How to Spend 1 Day in Nashville
With country soul and urban chic, Nashville’s more than a must-stop for music lovers. Beyond the honky-tonks on Music Row lie fascinating history, great architecture, and chefs serving creative takes on Southern cuisine. Here’s how to dive into the very best of Nashville in just one jam-packed day.
Morning: Music City Exploring
Get your bearings in the compact downtown on a tour that takes in a little bit of everything. A hop-on hop-off trolley is great for total flexibility, or you can explore by private car, Segway, bike, or on foot. If you’re planning to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame or other Nashville highlights, opt for a tour that includes tickets—it can be a money-saving option that also avoids waiting in line. Since the Cumberland River runs right through the heart of Nashville, river cruises provide a front-row seat for checking out downtown, as well.
Afternoon: That Nashville Sound—or Flavor
Country music or country cooking? Choose between Nashville’s two great loves for an afternoon that’s all about what most appeals to you. Music lovers can book tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, tour the Ryman Auditorium, or go behind-the-scenes at RCA’s Studio B. If Southern fare is more your style, foodie tours of downtown are the chance to sample a little bit of everything without committing to a full meal. Taste your way through Tennessee whiskey, slow-cooked barbecue, and Nashville’s signature hot chicken with a guide to share insider stories from the local food scene.
Evening: Paint the Town
From the bars on Music Row to a raucous college scene, Nashville earns its title as a legendary place to enjoy nightlife. With one chance to get a taste of the action, joining a tour takes you straight to the party—whether you’re catching country shows, rolling through town in an open-topped party bus, or just hopping between local pubs. If that’s not your scene, there’s more to Nashville at night than wild parties; food tours, barbecue dinners, and sunset dinner cruises on the Cumberland River are a laid-back way to take in the city’s evening glitter.