At the first mention of Nashville, your mind probably races with thoughts of “Yee Haw” and country music. While that’s undeniably a large part of the city’s history, there are so many unique things to do in Nashville today.
From towering landmarks to tours of historic distilleries, you’ll never experience a dull moment in Music City.
11 Unique Things to Do in Nashville You Can’t Miss
1. Hatch Show Print
Hatch Show Print is the historic letterpress company responsible for that signature style concert and event poster you see all over Tennessee. Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it.
When in Nashville, take the time to visit their shop on the 5th Avenue side of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. While there, you can take a tour and learn more about the company’s history or browse the multitude of artwork available for purchase.
And, if you time your visit just right, you’ll have the opportunity to watch posters being freshly made off the letterpress.
2. The Parthenon
Well, sort of…
Arguably one of the most unique things to do in Nashville is to visit the replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
While marveling at the gigantic structure is a fun time, be sure to also check out the 42-foot tall Athena sculpture and tour the art museum inside!
And, after you explore the towering building, make time to roam around the 132-acre park.
3. Musicians Hall of Fame
You can’t visit Music City without paying respect to the greats.
At the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about iconic musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Carrie Underwood, and others.
For aspiring musicians and fans of tunes, you’ll also be able to see the instruments used on legendary songs! From drum sets to wind instruments and everything in between, this museum houses some of the most famous instruments ever played.
4. Nashville Zoo
Looking for unique things to do in Nashville that appeal to the younger members of your family? The Nashville Zoo is the perfect destination.
As the 9th largest zoo (by landmass) in the country, the AZA-accredited Nashville Zoo is dedicated to international conservation and research efforts to save threatened species. At the zoo, you’ll find everything from Australian kangaroos to Siberian tigers to lionfish!
Also, be sure to sign up for an extra experience such as a behind-the-scenes tour or critter encounter.
5. Gaylord Opryland Resort
While country music fans rightfully flock to the Grand Ole Opry, the real treat is at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. This massive indoor resort is blooming (literally) with 9 acres of lush gardens, an indoor waterfall and river, and other natural elements that transport you to a new adventure.
As you browse the sprawling resort, grab a meal at any of the numerous restaurants and bars or treat yourself at the full-service spa. Families love SoundWaves, the indoor and outdoor water attraction onsite!
Even if you don’t reserve a room at this one-of-a-kind resort, you can’t miss the opportunity to experience it firsthand.
6. Jack Daniel’s Distillery
If you’re willing to take a day trip, you’ll find one of the most unique things to do in Nashville just over an hour south of the city. Whiskey lovers will rejoice at the thought of touring the Jack Daniel’s Distillery located in Lynchburg, TN.
Oddly enough, this spirited mecca is situated in a dry county, meaning the tasting tours can only deliver a specific amount of liquor to each customer. But, trying the various types of whiskey is a fantastic experience. If visiting with kids, elect to hop on the Dry County Tour. You’ll still see all aspects of the facility and grounds, just minus the sipping session!
7. Ryman Auditorium
As you walk around downtown Nashville, you’ll notice a small church building on 5th Avenue. This the Ryman Auditorium. Once the home of the Grand Ole Opry, it is now hallowed ground for musicians and performers. Performing at this historic venue is a rite of passage for many!
What’s particularly unique about this concert venue is the set-up of church pews and pristine acoustics. If you have the chance to see a show here, you’ll instantly understand what I mean.
Music fans can also book their spot on a tour of the Ryman Auditorium. Guests can even choose to record a song in the famous Air Castle Studio while touring the building!
8. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
Fans of the great outdoors will consider Cheekwood Botanical Gardens among the best unique things to do in Nashville. Cheekwood Estate and Botanical Gardens is home to a stunning Georgian mansion, 55 acres of gardens, sculpture trails, an art museum, and a restaurant.
In addition to the public gardens, the grounds also host a multitude of events each year including the popular Holiday LIGHTS and El Dia de Los Muertos festivals.
Plus, a visit to Cheekwood is the perfect escape from the noise and crowds found in downtown Nashville!
9. Nashville Murals
Over the past few years, Nashville has become covered in original artwork. From the “I Believe in Nashville” mural to the “Wings” in the Gulch, there’s a mural around every corner. As a result, one of the more interesting activities to do in the city is going mural hunting!
10. Nashville Breweries
Similar to murals and coffee shops, there seems to be a new brewery popping up every other day in Music City. But this luckily means more quality beer! A few of Nashville’s staple craft breweries include:
- Tennessee Brew Works
- Jackalope Brewing Company
- Southern Grist Brewing Company
- Little Harpeth Brewing
- Fat Bottom Brewing
- Yazoo Brewing Company
Many of these breweries also host tours of their facilities for those interested in getting a firsthand look at the brewing process! Of course, samples are included.
11. RCA Studio B
Naturally, many of the unique things to do in Nashville deal with music-related activities and destinations including the historic RCA Studio B. Stars such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, and more all recorded their hit songs and albums here.
Guests are invited to tour the legendary recording studio from 12:30 pm-2:30 pm daily. You’ll meet your tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Please note, reservations must be made in advance in conjunction with museum admission.
Explore More in Nashville
Which of these unique activities will make it onto your Nashville trip itinerary?