This weekend in Nashville itinerary highlights our 3 days in Nashville. It includes what to see and do as well as unique places to eat and drink in Music City.
We were making the long drive from Florida to Colorado, so a good place to split up the drive was the city of Nashville, Tennessee. The good thing about being a digital nomad is having a flexible schedule! 😉
We’d never been to Nashville before so we were excited to explore and see as much as we could. Luckily our good friend Joe offered to play tour guide, so together we planned this fun filled weekend in Nashville. This itinerary lists everything we did over 3 days in Nashville…
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom and watch our Weekend in Nashville YouTube video!
The first day of our weekend in Nashville started around 2:30pm when we drove into town.
Our first stop had to be the famous Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. They have the best hot chicken in Nashville! There are a few locations in Nashville, but we went to the one in Melrose on 8th Ave. We ordered at the counter, sat down, and a few minutes later our delicious meal was in front of us.
We ordered our chicken with a side of Pimento Mac & Cheese and Cole Slaw. Everything was great, especially the chicken! You can get the chicken at different heat levels. We ordered ours “mild” but did try Joe’s chicken which was “hot” to compare. The mild had just enough kick for us lol!
We wanted to walk off our meal a bit, so we decided to look for street art in Nashville. We headed to Five Points; this neighborhood is known to have cool murals. Next, we drove over to The Gulch to see the angel wings art. We’d seen photos of the huge wings and wanted our own pictures in front of them.
Another great walk is across the Shelby Street Bridge. This pedestrian-only bridge was the first in North America to use concrete arched trusses. We parked the car at the Tennessee Titan’s stadium and walked across the bridge to head over into downtown Nashville.
Pro Tip: Parking in downtown Nashville is RIDICULOUSLY expensive! We were surprised to find parking at the stadium was free, but we definitely took advantage of it. If you don’t mind walking and it’s available, we recommend parking at the stadium instead of paying outrageous amounts at the parking garages downtown.
We walked across the Shelby Street Bridge just as the sun was setting so it was a great place to take Nashville skyline photos. At the end of the night as we walked back to the car we got some nice nighttime views as well.
You can’t visit Nashville and not walk along Broadway. In our case, we visited the Broadway bars two out of the three nights in Nashville. There’s definitely a fun vibe there! And even if you’re not that into the music or crowds, it is a great place to people watch. That’s why we recommend visiting Broadway at night at least once during your weekend in Nashville.
We took advantage of an early morning start and managed to see the bulk of what was on our list of Nashville tourist attractions.
This Nashville restaurant is an institution and has been serving made-from-scratch breakfasts since 1961. There’s usually a bit of a wait, but it’s totally worth it! They have all kinds of amazing pancakes as well as egg and omelette platters. We got the Chocolate Chip Pancakes; goodness gracious it had a lot of chocolate!!
After having what is arguably one of the best breakfasts in Nashville, we went to visit another Nashville icon… the Parthenon! Located inside Centennial Park, the Nashville Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was built in 1897 as part of Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition.
Inside the Parthenon are some small galleries that house the history of the Parthenon and rotating art exhibits. Of course, the main focal point inside is another replica. Just like the original, the Nashville Parthenon also has a 42 foot statue of Athena!
The cost to enter Nashville’s Parthenon is $6 for adults. There is a parking lot adjacent to the structure. Note that they are closed on Mondays.
Another park we recommend visiting is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. On the north end you’ll find the World War II Memorial. If you’ve read other articles of ours, you’ll know we always try to visit veteran’s memorials. Vicky was in the Army so it’s always important to us that we pay our respects.
At the south end of the park you’ll find fountains and a giant map of Tennessee, which is always fun for a photo op. Just a bit further south is the Tennessee State Capitol building. Unfortunately they don’t offer tours of the Capitol on weekends.
Inside the Nashville Public Library is an amazing collection of Civil Rights materials. The Civil Rights Room chronicles the struggle of African-Americans in Nashville who worked towards desegregation through nonviolent means.
There are photos, videos, and even a symbolic lunch counter that shows the Ten Rules of Conduct carried by the protesters during their sit-ins around the city. It’s mind blowing to know that these events only happened a few decades ago, so we think it’s really important that people spend time here to remember the struggle that our fellow Americans have had to endure.
The first home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium is a historic building where many musicians found their start. Completed in 1892, it served the community for decades as a religious center. In the 1920s it was used for multiple musical acts and then in 1943 the Grand Ole Opry set down roots in the building and the rest is history.
It was renovated in the 1990s and continues to be a working concert hall, but it is also a museum. You can take a self guided tour and see the impressive building and even memorabilia and artifacts. Ryman Auditorium tours cost $25 for adults and for an extra $35 you can tour the backstage area and dressing rooms.
Continuing the country music theme, our next stop was the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Although we are not fans of country music, we can still appreciate the history of it and found the museum to be very interesting with a lot of cool historic artifacts, costumes, and musical instruments. We even saw a car previously owned by Elvis that had gold-plating!
General admission tickets cost $26 for adults, but there are a few additional tours you can add on if you’re interested. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum website has additional information.
We were cutting it a little close, but we realized we had time for one more attraction so we circled back up to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Near the northwest corner of the park is the new Tennessee State Museum. It opened in October of 2018 and houses items that portray the history of the state.
The museum’s collections and exhibits vary from prehistoric time all the way to the present. There are exhibits about the Native people that first inhabited the land, the Civil War and how Tennessee dealt with the Reconstruction period, and modern topics like Tennessee sports. There’s a little bit of everything!
If you’re looking for free things to do in Nashville, definitely take advantage of this museum. There is no admission cost and they’re open every day except Monday.
So with trying to rush to see so much, we totally skipped lunch. Needless to say, we were starving! We always try to find great pizza places when we travel so Joe suggested PizzeReal and it did not disappoint. In fact, it looked so good and we were so hungry that we didn’t even get a picture of the pizza when it came out! We devoured it lol!
Another early start, but on our third day in Nashville we had less on the agenda and we went at a more relaxed pace.
Nashville Biscuit House is well known for their home style cooking. You definitely get a family feel when you walk in and great service is something they truly strive for. We ordered the Nashvillian, which came with two eggs, homefries, and a biscuit. We also ordered an additional side of corned beef hash. It was all so good!
Touring the Belle Meade Plantation was one of our favorite experiences during our weekend in Nashville. The mansion and the history of the family that owned it was very interesting. There are a few tour options you can purchase and we went with the 45 minute mansion tour. Our guide really knew her stuff and we loved that she was dressed in period clothing. Unfortunately we couldn’t take photos inside.
Included in the cost is a complimentary wine tasting immediately after the tour of the mansion, which we were very happy about. You’re also given access to the plantation grounds so you’re able to walk around and do a self-guided tour of the many buildings, all of which have informative signs in front of them. As we walked the grounds and meandered through various gardens, we found the plantation to be very peaceful and relaxing.
Not gonna lie, we wanted to go just for the name! But then we saw all of their creative hot dog toppings and were even more intrigued! This was the perfect quick and easy snack we needed after walking around Belle Meade. I Dream of Weenie is located in Five Points but it’s not a restaurant. It’s a vintage VW bus that’s been modified, so you walk up to the window and place your order. A few minutes later, voila!
We ordered a Pimento Cheese Weenie for $4.25 and thought the hot dog itself was great and the pimento cheese went really well with it. If this wasn’t meant to be a snack we could have easily eaten a second one. Note that they close at either 4pm or 5pm, depending on the day of the week, so go early.
Our next stop was the Lane Motor Museum. Here visitors will find the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the US. We’ve been to other car museums and even a truck museum, but these being mostly European gave the museum a unique twist. Also, about 90% of the vehicles are in working condition and you can see the others being worked on.
Overall, there are over 500 vehicles in the museum’s collection. About 150 of them are on the museum floor at any given time, although they are rotated regularly so returning visitors will get a chance to see different vehicles. They do allow you to get in to one vehicle to take photos, but ask that the rest not be touched.
You’ll see all kinds of vehicles, including scooters and even some airplanes. What fascinated us the most, however, was the amphibious LARC-LX. This vehicle was built for the US Army during Vietnam and is the width, length, and height of three semis parked side by side. Also, its tires are nine feet tall!!
Next we headed over to the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is a super fancy hotel! The fun thing about this resort, however, is the atrium and restaurants that anyone can go in and enjoy. It’s like its own little city in there, with river boat tours, shops, walking paths, and even waterfalls!
We went just before sunset and strolled through the many gardens and saw the atrium sparkle as the many decorative lights started to come on. We hung out a bit once it got dark because there were magnificent fountain shows that went along to music. It was truly spectacular!
For our final stop of the night we headed back to the downtown Nashville bars on Broadway. After walking around a bit, we turned a corner on 2nd Ave and found Headquarters Beercade. We meant to bar hop a bit more, but ended up staying put the rest of the night because we were having so much fun!
There are 30 vintage arcade games and 10 classic pinball machines, all of which are free! Plus there are drinks and food. The night we went they also had Guitar Hero on the big screen so you could play that too. We loved the vibe at this bar; everyone was socializing and having a great time!
Our last breakfast in Nashville was another delicious one. Our friend Kathy met up with us at Marche Artisan Foods, a European style restaurant that serves brunch all day. We had the American Breakfast which came with two eggs, bacon, cheese grits, and a biscuit. Everything tasted really fresh and the cheese grits and biscuit were especially flavorful. Breakfast at Marche with friends was the perfect way to end our weekend trip to Nashville.
In this video, we show most of what we’ve written about in this article. Unfortunately, there were some places where video wasn’t allowed.
We hope that you found this weekend in Nashville itinerary helpful. We had a great time in the city and really want to thank our friend Joe for showing us around. Overall we managed to see almost everything on our list and even think we could have pushed maybe one or two attractions from Day 2 over to Day 3 so we wouldn’t have been rushing so much.
It can be an expensive city, so definitely take advantage of the free Nashville attractions we mentioned. Also, be mindful of parking garage costs. But overall, just enjoy your time in this awesome city. We sure did!
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