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Nashville weekend trips are phenomenally entertaining! Known for live music, hot chicken and Southern hospitality, 3 days in Nashville, Tennessee is just enough time to get acquainted with the city. We created a 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.
3 Days in Nashville
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 people 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.
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.
NASHVILLE ITINERARY 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.
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 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 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.
Pro Tip: Get there before 6pm and it is free to enter! (A $6 cover charge is applicable on Friday and Saturday nights after 6:00pm.)
Dinner at Acme Feed and Seed
Sprawled over three floors, Acme Feed and Seed is a fun place 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, while the second level features craft cocktails, sushi and vintage games. From the rooftop, 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 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 Backstage Tour
Book a morning backstage tour of the 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, tour participants walk in the footsteps of singers (and sometimes onto the stage!). The tours often sell out, so book your tickets in advance!
Pro Tip: You can also be in the audience for a Grand Ole Opry concert experience, where six singers take the stage! Shows start at 7:00pm and tickets start at around $50. Reserve your seat!
Nashville Food Tour
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!
Work Off Lunch
After your filling lunch, stretch your legs along the Cumberland River. Start at Riverfront Park, then cross the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to Cumberland Park for nice views of the city.
Then, walk the length of Lower Broadway by day – and pop into the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop or one of the country western clothing stores – like Boot Country – to peruse the abundance of leather boots and cowboy hats.
Yee-Haw Brewing Co
Established in Johnson City, Tennessee in 2015, the Yee-Haw Brewing taproom in Nashville is an entertaining spot to spend the afternoon. Featuring a spacious interior, outdoor loungers and games, guests are invited to sip flights of craft beer and moonshine tastings.
Listening Room Cafe
One of the best things to do in Nashville is listen to the songwriters perform their own original songs – and the Listening Room Cafe is one of the best venues to do just that. On most evenings there are two dinnertime shows – and 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 – but 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 weekend boozy brunch has become all the rage lately. 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 through 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: Fans of Johnny Cash might want to consider visiting The Johnny Cash Museum – which is dedicated entirely to him and his music!
Tennessee State Capitol and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Spend the rest of the 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 (even on Sunday, from 1-5pm!).
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. Also located near the park 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
If you are staying in town for dinner, make your final meal one to remember with Hot Chicken from Hattie B’s. The casual, counter-service fried chicken restaurant is a city favorite. The 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.
If time allows, spend your final hours in the city wandering through Music Row (home to record label office and recording studios), visiting the Vanderbilt University campus or strolling through Centennial Park.
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! 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 outside of the city center, too. Curious travelers may want to incorporate some of these districts into their three perfect days in Nashville itinerary!
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 small neighborhood is highlighted by posh eateries, cool bars and fun shops (check out Two Old Hippies!).
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’ (sang first by George Jones and more recently by Chris Stapleton). Learn more about the history of the potent drink on a full-day tour. This 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 a long (15-hour) day trip. 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. 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!
Alternate Nashville Trip Planner Itineraries
Determining how many days to spend in Nashville will depend on your interests and budget. Our Nashville, Tn 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!).
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.
In our ideal Nashville 1-Day Itinerary, tourists should start at Ryman Auditorium for a self-guided tour, then hop on the Hop On Hop Off Trolley tour that passes by – and allows guests to hop off at – 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-Day Nashville Itinerary
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. For us, the best 2 Days in Nashville Itinerary can simply be following Days 1 and 2 in our above outlined 3 perfect days in Nashville.
Nashville Itinerary 4 Days
Creating a 4 Days in Nashville Itinerary allows for ample time to see the top sights – and more! 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, Tn (either to Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Memphis or the Civil War sites).
5-Day Nashville Itinerary
With 5 Days in Nashville, visitors can really get a good feel for the city! 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 – and then go to one of the city’s museums.
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 cities (such as Jackson and Memphis or 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 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 is located about 8 miles southeast of the city center. To 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 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. 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 sights. Check rates and availability!
Start your search for the best hotels on Booking.com!
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
We have just a few final tips about what to pack for your weekend to Nashville trip! You can find all of our packing advice on our Packing List page.
For your days of exploring, 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.
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 usually travel with a DSLR Canon Rebel camera with an everyday 18-135mm lens. However, in a city like Nashville – where museums, music venues and bars are the main attractions – we prefer using a smaller camera. The Canon Powershot Elph is our city camera – we love the zoom feature and the fact that it can easily fit into a pocket.
Planning More Fantastic Weekend Getaways? Read about our trips to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Savannah, New Orleans and NYC! Traveling out West? Super! See our tips for Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego and Denver!
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