Nashville, Tennessee, known as Music City, is home to countless historic country music venues, honky-tonks, dive bars, and dance halls. It has been said that the city hosts live music 24/7/365 and you don’t have to pay “a pretty penny” to enjoy it. This makes Tennessee’s capital city an ideal destination for a girls’ weekend getaway.
Once a year, my childhood best friend and I leave our far flung states and meet together in a city neither of us has visited before. With very little planning, we choose a destination based on two key factors: airfare and weather. One happy fall, this landed us in Nashville, Tennessee.
Here is what we thought we knew about Nashville before our visit:
- It’s a country music kind of town.
- There are possibly Elvis and/or Dolly Parton attractions nearby.
Nashville didn’t turn out to be quite the honky-tonk town we were expecting. There is no shortage of actual honky-tonks, of course, but the capital of Tennessee, also known as Music City, is a destination for talented musicians of all genres of music, not just country. From morning until the wee hours of… well, morning again, we heard an eclectic mix of live music emanating from just about every bar and restaurant in town. Even the sidewalks were full of musicians playing everything from spoons and washboard to trombone and electric guitar.
Oh, and I’m guessing you already knew this, but Elvis’ Graceland is in Memphis and Ms. Parton’s Dollywood is in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Not Nashville.
So what is there to do in Nashville? Plenty! It’s a fair size city with a small town feel, easy to navigate on foot between general stores and tourist hot spots. My friend and I managed to cover quite a lot of ground in one weekend, from the Music City Walk of Fame Park to the Nashville Farmers’ Market, and everything in between. Here are some of our top picks for having a memorable girls’ weekend in Music City!
5 Fun Things to do in Nashville, Tennessee
Music City Downtown Bites & Sites Walking Tour
Take a two and a half hour guided walking tour of the city and eat as you go! Your tour guide will make you feel like a good friend who’s come to visit, as she treats you to the best eats in town (on your dollar, of course). You’ll traverse the Nashville Historic District, learning about iconic and cultural establishments alike, from the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, to the historic operating letterpress print shop, Hatch Show Print. The tour starts with sweets at Pralines by Leon and ends with a soda taste test at the candy story, Rocket Fizz. It’s a delicious adventure.
Nash Trash Tour
Hop aboard The Big Pink Bus for a very different kind of tour – one where you will learn very little about Nashville, but you will laugh so hard you’ll cry. Tour guide sisters, Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay Jugg, entertain by teasing their guests and occasionally bursting into song on this happy romp around town. This is an adults-only tour and you can bring alcohol on the bus. See a bit of the city and have a great time with the Jugg sisters. Tours sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.
Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant
We discovered this restaurant on our first night in Nashville and went back for at least one meal every day. Pancakes and brisket and cobbler, oh my! Our coffee mugs were full and our bellies were happy.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
The interior of this hotel is jaw dropping and you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy it. Take a hotel shuttle from the Wildhorse Saloon downtown and spend a few hours strolling through Opryland’s nine acres of indoor gardens. You can even enjoy a Delta River flatboat tour along fish-filled waterways, past three cascading waterfalls and an 85-foot fountain, without ever leaving the temperature-controlled atrium.
Hatch Show Print
Founded in 1879, Hatch Show Print is a historic letterpress shop that is still operational today. The shop resides at 224 5th Avenue South, in four different spaces: a large print shop where visitors can watch posters roll off the presses, a store that displays more than 100 posters available for purchase, a gallery featuring historic restrikes of original posters, and a classroom and workshop space that offers demonstrations and hands-on printing. The shop is well worth visiting, and you’ll likely find a letterpress souvenir or two that you just can’t live without.
Of all the trips my friend and I have taken over the years, Nashville tops the list. It’s a welcoming city, bustling with music, entertainment, and good food, and it’s easy to get around without a car. We crammed as much fun as we could into two and a half days and easily could have filled several more. I’m looking forward to returning one day to spend more time exploring!