How to Spend a Weekend in Nashville
Nashville has served as Tennessee’s state capital since 1843, but most people don’t think about government first when they think about “Music City.” In fact, many people may never think about that if they plan a trip from out of state. With a vibrant nightlife and music scene, thousands of people travel to Nashville every weekend to enjoy the biggest city in The Volunteer State.
But what are the main attractions to see during the day? What does Nashville have to offer beyond its country music identity? Don’t let the bright lights and billboards in Nashville deceive you. This city of approximately 700,000 provides plenty of entertainment options that don’t involve a guitar or live microphone. We’ll explore some of these as we discuss tips on how to spend a weekend in Nashville.
Learn Some of the History
If you are a history buff or simply have an appreciation for American history, you’ll leave Nashville full of regret if you spend your entire weekend focused on music. As alluded to earlier, most people fail to realize Nashville’s current and past impact on government and history. The city is named for Francis Nash, a brigadier general during the American Revolutionary War. He was one of 10 generals in the Continental Army who died from wounds received in combat.
Nashville also has an extensive history surrounding the Civil War. As the first Confederate state capital to fall, Union troops took the city in February of 1862 and occupied the state for the duration of the war. In 1864, the two-day Battle of Nashville represented one of the most decisive victories for the Union.
Popular destinations that focus on the city and state’s history include Fort Nashborough, Fort Negley, and the Tennessee State Museum. Built in the mid-1800s, the Tennessee State Capitol is one of America’s oldest working state capitol buildings and houses the tomb of the 11th U.S. President, James K. Polk. Finally, Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage is one of the largest presidential homes open to the public.
Have Some Boots Made For Walking
Some of the sites we’ve already mentioned, such as the Tennessee State Capitol and Tennessee State Museum, are within walking distance of other major attractions. These include the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, and Nissan Stadium. All of these locations are within a one-mile diameter.
Wear comfortable shoes to walk around and see as much as possible without worrying about Uber fees or burning gas in your own vehicle. If you are going to wear boots to fashionably blend in, make sure they are broken in and ready for lots of steps. The last thing you want to do is end your weekend early because your feet are too sore after your first day.
Worth the Drive
One of the main attractions in Nashville that does require driving is the Grand Ole Opry. Located about 12 miles from downtown, this venue is well worth the time and gas. On your way, keep an eye out for billboards to let you know which acts are in Nashville and who might be performing soon. Once you arrive, you can purchase tickets for a 50-minute backstage tour. These tours take place every 15 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. They include the opportunity to step onstage into the wooden circle where so many musical greats have stood.
Experience Music in a New Way
At night, the city comes to life. You’ll want to spend at least one of your nights on Lower Broadway in the downtown area. Again, comfortable shoes are a must, as you can walk from bar to bar and hear live music in each establishment. There will be lots of bachelor and bachelorette parties to navigate around. There will be swaths of college students living life to its fullest that night, but there will also be middle-aged and older adults basking in the energy and sound of a live performance. Nashville truly appeals to a wide range of people, so it attracts large groups of many demographics. Enjoy it.
Nashville has too much to experience in one weekend. We didn’t even discuss the college campuses or the professional sports teams if any of those interest you. With a vibrant population and so many entertainment options, you’ll probably leave Nashville with a list of things you already want to do on your return trip. Hopefully, this guide has sparked some ideas you hadn’t considered or inspired you to know that no matter how you organize your itinerary, Nashville will not disappoint for entertainment.