See & Do

NameCategoryDescriptionWhy?Portals
Lower BroadwayNeighborhoodHonkytonks, tourists, and boozeThis is the cliché Nashville experience. It's also great for people watching. We should make a bingo sheet and call it Tourist Bingo. Tick off all of the standard tourist stuff and first one to fill their board wins. Potential things to look for: Wearing a T-Shirt of some country singer. Wearing a cowboy hat. Wearing boots. Thinking Tootsie's isn't an overrated dump. Being a bachelorette and/or in a bachelorette party.

You'll occasionally see this part of town referred to as "The District". Only politicians and tourists use this term. Don't ever ask a local for directions to "The District" as you will get a blank stare because no one around here has any idea what that is.
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Musicians Hall of FameMuseumA hall of fame for musicians of all genres.They enshrined Toto so how can you not go. On second thought...I went. It was actually pretty cool but it focuses less on the lead singer and instead focuses on the whole band, producers, studios, etc. I'd rather go to this place again than the Country Music Hall of Fame.1
Country Music Hall of FameMuseumIf you aren't sure who famous country music singers are then go here.Apparently everything needs a hall of fame, even country music. They allegedly have rotating exhibits but it seems like they only rotate annually. They also take the concept of "Hall of Fame" literally as the museum is 2 really long hallways. Spring for the RCA Studio B tour add-on which I wish you could buy separately as it is real music history, not a museum of music history.2
RCA Studio B TourMuseumTour the Studio where Elvis recorded pretty much all of his songs. Other famous people recorded there too.See it before it gets leveled for glorious new condo for people revolution! Which is probably the best use of that land. Sadly you have to buy admission to both the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B if you want to tour it. Which is a shame because the Hall of Fame isn't that exciting. But then, I don't do country music.2
Johnny Cash MuseumMuseumEverything you ever wanted to know about him. And then even more.After the first 5 minutes you've learned everything you care to know about the Man in Black. Then you realize you paid $15 to get in so you hang out for another 40 minutes pretending to be interested. Hey, you can see his German fishing license! Wunderbar!1
Visit DistilleriesAlcoholThe hot new thing.These are popping up all over town. Initially there was Prichard's. Then there was Corsair. Then Nelson's Green Brier (though arguably they were first...). Now Nashville Craft Distillery. Go learn how hooch is made and drink some samples too!

A lot of the tours sell out days in advance so plan ahead. My favorite tour is the one at Nashville Craft.
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Brewery DistrictAlcoholVisit the downtown breweries.Because beer. And you can walk to all of them thus avoiding a pesky DUI. Yazoo, Jackalope, Tennessee Brew Works, and Czann's.

Don't forget Hops + Crafts, a Draft magazine Top 100 Beer bar.

For a map of all the Nashville area breweries, check out this beauty.
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Lane Motor MuseumMuseumAmerica's largest collection of European cars and motorcyclesGo see cars that weren't recalled after a bunch of people died. I'm guessing. Old cars? Safety optional. They have a huge collection of tiny, tiny cars. If you own a Fiat or Smart car but wish it was made in the 60's, then this is the place for you.1
Grand Ole OpryMusicThe longest running radio show in the world. Or something like that.You've always wanted to see a radio show right? Well here is your chance to keep quiet except for the times when they tell you to get loud because people who attend the Grand Ole Opry are lemmings and do what they are told.2
Ryman AuditoriumMuseumThe Mother Church of Country MusicI saw Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds here. The seats were terrible because I was behind a support pole so it really put a downer on the night. I also saw Kraftwerk and The Pixies here. The rows of pews are so close to each other that there is less leg room here than in the backseat of a '76 Pinto. However, some people seem to think old stuff is vital and needs to be revered. So go here if you want to see a re-purposed old church that you are supposed to care about.

There is also a tour which is OK.
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Station InnMusicThe world's top Bluegrass clubThe place is a dive - it's like hanging out in someone's large basement and watching friends of friends play bluegrass. Eat and get drunk before you go in because the pickings inside are really slim. The food pickings that is. The banjo picking is top-notch.1
Local MusicMusicListen to bands you've never heard of and never will again.Your best bet is not to go to any live local music as it will be overrun by 20-somethings with an obnoxious, overbearing air of entitlement. Nashville Scene Calendar, Now Playing Nashville
ParthenonMuseumThe world's only 1:1 scale replica of the ParthenonIt's just like the real Parthenon in Athens except this one isn't a pile of rubble and has a museum inside. The real reason to go is to read the detailed descriptions of the International Exhibition thing that happened in 1890's Nashville that is sadly (yet hilariously) racist and misogynist. Thank God we don't live in those times anymore.50
Frist Center for the Visual ArtsMuseumArt museum with travelling exhibitsThis is Nashville's art museum. If you consider Normal Rockwell and South Park "art" then by all means go here. But if you want art that doesn't pander to the populous then go somewhere else.5
First Saturday Art CrawlMuseumAll the galleries downtown stay open late so you can presumably buy their art.Free cheap wine! Oh, and looking at art and fancy people and stuff. The biggest concentration is upstairs at The Arcade.10
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of ArtParkThe name really says it all.It's a really large garden - a big park, really. You walk around and look at plants and stuff. There is a museum of generally uninteresting art but look closely and you might spot a Bruce Munro hanging in there. It's a relaxing place to take your mom when she visits.22
Nashville Ghost ToursTourYou get to walk around town at night and hear totally fake stories.Maybe you believe in ghosts. Then fine: You get to walk around town and listen to totally true stories.Lots and lots
The HermitageMuseumSee President Andrew Jackson's slave haven estateAsk the people who work there about all the slaves President Jackson used to have. If they sugar coat, ask about the escaped one who, if you were lucky enough to find, you could give 100 lashes for an extra 10 bucks (up to 300 lashes) to him just for the fuck of it, then return the slave and get a reward. Nice work, Mr. President. I'm ecstatic that you got booted off the $20.38
Nashville Children's TheatreTheaterSee children do theatreI volunteered here during our community day at work. It's the oldest professional children's theater in America. (Not sure what professional children are, but those are their words, not mine). If you are lucky you can see Nicole Kidman there watching her kids act better than she ever could.1
Nashville Shakespeare FestivalTheaterShakespeare in the ParkShakespeare. The OG of plays in a park.Varies
Live on the GreenMusicFree live music downtownSee up and coming bands that will never actually make it big and eat food truck food and tell everyone how amazing food from a truck is when in actuality it's not much better than your typical Bob Evans. 5
Nashville SymphonyMusicOld school orchestrationThey almost went bankrupt so Taylor Swift kicked in $100,000. So if you really want to support the symphony buy a CD from Taylor Swift because there is no way you are going to be worth $100,000 to the symphony even if you go to every thing they put on.15
Winter WarmerAlcoholBeer festivalTakes place in January and is the best beer fest in the city. It's also really cold and drinking cold beer outside in the winter is just a brilliant idea.0
Bluebird CaféMusicCountry musicians, unpluggedIntimate place with musicians playing unplugged. It's gone bonkers since it got featured in about every episode of the TV show Nashville which has pretty much assured me that I should never go there. The Listening Room Cafe also does the same thing, is downtown, and is not in a strip mall in the suburbs. However, it is also overrun by tourists.1
Five PointsNeighborhoodBars and restaurants and shops and no tourists.This is a bar/restaurant district in East Nashville. East Nashville is unsafe and crime ridden and every time you go there you get a new incurable disease and it stinks of smoke and there is no reason for any tourist to go here so just stay away and there's no good parking and it's horrible and I shouldn't even put it on the list because it sucks and you should stay way.15
The GulchNeighborhoodBars and restaurants and shops and some tourists.This is a bar/restaurant district just west of downtown. Go here if you want to hang out with upper middle-class white people and trust fund kids. There are some overpriced restaurants to enjoy along with 2 big bars that are chains to add to the plastic feel. Good luck finding parking.7
12 SouthNeighborhoodYou like small, locally owned, craft stores and restaurantsLike Marathon Village, but all outdoors and with more food options. You can also buy super expensive jeans and go into a store you’d never ever go into until you find out it’s owned by Reese Witherspoon and suddenly you just have to go.15
GermantownNeighborhoodYou like small, locally owned, craft stores and restaurantsThere is absolutely nothing German about this neighborhood. Not even ironically. But a lot of hip little restaurants and stores have sprung up here. New Orleans butcher Cochon Brothers opened a location here and probably offers the single worst grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten in my entire life. If you do walk around and like fancy knick knacks for your home, go visit Wilder .12