Nashville Travel Guide
Nashville, Tennessee's capital city, is located in the north central part of the state on the Cumberland River. Founded in 1779 and named for Francis Nash, a Continental Army General during the American Revolutionary War, Nashville is the most populous city in Tennessee and one of the nation's fastest growing economies.
Called "Music City," Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, known for country music performances and legends like Johnny Cash, Reba McIntire, Loretta Lynn, Minnie Pearl, Vince Gill and others who have graced the stage there. The Ryman Auditorium has also seen stars like Dolly Parton and Hank Williams, and now hosts shows of all genres. Bars, restaurants, and performance venues offer live music every day of the week, and it's not just country music. Bluegrass, rock, pop, and a wide range of styles can be heard throughout the city.
Another nickname for Nashville is "Athens of the South" for its many institutions of higher learning, including Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, and Belmont. The Parthenon in Centennial Park, a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, is a reminder of the city's reputation. It was built in 1897 for the state's Centennial Exposition.
Nashville is in the Central Time Zone, though the state of Tennessee is divided into Eastern Time Zone and Central Time Zone. (Daylight Savings Time is observed seasonally.)
Best Time to Go
Spring (April, May) and Autumn (September, October) are good times to visit Nashville because the weather is generally comfortable. The summer months of July and August are quite warm and humid, and winter is often cold and rainy. If weather is not an issue, it may be more economical to visit during winter months when there are fewer tourists.
Things to Know
The elegant Schermerhorn Symphony Center, located downtown across from the Country Music Hall of Fame is the place to hear classical, jazz, world music, and Broadway.
Nashville is the home of Hot Chicken, and Prince's Hot Chicken is considered the original. Choose your heat level from Plain to XXX Hot, but be aware that they really mean XXX HOT!
The AT&T Building is nicknamed the Batman Building because its two towers make it resemble Batman's pointed ears.
Nashville was the first Southern city to desegregate public establishments after a series of downtown sit-ins by African-American college students in 1960.
Elvis Presley recorded more than 200 of his songs on Music Row at RCA's Studio B. (The year-round Christmas lights there commemorate his recording of his Christmas album when they were put up in July, along with a Christmas tree, to inspire the holiday mood.)
Tennessee is called "The Volunteer State." Volunteer soldiers from Tennessee played a large role in the War of 1812, especially during the Battle of New Orleans. Later in the Mexican-American War of 1846, Tennessee sent 30,000 soldiers for the effort.
Nashville is home to the National Football League Titans, the National Hockey League Predators, and Major League Soccer team the Nashville Soccer Club. The city also has a minor league baseball team, the Sounds.
A Nashville hotel led to the name of Maxwell House coffee. Their popular brew was given the hotel's name, and, during a 1907 stay, President Theodore Roosevelt supposedly said, "Good to the last drop," creating the brand's familiar slogan.
How to Get Around
Nashville's main public transit system, WeGo Public Transit, has purple buses covering more than 50 routes throughout the city. Plan ahead of time using the service's convenient trip planner as a guide. WeGo offers an bus service to and from the Nashville Airport (BNA). It also offers a park and ride service with free parking at designated locations
Taxis, Uber, and Lyft all operate in Nashville.
Address: 230 Fourth Avenue North
Phone: (615) 782-7100
This creative hotel in historic Printers Alley offers luxury, fun, and a variety of rooms, including one and two bedroom suites. There's a full-service spa and several dining and cocktail venues including the rooftop lounge where you can sip your drink in a retrofitted 1956 Greyhound bus.
21c Museum Hotel
Address: 221 Second Avenue North
Set in a restored 1900s building, the hotel offers 124 guest rooms and suites with luxury amenities and original art. The hotel features a fitness center, business center, curated art exhibitions and dining at Gray & Dudley, named for the original building.
Address: 110 Third Avenue South
Phone: (615) 986-2091
Steps from the Country Music Hall of Fame, the hotel features urban-chic rooms and amenities like locally roasted coffee, a 24-hour fitness center, and Plug & Meet areas. The casual Bar Moxy is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
Address: 210 Fourth Avenue North
Phone: (615) 622-0600
The Dream offers 168 art deco-inspired rooms set in two historic Printers Alley buildings conveniently located near Nashville's popular attractions. There's a fitness center, six dining and nightlife options, and luxury amenities.
Address: 118 Seventh Avenue North
Phone: (615) 391-1234
Set in a historic building, the boutique hotel offers 191 rooms, including six suites blending modern and art deco styles. Roomy corner and penthouse suites offer even more room to relax. The signature restaurant is TENN, and the rooftop lounge, TENN on Top, boasts spectacular city views.
Address: 301 Union Street
Phone: (615) 891-6000
This former Printers Alley bank building is now a modern hotel featuring a printer-themed lobby and a speakeasy-inspired lounge with local artists and songwriters performing seven nights a week. The District Bar & Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Address: 231 Sixth Avenue North
Phone: (615) 244-3121
This five-star hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with soft bedding, plush robes, Bose docking stations, and excellent service. The signature Capital Grille restaurant first opened in 1910 and still serves authentic Southern fare made from the freshest ingredients. With more than 130 bottles, The Oak Bar boasts one of the largest collections of bourbons in Nashville.
Address: 807 Clark Place
Phone: (615) 248-2800
This luxury boutique hotel features guestrooms and one-bedroom suites, including the Presidential Suite with round bed and dazzling city views as well as the highest rooftop lounge in the city, L27. The on-site Rhapsody Spa offers CBD treatments, and their fitness studio is open 24 hours.
Grand Hyatt Nashville
Address: 1000 Broadway
Phone: (615) 622-1234
This luxury property at Nashville Yards is conveniently located within walking distance of the Gulch and Midtown. The Grand Hyatt boasts one of the highest outdoor rooftop bars in Nashville as well as a pool, spa, and seven dining and beverage options.
Address: 401 Union Street
Phone: (615) 988-8511
This retro-modern hotel was originally a bank built in 1972, and its mid-century architectural details have been preserved. Guestrooms and suites are luxuriously and uniquely furnished, and Penthouse Suites offer outdoor terraces with fire pits. Ellington's Restaurant continues the mid-century vibe with its modern take on classic dishes.
Address: 1719 West End Avenue
Phone: (615) 329-4200
This design-forward hotel is in a lively area near Vanderbilt University less than a mile from downtown. The first floor is for socializing, with a pool table, regional art, and a grab-n-go pantry. The loft-style rooms feature comfortable platform beds and showers with rainfall showerheads.
Address: 101 20th Avenue North
This playful and funky hotel in the heart of midtown, and near Vanderbilt University, features luxe guest rooms, animatronic karaoke, and Poindexter, its lobby-level cafe. Its Dolly Parton-themed rooftop bar, White Limozeen, provides stunning views of the Nashville skyline.
Address: 2021 Broadway
Phone: (615) 340-6376
This boutique hotel is the centerpiece of the Aertson Midtown mixed-use destination. Its industrial details and refined finishes include a live green wall, open living room, poured concrete floors, and double-sided fireplace. There's a seasonal swimming pool, expansive spa, and views of the Vanderbilt University campus.
Address: 401 11th Avenue South
Phone: (615) 262-6000
This hip, Gulch hotel offers an inviting space with panoramic city views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Their indoor-outdoor rooftop bar and restaurant, L.A. Jackson, boasts incredible views of downtown Nashville's skyline.
Address: 1603 Woodland Street
Phone: (347) 840-0525
The boutique hotel's eight uniquely furnished and decorated suites are housed in a historic Victorian mansion. The Public House serves craft cocktails in rustic surroundings or the stylish backyard.
The Dive Motel
Address: 1414 Dickerson Pike
Phone: (615) 650-9103
Each of their 23 rooms is one-of-a-kind and equipped with their signature "Party Switch" that spins a Disco Ball with a choice of four channels. Pool, hot tub, and The Dive Bar & Lounge make a stay at The Dive a truly Nashville experience.
Other Nashville Locations
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Address: 2800 Opryland Drive
Phone: (615) 889-1000
The 3,000 room resort destination is set on the Cumberland River, minutes from Nashville International Airport and a short drive (or riverboat cruise) from downtown. The resort includes nine acres of indoor gardens, an indoor river and waterfalls, a spa, fitness center, golf course, and a range of dining options and events.
Address: 221 Second Avenue North
Phone: (615) 610-6460
Adjacent to a museum and historical building, the restaurant honors both with a traditional Southern menu of appetizers, snacks, entrees, and delicious cocktails.
Address: 235 Fifth Avenue North
Phone (615) 600-4756
Frothy Monkey has it all, seriously: breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, specialty coffees, signature coffee drinks, cocktails, wine, and a kid's menu, salads and sandwiches, and more — just to name a few.
Address: 303 Demonbreun Street
Phone: (615) 522-0685
Award winning chef Deb Paquette helms this modern restaurant with an open kitchen and a chef's bar where guests can watch and interact with her. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant's menu includes seafood, venison, veal, and a steak carpaccio appetizer.
Address: 611 Commerce Street
Phone: (615) 493-4050
Michelin-star Chef James Kerwin serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner of fresh Southern and traditional American fare along with cocktails, specialty drinks, and local draft beers.
Address: 401 Broadway
Phone: (615) 254-1892
This three-floor restaurant set in an 1892 building starts with a street level bistro offering cocktails and food. The second floor, a bit more upscale, is open for lunch and dinner with a refined menu and extensive wine offerings. The third floor is a private dining space for business dinners and events.
Address: 105 Broadway
Phone: (615) 964-3000
This live music venue, restaurant, bar, and event space features the largest and highest double-deck rooftop on Broadway. Southern-inspired dishes including signature Nashville Hot Chicken and BBQ are served on the first and second floors. They serve wine, spirits, and the coldest draft beer in Nashville at 29 degrees.
Address: 505 Third Avenue North
Phone: (629) 236-0035
This rooftop bar and restaurant serves a creative menu of appetizers, snacks, entrees, and desserts along with cocktails, wine, and beer in a spectacular setting.
Deacon's New South
Address: 401 Church Street
Phone: (615) 994-1994
The restaurant is located in a historic building, but their cuisine is modern, with dry-aged meats and seafood dishes inspired by the Gulf Coast. Traditional and creative cocktails and an extensive wine list are offered.
The Farm House
Address: 210 Almond Street
Phone: (615) 522-0688
Chef and owner Trey Ciocca serves lunch, brunch, and dinner offering traditional favorites and Southern classics like cornbread, fried catfish, and pimento cheese beignets along with cocktails, beer, and wine.
B.B. Kings Blues Club
Address: 152 Second Avenue North
Phone: (615) 256-2727
Dinner and weekend brunch are served along with blues, rock n' roll, and soul music. The menu is just as varied, with a selection of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. Cocktails, wine, and beer are on the menu too.
Hattie B's Chicken
Address: 112 19th Avenue South
Phone: (615) 678-4794
Choose your heat level, but know what you're in for if you go with the hottest of the six. Sandwiches, plates, and sides like coleslaw and pimento mac and cheese are served, and there's peach cobbler and banana pudding for dessert.
Address: 2023 Broadway
Phone: (615) 340-6378
Billing itself as a "modern American brasserie," Henley is located in the Kimpton Aertson. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Henley's menu includes Southern favorites like Charleston hot crab dip, roasted Tennessee mushrooms, and smoked chicken with Alabama white sauce.
Address: 202 21 Avenue South
Phone: (615) 925-3362
Nada's extensive modern Mexican cuisine menu includes guacamole, ceviche, and cochinita pibil, with interesting additions such as cumin roasted beets, Peruvian chicken, and Romenesco al Pastor. Lunch and dinner are served as well as brunch and cocktails.
Address: Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Phone: (615) 327-4410
This casual restaurant is also a grab n' go market with prepared foods like salads, soups, sandwiches, and pastries. The all-day menu includes meatballs, cornbread, enchiladas, wings, and burgers. Weekend brunch offerings include omelets, beignets, and house-cured gravlax.
Address: 1904 Broadway
Phone: (615) 320-8580
This gastro-pub style dining spot features creative cuisine in addition to extensive options for cocktails, wine, spirits, and beers. Sports fans will enjoy the fourteen TVs, and foodies will love the menu choices ranging from creative starters to tacos, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and fries. Weekend brunch and late night dining are available.
Address: 2100 West End Avenue
Phone: (615) 321-1990
Mason's serves seasonal Southern cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. They offer craft cocktails, wines, spirits, and an extensive list of beer from local breweries.
Rolf and Daughters (Germantown)
Address: 700 Taylor Street
Phone: (615) 866-9897
Located in a historic building and serving Italian and Mediterranean inspired dishes on their seasonally driven menu, the restaurant offers communal tables, patio, and bar for walk-ins as well as dining room reservations.
Redheaded Stranger (East Nashville)
Address: 305 Arrington Street
Phone (615) 544-8226
Authentic Tex-Mex dishes include tacos, burritos, and their own signature hot sauces. Cocktails, wine, and beer are served.
Adele's (The Gulch)
Address: 1210 McGavock Street
Phone: (615) 988-9700
Dinner and weekend brunch are served with a focus on seasonal comfort food like pork ossobuco, lasagna, and a meatball with polenta appetizer. Weekend brunch offerings include buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, egg casserole, and brioche French toast.
Things to Do
The Bluebird Cafe
Address: 4104 Hillsboro Pike
Phone: (615) 383-1461
The Bluebird, one of the "world's preeminent listening rooms," presents two shows a night, seven days a week, featuring acoustic singer-songwriter style music by famous and up-and-coming artists.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Address: 222 Fifth Avenue South
Phone: (615) 416-2001
Located in downtown Nashville, the museum includes photographs, artifacts, recordings, vintage video, memorabilia, and interactive activities to tell the story of country music. Performance spaces in the CMA Theater and Ford Theater host live music and cultural events.
Grand Ole Opry
Address: 2804 Opryland Drive
Phone: (615) 871-6779
For nearly one hundred years, the Grand Ole Opry, called "home of American music," has showcased country stars on stage, as well as on WSM Radio. See a live show or take a guided backstage tour, starting with an immersive theater experience starring Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
RCA Studio B
Address: 1611 Roy Acuff Place
Phone: (615) 416-2001
Built in 1957, the studio was home to the "Nashville Sound" in the 1960's, and artists like Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, and Floyd Cramer recorded there. Today, you can tour the studio as part of a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Address: 116 Fifth Avenue North
Phone: (615) 889-3060
Known as one of the best performance halls in the world, this historic venue was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974. The Ryman hosts numerous concerts and events throughout the year, and visitors can take tours of its star-studded exhibits.
The Johnny Cash Museum
Address: 119 Third Avenue South
Phone: (615) 256-1777
This downtown museum contains the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia. Visit for a self-guided tour to see instruments, hand-written notes, awards, stage costumes, and more. Stop for a bite at the cafe next door or at the gift shop for a souvenir.
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Address: 3777 Nolensville Pike
Phone: (615) 833-1534
Nearly 3,000 animals representing about 350 species reside at the zoo, including amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. The 1810 Grassmere Historic Home, on the property, is open for tours. There's a zip line, carousel, playground, and Australian landscape with kangaroos.
Frist Art Museum
Address: 919 Broadway
Phone: (615) 244-3340
Exhibits, which rotate periodically since there's no permanent collection, have included Picasso, Albrecht Durer, and a variety of sculpture, vintage automobiles, prints, photography, and video as well as displays by local Nashville artists and Native American art.
Address: 4580 Rachel's Lane
Phone: (615) 889-2941
The home of President Andrew Jackson, a National Historic Landmark with over 30 historic buildings over 1,120 acres, is one of the most visited presidential homes in the U.S. Self-guided and interpreter-led tours of the mansion and grounds are available.
Belle Meade Plantation
Address: 110 Leake Avenue
Phone: (615) 356-0501
From an 1807 log cabin set on 250 acres to one of the largest thoroughbred horse farms in the South, Belle Meade tells of Tennessee history, architecture, and equestrian legacy. Several tours are available, including the Mansion Tour and the Journey to Jubilee Tour that tells the stories of the enslaved African-Americans who were at Belle Meade from its beginning through the years following Emancipation.
John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Address: Enter on 3rd Ave. S between Broadway and Demonbreun, across from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center
The bridge connects downtown Nashville with East Nashville and Nissan Stadium, linking the two sides of the Cumberland River. Closed to automobile traffic in 1998, the bridge provides excellent views of the Nashville skyline
Address: 2500 West End Avenue
The 132-acre park includes a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, historical monuments, a sunken garden, band shell, dog park, sand volleyball courts, and the Parthenon. The full-scale replica serves as an art museum with a recreation of the 42-foot statue of Athena at its center.
Tennessee State Museum
Address: 1000 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
Phone: (615) 741-2692
The Tennessee Time Tunnel tells the story of the state through artifacts, exhibits, and stories from the permanent collection. The exhibits include natural history, archaeology, Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as temporary shows like "Women and the Right to Vote" and "Tennessee's Musical heritage."
Address: 2908 12th Avenue South
Phone: (615) 750-5379
With two Nashville-area locations, this nostalgic general store carries a variety of products including leather bags, handmade soap, home decor, antiques, and more. Shopping is a pleasure with artistic displays and a surprising assortment of beautiful things.
Hatch Show Print
Address: 224 Fifth Avenue South
Phone: (615) 256-2805
The Hatch Show Print show posters served as advertising for concerts from 1879 through the 20th century. Today, the posters are still popular with musicians and performers of all genres. In the downtown shop visitors will find apparel, greeting cards, prints, and custom work.
Imogene + Willie
Address: 2601 12th Avenue South
Phone: (615) 292-5005
This chic store specializes in denim, but also offers clothing for men and women, including tee shirts, jackets, accessories, and jewelry. Their signature candle incorporates scents of sage, palo santo, frankincense, and shiso leaf.
Address: 231 Sixth Avenue North
Phone: (615) 345-7149
From fashionable clothing to custom jewelry, this boutique carries creations from Nashville's local artisans. It offers home decor, gifts, linens, kitchen products, candles, and more.
Fanny's House of Music
Address: 1101 Holly Street
Phone: (615) 750-5746
Fanny's is a full-service music store with a variety of new, used, and vintage guitars and amps. It also offers professional lessons and repairs as well as clothing and gifts.
Address:1300 Clinton Street, Suite 130
Phone: (615) 810-9906
This is the home of the American Pickers, and it's the place for antiques, clothing, home goods, gifts, drinkware, and more. They offer clothing and accessories in Mike Wolfe's Two Lane brand.
Address: 107 Second Avenue North
Phone: (615) 248-4287
Set in The District neighborhood, this is the place to find a wide selection of top quality hats for men and women. They offer fedoras, flat caps, baseball hats, straw hats, and cold weather beanies.
High Class Hillbilly
Address: 4604 Gallatin Pike
Phone: (615) 840-7328
Hand-selected vintage items from across the U.S. fill this boutique with vintage boots, hats, leather goods, tee shirts, and more. Denim jeans, jackets, shorts and accessories for men, women, and children are on display in addition to belts, belt buckles, jewelry, and purses.
Music Valley Antiques and Marketplace
Address: 1300 Clinton Street
Phone: (615) 557-6560
More than 30 vendors offer vintage furniture, home decor, accessories, and art.
Address: 433 Opry Mills Drive
Phone: (615) 514-1000
Tennessee's largest outlet, retail, shopping, dining, and entertainment destination.
The Mall at Green Hills
Address: 2126 Abbott Martin Road
Phone: (615) 298-5478
More than a hundred stores, including top luxury designer brands, can be found at this mall located three miles from downtown Nashville.
Neighborhoods to Know
Downtown: This is the business center of Nashville as well as the location of Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. Printers Alley, once the center of newspaper publishing, is now full of lively nightlife. Hotels, restaurants, and museums, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, reside in downtown Nashville.
Midtown: Adjacent to Vanderbilt University, with its 18th century architecture and sculpture gardens, Midtown is a neighborhood between downtown, Music Row, and West End. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and Centennial Park are conveniently located in this walkable neighborhood.
Music Row/Demonbreun/Edgehill: Just southwest of downtown, this area is Nashville's entertainment industry. This neighborhood is home to a variety of recording studios including the historic RCA Studio B. At its entry, a 40 foot bronze sculpture named "Musica" features nine figures celebrating the energy and diversity of the music industry.
Germantown: This urban residential community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A few blocks northwest of downtown, the neighborhood is home to the Tennessee State Museum. Boutiques and restaurants abound in this area named for European immigrants who settled there in the mid-19th century.
The Gulch: This walkable community is located just south of downtown in a revitalized industrial area. Street art, live music venues, breweries, hotels, and restaurants make it a popular destination.
East Nashville: Dive bars, craft breweries, coffee shops, historic homes, art galleries, and vintage stores make up the culturally-diverse, artsy neighborhood. East Nashville is located across the Cumberland River from downtown.
Opryland: This neighborhood, located ten miles east of downtown, is home to Music Valley, Grand Ole Opry, and the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The Opry Mills shopping center, Willie Nelson Museum, SoundWaves water park, and a variety of family-friendly restaurants can be found in this area.
West End/Elliston Place: Centennial Park, with its replica of the Greek Parthenon, is located in this neighborhood adjacent to Vanderbilt University.
Nashville has a subtropical type of climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Annual precipitation is about 47 inches, with the majority occurring in spring, particularly during the month of May. Spring is tornado season in Middle Tennessee.
Temperatures begin to cool in September, and autumn typically receives the least rainfall. Winter is colder, with little snow, usually about seven inches total, mostly during January.
The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.
January 28 - 47
February 32 - 52
March 39 - 61
April 47 - 71
May 57 - 78
June 65 - 86
July 69 - 89
August 68 - 89
September 61 - 82
October 49 - 72
November 39 - 60
December 31 - 49