Exploring Unique Things to Do in Nashville

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Nashville, TN, one of the top tourist spots in the country, is famous for its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and rich history.

Aside from being a music mecca, this big city with small-town roots is also known for its southern hospitality, cultural landmarks, outdoor activities, bustling culinary culture, professional sports, and other things that make Nashville truly unique.

If you’re planning your next vacation or weekend getaway to the Music City, read on and take notes. This article enumerates all the unique things to do in Nashville that will guarantee to make your visit a great experience.

I. Uncover the Hidden Gems

Beyond its well-known attractions, a world of hidden treasures awaits to be discovered. Here are two hidden gems in Nashville that offer newcomers a chance to experience the city like a local.

The Parthenon

1. The Parthenon

This full-sized replica of Athens’ famous Parthenon was originally constructed for Tennessee’s 1897 centennial exposition as a temporary structure made from wood and plaster. At present, it resides in Centennial Park, built entirely of concrete.

The building houses an impressive 42-foot recreation of the statue of Athena, crafted by Alan LeQuire. This is the largest indoor sculpture in the Western world.

2. Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area offers 960 acres of green space for enjoying the outdoors. With roughly three miles of Cumberland River frontage, this area features bottomland hardwood forests, open fields, wetlands, and streams.

This is the perfect place for hiking, biking, running, skating, walking, running, wildlife watching, and exploring nature.

3. Dive Into Music Culture

Visiting the Music City won’t be complete without catching performances by up-and-coming artists in places like the Bluebird Café or attending a show at the iconic Ryman Auditorium. Here’s what you can expect at these popular venues.

Ryman Auditorium

4. Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium is a sacred place for music lovers, Nashville’s “Mother Church.” This world-renowned concert hall boasts outstanding acoustics that create an authentic and transcendent concert experience for both the audience and the performers.

Music’s most iconic stage features unique architecture and state-of-the-art sound technology that make every show one of the best you’ve ever seen.

5. Bluebird Cafe

Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the Bluebird Cafe has gained worldwide recognition as a venue where songwriters, the “heroes behind the hits,” perform their own songs.

Some of the most significant songwriters and artists who have performed on the 90-seat venue include Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Vince Gill, Townes Van Zandt, and Kathy Mattea.

II. Savor the Flavors

One of the best Nashville experiences you shouldn’t miss is sampling the city’s local favorites. Here are two delicious foods unique to Music City that you must try when you visit.

Hot Chicken

6. Hot Chicken

Hot chicken, also called Nashville hot chicken, is a local specialty fried chicken crisped up with cayenne and hot sauce in the coating, then added with a spicy sauce. Traditionally, hot chicken is placed on a slice of good old-fashioned white bread and topped off with some pickle slices.

Many restaurants offer this culinary treasure, but some of the best spots are 400 Degrees, Biscuit Love, Moore’s Spicy Fried Chicken, Hattie B’s, and Prince’s Hot Chicken.

7. Biscuit Love

Biscuit Love is one of the most popular restaurants in town known for Nashville’s second most famous dish – soft, dense, and buttery biscuits served fresh and warm.

One of the crowd favorites is the East Nasty, a biscuit loaded with boneless Southern-fried chicken thigh tender and fried to perfection and aged cheddar smothered in light and herby sausage cream gravy.

III. Arts and Culture

Nashville is home to highly regarded museums, such as the Frist Art Museum and historic establishments like the Hatch Show Print. Here’s a brief introduction to these popular destinations.

8. Frist Art Museum

The Frist Art Museum is known for its world-class exhibitions and cultural events, including lectures, gallery talks, music, dance, film, and activities for families, students, and seniors. It has no permanent collection, so there is always something new for visitors.

At the heart of the museum, the Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations that allow visitors to create their own art and become participants in the visual arts experience.

9. Hatch Show Print

Founded in 1879, Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the country. This historic print shop is a haven for poster nerds and music buffs, producing work for the likes of B.B. King, Etta James, Bruce Springsteen, and Duke Ellington.

Come here for sought-after collector’s items made by Will T. Hatch, the son of co-founder Charles, who made some of the most memorable posters for America’s biggest music stars by his hand or under his artistic direction.

IV. Outdoor Adventures

Nashville offers several opportunities to enjoy nature and keep an active lifestyle.

10. Percy Warner Park

Percy Warner Park is one of the largest and most well-known parks in Nashville. Along with the adjoined Edwin Warner Park, this green space spans over 3,100 acres.

Over 50 large stone steps at a moderate incline, the Belle Meade Stairs mark the entrance of the park. If you are a mountain biking enthusiast, you should include Percy Warner Mountain in your itinerary.

The Burch Reserve, a protected natural area within the park, is perfect for leisurely walks and animal watching, with two miles of towering trees, beautiful fields, ponds, and winding paths.

11. Canoeing on the Harpeth River

The river is in the Harpeth River State Park, an ideal spot for a day trip if you’re looking for a boating experience or a nature hike. The park offers scenic views of river bluffs and wildlife as you float along the bends of the historic Harpeth River.

The park is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. The Harpeth River is appropriate for beginners to advanced paddlers. There are nine access points to put in and take out boats, along with several different park sections for picnicking and taking scenic walks.

V. Live Entertainment

Country music fans, Nashville brings you the greatest live performances from today’s country music stars, superstars, and rising stars. Here are the best venues to catch them!

12. Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry has been home to country music’s greatest talents for almost a century and remains influential up to this day. The biggest stage in country music, the Opry is a must-visit for any music fan.

Each show features eight or more artists, from country legends to rising stars, who perform live for two hours. It’s definitely going to be an experience of a lifetime!

Broadway Honky-Tonks

Photo by Nick Agee on Unsplash

13. Broadway Honky-Tonks

Downtown Nashville comes alive every night with honky-tonks like Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Famous Nashville.

The iconic Tootsies Orchid Lounge has been a go-to for music lovers since opening in the 1960s. Live country music is played from open to close. Enjoy the performances while having their famous fried bologna sandwich and a cold beer!

Famous Nashville is a multi-level honky-tonk located off of Broadway on 2nd Avenue. This venue offers breathtaking views from one of the tallest rooftops in town as Music City’s top new artists perform.

VI. Family Fun

Nashville offers plenty of fun activities for the whole family. These two destinations are perfect for kids and kids at heart.

14. The Adventure Park

The Adventure Park is packed with kid-friendly adventures, including tree-top climbing, zip line, and axe throwing.

The park features 13 trails color-coded by difficulty levels and around 162 treetop platforms connected by bridges, rope courses, ladders, and 25 zip lines. The Adventure Playground provides a spot for younger children aged 3-6 years old.

15. Nashville Zoo

The Nashville Zoo is home to hundreds of animals, including tigers, giraffes, rhinos, giant anteaters, porcupines, cassowaries, flamingos, clouded leopards, cougars, kangaroos, zebra, lemurs, meerkats, white-cheeked-gibbons, piranhas, tarantula, anaconda, python, and many more.

One of the highlights at the zoo is the Jungle Gym, a 66,000-square-foot playground that features a 35-foot-tall tree house structure, super slides, swings, and a giant snake tunnel. This is the largest community-built playground in the country.

Exploring Unique Things to Do in Nashville


Nashville is truly a wonderful place to spend a vacation and even live in.

If these places and activities are something you’d love to experience as a resident in any of the beautiful neighborhoods in the city, why don’t you give us a call today so we can show you all the best options in the area?

Feel free to contact us at 615-499-8603 or 503-332-9469, or send us an email at hello@thepolzelgroup.com to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Spring and early summer tend to appeal to most tourists because of the concerts and live music events, but fall is also popular.

The best way to get around Nashville is by car. The city has a public transportation system and several of the city’s top guided tours get around via bus, which is an efficient way to sightsee.

Some of the best spots to taste Nashville’s hot chicken are 400 Degrees, Biscuit Love, Moore’s Spicy Fried Chicken, Hattie B’s, and Prince’s Hot Chicken.