It’s easy to mistake Nashville purely for a party city where everything revolves around country music, but that’s not strictly true. Creativity lies at the heart of Nashville, so newcomers will never have a shortage of things to see and do. There is always a buzz about the place and whether one is looking for arts, history, food, sports or just to have a good time, there is sure to be a uniquely Nashvillian experience to be had here.
Arts and culture in Nashville
Newcomers may be surprised to learn that the Music City is, in fact, rich in history and culture.
Nashville was once known as ‘Athens of the South’ because of the number of academic institutions in the city. Nashville’s iconic Parthenon in Centennial Park, which now houses a magnificent art collection, is just one of the city’s many cultural attractions. The city’s modern art scene is flourishing too. Join the masses on the monthly First Saturday Art Crawl where visitors can view free exhibitions at a number of downtown art venues, including the Frist Art Museum, the Rymer Gallery and CHAUVET Arts.
Fans of the performing arts will love life in Nashville too. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the place to be for everything from touring Broadway shows to ballet and opera. If classical music takes one’s fancy head to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center where one can experience the Grammy-award winning Nashville Symphony in concert.
Sports and outdoor activities in Nashville
Nashvillians aren’t only passionate about their music, newcomers will soon learn that sports teams here have a huge following too. Watch local hockey team, the NHL Nashville Predators, in action and one will soon learn why they’ve nicknamed the city ‘Smashville’ in sporting circles. Experience the thrill of baseball as you watch the Nashville Sounds score some home runs at First Tennessee Park.
For those who’d prefer to be in on the action rather than taking it from the bleachers, Nashville has plenty to offer as well. Whether it is hitting up a hiking trail at Radnor Lakes State Park, cycling up a storm at Clarksville Greenway or zip-lining at Nashville Shores, there is plenty here to keep the most avid outdoor enthusiast busy.
Eating out in Nashville
Nashville’s dining scene is on its way up and new arrivals certainly won’t go hungry in the Music City. Classic Southern comfort food is what Nashville is famous for. So be sure not to miss out local favourites such as hot chicken, which consists of deep-fried chicken doused in fiery spices and served on white bread with pickles. Another Tennesseean institution is the low-and-slow barbecue which, as the name suggests, involves luscious cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken slow-cooked over hot coals till perfectly tender.
But Nashville’s restaurant offerings don’t stop there. Head south to Nolensville Road for Nashville’s most culturally diverse dining experiences. Here diners can get their hands on everything from tacos, torts and burritos at Mexican street stalls, to authentic Turkish cuisine and an array of Latin American fare. East Nashville, where boozy brunches are becoming quite a hit, is the place to be over weekends.
Nightlife in Nashville
As one may expect of the Music City, Nashville truly comes alive in the nighttime. The most popular nightlife venues are found in a 20-block area of downtown Nashville known as ‘The District’. Broadway and Printer’s Alley also have their fair share of bars and clubs. New residents shouldn’t miss the opportunity to take in some free live music at one of Nashville’s many bars along Honky Tonk Avenue. No doubt there’ll be many opportunities to catch international music acts at one of Nashville’s more prestigious concert venues too.
Those looking for a more low-key night out can head to one of the city’s many rooftop bars for a craft cocktail or two, or catch a show at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center or the Tennessee Repertory Theatre.
►For an insight into the Music City's best attractions check out our See and Do in Nashville page
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