The good news is that you’ve found yourself planning a trip to a beautiful and exciting new place. The bad news is that you only have three days and if you’re familiar with Nashville at all, that’s a small amount of time to see everything the city has to offer.
So, how do prioritize which activities and attractions to check out? A good place to start is to narrow down your activities by type, and luckily for you, we’ve already done that!
Below are three separate three-day itineraries for different sightseeing and activity priorities — a music-themed itinerary, an active and adventurous itinerary, and a unique and unusual itinerary.
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The 3-Day Music-Themed Nashville Itinerary
Nashville is called the music city for a reason – there are endless sights to see for music lovers of all types. But when you only have three days for sightseeing, it can be hard to know which ones to plan for your trip. Don’t fret – we’ve narrowed it down for you.
Get brunch at The Listening Room Cafe
There aren’t many cities where you can start your day with a satisfying brunch and a live show, but Nashville is no ordinary city.
At The Listening Room Cafe, you can find delicious Southern staples such as chicken and biscuits, country-fried steak, hashbrowns, and eggs any style. The live music is always spectacular and the space is super cozy, so even if you only stop by for a cup of coffee, the trip is worth it.
See the Music City Walk of Fame
If you need a music-themed walk to work off that brunch, check out the Music City Walk of Fame.
This beautifully manicured park is a great place to enjoy the beautiful Tennessee weather, but it also has a Hollywood-style walk of fame where you can find monuments to the greatest Nashville artists in history, such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Eddy Arnold. Admission is absolutely free!
See a show or tour The Grand Ole Opry
When people think of Nashville, they’re likely to think of The Grand Ole Opry, a country music establishment for nearly 100 years.
Some of the largest names in country music have played here including Loretta Lynn, Alan Jackson, and Ernest Tubb, and today, the biggest country acts around continue to play here. If you’re not planning on seeing a show, it’s well worth the trip to view The Grand Ole Opry’s museum.
Tour The Country Music Hall of Fame
One of the best ways to learn about country music and to hear the exciting stories of individual country artists themselves is to visit The Country Music Hall of Fame located in downtown Nashville.
You’ll recognize the building by its unique architecture — a swooping piano keyboard and a beautiful, expansive entryway. It’s best to buy tickets ahead of time in order to avoid long lines.
Tour the Johnny Cash Museum
When you’ve finished viewing the exhibits at The Country Music Hall Of Fame, walk just a few blocks away to the award-winning Johnny Cash Museum, where you can gain an in-depth view of the life of Johnny Cash, his music, and his accomplishments.
No matter how much you think you may know about The Man in Black, you’ll be guaranteed to learn something new by the end of your tour.
Get dinner and see a show at Robert’s Western World
Right in the same neck of the woods off of Broadway is Robert’s Western World, home to one of the most historic honkytonks in Nashville.
You’ll be able to not only chow down on some delicious food like their famous fried bologna sandwiches, but after a day of learning about country music history, you’ll be able to catch a live country show, and have the opportunity to pick out some western wear to take home!
Get lunch or a cocktail at Sinatra Bar and Lounge
Fans of all genres of music can easily admit that we owe a lot to Frank Sinatra’s contribution, and if you’re not a fan of his music, you still can have a good time at Sinatra Bar and Lounge, a restaurant and bar themed after Sinatra himself.
They feature all of Frank Sintatra’s favorite dishes including fettuccine alfredo, sausage, peppers, and onions, and eggplant parmesan all under one roof. If you’re not hungry, it’s still a great place to grab a cocktail downtown and listen to some music.
See a show or take a tour at the Ryman Auditorium
On your last day in Nashville, a great place to visit is the place it all started — the Ryman Auditorium, the original location of The Grand Ole Opry. You’ll see where legends like Hank Williams stood when they finally made it big, and country music was changed forever.
You’re free to take a tour around the building and see some of the exhibits they have out, or you can take a look at their event calendar to see if any of your favorite bands will playing. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop on the way out for some souvenirs!
Get a nightcap at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
When you’re finished at the Ryman Auditorium, it’s just a few steps away to the historic dive bar, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Tootsie’s has become famous for the endless patronage from some of Nashville’s most legendary artists due to the close proximity to the Ryman Auditorium.
Typically, artists such as Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn would have a drink there after their shows let out. It’s a great last stop on your vacation to Nashville. Have a beer, and pay your respects to the greats who have sat in the same seats that line this special bar.
The 3-Day Active & Adventurous Nashville Itinerary
You’re not the type to want to spend your whole vacation going to museums, and we get that. That’s why we’ve collected a few of the best active and adventurous activities for your three-day getaway.
Go for a morning hike at Radnor Lake State Park
If you’re looking for an active morning adventure, you can’t beat hiking. Nashville has an amazing selection of hiking spots, including Radnor Lake State Park, just a few minutes outside the Nashville downtown area.
You’ll witness well-kept trails and beautiful glimpses of Radnor Lake, and you’ll be surrounded by lush forests teeming with wildlife as you get a good workout in.
Get some afternoon rock climbing in at Climb Nashville
If you finish up your hike and you’re still looking to keep your heart rate up, Climb Nashville is a great place to spend an afternoon.
One of the major bonuses of Climb Nashville as a tourist is that first-timers aren’t required to have a membership! Simply fill out a waiver and purchase a $20 day pass.
You can even leave and come back when you need to! A first-time day pass includes access to all climbing facilities and your own instructor, as well as fitness classes, yoga classes, and equipment.
Practice your swing and get dinner at Topgolf
Cool off with an evening run of Topgolf! The Topgolf indoor golfing facility in Nashville has an excellent set-up for both first-timers and experienced golfers, but they also have a full bar and restaurant for hungry golfers who need to refuel after a long day of activities!
Choose from delicious plates like their famous flatbread pizza, salads, sandwiches, and tacos.
Go for a morning hot air balloon ride at Nashville Balloon
Can you think of anything more extraordinary to start the day off with than a hot air balloon ride? Nashville Ballon is a fantastic company that charters hot air balloons for those with an adventurous spirit looking for an unforgettable experience.
Due to regulations, all hot hair balloon rides must take off in either the two hours following a sunrise or the two hours before a sunset, so why not take the morning slot and start the day off right?
Get lunch and practice your aim at Bad Axe Throwing
There are a million fantastic lunch spots in Nashville, but there’s only one that offers an axe-throwing range and a full bar for drinks.
Make your way to Bad Axe Throwing and practice your aim, get a couple of drinks and when you work up an appetite, order from the delicious options on the menu such as burgers, sandwiches, and mac and cheese.
Kayak the Cumberland River
Nashville is set up for kayakers to take advantage of a perfect kayaking experience. Weaving through and around the city is the Cumberland River, the perfect waterway for both beginners and kayaking experts to experience warm sunshine, great exercise, and breathtaking views of the city.
If you are a beginner, consider going with a group or river guide such as River Queen Voyages. If you’re an experienced kayaker, there are many places along the Cumberland River bank that you can ship out.
Hit up an escape room
For those travelers with a more adventurous appetite, the escape room scene in Nashville is huge, and there are a lot of great places to choose from. The largest and most popular by far is The Escape Game.
The popular attraction offers over thirty different escape rooms to choose from including a prison break-themed room, a submarine, and an art heist all awaiting your expert detective approach to solve the puzzle.
Go on a ziplining adventure
Once you’ve escaped the room, just a short drive from Nashville is The Adventure Park which offers many fantastic opportunities for ziplining through Tennesee’s beautiful treetops, or various climbing gyms and obstacle courses.
It’s a fantastic way to get outside and get some adrenaline pumping before it gets dark.
Get dinner and hit the speedway
Once you’ve finished up ziplining and you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to refuel at K1 Speed, an indoor go-kart speedway. This activity is a great way to burn off any last adrenaline from your trip to Nashville so you can get a good night's rest for your day of travel the following day.
It’s also a fantastic place to grab some dinner. They have a full restaurant and bar at the facility so the racing doesn’t have to stop just because you need to refuel. Grab a beer and a burger and slip your helmet back on for another race.
The 3-Day Unique & Unusual Nashville Itinerary
Some people march to the beat of a different drum. Why go to a new city to see the sights that everyone else goes to see and be surrounded by tourists when you could go off the beaten path and find a few unique gems?
We’ve got you covered with this three-day itinerary.
Go shopping at Hail Dark Aesthetics
If you’re looking for a low-key but outside-the-box retail experience, check out Hail Dark Aesthetics, a unique place to shop for things like antiques, taxidermy, bones, tarot cards, and candles.
If your taste lies outside the average person's, you’ll find a unique souvenir to take home with you that will be unlike any other.
Visit Woodlawn Cemetary
A cemetery isn’t a usual destination for the average tourist, but you’re not the average tourist — and Woodlawn Cemetary isn’t the average cemetery either.
This is the final resting place for many legendary artists, musicians, civil rights leaders, and architects. You’ll be able to pay your respects to the greats like George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Miles Davis, and Robert Moses, all while getting an afternoon walk in and enjoying the sunshine.
Get dinner at Pinewood Social
For a unique dinner experience, there aren’t many that top Pinewood Social, a cafe, cocktail bar, restaurant, and bowling alley all in one place.
The food itself is worth the trip — salmon and brussels sprouts, pan-fried chicken, and short rib mac and cheese, but the reclaimed wood bowling alley will also easily become a special part of the evening. Before heading home, check out the merch!
Get breakfast at Pfunky Griddle
There really isn’t a breakfast spot quite like Pfunky Griddle. It’s part homestyle diner and part hibachi with an all-around delicious menu. To order, simply choose your plate just like you would at any other breakfast restaurant.
Once you’ve ordered, your cook will come out and cook your dish in front of you on the hibachi-style flat top that you and your breakfast guests will be seated at. Some menu items such as omelets, pancakes, and hashbrowns even come with the option of making them yourself, which many people enjoy doing.
Tour The Downtown Presbyterian Church
Going to church certainly isn’t on everyone's list of vacation activities, but The Downtown Presbyterian Church is no ordinary church — it’s a monument to a bizarre and unique form of architecture known as Egyptian Revival.
You don’t have to be a church member or even attend a service to take a tour, simply show up during church hours when no service is taking place and a member of the clergy will be happy to show you around free of charge.
See a show at The Bowery Vault
If you’re looking for a unique place to catch a live show, The Bowery Vault should be at the top of your list. They consistently book popular and exciting bands and the show space is really something special.
Another great aspect of The Bowery Vault is that it also functions as a retail space. Their specialty is vintage items such as posters, tour shirts, and jeans. They also have a great selection of Western wear.
Go on a tour of Nashville’s murals
One thing you may not have expected while visiting Nashville was its thriving street art scene. There are dozens of murals all over the Nashville area, and some were pained by world-famous artists.
There are several guides that exist that can direct you to the right areas, but this is the best one by far. You won’t be able to see every mural in Nashville within the day, but pick out a few to scope out, or pick a neighborhood and try and find all of the murals within that particular area.
Get dinner with The Murder Mystery Company
Dinner and a show will never be more exciting than when you book an evening with The Murder Mystery Company, especially if you have a taste for the unique and unusual.
You’ll be placed with several other diners sprinkled with paid actors hired by The Murder Mystery Company. Your job is to find out who the murderer is by the end of dinner, which by the way, is a delicious full-course meal.
Get a nightcap at Skull’s Rainbow Room
Make your last evening in Nashville special by visiting Skull’s Rainbow Room, an authentic Nashville speakeasy.
When you order a drink at Skull’s Rainbow Room, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time and you’ll be given the opportunity to see a burlesque show, hear some live jazz music, and order classic, well-crafted cocktails as you enjoy one last night in Music City.