New Nashville residents are in for a treat, as there is no shortage of things to see and do in the Music City. While it may be famous as the ‘home of country music’, new arrivals will soon learn there is much more to Nashville. Whether one decides to start on the tourist trail or prefers to get off the beaten track, exploring a city’s attractions is a fun way to get acquainted with one’s new home. Nashville offers a great mix of American culture, music, art, food and outdoor pursuits. So whatever an individual’s preferences may be, Nashville is sure to provide some excellent forms of entertainment.
Here are just some of the Music City’s top attractions:
Attractions in Nashville
The Grand Ole Opry
Founded in 1925, The Grand Old Opry is one of the cornerstones of Nashville’s country music history. Having been home to some of the biggest country music stars such as Johnny Cash, the Charlie Daniels Band, Alan Jackson and Ricky Skaggs, the Grand Ole Opry is a must-see for any music fan. Nowadays, the venue plays host to a more diverse range of offerings from gospel, folk and bluegrass to comedy nights; this stage has seen it all. Take a guided tour for firsthand insights into this beautiful venue’s incredible past.
This full-sized replica of the 42-foot Greek Parthenon may seem a little out of place in Nashville’s Centennial Park. This rather extravagant piece of architecture was originally built in 1897 for the Centennial Exposition. Today though, it is home to an excellent art museum which displays collections of American art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The building and the museum itself are both well worth a visit.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Located in the heart of downtown Nashville visitors can get some great insights into the extraordinary history of country music. Not only is this a shrine of America’s leading country musicians who are immortalised on the walls, but the museum also hosts a number of informative exhibits of Nashville’s role in the industry. Family-friendly workshops and interactive events are held throughout the year as a way of attracting visitors of all ages.
Nelson's Green Brier Distillery
Sample some of the world’s favourite bourbon whiskies at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. In the pre-prohibition era, this was one of the largest whisky producers in the South and till today Nelson’s has remained a family business. New arrivals should take a tasting tour to immerse themselves in the whisky distilling process and to learn some interesting historical insights.
Radnor Lake State Park
For a dose of the incredible outdoors head to Radnor Lake State Park in Forrest Hills. With 1,300 acres of peaceful forests, exhilarating hiking trails and wonderful opportunities for wildlife watching, Radnor Lake is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Not simply an oasis from the pace of city life, the park’s aviary and education centre provide a great learning experience for kids and their parents alike.
Located on the outskirts of Nashville, The Hermitage is one of the most popular attractions in the state of Tennessee. Once home to former President Andrew Jackson, this grand mansion has now been transformed into an impressive museum which includes a new million-dollar interactive exhibit that delves deep into President Jackson’s multifaceted life. The grounds of the Hermitage cover over 1,000 acres and are filled with landscaped gardens and various other interesting features.
The Frist Art Museum
This former post office turned modern art gallery, The Frist Art Museum is a highlight for visitors and Nashville residents alike. With exhibits that rotate every six to eight weeks, no visit is ever the same. Based in an art deco style building, The Frist is a hub for local, national and international artists. Visitors are bound to leave feeling inspired thanks to the diverse range of art collections on display.
The Belle Meade Plantation
Dating back to 1820, the Belle Meade Plantation is now a history museum that gives visitors an insight into a bygone era. Once home to General Jackson, this mansion hosted guests from across the world. Take a tour to learn about the role of the plantation during the Civil War. Part of the property is now a winery and a great place to wind down after taking a stroll through the grounds.
A fun day out for the whole family, Nashville Zoo is set upon Grassmere estate and covers over 200 acres of land. Spend a day gawking at interactive exhibits such as Lorikeet Landing, Kangaroo Kickabout and Critter Encounters alongside areas dedicated to big cats, African elephants, clouded leopards, flamingos and meerkats. Once visitors are done interacting with the animal kingdom, they can spend some time exploring the stunning historic home at Grassmere which dates back to 1810. Nashville Zoo is a truly wonderful place for animal lovers of all ages
Adventure Science Center
Located just a few miles south of downtown Nashville is the Adventure Science Center, which provides some brilliant hands-on educational entertainment for kids of all ages. From understanding anatomy to getting a handle on the universe, exhibits here cover an array of topic areas. The Center’s staff hold regular demos to help visitors engage more meaningfully with the displays, and the planetarium’s shows are a real highlight.
For a run-down of Nashville's best annual events read out What's On in Nashville page
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