Seven Most Unique Attractions In Nashville

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

Whether you’ve lived here for years, just moved to town, or are visiting for the weekend, there’s no excuse for being bored in Music City. From must-see museums to iconic music venues, consider this your Nashville bucket list, curated by

  1. Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry radio show is the longest-running radio program in the United States. Since its first broadcast in 1925, the Opry has presented more than 5,000 shows. It continues to contribute to Nashville’s identity as Music City. In 1974, the venue for the show shifted from the Ryman Auditorium to the 4,000-seat Grand Ole Opry House northeast of downtown. Throughout its history, performers have entertained fans of country, bluegrass, gospel, and old-time music, along with popular music and comedy.

Join in the fun by attending one of the broadcasts. Purchase your Grand Ole Opry Show Admission Ticket in Nashville in advance to assure your seat and free parking in nearby Opry Mills Mall. Consider a scheduled backstage tour to experience the bright lights of show business from a different angle. The Grand Ole Opry House Guided Backstage Tour in Nashville is your VIP pass.

  1. Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the heart of downtown. The tall windows of this striking building cleverly resemble the keys of a piano. The museum features a multi-media display of historical performances, costumes, instruments, gold records, and memorabilia. Other highlights include a Cadillac that belonged to Elvis, a massive 40-foot guitar, a tour bus, and recording booth. Guided tours of the nearby historic RCA Studio B are also available.

Tour yourself through the museum and enhance the experience with audio backup of stars such as Dolly Parton. Visit a replica of a tour bus to record your own country music song.

  1. Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, is still being used to host broadcasts of the famous radio show. Originally opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, the Ryman offers superior acoustics for regular performances of classical and bluegrass music, musical theater, and television shows.

The Ryman is often referred to as the “Carnegie Hall of the South.” Located just off Honky Tonk Row, the auditorium features a museum with exhibits related to its rich musical past. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Try your hand at cutting a record of your own in the Air Castle Studio. Fun backstage tours are available but book ahead to avoid disappointment. You can still access games from in this attractive location.

  1. Make the Scene in Downtown Nashville

In the heart of every city are areas that have become a destination. Manhattan has Midtown, Miami has Little Havana, and the Music City has Downtown Nashville. Many of the go-to music attractions in the city are located in Downtown Nashville: Ryman Auditorium, Honky Tonk Row, museums honoring the best-known country music performers such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Broadway is the hub for nightlife in this neon-lit district, where live country music wafts out into the street.

While strolling through Downtown Nashville and experiencing its contemporary tourist attractions, you are following in the footsteps of the city’s past. Evidence of the earliest settlers can be found along the shores of the Cumberland River at Fort Nashborough. The views in Downtown Nashville feature landmarks that you can see from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

  1. Learn about the Man in Black at Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash, known as the “Man in Black,” had a hard scrabble life that he surmounted to win the Grammy award 17 times and become one of the most beloved stars of country music. Visit the museum in his honor in downtown Nashville.

Among the exhibits, the museum features handwritten lyrics for two of the most famous of the 1,500 songs Cash recorded: “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line.” Johnny Cash’s costumes, instruments, letters, artwork, and songs are on display. There’s also a museum store, where you can buy souvenirs, and a café next door, where you can buy whatever you need to fuel an extra hour of touring the museum.

  1. Belle Meade Historic Site

Built in 1845, the Belle Meade Mansion is designed in the Greek-Revival style and surrounded by what remains of the former antebellum plantation. During the two-day Civil War Battle of Nashville in 1864, Union and Confederate forces fought on the front yard of the mansion. Evidence of gunfire can still be seen in its tall stone columns.

Guided tours are available, including one that’s devoted to telling the history of the estate from the perspective of the slaves forced to work and live here. Attend one of the culinary experiences and seasonal programs offered at Belle Meade. Explore the plantation stables, gardens, and grounds. If time allows, be sure to grab a bite to eat at the on-site Harding House Restaurant, a popular spot for lunch or dinner. Belle Meade Historic Site is nine miles from downtown.

  1. Groove in Glorious Gardens at Gaylord Opryland Resort

You don’t need to be staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort to enjoy its most famous asset: its collection of 50,000 tropical plants, many of which are rare international specimens. This magnificent exhibition is a visual and olfactory feast, housed on nine acres of indoor space and tended by 20 full-time horticulturalists. One-fifth of the collection is in the Garden Conservatory, which features palms and banana trees 60 feet tall. These plants were so tall, they had to be installed in the glass-topped atrium before its construction.

Florida was the source of more than 8,000 tropical ornamentals chosen for the Cascades Atrium. You’ll find a 40-foot palm tree, and ginger bushes as tall as the average man.