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Nashville weekend trips are phenomenally entertaining. Known for live music, hot chicken and Southern hospitality, Nashville does not disappoint! Spending 3 days in Nashville, Tennessee is just enough time to get acquainted with the city. We created a perfect Nashville itinerary that highlights the best music experiences, top places to eat and must-see city attractions.
Nashville Weekend Trips
On Nashville weekend getaways, visitors can experience the absolute best of the city. While some travelers are content to spend an entire weekend in Nashville at the bars listening to live music, we think there is so much more to see in the city.
In our weekend getaway to Nashville, TN, we include iconic live music venues (because, honestly, what kind of Nashville itinerary would it be if we didn’t?!) – plus legendary eats, cool districts and some intriguing history.
On your weekend trip to Tennessee, we assume that you will have three days in Nashville to explore the city. While our Nashville, TN weekend trip plan is designed to take place over Friday, Saturday and Sunday (or Saturday, Sunday, Monday), the trip plan can work for weekday travel as well.
Need inspiration for other weekend trips? Find our top picks in our article, The Best USA Destinations for Quick Vacations!
3 Days In Nashville, Tennessee
We think visiting Nashville in 3 days is ideal; it allows plenty of time for sightseeing and listening to live music. However, we know not all travelers are planning a Nashville 3-Day Itinerary. Some travelers are limited to just one day in Nashville, while others have 4 days in Nashville to explore the city. To help visitors with various timeframes, we have outlined sample Nashville itineraries for shorter and longer trips at the end of the post.
Are Nashville Trips just for Country Music Fans?
Nashville is nicknamed Music City for a reason – so, if you are wondering if there will be loads of country music whirling in your ears on getaways to Nashville, the answer is a resounding yes! To be honest though, it would be a crying shame (yep, that’s a country song…see what I did there?) if you attempted to eliminate listening to or learning about country music during your Weekend Trip to Nashville Itinerary.
While it is true that many Nashville trip ideas revolve around the country music scene, our Nashville 3 Day Itinerary is suitable to all types of travelers.
Nashville Girls Weekend
On my first weekend in Nashville, I was there for a bachelorette party. Friends of the bride had planned an epic Nashville bachelorette party itinerary – so all I needed to do was show up and enjoy! However, on a return trip to the city – for a Girls Weekend in Nashville with a different group of friends – I was in charge of planning our Nashville weekend getaway.
Determined to create the best Nashville Weekend Itinerary, I incorporated the highlights from my first trip and added sights and attractions that we skipped to my Girls Weekend Nashville plan. In the end, I created a 3 Days in Nashville Itinerary that is suitable to a variety of travelers – from a couples trip to mother-daughter trips to bachelor parties…with just a few tweaks.
Our Nashville Itinerary in 3 Days
When planning a trip to Nashville, it is easy to get overwhelmed – there is just so much to see and do in the city! In our 3-Day Nashville Itinerary, we have created a detailed day-by-day plan for the best way to spend a long weekend in Nashville. In addition to the sights and activities that we include in our 72 Hours in Nashville trip plan, we also include essential tips for how to get there, where to stay and what to pack in your suitcase. This Nashville blog post contains everything you need to plan a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Nashville Itinerary so that you can easily access it while planning – and during – your Nashville trip!
DAY 1 of Your Weekend in Nashville
After getting settled into your accommodations (recommendations below!), start your Nashville weekend at one of the city’s top attractions, Ryman Auditorium. Then put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a Nashville night of fun!
Ryman Auditorium Tour
A perfect first stop on your 3-day trip to Nashville, Ryman Auditorium is considered ‘The Mother Church of Country Music.’ On self-guided tours, visitors get an introduction to the history of the Nashville music scene in one of the most adored music venues in America. Get tickets now!
Line Dancing at Wildhorse Saloon
Before heading out for a night on the town, brush up on your line dancing moves at the Wildhorse Saloon. Located in a historic warehouse, the 3-story venue offers free line dancing lessons throughout the day. On a Girls Weekend in Nashville or even if you are a solo traveler, line dancing at Wildhorse is a fun way to kick off your Nashville trip.
Pro Tip: Get there before 6pm to avoid a cover charge.
Dinner at Acme Feed and Seed
Ease into the first night of your 3 Day Nashville Itinerary with dinner, drinks and music at Acme. Sprawled over three floors, Acme Feed and Seed is a a lively place that is perfect to grab some grub – as each level is designed around a different theme.
The first-floor honkytonk has a full menu of Southern favorites and 28 beers on tap – plus live local bands. Meanwhile, the second level features craft cocktails, sushi and vintage games. On the rooftop (which shouldn’t be missed!), guests can savor sweeping city views – and join dance parties on weekend nights.
Lower Broadway Honkytonk Bars
A Weekend in Nashville Itinerary would not be complete without venturing into the bars on Lower Broadway. Nicknamed Lower Broad, the street is the epicenter of Nashville nightlife.
A must-see, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is the most well-known live music venue on the street. Up-and-coming musicians have graced the stages at Tootsie’s for more than 60 years – and Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings are just a few of the legendary country music singers to perform Tootsie’s.
Other honkytonk bars to check out on Nashville getaways are Legends (one of our favorite live music venues!) and Robert’s Western World.
DAY 2 of Your Itinerary for Nashville
On Day 2 of your weekend Nashville trip, get a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, discover the delectable tastes of Tennessee and settle in for songwriters’ performances.
Grand Ole Opry
A highlight of many weekend trips to Nashville is the famous Grand Ole Opry House. Home to the famed weekly Grand Ole Opry Show (the longest running radio show in America) and host to countless country music celebrity performances, it is one of the best places to visit in Nashville.
As you plan a trip to Nashville, you have two options for how to experience the Grand Ole Opry: Tour or Performance.
Note: The Grand Ole Opry House is not located in downtown; you will need to organize transportation to get there if you don’t have a car for your weekend in Nashville. You can rent a car, hop in an Uber/Lyft or take the city bus.
Tour the Opry House on a Weekend Getaway in Nashville
For our 3 Days in Nashville Itinerary, we recommend booking a morning backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House. Tour participants get to walk in the footsteps of singers (and sometimes onto the stage!). The tours often sell out, so book your tickets in advance!
Watch a Performance on your Nashville, TN Weekend Getaway
Rather than just tour the iconic attraction, visitors on a weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee can opt to be in the audience for a Grand Ole Opry concert experience. The live radio broadcast performances feature multiple musical acts and other entertainment.
If a Grand Ole Opry performance ranks high on the list of what to see in Nashville in 3 days, then make sure to get tickets in advance! Shows start at 7:00pm and tickets start at around $50. Reserve your seat!
Pro Tip: If you opt to include the evening performance on your Nashville trip plan, then spend the morning exploring one of the fun districts – which we detail later in this blog post!
Nashville Food Tour
Food is a major factor when planning a trip to Nashville (or, at least it should be!). Rather than strenuously trying to figure out where to eat on your weekend trip to Nashville, let a guide lead the way.
Indulge in the tastes of Nashville, Tennessee on a locally guided food tour. In addition to the classic local eats – like Southern BBQ and Nashville Hot Chicken – tours are peppered with history and insider tips (so it is really like taking two tours in one!). The mid-day tours are 3-hour walking culinary adventures – and no one leaves hungry! Book it now!
City Views and Record Shops
After your filling lunch, carve out a little time in your Nashville trip itinerary to take a walk along the Cumberland River. Start at Riverfront Park, then cross the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to Cumberland Park for epic views of Nashville.
Then, get a different view of Lower Broadway – one in the daylight. Walk the length of the street and pop into the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop. Make it a true weekend in Nashville and go shopping at one of the country western clothing stores – like Boot Country – to peruse the abundance of leather boots and cowboy hats.
Yee-Haw Brewing Co
If you are starting to get thirsty (and we’re not judging!), the Yee-Haw Brewing taproom in Nashville is an entertaining spot to spend an afternoon during your three days in Nashville. The taproom features a spacious interior, outdoor loungers and games. Guests are invited to enjoy a leisurely afternoon sipping flights of craft beer and moonshine tastings.
Listening Room Cafe Nashville
One of the best things to do in Nashville is to listen to songwriters perform their own original songs – and the Listening Room Cafe is one of the best venues to do just that.
Attend one of the two dinnertime shows on your Nashville weekend trip. Tickets are typically $5 to $15, plus a minimum food and drink purchase during the show. Rather than the rowdy atmosphere of Lower Broadway, the Listening Room offers a real opportunity for songwriters to showcase their work – and for the audience to listen for future chart-topping hits.
Pro Tip: The Bluebird Cafe is another legendary venue for up-and-coming songwriters – and a popular destination on Nashville weekend trips. Just note that it is a little bit further out of town and will require transportation to get there.
DAY 3 of Your Nashville Weekend Trip
On the last day of your 3-day weekend in Nashville, delve into more of the city’s history – not only the music scene, but of the state itself!
A leisurely Nashville weekend boozy brunch has become all the rage – it’s an experience not to be missed on your Nashville trip. Top places for brunch in Nashville include Biscuit Love (a trendy spot with origins as a food truck that will likely have long lines) and Woolworth on Fifth (a historic site of civil rights protests during the 60s). At either place, get an order of a Southern classic: Chicken and biscuits!
Country Music Hall of Fame
Offering an incredible array of country music memorabilia, visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is practically a requirement on your weekend Nashville trip.
Through the exhibits and interactive displays, visitors learn about the evolution of country music and the most famous artists throughout it’s history. Must-see exhibits include Elvis Presley’s Cadillac, a guitar played by Johnny Cash and outfits worn by Dolly Parton. Buy your ticket now!
Pro Tip: If there is time in your Nashville Weekend Itinerary, also consider visiting The Johnny Cash Museum – which is dedicated entirely to him and his music!
Tennessee State Capitol and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
When planning a trip to Nashville, enjoy a little time learning about the history of Tennessee at the Capitol.
Spend the rest of your afternoon at the Tennessee State Capitol building and the adjacent Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. The State Capitol Building is a national historic landmark – and is open to visitors for free self-guided tours (during weekdays).
In the Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park, visitors can take a walk along the paths, learning about the state’s history via the informational plaques and many monuments. Other attractions near the park to include in your Nashville trip planner are the Nashville Farmer’s Market, the Tennessee State Museum and the Nashville Public Library (which features an excellent Civil Rights Movement Exhibit for free).
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken Nashville
Make the final meal on your Nashville in 3 Days trip one to remember with Hot Chicken from Hattie B’s. The casual, counter-service fried chicken restaurant is a city favorite and a must-eat on a long weekend in Nashville. The spicy chicken sandwiches come with a choice of Southern sides – like their amazing potato salad, pimento mac and cheese and baked beans.
Pro Tip: Guests in a hurry can avoid the wait by ordering ahead of time online.
As your trip to Nashville winds to a close, spend your final hours in the city wandering through some of the best districts near Hattie B’s. Walk through Music Row (home to record label office and recording studios) and consider visiting the Vanderbilt University campus or strolling through Centennial Park.
Find your way to all the best Nashville Things To Do with our Nashville Map!
More Things To Do In Nashville, Tennessee
We packed our 3 days in Nashville, Tennessee with some of the absolute best things to see and do in the city. That said, there are still more attractions in the city that you could visit on a weekend in Nashville! Fellow travelers may want to squeeze a few more top sights into their Nashville trip itinerary.
We highlighted our top picks for the best museums in Nashville to visit. However, other travelers planning a Nashville vacation itinerary may want to include visiting a few more top-rated museums on their trip.
The Belmont Mansion is a historic house built in the 1850s that details Tennessee history, architecture and artworks from the time.
Visitors who appreciate art might want to carve out time to visit The Parthenon – a full-size replica of the Athens Parthenon and art museum featuring paintings by American artists.
The Adventure Science Center – which has interactive, hands-on displays – is an ideal choice to include in a Nashville family itinerary.
Shopping In Nashville
As we already mentioned, the shops along Lower Broadway are good for western wear and souvenirs. However, an interesting shopping experience – especially for antiques fans – is Marathon Village. The multi-use complex is housed in the former Marathon Motor Works building and features a selection on unique retails shops – including the flagship store for the TV show American Pickers.
The Best Nashville Districts
Most visitors planning a weekend in Nashville spend their time in Downtown Nashville, but there are some fascinating neighborhoods near the city center, too. Curious travelers may want to incorporate some of these districts into their three perfect days in Nashville itinerary!
12 South Nashville
As the name indicates, the 12 South district is south of the city. The revitalized neighborhood has boutique shops (like Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James), excellent coffee shops (like Frothy Monkey) and heaps of street art murals (like the ‘I Believe in Nashville’ artwork).
One of Nashville’s hippest districts (and one we visit on Day 3 for brunch), The Gulch is a small neighborhood highlighted by posh eateries, cool bars and fun shops (check out Two Old Hippies!).
Hillsboro Village Nashville
Many travelers are lured to Hillsboro Village to eat at Pancake Pantry (a local breakfast spot since 1961), but the youthful neighborhood also has chic coffee shops (such as Fido), boutique stores and the historic Belcourt Theater.
Nashville Day Trips
We designed our 3 Days Nashville Itinerary as the perfect introduction for first-time visitors – which includes the top sights in the heart of the city. However, there are places to see in the region that can be reached on day trips from Nashville – and return visitors (or intrigued travelers) may want to include one (or more) of these adventures in their Nashville trip plan.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
The state of Tennessee is well-known for its whiskey production – there is even a country song titled, ‘Tennessee Whiskey’. Learn more about the history of the potent drink on a day trips from Nashville.
A popular Nashville day trip itinerary travels to Shelbyville and Moore County to Lynchburg, where participants will tour (and do tastings at!) the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Book it now!
Memphis and Graceland
The home of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, famous Sun Studios and vibrant Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee is an incredible place to visit. Although quite a distance from Nashville, it is possible to see the city highlights on one of the long (15-hour) Nashville day trips. Get the details!
Civil War Tour from Nashville
History buffs can embark on a journey to Franklin – the site of the Civil War Battle of Franklin on a Nashville day trip. Visit key sites of the battle, including the Lotz House, Carter House and the Carnton Plantation to learn about the history, war and aftermath. Find out more!
How Many Days Do You Need in Nashville?
Determining how many days to spend in Nashville will depend on your interests and budget. Our Nashville Itinerary outlines what to do in 3 days – which we think is the perfect amount of time to experience the city (especially if it is your first time in Nashville!).
With 3 days in Nashville, TN there is enough time to experience the highlights of the city.
That said, we could also plan a trip to Nashville for an entire week – and not get bored. And, if I was limited to just one day in Nashville, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the city!
Alternate Nashville Trip Planner Itineraries
Our Nashville Itinerary for 3 days is the perfect weekend plan. However, we know that many travelers are limited to just 2 days in Nashville…while others are extending their weekend getaways in Nashville to 4 or 5 days. Therefore, to help you plan your trip, we are offering our top tips for both shorter and longer Nashville itineraries.
1 Day In Nashville
Travelers visiting Nashville for a day will need to create a succinct Nashville One-Day Itinerary in order to make the most of their time in the city. With just 24 hours in Nashville, we recommend sticking to the main sights and attractions in the heart of the city.
Nashville 1-Day Itinerary
We have devised a perfect plan for things to see in Nashville in one day. Tourists should start at Ryman Auditorium for a self-guided tour. After the tour, hop on the Hop On Hop Off Trolley tour to see the city’s top attractions (including Hattie B’s – so plan ahead and order your Hot Chicken for pick up to avoid waiting in line!). Join a late afternoon line dancing lesson at Wildhorse Saloon and then end your day at the hoppin’ bars on Lower Broadway.
2 Days in Nashville
With 48 hours in Nashville visitors have a lot more time for sightseeing – but ultimately, your interests will determine how you spend your two days in Nashville.
2-Day Nashville Itinerary
For us, the best 2 Days in Nashville Itinerary can be planned quite simply. In fact, we recommend following Days 1 and 2 exactly as outlined in our above 3 perfect days in Nashville.
4 Days in Nashville
Creating a 4 Days in Nashville Itinerary allows for ample time to see the top sights – and more!
Nashville Itinerary 4 Days
To plan a 4-Day Nashville Itinerary, we recommend following our detailed outline for what to do in Nashville for 3 days – then, on the last day, take one of he short trips from Nashville (either to Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Memphis or the Civil War sites).
5 Days in Nashville
With 5 Days in Nashville, visitors can really get a good feel for the city! In addition to checking out more sights in Nashville, you will also have plenty of time to explore some of the best districts.
5-Day Nashville Itinerary
To plan your Nashville Itinerary 5 Days, we recommend following our tips for a 4-Day trip to Nashville – then, on the last day, explore some of the vibrant neighborhoods – like 12 South. End your trip by visiting one of the city’s museums (like the Johnny Cash Museum if you skipped it on Day 3!).
If you are planning a longer Tennessee Vacation Itinerary, Nashville is the perfect place to start. To create a One-Week Itinerary, use our 3-Day Itinerary for Nashville, then add two other destinations. I
f you wanted to create a Tennessee Itinerary that focused on cities, we recommend visiting Jackson and Memphis. Another way to plan a trip to Tennessee is to focus on nature. If you want to get outdoors, head toward the Great Smoky Mountains and visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Top Tips For Your Nashville Itinerary
Now that you know how to spend a weekend in Nashville, we have a few final travel tips for your trip!
How To Get To Nashville
Nashville can be reached by plane or car. We think it is best to fly – we are JetSetting Fools, after all! When we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best airfare prices on SkyScanner.
The Nashville International Airport (code BNA) located about 8 miles southeast of the city center.
When you plan a trip to Nashville, TN by flight, just remember to plan how you will get from the airport to the city. Visitors can book a private transfer online, take a taxi (but Uber is cheaper!) or hop on the city bus.
Where To Stay In Nashville
We think the best place to stay in Nashville for a weekend is right in the heart of the city – and there are heaps of places to choose from. When planning a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, you will need to decide whether you want to stay in a hotel or apartment.
There are a range of hotels in Nashville that will fit any budget.
On both of my trips – for the bachelorette party and the girls’ weekend, we stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Downtown Nashville. The hotel is perfectly located just steps from Broadway, the Ryman Auditorium and other top Nashville sights. Check rates and availability!
Weekend Rentals: Nashville, TN
Visitors who prefer staying in weekend rentals in Nashville, TN will find numerous properties on Airbnb. While there are just a handful of places to stay in Downtown Nashville, most of the weekend apartments are located in the surrounding hip neighborhoods.
Use this link to create your Airbnb account and receive a discount on your first stay!
What To Pack For A Weekend In Nashville
And finally, our top packing tips for your weekend to Nashville trip! We are highlighting a few essentials for what to pack for Nashville – but you can find all of our tips and hacks on our Packing Page.
Pack Walking Shoes for Trips to Nashville
While you will definitely want your dancing shoes and maybe even boots for weekend getaways in Nashville you will also want to pack walking shoes.
In our Nashville weekend guide, we outline long days of exploring on foot. You will want to be sure to wear comfortable city walking shoes. I prefer wearing lightweight shoes by Columbia (for women), while Kris likes wearing Merrell trail shoes for city walks.
What Clothing to Pack for Vacations in Nashville
The weather in Nashville varies by season – so what you pack to wear on your Nashville weekend will depend on what time of year you travel. Summers can be dreadfully hot and humid, winters are cool (but not usually cold) and it can rain year-round.
We recommend packing your suitcase with lightweight clothing in the summertime and clothes that can be layered in the winter. And, anytime of year, it is a good idea to have a packable raincoat and travel umbrella.
Travel Camera for Nashville Trips
Our go-to travel camera is a DSLR Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens. However, in a city like Nashville – where museums, music venues and rowdy bars are the main attractions – we prefer using a smaller camera. The Canon Powershot Elph is our budget travel camera that we often use for city sightseeing. We love the zoom feature and the fact that it can easily fit into a pocket.
Planning More Fantastic US Weekend Getaways?
Use our guide to the Best Weekend Getaways in the United States to find your next quick vacation destination!
We also have complete guides to help plan trips to top destinations in the USA!
Want to take a road trip? We outline a perfect California Coast Road Trip – as well as a Columbia River Gorge or Oregon Coast Road Trip. And if you want to get in the great outdoors, see our tips for amazing Montana!
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