If you think Nashville is only country music and bachelorette parties, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

While it is an essential destination for country music fans, Nashville also has a fantastic restaurant scene, superb live music of all genres, and even some solid breweries.

Below, we cover some of our favorite places to eat, drink, and see in Music City.

Where to Eat

  • Hattie B’s – An iconic spot for Nashville hot chicken. Expect long lines and lots of tourists, but it’s worth the wait.
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack – The OG hot chicken restaurant. It’s a bit of a drive from the city center and kind of divey, but it’s worth it for the great chicken and history. Though be warned: when they say “hot” chicken, they aren’t kidding.
  • bartaco – Located in the trendy 12 South neighborhood, this upscale taco is good, but the portions are a bit lacking for the price.
  • Mas Tacos Por Favor – Some of the best tacos we’ve had, anywhere. One of our favorite restaurants in all of Nashville. It’s cash-only, so be sure to stop by the ATM before you go.
  • Tupelo Honey – Good, downhome Southern cooking (they have locations all over the South).
  • BB King’s – A jazz club that serves amazing pulled pork nachos. It’s located right off Broadway, so you could walk there if you’re staying downtown.
  • GRAYS on Main – Located in Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville, this restaurant has a delicious hot chicken sandwich.
  • Jeni’s Ice Cream – If you’re in the mood for ice cream, this is the place to get it in Nashville. The flavors are endlessly creative (and delicious!).

Where to Drink

  • Frothy Monkey – With a few locations throughout the Nashville area, this is a great spot for good coffee and light food.
  • CREMA – Probably Heather’s favorite coffee shop in Nashville. The coffee is superb and the atmosphere is fun.
  • Barista Parlor – The atmosphere is cool and hip, but the coffee was a little overpriced.
  • Southern Grist Brewing – A staple of craft beer in Nashville, with two locations that feature cutting edge IPAs as well as many experimental flavor combinations (coconut IPA? Why not?).
  • Czann’s Brewery – A tiny brewery with limited hours, but easy to get to if you’re staying downtown.
  • Smith & Lentz Brewing Company – Our favorite brewery in Nashville, specializing in IPAs and European-style lagers. They also have a beer garden for when the weather’s nice.

Where to See Live Music

  • Tootsies – An iconic honky tonk featuring both covers and original songs. Even if you aren’t a country music fan, it’s worth a visit for the atmosphere and history.
  • The Listening Room – A singer-songwriter bar that has less of a party atmosphere than the honky tonks.
  • The Bluebird Cafe – A tiny cafe featuring two shows a night. Lots of up and coming songwriters and musicians perform here, so it’s a great place to see music’s next big names. Try to get reservations ahead of time, as tickets sell out quickly.
  • Whiskey Jam @ Winners Bar & Grill – This twice-weekly jam session is free and absolutely worth checking out. Expect to see some future stars grace the stage.

Nashville Activities

  • Country Music Hall of Fame – Obviously this is a must-visit if you’re a country fan, but there’s a lot of fascinating history and artifacts to see even if you aren’t.
  • Arrington Vineyards – This vineyard is located around a 15-minute drive outside of Nashville, and it’s a great place for a picnic when the weather is nice.
  • Visit Franklin, TN – Located south of Nashville, Franklin is a small city with a cute main street that features local restaurants and shops. If you want to see some of the Tennessee countryside, it’s worth the drive.
  • Belle Meade Plantation – If you’re looking to learn about Tennessee history or just taste some wine, give this place a visit.
  • The Hermitage – Home of President Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage features a historic mansion, tours, and a museum.
  • Nashville Zoo – It’s an impressive zoo considering Nashville’s size, and it’s a great place to spend a few hours if you have kids (or just love zoos).

Destination Map

Want to see all of our favorite Nashville destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:

Final Thoughts

Nashville is quickly becoming one of our favorite cities, and this trip won’t be our last. We hope this guide has given you some ideas for your Nashville adventure, and we’re excited to see what you discover.

If you’re traveling to Nashville, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance. We’ve used World Nomads since 2013 and love it. Click here to get World Nomads travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!

Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.

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