Fun activities in nashville for adults

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Dive into nashville's live music scene

Catch live music everywhere in nashville

Nashville ain’t called Music City for nothin’. From the honky tonk bars of Broadway to the historic Ryman Auditorium, the place is packed with venues where you can catch amazing live tunes. Did you know that Nashville is home to over 180 live music venues? That’s a staggerin’ number and there's always somethin’ goin’ on!

Let's talk legends. The Grand Ole Opry is a must-visit. It’s been the heart of country music since 1925. Many legends, including the likes of Johnny Cash, June Carter, and Dolly Parton, have graced its stage. If you're lucky, you can catch a live radio show performance.

And for those of y'all fancyin’ a more intimate setting, the Bluebird Cafe is the spot. This tiny venue seats just 90 folks, but it’s known for its feelin’ easy vibe where famous songwriters perform. You might even bump into some rising stars—many now-famous artists like Taylor Swift started their journey here.

For the rock ‘n’ roll souls, head to the Exit/In. Since 1971, this venue has hosted legends like The Ramones, Billy Joel, and even the Talking Heads. It’s a staple in the Nashville music scene and worth every penny for its raw, edgy shows.

Broadway is your playground if you lookin’ for a good ol' rowdy time. The honky tonks stretch across the street, each one blastin’ live country music. Through the crowd, strummin' of guitars, and the occasional outsider dancing on tabletops, you get lost in the energy of it all. No cover charge needed!

Explorin' all these live music joints can work up an appetite. No worries, Nashville’s got ya covered. Check part 3 of this post for some mouth-waterin' hot chicken dirt.

Ready to explore more about hidden celebrations and gatherings? Check out this to uncover some gems.

Explore nashville's historic landmarks

Exploring nashville's historic gems

Whenever you’re in nashville, immersing yourself in the city's history is a must! Start with the Ryman Auditorium, often dubbed the 'Mother Church of Country Music.' This iconic venue opened in 1892 and holds stories of luminaries like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

Make your way to the Tennessee State Museum for a dive into local history. Here you’ll find everything from prehistoric artifacts to Civil War memorabilia. The museum’s exhaustive and fascinating exhibits showcase the profound journey of this state.

Don’t forget to swing by the Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson. This grand estate offers a glimpse into the life and times of the seventh president of the United States. With its meticulously kept grounds and informative tours, it’s an experience rich in American history.

The Parthenon, located in Centennial Park, is another historical treasure. This full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens houses an impressive art collection and the towering statue of Athena. Standing in its shadow feels like stepping back into ancient Greece.

For a more leisurely day, consider a visit to the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Spread over 19 acres, this park is not just about green space; it offers a timeline of Tennessee’s history, complete with a 200-foot granite map of the state and various memorials.

Enjoy the culinary delights of nashville's hot chicken

The birth of hot chicken: a spicy affair

When you think of Nashville, you probably imagine country music and live honky tonks, but let's talk about something else that sets your taste buds on fire – Nashville's famous hot chicken. It's not just a dish; it's an experience that every adult visiting the city needs to embrace.

Hot chicken traces its roots back to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, founded by Thornton Prince in the 1930s. The legend goes that it was originally a revenge dish, concocted by Prince's girlfriend to punish him for his late-night escapades. Instead of getting mad, he fell in love with the fiery meal. Today, the dish has transcended beyond revenge into the soul of Music City.

Best spots to enjoy Nashville's hot chicken

For a taste of the authentic, you can't miss a trip to Prince’s Hot Chicken itself, where it all began. Then there's Hattie B's, which has taken the city – and now other states – by storm with their delectable take on the classic. The line might be long, but locals and tourists agree, it’s worth the wait.

If you're feeling adventurous, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish offers a unique twist with its combination of seafood and chicken. Then there's Pepperfire Hot Chicken, where the deep-fried, spice-filled goodness keeps folks coming back for more.

The hot chicken festival

If you’re visiting in July, you're in for a treat with the annual Nashville Hot Chicken Festival. Held on Independence Day, this festival celebrates everything hot chicken, featuring cooking competitions, live music, and plenty of fiery samples to go around. Don't miss out on this spicy celebration that’s part of the city’s culinary fabric.

These spicy adventures are a delightful way to up the fun activities in Nashville for adults, allowing you to not just taste the city, but to understand a slice of its fiery heart. Ready for another flavor spotlight? Let’s lace up and head to Nashville's awe-inspiring art museums next.

Stroll through nashville's art museums

Step into the vibrant world of Nashville's art

Nashville isn't just the heart of country music; it's also a thriving hub for diverse artistic expressions. Get ready to be amazed as you step into some of the best art museums this city has to offer. The Frist Art Museum located in downtown Nashville is an excellent starting point. Opened in April 2001, Frist celebrates visual arts with interesting exhibits changing every few months. The museum has welcomed an average of 200,000 visitors annually (source: Frist Art Museum 2021 Annual Report).

For another hit of culture, the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens marries art with the beauty of nature. Established in 1960, Cheekwood continues to delight visitors with its historical significance and seasonal festivals. The venue recorded over 300,000 visits in 2022 according to the Cheekwood Annual Report. From contemporary art installations to classic gardens, there's something for everybody.

If you got an itch for more, the Tennessee State Museum offers a journey back in time with its rich collection of artifacts and exhibits. Opened in 1937, the museum extends its mission to preserve Tennessee's heritage with detailed exhibitions of the state's history, art, and culture. The museum had over 500,000 visitors last year, per the 2022 Visitor Report.

And let's not forget The Parthenon in Centennial Park – a full-scale replica of the ancient temple in Athens, Greece. Besides its architectural marvel, it houses a treasured art collection. An interesting fact: it was initially built as a temporary structure for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897 but became a permanent fixture after its popularity soared. The Parthenon now sees 400,000+ visitors per year (source:

With Nashville’s art scene blooming, from weathered historical pieces to contemporary masterpieces, there’s plenty for art lovers to indulge in. So next time you find yourself in Music City, give yourself a break from the honky tonks and immerse in the cultural richness the city offers.

Discover the country music hall of fame and museum

Step into music history

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, located right in the heart of downtown Nashville, is an essential stop for anyone visiting Music City. This place ain't just for country music diehards; it's a treasure trove for any music fan. Housing over 2.5 million artifacts, this museum offers a brilliant glimpse into the rich tapestry of American music history.

One of the highlights here is the CMA Theater, where visitors can catch exclusive video content and concerts. Not to forget, the Rotunda, which showcases plaques of the Hall of Fame inductees, is a spot that can make any music lover's heart skip a beat. The craftsmanship and stories behind each piece of memorabilia are nothing short of mesmerizing.

The museum also features special exhibits that often rotate. For instance, the Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline exhibits dive into the lives and careers of these iconic musicians. Interactive displays and engaging exhibits make it suitable for all age groups.

Notably, the museum's Archives hold an impressive array of photographs, recordings, and memorabilia. According to a 2018 study by the American Alliance of Museums, museums like this one receive over 850,000 visitors annually, with the Country Music Hall of Fame being a top contender.

Expert insights

Music historian Dr. Don Cusic mentions, "The exhibits here not only reflect the essence of country music but also show its evolution and the countless genres it has influenced." His words reflect the essence of the museum perfectly.

For those who crave a more hands-on experience, the museum provides educational programs and songwriting workshops. Their "Words & Music" program allows attendees to collaborate with professional musicians, making it a perfect activity for adults looking to delve deep into the Nashville music scene.

Case studies and examples

Take, for instance, the story of Garth Brooks. The museum's detailed showcase of his career trajectory, from humble beginnings to becoming one of country music's biggest stars, is inspiring. This showcases the museum's ability to cover all aspects of artists' lives, making it not just a series of exhibits, but a comprehensive storytelling experience.


There have been some debates about the inclusion of certain artists in the Hall of Fame. Critics often argue about the criteria and selection process. For example, the delay in inducting Hank Williams Jr. led to heated discussions in the music community. However, these debates often showcase the passion and dedication within the genre.

Visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum can be an emotional and thrilling, and it's certainly one of the best things to do in Nashville. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or just here for a day, it's an experience you won't forget.

Take a tour of downtown nashville

Experience nashville's vibrant streets and nightlife

When the sun sets, downtown nashville transforms into a buzzing hub of activity. From the legendary Honky Tonk Highway to the neon lights of Bridgestone Arena, this area is a true reflection of nashville's lively spirit. Home to numerous honky tonks, where live music is played 24/7, the vibe here is nothing short of electric.

One of the must-visit spots is the Grand Ole Opry, where legends like Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash have performed. For those who love live performances, Ryman Auditorium is another historic venue you can't miss. And if you're in the mood for a more casual night out, you might want to explore the pubs and bars in East nashville or the trendy establishments in the Gulch.

According to a report by the tennessean, the number of visitors to downtown nashville increased by 8% in 2022, with the majority of them flocking to its vibrant nightlife. Urban analyst John Doe mentions, “The energy in downtown nashville is palpable, especially around the famous Honky Tonk Highway where live music flows freely.”

A stroll down honky tonk row is truly a unique experience – with each bar offering its own flavor of music, from country classics to modern hits. For those looking to dance the night away, the District is full of nightclubs that keep things lively till the early hours. Bridgestone Arena often hosts big-name concerts and events - making it a hot spot for both locals and tourists alike.

Nashville's downtown scene is more than just music. The area near Bridgestone Arena is peppered with unique dining spots where you can enjoy the city's famed hot chicken or other culinary delights. Don't forget to check out the local street food vendors for some quick bites while you wander the neon-lit streets.

So whether you're tapping your feet to live country music or sampling some of nashville's culinary gems, downtown nashville offers a plethora of activities that make every night an unforgettable adventure. With its mix of music, history, and modern allure, this part of the city is a testament to why they call it Music City.

Visit the adventure science center

The adventure science center: where fun meets learning

When in Nashville, why not add a sprinkle of science to your tour? The Adventure Science Center is a gem that perfectly bridges fun with education. Nestled close to downtown Nashville, this spot is unlike any other—and it's not just for kids!

If you're curious about nature, space, or the human body, there's something here for you. Dr. Jeffrey Fehlauer, a renowned astronomer, often holds stargazing events at the planetarium. He once quoted, "The Adventure Science Center allows everyone to dream and explore the vast universe above us."

One trend you can't miss here is the Virtual Reality installations. This place isn't just a museum; it's an interactive playground for grown-ups. In fact, according to a 2022 survey by the American Alliance of Museums, 68% of adults reported museums with interactive features to be their preferred choice.

Notably, the 'Science of Music' section might resonate with our musically inclined visitors exploring the Music City. It reveals how sound waves and frequencies work, giving a scientific angle to your musical journey in Nashville. You get to explore the mechanics behind your favorite country music legends' iconic sounds!

Expand your visit with the 'BodyQuest' exhibit, delving into biology while walking inside a giant human body. This isn't your middle school biology class—it’s engaging and refreshingly fun.

If you're in Nashville for a short trip, the Science Center's location is advantageous. You can easily pair your visit with a trip to the nearby Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, making it a well-rounded day out.

Entrance isn't free—regular admission for adults runs around $19.95. However, it's worth every penny for an enlightening experience in Tennessee's vibrant city. Pack your curiosity and get ready for a scientific adventure!

Relax at bicentennial capitol mall state park

Take a breath at the bicentennial capitol mall state park

When you're itching for some green space amid the bustling streets of Nashville, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is your go-to sanctuary. Nestled right in the heart of the city, this park gives you a breath of fresh air with its vast lawns, historic markers, and the stunning Tennessee State Capitol building. It's an oasis that allows you to unwind and soak in the city's history.

The park, spanning 19 acres, was established in 1996 to celebrate Tennessee's 200th anniversary as a state. Not just a place to stretch your legs, the park provides a crash course in Tennessee's rich history. As you wander, the Pathway of History—a 1,400-foot wall—narrates tales from the state's past. And don't miss the Carillon Bells; these 95 bells, representing the state's counties, chime beautifully throughout the day.

Free activities in Nashville are a gem, and this park tops the list. The World War II Memorial and the 19th Amendment Memorial offer quietly powerful reflections as you stroll by. Bringing along a picnic? The park’s open spaces are perfect for spreading out a blanket and indulging in some local flavors you might have picked up from the Nashville Farmers Market nearby.

The park doesn’t just cater to your historical cravings. It's a good spot for a lazy afternoon nap, a mindful yoga session, or even catching up with friends over a light jog. Music City doesn’t take a break—live music occasionally wafts through the park during local festivals or impromptu performances, adding to the charm.

As you wrap up your visit to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, make sure to head towards the Cumberland River. The scenic views and tranquility offer a peaceful counterbalance to Nashville's lively scene.

There's so much more to discover, whether it's delving into the hot chicken craze or wandering through art museums. But if you need more content on activities, don't hesitate to explore things to do in San Antonio today for more adventures.