Nashville is filled with fun activities and entertainment options for any budget. Sure, a trip to Music City could end up being expensive, but there are so many ways to have a blast without breaking the bank. Whatever your budget and interests, you’ll find fun, exciting, and affordable activities. Here are some of our favorite, inexpensive things to do in Nashville.
Nashville is an excellent city to find budget-friendly entertainment. Whether you’re interested in history, music, partying, or a little bit of everything, here are some affordable things to do when visiting Music City on a budget.
Get the best of Nashville in one stop by touring Ryman Auditorium. This museum and music venue opened its doors in 1892 and has served as a cultural center for the city in its 130-year history. Ryman Auditorium may be most well-known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest-running live radio broadcast. It was on the Ryman stage that the Opry found its way into homes across the U.S. and countless country music stars, like Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Hank Williams, became household names. Today, the venue hosts weekly concerts, comedians, and other performers for cheering audiences.
Experience music history for yourself by booking a tour of the Ryman. Choose a guided, backstage tour to hear stories, see the exhibits, and get a peek backstage. For a more affordable option, choose a self-guided tour to explore the exhibits on your own. Each tour gives you a chance to learn about Nashville, music, entertainment, and your favorite musicians starting at just $25.95 per adult.
Visit the true home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry. See where the legends of country music make history every week on the Opry, and get a sneak peek behind the scenes with a backstage tour. Each tour starts with an exciting video in the Opry theater, hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, then allows you to look around backstage, hear insider stories of country greats, and even stand in the famous six-foot wooden circle on stage. Tickets start at $39.00.
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum to see a collection of musical artifacts, like stage costumes and instruments, taking you on a journey through the highlights of country music history. One ticket gives you admission to all the permanent and rotating exhibits. For a little more, you can add on a tour of Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress shop famous for its signature event and concert posters synonymous with shows in Nashville. Tickets start at $27.95 per adult.
A visit to Music Row gives you a peek into the music industry—and it’s free! Music Row is a historic district on 16th and 17th Streets in downtown Nashville. Home to record labels, radio stations, and recording studios, music’s most famous artists have recorded here. It’s the center of the music industry and the birthplace of the Nashville Sound. Arrange a tour of historic sites for an entry fee, or simply take a walk through the neighborhood to see the plaques commemorating important moments in music history for free.
There’s tons of fun to be had on Lower Broadway without spending big bucks. It’s the home of Nashville’s honky-tonks and arguably the most famous street in Music City. Simply walk along the sidewalks and stop to listen to live music pouring from each open window. The talent on Broadway really is something to behold. Or, stop in a favorite honky-tonk for a drink or snack. The bars don’t have covers, and the music can’t be beat.
Visit Printers Alley for fun off the beaten path. A strip of restaurants and nightclubs tucked away between 3rd & 4th and Church & Union Streets, Printers Alley tends to be less crowded but still as vibrant as Lower Broadway. Have dinner or a cocktail at Skull’s Rainbow Room or listen to live music at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar.
Visit the Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery, a plantation home built in the 1800s that is now open for tours. See the historic mansion, sprawling grounds, and homes of the enslaved individuals who lived on the property. Belle Meade offers three tour options to suit your interests starting at $28.00. Or, simply tour the grounds for a $20.00 fee. While there, make sure to stop by Belle Meade Winery for a wine tasting.
The Hermitage is the former home of President Andrew Jackson. Located just outside of Nashville, the sprawling Hermitage estate is one of the oldest and largest site museums in the country. It includes 30 historic buildings, a historic mansion, a museum, and breathtaking gardens. It’s also home to Natchez Hills Winery and Vineyard with wine tastings starting at a budget-friendly $6.00.
Visit The Parthenon, a replica of the structure of the same name in Athens, Greece. The Parthenon was erected in 1897 in Nashville’s Centennial Park for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. The structure is beautiful from the outside, but inside you’ll find a 42-foot, full-scale replica of the statue of Athena, as well as an art museum with rotating exhibits. The Parthenon is open daily for tours.
Now found on the Belmont University campus, the Belmont Mansion is one of the most well-kept historic homes in the U.S. It was built in 1860 and was the largest house in Tennessee prior to the Civil War. Visitors can tour the historic home and its meticulously maintained gardens. Most rooms have been carefully restored to represent their original style. Learn about the home, its history, and the people who lived and worked there by taking a tour, open Thursday to Monday.
Nashville is practically overflowing with breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Check out local-favorite breweries like Southern Grist, Black Abbey Brewing Company, Jackalope, or Tennessee Brew Works, or sip something stronger at local distilleries, like Corsair Distillery or Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Make it a date or group outing and visit Arrington Vineyards, a winery just south of Music City. Enjoy a wine tasting, pack a picnic lunch, and make a day of it while you overlook the rolling hills of Tennessee.
Spanning 55 acres, the Cheekwood botanical garden and historic estate is a breathtaking and wallet-friendly activity. Offering dining, art galleries, and seasonal festivals, it’s a popular destination for visitors and Nashville locals alike. Visit in the spring for Cheekwood in Bloom to witness the breathtaking beauty of more than 150,000 colorful blooms. Tickets start at $20.00 per adult.
Radnor Lake State Park is a nature preserve and hiking destination spanning more than 1,300 acres. Located just outside of Nashville, visitors love its nearly 8 miles of hiking trails and abundance of wildlife. It’s ideal for watching owls and herons, as well as amphibians, reptiles, and mammals of all kinds. There are several ranger-led programs available at the park, as well, including canoe floats and wildflower walks. Enjoy the warmth and beauty of a Nashville day for free at Radnor Lake State Park.
Visit Centennial Park off of West End on Nashville’s west side. The 132-acre green space features a one-mile walking trail, The Parthenon, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, a bandshell, a dog park, and more. With so much to do in such a beautiful space, it’s easy to spend a sunny day at Centennial Park. Best of all, it’s free!
Visit the Lane Motor Museum with 150 unique cars and motorcycles and the largest European collection in the country. See vehicles dating from the early 1900s to now, including military vehicles, amphibious vehicles, microcars, prototypes, and one-of-a-kinds. Tickets cost $12.00, and kids aged 5 and under are free.
Towering bright and white in downtown Nashville, the Frist Art Museum is housed in a 1930s-era art deco building that was originally built as the city’s post office. Today, it’s the most popular art gallery in Music City. Explore impressive permanent and rotating exhibits and visit the kids’ art studio where families can create and take home their own works of art. Tickets cost $15.00 for adults, and kids 18 and under are free.
The Johnny Cash Museum is home to the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world. Take a journey through the Man in Black’s early career, rise to fame, and lifetime love with his wife, June Carter Cash. Tickets cost $22.95 for adults and kids 5 and younger are free.
See exhibits and art depicting the history of the state of Tennessee at the Tennessee State Museum. Learn about the Volunteer State’s natural history, first peoples, and role in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Best of all, entry to the museum is completely free!
For a free activity and some fresh air, take yourself on a tour of Nashville’s well-known murals. Each neighborhood has its favorites, like the What Lifts You–Wings in the Gulch, I Believe in Nashville in 12 South and East Nashville, and Love Y’all in Wedgewood-Houston. Pack your selfie stick and make your way to one of these murals for a fun way to commemorate your visit to Music City.
Founded in the early 1800s, today’s Nashville Farmers’ Market features two open-air sheds where local farmers sell homemade goods and fresh produce, a 24,000-square-foot garden center, and an international food hall with more than 20 restaurants. Browse for free or enjoy an affordable meal or snack from the market.
Enjoy games and libations at Pinewood Social, a social club located downtown Nashville. Dine on southern cuisine and bespoke cocktails while enjoying the restaurant’s wide array of activities, including lawn games, an outdoor bar, rentable pools, and a vintage bowling alley. Reserve a lane or pool on the Pinewood Social website; outdoor games are first come, first served.
There are tons of free things to do in Nashville. Visit the city’s beautiful parks, like Centennial Park, Radnor Lake State Park, or Shelby Park. Take a walking tour of hot spots in the city, including Lower Broadway and Music Row. See the wares at the historic Nashville Farmers’ Market, and take in the beauty of the city’s many murals. Tour the Tennessee State Museum, which is free to visitors.
There’s so much to do in Nashville, you could fill a whole week with activities! But for starters, a long weekend will do. Spend one day touring historical sites in the city, like Ryman Auditorium. Spend a second day dining and enjoying the honky-tonks and shops on Lower Broadway. Spend a third day in the fresh air at one of the city’s gorgeous parks or walking trails. For more ideas, see our guide for the best things to do in downtown Nashville.
Prepare to have a fun-packed day! Start with brunch at one of the city’s favorite spots, like Marsh House or Biscuit Love. Then, take a tour of the city’s murals and do some shopping in the Gulch or 12 South neighborhoods. Spend the afternoon immersed in music and Nashville history at Ryman Auditorium. Then, end the day on Lower Broadway at the city’s famous honky-tonks. See more of Nashville’s best tourist attractions.
The most popular streets in Nashville offer endless entertainment and history for visitors. Probably the most famous street in the city is Lower Broadway, home to honky-tonk row. Check out Music Row, on 16th and 17th Streets, to see the homes of world-famous record labels and recording studios. Visit the hidden Printers Alley downtown for bars, restaurants, and clubs off the beaten path.
There are plenty of neighborhoods in Nashville that have fun and boozy bars, but the most famous by far is The District, including Lower Broadway. It’s home to the city’s honky-tonks—clubs that serve strong whiskey and cheap beer to the tune of live country music all day and night. Honky-tonks new and old are smashed next to each other up and down Broadway Ave., making it easy for visitors to hop from one to the next. It’s a can’t-miss experience for any Nashville visitor!
Honky-tonk row is on Broadway Ave. between 1st and 5th Streets. With honky-tonks of all types lined up in a row, all you need to do is pick an end and work your way down the street to hear incredible live music, and maybe enjoy a cold beer or two along the way. Many honky-tonks have rooftop bars, perfect for fun on a gorgeous Nashville day.
Nashville is a great place to visit any time of year. With a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, you don’t need to rely on the weather to have a good time. However, the most popular time of year to visit Music City is in the early summer, when the temperatures are warm but not too hot. An early summer night is a great time to walk around Lower Broadway, enjoy a meal or cocktail on a rooftop bar, and soak in the best of Music City. See our list of must-see places in Nashville to plan your trip.
See the best of Nashville by booking a tour of Ryman Auditorium. Choose a self-guided tour to explore the iconic building and exhibits at your own pace or book a backstage tour to hear stories of the Ryman from a knowledgeable guide and get a sneak peek backstage. Even get the chance to stand on the Ryman Auditorium stage! Buy tickets online in advance to secure your ideal tour date and time.
There’s always a great show playing at the Ryman. Whether it’s a country or rock concert, hip hop show, indie or folk performance, comedian or lecture, Ryman Auditorium has a full events calendar perfect for every taste and interest. Check out the schedule today to see upcoming shows and buy your tickets.
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