing.
Save on Your Ryman Auditorium Tickets
Find the best deals on discounted tickets to the Ryman Auditorium here.
Dine at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant
500 Church St, Nashville, TN
If you are looking for another wonderful breakfast, lunch, or dinner option for southern comfort food, check out Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant.
You can easily walk to it before or after a visit to the Ryman Auditorium.
Depending on when you visit, you might even catch some live music while you are eating.
I HIGHLY recommend the “Chicken and Apple Jacks.”
The breakfast entree was made with Two Apple Jack pancakes topped with TN whiskey-fried apples and crispy fried chicken tenders, drizzled with whiskey syrup.
We also tried “Bubba’s Eggs Benedict.” It was made with a split biscuit topped with bacon or sausage, two fried eggs, and white pepper gravy on a bed of home fries.
Pucketts White Cheddar Weisenberger Grits were also really good! I have a feeling that you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Listen to Live Music on Broadway
The Broadway strip in Nashville has over 32 bars, so if one is too crowded, you still have plenty of options. If you prefer lighter crowds, you can still catch great music during the day.
Listen to Music for FREE on Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway
The highest concentration of honkey tonk bars is on Lower Broadway.
Many of the bars have multiple levels and bars. The majority of bars do not charge a cover charge so make sure that you bring cash to tip the bands who work for tips.
Other Places to Listen to Live Music in Nashville NOT on Lower Broadway
Enjoy a View of the Lower Broadway From a Rooftop Bar
During our visit, we enjoyed rooftop views from Blake Shelton’s bar “Ole Red.”
There are several sections on the rooftop for guests to sit and the views from Ole Red are beautiful.
Try midweek for less crowds and a greater chance of getting a table.
If you are hungry for appetizers, I recommend the honey-drizzled skillet cornbread and their fried pickles and green tomatoes.
After drinks and our food on the rooftop, we enjoyed watching a live band inside.
Stop in at Ernest Tubb Record Shop
417 Broadway, Nashville, TN
While you are on Broadway, make sure that you stop in at Ernest Tubb Record Shop. The store was founded by Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb in 1947 and still remains a popular shop.
Inside you’ll find a wide assortment of vinyl, books, CDs, t-shirts, and memorabilia.
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
222 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN
This museum is a must for country music fans of all levels. Even if you aren’t a huge country music fan, you will still recognize a few names and have a greater appreciation after your visit.
The museum has an incredible collection of memorabilia of various artists through the years.
For example, there are more than eight hundred stage costumes, over six hundred instruments, microphones, and some incredible automobiles to name a few.
Make sure that you pay attention to all of the posters from the Hatch Show Print on the walls. I’ll tell you more about Hatch Show Prints later.
Save on Tickets to the County Music Hall of Fame
You can find the best deals on discounted tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame here.
Hall of Fame Rotunda
Everyone artist honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame is recognized as an equal and their plaques are symbolically placed randomly in the round room to reflect that.
There are artists honored who are both living and who have passed. If you are a big country music fan you will want to allow a few hours to walk through the museum.
Tour Hatch Show Print or Visit the Gift Shop
224 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN
You can visit Hatch Show Print before or after your visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame without having to step outside.
Learn more about Hatch Show Print which has been a handmade staple in Nashville since 1879.
There are guided tours available if you want to learn more about the shop’s history and printing process new and old. Tour guests also get to print a keepsake commemorative print.
Tours are very popular so you will want to try to book in advance.
Save Money on Your Hatch Print Show Tour
If you can’t make the tour, you can shop for a special souvenir with a reprint of classic show posters or a new letterpress design.
Find Your Favorite Star on the Music City Walk of Fame
121 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN
The Music City Walk of Fame is a tribute to those from all genres of music who have made a significant contribution to the music industry with a connection to Music City.
There are currently 63 stars on the Music City Walk of Fame. You can visit this site during the day or it has plenty of lighting at night.
Search for Street Art / Iconic Murals
Take a picture by the iconic angel wings and then go discover some lesser-known murals.
There are 14 country music artists on the Legends Mural. Can you name them all?
Visit the Famous Men’s Bathroom in the Hermitage Hotel
231 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN
It might sound odd to add a bathroom to the list but you are here for unique and this is no ordinary bathroom.
Located in the basement of the Hermitage Hotel, this basement has been in music videos and the location for numerous legislative deals.
You don’t have to be a male to visit this blast from the past.
It’s very common for females to check out the bathroom too.
Just make sure that you knock first to avoid an awkward moment. I speak from experience.
In addition to having bragging rights for a one-of-a-kind art deco bathroom, the Hermitage Hotel was also an important site for equal voting rights for women to become part of the US Constitution with the 19th amendment in 1920.
The hotel was the epicenter of the campaign leading to victory.
While you are inside the hotel make sure that you take a moment to appreciate all of the incredible architectural details and design.
Tour the Parthenon
2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN
Nashville’s Parthenon is the world’s only full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
The Parthenon was originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition and lucky for us they didn’t tear it down afterward.
The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is also built to scale inside.
There is a lot of detail to take in from every angle.
Nashville’s art museum is located inside the Parthenon and also hosts special exhibits. If you can’t make it to the inside, it’s still worth visiting to see the outside while you enjoy Centennial Park.
Try the Hot Chicken of Your Choice or Eat at the Original Hattie B’s
112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN
Hot chicken is VERY popular in Nashville.
What is Hot Chicken?
Hot chicken is a portion of a chicken wing, thigh, or breast that’s marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning.
Next, the chicken is floured, fried, and covered in a paste or sauce with cayenne pepper. Hot chicken is served on top of a slice of white bread with a side of pickle chips.
There are a lot of options when it comes to hot chicken in Nashville.
We decided to check out the hype at the original Hattie B’s and we were not disappointed.
At the recommendation of one of their employees, we tried the dark leg thigh quarter.
We ordered the hot chicken sandwich and Pimento Mac & Cheese with “shut the cluck up” sauce on the side because I LOVE spicy food.
Visit the Dolly Parton Themed Rooftop Bar
101 20th Ave N, Nashville, TN
Everyone loves Dolly and what could be better than a Dolly Parton rooftop bar?!!
White Limozeen is a Dolly Parton-themed bar located on the rooftop of The Graduate Hotel.
This is a very popular destination, especially because it’s an Instagrammers dream, so plan accordingly and make a reservation ahead of time.
The rooftop bar was closed during my visit but I did get some pictures of the lobby.
The Graduate Hotel does a great job of reflecting the individual local personality in each city they are in.