Nashville in 1 Day: all you need to know

Nashville for many is the musical capital of the United States, as it is a meeting point for the history of various genres such as Country or rock'n'roll. I invite you to continue reading this publication to get an idea of the plans you can make during a day in this city.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

10 min read

Nashville in 1 Day: all you need to know

Pantheon | ©USA-Reiseblogger

For some people a single day may not seem like enough time to enjoy a city and this can lead them to forgo their sightseeing plans and end up devoting the entire day to a single activity. However, with good planning you can participate in many of the best things to see and do in Nashville, especially since most of them are in the same part of the city.

With that in mind, I invite you to follow this fun itinerary I have prepared for you, as it is a tour that includes the most important attractions throughout the city. All planned in a way that will allow you to properly manage your time so that by the end of the day you will have seen things that even those who spend a whole week in the city can't get enough of.

1. Start the day with a sightseeing cruise around Nashville

Nashville Sightseeing Cruise| ©Timothy LaBranche
Nashville Sightseeing Cruise| ©Timothy LaBranche

Nashville, like so many other cities in the United States, is crossed along its entire length by a river. In this case, the river has been part of the identity of this city since its foundation and therefore, cruising it is an excellent way to enjoy the skyline. As well as to begin to familiarize yourself with the culture of this place.

Keep in mind that participating in a sightseeing cruise along the Cumberland River is something you could very well do during the morning as soon as you arrive in the city. Or also when you are leaving your lodging to start touring the capital of the state of Tennessee. Usually, these types of cruises take place on a 50-foot party barge and include a captain and deckhand to ensure the safety of everyone present.

It's an experience that can be a bit festive, as sometimes they include a sound system. There is also usually a restroom, ice, alcoholic beverages are almost always present, and the ambiance is usually inspired by country music. Which has so much to do with the history of Nashville and its worldwide fame.

Without a doubt this is one of the best tours in Nashville for the whole family. This is as long as it is not one that is focused for groups over 21 years old, as alcohol consumption is the main attraction of the experience in that kind of tours.

Details of interest:

  • Price: this type of tours have very varied prices and the usual is that the rate is per person and that it is around 30 euros approximately.
  • Duration: a cruise on the Cumberland River along downtown Nashville usually lasts about two hours in total. Therefore it is an excellent activity to do just in the morning if you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery that defines this city after sunrise.

Book your sightseeing cruise in Nashville

2. Then have breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe| ©Nicolas Henderson
Hard Rock Cafe| ©Nicolas Henderson

Hard Rock Cafe is something very representative of the American culture as well as of the musical world around the world. This restaurant chain has a presence in most of the most touristic cities on the planet and Nashville being the music capital of North America is no exception to this rule. Exactly for that reason you should take advantage of your visit to the city to have breakfast at the Hard Rock Café located in Downtown Nashville.

The location of this place could not be more convenient, as it is just a couple of blocks away from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, one of the most iconic points of the city. You will probably have to cross this bridge because the cruises on the Cumberland River usually leave you at a pier located right next to this site. So you can take the opportunity to walk across it to enjoy one of the best views of downtown Nashville.

At the Hard Rock Café I advise you to go for a typical American breakfast either one that includes waffles with chicken and honey or hotcakes in the best American Deep South style. Keep in mind that in this place you will find true wonders and treasures of Nashville's musical history. At the same time you will be entering one of the largest branches of this famous restaurant chain on the planet.

This place is among the best things to do in October in Nashville due to the fact that the number of tourists has decreased compared to the summer and you will rarely have to wait more than a minute to get a table inside the restaurant.

Details of interest:

  • Price: the amount of money of what you are going to pay for your breakfast depends on how many people are accompanying as well as what each person is going to order. However, keep in mind that a breakfast that includes a drink and a dessert is usually around 30 to 35 euros per person.
  • Location: Hard Rock Cafe Nashville, 100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201-2112.

Meet the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville

3. Visit the Musicians Hall of Fame

Nashville's Broadway Street| ©Victor Hamberlin
Nashville's Broadway Street| ©Victor Hamberlin

If you continue walking down Broadway Street and then head north on Fourth Avenue North for about 10 minutes or so you will come to the Musicians Hall of Fame. One of Nashville' s top attractions, the Musicians Hall of Fame is a site that houses museum-style exhibits about true 20th century music legends such as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and there is even an original stage where Jimi Hendrix once played.

When you buy a ticket to the Nashville Musicians Hall of Fame you also gain access to the Grammy Museum Gallery's interactive exhibit. Here you can learn about the history of the Grammy Awards. You will also be able to interact with different aspects associated with the music recording process from its beginnings to the present.

Also, you should know that when you visit this hall of fame you are also arriving at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. Which is a very important cultural establishment for the history of the United States as well as a basic and elementary stop for all artists who include the capital of Tennessee as one of the cities to visit in their North American tours.

Details of interest:

  • Price: the entrance to this important attraction is usually around 28€ per person. Keep in mind that this place will not take more than one or two hours and therefore it is also a convenient place if you want to have the rest of the day free for other activities.
  • Location: Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, 401 Gay St, Nashville, TN 37201-2000.

Reserve tickets for the Country Music Hall of Fame

4. Take the opportunity to visit the state capitol

Tennessee Capitol| ©André Carrotflower
Tennessee Capitol| ©André Carrotflower

Conveniently, the Nashville Municipal Auditorium along with the Musicians Hall of Fame are located across the street from the Tennessee State Senate as well as several other historic buildings that stand out for their architectural beauty. Particularly the Tennessee Capitol is a building that follows a neo-Greek style and was built between 1845 and 1159. Keep in mind that inside this building is the tomb of President James K. Polk.

Around this site you will find a nice park that is usually one of the favorite spaces for the inhabitants of the city when they want to take advantage of a nice day to walk is an outdoor space. Right next to the capitol you will also find the Supreme Court of the State of Tennessee and if you cross the street you can walk across the legislative square where you might also find the War Memorial Plaza.

All these sites next to the capitol are must-see stops in the Nashville City Tours. Which is logical, since they are the most important buildings in the city as well as relevant scenarios for the government of this famous U.S. state. It is worth touring them, as it won't take you more than 30 minutes to explore the whole area.

5. Have lunch with a gastronomic tour of the city center

Nashville Hot Chicken| ©Kurman Comunications
Nashville Hot Chicken| ©Kurman Comunications

By the time you've finished touring around the Tennessee State Capitol, chances are your appetite will be eating you up. If you have taken as long as you should have taken at each of the previous stops on the sightseeing itinerary then by the end of this short tour it should be 1:30 in the afternoon at the latest. So for this point of your visit it is an excellent idea to take part in one of the best food tours in Nashville, especially if you can choose one that focuses on the Downtown area of the city.

These types of tours usually last about 2 hours maximum and basically it is a VIP experience in which you will enjoy an intimate look through the most popular food district of the Music City, the way Nashville is known in the United States.

Keep in mind that it is quite a varied tour and throughout the experience you will be able to enjoy all the typical flavors of the city from Tennessee BBQ to Nashville Hot Chicken. It is also common to visit some of the famous distilleries located in the area near downtown and a good dessert like the Apple Crumble Pie is not usually missing in the menu of these gastronomic tours.

Keep in mind that this type of tours are given on foot and an average of four restaurants are usually visited as well as a street specialty. Also included are some alcoholic beverages and the tips that would have to be given in each of the places visited in the itinerary.

Details of interest

  • Price: the price to participate in a gastronomic tour with this feature is usually around 150 euros per person.
  • Location: the restaurants that are included in these tours are changing all the time. However, most commonly a meeting point is chosen in Downtown Nashville and most commonly somewhere along historic Broadway Street.

Enjoy a food walking tour of downtown Nashville

6. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum before it closes

Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen
Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen

Considering that the food tour will start at 2 pm and end around 4 pm then you can take the opportunity to visit the Country Museum and Hall of Fame. This is one of the most curious and entertaining places in the city. In fact this is one of the best museums in Nashville, which is logical knowing that Country music has a direct and very close connection with the history and culture of the capital of Tennessee.

Visiting this site you will find the flashy clothes that have been used by giants of this music industry such as Dolly Parton. You'll also see exhibits on the history of the genre's most celebrated artists and enjoy some pretty impressive installations. This is accompanied by the famous hospitality that defines the American South.

At this site you will also have the opportunity to visit the famous rotunda where the honorary plaques of all the members of the Country Hall of Fame are displayed. In addition, you will have an audio guide in Spanish or English so you do not miss any detail associated with the exhibits of this interesting place.

Note that this site can be reached perfectly if you are touring the Downtown area of the city, as it is about 5 minutes walk from the famous Broadway Street. At some times of the year you have to take into account that it closes its doors at five in the afternoon. However, during peak seasons for tourism in the city it extends its closing hours until around eight in the evening.

Details of interest:

  • Price: the entrance to this important dive is around 28€ per person, which is a quite convenient rate for the average prices in this city.
  • Location: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203-4206

Buy your tickets for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

7. Welcome the night with a nighttime trolley tour of Nashville

Nashville Night| ©Michael Gaylard
Nashville Night| ©Michael Gaylard

Since the idea of this itinerary is for you to make the most of your visit to Nashville even though you'll only be in town for 24 hours then there are still plans to enjoy after dusk falls over the Tennessee skyline. The next would be to participate in a night tour that will take you on a trolley along the most iconic and visited streets of the night in this city.

The starting point is usually Yee-Haw Brewing Co. This is because there is a historic distillery where you can start drinking alcohol and beer if you wish while waiting for the tour to begin. If you don't want to consume this kind of life because you are with your kids don't worry, because the trolley tour as such is one of the best activities to do in Nashville with kids.

When the tour starts you will be able to admire some of the best and most important historical buildings of the city. Which you will probably have seen throughout the day, only this time you will be accompanied by a guide specialized in the history of this city. This will allow you to know all the details associated with its importance as well as its influence on the musical culture of the city and also in its night identity.

The tour is not too long, because on average lasts an hour and 30 minutes in total and the starting point is also the point of return. This means that you don't have to deal with the logistics of getting back to your lodging. Undoubtedly this is one of the best things to do in Nashville at night and if you are left wanting more you should know that the area around the distillery is one of the most important party districts of this city.

Details of interest

  • Price: the approximate fare for this type of streetcar tours at night is usually around 45 euros per person. Which is a considerable and appropriate rate knowing that it includes the accompaniment of a guide.
  • Duration: on average these types of tours do not sound to extend beyond an hour and 45 minutes and this is in case you encounter some traffic on the route.

Book a nighttime trolley tour of Nashville