Nashville Vacation Guide: Where to Start in Music City

Once only known for country music, Nashville has grown into one of the hottest cities in the U.S., earning worldwide attention from Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes and TripAdvisor. The city not only serves as Tennessee’s state capital, but it also offers year-round events, diverse attractions and plenty of great local food. To learn more, read this Nashville vacation guide and start planning a trip soon.

Nashville Vacation Guide to What Travelers Need to Know

getting around nashville

Getting Here and Around Town

With its central location, Nashville welcome visitors from all over the world. Nashville International Airport serves millions of passengers each year, with more than 75 direct flights from major cities such as Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. Residents in Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Savannah and Charlotte can get to Nashville in less than 8 hours. In addition, there are buses, ride shares and shuttles.

Visitors should rent or have an accessible vehicle. Nashville is spread out over 526 square miles and attractions are located in many neighborhoods. For example, visitors can spend time in just downtown, East Nashville or West Nashville, and find plenty of activities and attractions. Most of the city is not walkable, and traffic can cause delays.

For the best experience, rent a car and expect to drive on interstates and major thoroughfares. Parking can be a challenge, so plan to arrive early and walk a few blocks – unless taking a ride share.

nashville vacation rentals itrip

Nashville Accommodations

Looking for a place to stay in Nashville? No problem. The city has large hotel chains, boutique hotels, historic spots, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals.

Nashville vacation rentals place guests near everything Music City offers while providing more space and privacy. iTrip Nashville manages rentals in downtown, The Gulch, Germantown, Wedgewood-Houston, 12th Avenue South, Hillsboro Village, West End, The Nations, Music Row, Edgehill Village, Belle Meade, Green Hills and Sylvan Park.

Vacation homes in Nashville come with all the comforts guests need. Visitors enjoy kitchens, plush bedding, dining areas, laundry facilities and outdoor spaces for four-season climate. Book a Nashville vacation rental.

nashville vacation guide activities

Music and Live Entertainment

Part of Nashville’s popularity is due to the city’s music scene, which welcomes all genres and artists. From up-and-coming acts to major headliners, musicians want to play and record here. A few must-see music venues in Nashville include Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Ascend Amphitheater, Bridgestone Arena, Musicians Corner, Station Inn and dozens more.

For the ultimate honky-tonk experience, head to Broadway in downtown. The strip houses dozens of bars, clubs and saloons that celebrate a passion for blues, bluegrass, country and rock. Outside of Broadway, there are other iconic spots such as The Bluebird Cafe and The East Room. Or see live shows at Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Arts and Culture Attractions

Those who visit Nashville also have the chance to learn about their favorite artists. Tour Country Music Hall of Fame, Musicians Hall of Fame, Johnny Cash Museum, RCA Studio B, and Willie Nelson and Friends Museum. However, the city’s arts and culture scene extends well beyond music.

Nashville is also known for cultural diversity, which is showcased through museums and historical attractions. Sites such as Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage, Belle Meade Plantation and Belmont Mansion showcase the area’s past. Meanwhile, Frist Center for the Arts features collections from around the world, and The Parthenon at Centennial Park represents Greek Culture. Other sites include Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Lane Motor Museum, Music City Center and Tennessee State Museum.

tennessee nature family

Family-friendly Activities

Families who take a Nashville vacation also have plenty of things to do. Plan fun-filled activities at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Adventure Science Center, Adventureworks, escape rooms and Nashville Children’s Theater.

Sports fans love cheering as Nashville hosts the NFL Tennessee Titans, NHL Nashville Predators, Minor League Baseball Nashville Sounds, MLS Nashville Soccer Club, and dozens of college teams in football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, golf and more. Additionally, the city hosts world-renown festivals and events such as CMA Music Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Nashville Cultural Festival, Music City Jazz Fest, and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Fest in nearby Manchester.

Outdoor Recreation

Visitors can also create their own outdoor adventure. Nashville’s outdoor scene showcases four seasons of beauty. Bike and hike trails, canoe and kayak, play at spacious parks and golf courses, attend outdoor concerts, take tours, and zipline.

In the summer, splash and play at Nashville Shores Waterpark and Wave Country, or visit the indoor SoundWaves, a 4-acre water attraction at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Another popular attraction is Top Golf, which has over 100 climate-controlled bays, 200 HDTVs and hosts live music.

nashville food famous

Dining and Shopping

Nashville is home to signature foods such as hot chicken, Goo Goo Clusters, southern-style biscuits and whiskey. Guests will also find award-winning chefs, Nashville Farmers Market, internationally acclaimed restaurants, food tours, eclectic food trucks, and famous meat-and-threes. Additionally, the city caters to night owls with dozens of bars and clubs located throughout the area.

Shoppers deem Nashville as a must-see due to the city’s distinct neighborhoods and big-name retailers. The city is separated into 20-plus distinct areas, each with their own style. Shop boutiques for trendy fashion, locally made goods, art, vintage trinkets, jewelry, and other finds. For big-box retailers, head to Opry Mills, Green Hills Mall in West Nashville, Tanger Outlets in Antioch, and Cool Springs Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee.

After reading this Nashville vacation guide, learn about our Nashville vacation property management program.