your insider guide for a local perspective on Nashville, Tennessee.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spending a day visiting Nashville? Here's my recommended itinerary for you!

One of my absolute favorite things to do in life is entertain friends and family, especially ones that have never been to Nashville. I've given many (of what I affectionately refer to as) "Tours de Nash", and am often asked by friends, colleagues, and followers of Experience Nashville what my recommendations are for first time visitors.



I've put together a list of what I consider some of my favorite "must-dos" of Music City; places that if you only have one day here, you should definitely make a point to see.

Need a driver while you're in town? Sign up for Lyft and use my code EXPERIENCENASH for $50 towards your first rides!

So without further adieu, I present to you:


One Day in Nashville, an Itinerary


Pancake Pantry
Start your day with one of Nashville's favorite traditions, The Pancake Pantry. They have been serving delicious breakfasts since 1961, and are beloved by both locals and visitors alike. My personal favorite menu items would have to be the Potato Pancakes, Sugar & Spice pancakes, and also the hashbrowns... Although I've never been disappointed with anything I've tried here. Oh, their chocolate milk is phenom as well.

Just a tipbe sure to arrive EARLY (especially on weekends) or be prepared to wait in line!

1796 21st Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212

Centennial Park
A quick drive through Vanderbilt campus and you'll be right next door to one of Nashville's most famous parks, Centennial. Home of the 1897 Centennial Exposition, this park is home to one of our most iconic landmarks, the Parthenon, a to-scale replica of the actual Parthenon in Athens. Take a walk around the lake and snap a few selfies in this gorgeous park.

2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Music Row
A trip to Nashville is not complete without a quick jaunt through Music Row, where most of the unassuming buildings housing record labels responsible for the $9.7 billion economic impact in the Nashville region are located. One particular point of interest, RCA Studio B*, where hundreds of artists (including Dolly, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley) recorded.

When exiting Music Row, don't miss the "controversial" Musica statue in the center of the roundabout. If you're in town during a special event or holiday, you may even find clothing on this nude piece of art.

Music Square East, & Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203
*Just a note-- to tour the studio you must purchase a ticket through the Country Music Hall of Fame

Let's head to downtown Nashville.



Crema
At this point of your tour-de-Nash, I would recommend a slight pick me up from one of my favorite coffee joints in town. I absolutely love the iced coffee and scones, but have never had anything less than fabulous here at Crema.

15 Hermitage Ave., Nashville, TN 37204

Parking
Park your car at the Nashville Public Library (only $5 for parking all day) and use my favorite mode of transportation to get the best views when touring a city: your feet. If you follow my list below in order, you will encounter the most logical walking path.

615 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37219

Frist Center for the Visual Arts
A must see for art-enthusiasts. Also, one of my favorite buildings from an architectural standpoint in Nashville. Not so much interested in a museum tour on your one day in town? Skip ahead.

919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Ryman Auditorium
Perhaps the most legendary building in all of Nashville, and one of the original homes of the Grand Ole Opry. Take a tour of the "Mother Church" of country musicone of my favorite venues to catch a live show ever. Tours are offered 9AM-4PM daily.

116 5th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219

Hatch Show Print
One of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America (opened in 1879), Hatch has created prints for artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks. Perfect place to find an awesome souvenir commemorating your trip to Nashy.

316 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201

Jacks Legendary BBQ
A yummy stop for lunch offering authentic southern style BBQ and sides. I'm a fan of the pulled pork with coleslaw. Oh, and don't miss the sweet teaa true southern staple.

416 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Mike's Ice Cream
Simply put: Who doesn't love homemade ice cream? This is a fab local-to-Nashville spot to grab dessert!

208 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful building in all of downtown Nashville. Check out the gorgeous architecture and fountains on your way to the Pedestrian Bridge.

1 Symphony Pl, Nashville, TN 37201

Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
Right down the street from the Symphony you will find the most amazing view of Downtown Nashville on this bridge, which is only accessible via foot. Don't forget the camera for this one.

Near 1st and Broadway Downtown Nashville

Country Music Hall of Fame
Ya'll.. It doesn't get any more Nashville than this. An amazing collection of all things country musicfrom Dolly's handwritten Jolene lyrics, to the Hee Haw Corn Patch, Johnny Cash's legendary black suit, to Elvis's Gold Cadillac. This is a must see for any music fan, history buff, or anyone interested in learning about the American culture phenomenon that is country music.

222 5th Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37203

Etch
Words cannot describe my love for this restaurant, which is one of my favorite places to grab dinner in all of Nashville. Phenomenal food, service, and drinkssimply divine! Be sure to make reservations, typically at least a week in advance.

303 Demonbreun, Nashville, TN 37201

Bar Hopping
Cap off your evening by returning to Lower Broad and experiencing the best live music in the country at the Honky Tonks. My favorite spots are Tootsies, Layla's Bluegrass Inn, and the Stage. Paradise Park is always a blast, and who doesn't love an ice cold pitcher of PBR?

All of these bars are within walking distance of each other-  Downtown/Lower Broadway


Spending two days in Nashville? Check out my Day 2 Itinerary.

Have SO much fun while you're in town. As always, feel free to tweet me @experiencenash, and for the latest follow me on instagram @experiencenash and facebook.

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27 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I had already planned on visiting Centennial Park and had heard of Crema before, but this is perfect! Printing this right now. Can't wait to visit your city this weekend. Let's Go Preds!

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    1. You're welcome! Have a blast while you're here... and feel free to reach out anytime if you have any questions!

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    2. Thanks for the info. Is the truly a realistic day. Can I accomplish all this in one day without a rental car? Thanks

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  2. Excellent Article! Hope to make a trip soon!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to reach out anytime if you have any questions about your trip!

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  3. Thank you so much. I'm from South Africa & I'll be in Nashville in June. I was looking for a artisinal coffee shop to frequent while there. Will have to check out Crema!

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    1. You're very welcome- thanks for checking out the blog. If you need any other ideas for when you are in town, feel free to email me at matt@experiencenash.com. Enjoy your time here!

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  4. Just stumbled upon your blog today and I'm loving it! I'll be in Nashville with a group of friends next week and I was totally lost on what we should do. Now I'm thinking we'll be following this itinerary. :) And I'm a total foodie so I can't wait to try out the places you recommend.

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  5. I was flying into Nashville on a Sunday and had to drive 1.5 hours to my final destination for a business trip that week. I figured I would make the best out of the trip and looked up one day itineraries on Google. I was extremely pleased with your itinerary and followed it aggressively except for the food because I wanted to watch football :) - however, based on the rest of the list, I'm confident the food recommendations were excellent. I had a great day trip and was really pleased with how much I was able to see with so little time. The schedule you provided was extremely accurate and organized. Thank you very much for putting this together!

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  6. Thanks so much! Glad you found it useful, and enjoyed your time here in Nashville.

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  9. We will be passing through Nashville with our 4 children. What would you suggest for just a couple of hours and with kids (so, no bar hopping or beer tasting, lol)? Thanks.

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  10. Excellent recommendations, Thanks!

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  11. My dad always tells me how great Nashville is. Makes me want to go.

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  12. I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog while searching for suggestions for 1-day tour of Nashville. Would some of the must-see spots be open on Sunday too? I appreciate your suggestions.

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  13. I'm visiting Nashville Friday for the day and as others have stated, I'm glad I found this itinerary. Thanks so much for taking time out to create this and I'm truly looking forward to touring your city.

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  14. Informative post. Thank you.. Check out for the best holiday destination

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  15. Thanks for sharing such a valuable resource. I appreciate your effort, this resource is really useful for me as well as everyone came across this post.

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  16. This is an awesome itinerary! I would love to add the different areas of Nashville to make sure you can get some of your personality in the trip!

    East Nashville: This is the more "hipster" area of Nashville, a very young vibe and the big draw is that there is still just as much live music it just tends to be not country which for some people is awesome. My favorite spot is the 5 spot. A must when visiting Nashville.

    The other area that I would recommend visiting is Germantown. It is the most upscale area of Nashville and houses some truly amazing eateries and bars. It even has an awesome absinthe bar called the Green Hour which is truly an experience if you have never had it.

    If you are visiting Nashville though you should really check out www.WhatToDoNashville.com. They plan trips here and handle everything from what to do and how to get there pretty cool and ive heard great things

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  17. This is an awesome itinerary! I would love to add the different areas of Nashville to make sure you can get some of your personality in the trip!

    East Nashville: This is the more "hipster" area of Nashville, a very young vibe and the big draw is that there is still just as much live music it just tends to be not country which for some people is awesome. My favorite spot is the 5 spot. A must when visiting Nashville.

    The other area that I would recommend visiting is Germantown. It is the most upscale area of Nashville and houses some truly amazing eateries and bars. It even has an awesome absinthe bar called the Green Hour which is truly an experience if you have never had it.

    If you are visiting Nashville though you should really check out www.WhatToDoNashville.com. They plan trips here and handle everything from what to do and how to get there pretty cool and ive heard great things

    ReplyDelete
  18. Heading to Nashville in the fall with my parents and siblings who have never been. We will be bringing our 10 month old with us.We're wondering if the bars and such on music row are kid friendly during the day as we are bringing a sitter to stay with her in the evenings or will we be quite limited on where we can go. Thanks

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  19. Heading to Nashville in the fall with my parents and siblings who have never been. We will be bringing our 10 month old with us.We're wondering if the bars and such on music row are kid friendly during the day as we are bringing a sitter to stay with her in the evenings or will we be quite limited on where we can go. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just wanted to say thank you for this post. We only had one full day in Nashville (today) and didn't know where to start, but following your blog post we did almost everything on there and we had a great day! Thanks again!

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  21. This was so helpful and definitely made our morning stopover there worth it! We started our tour at the pancake pantry and almost made the decision to stay an extra day because it was so good! Thank you for taking the time to share!

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  22. if did it it will be the best day ever . thanks for the pics i found them so good .
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