This past March my family and I took a short road trip through Kentucky and Tennessee, ending with one day in Nashville – the ultimate country music lover’s destination.
Due to time limitations, we wanted to make sure that we saw as much of the as we could in a short amount of time. I think we did a pretty good job, and figured that I would share our itinerary one day in Nashville itinerary with anyone planning their own trip to Music City.
Taking a longer trip through the US? Here are a few other posts I’ve written!
- 21 Best Spring Break Destinations in the US
- The Perfect 3 Day Washington DC Itinerary
- 5 Day Denver, Colorado Itinerary
- Hiking the Grand Canyon
- Four Days in New York City // A First-Timers New York City Itinerary
How to Get to Nashville
Nashville International Airport is just a few miles from downtown and where you’ll be flying in to if you go by plane. There are a few direct flights from international destinations, and plentiful ones from within the United States.
Both Greyhound and Megabus operate services to Nashville. Greyhound has buses from all over the country, and Megabus operates buses to Nashville from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville.
Of course, if you’re on a road trip, then reaching Nashville by car is super easy!
Where to Stay in Nashville
If you’re planning on spending the night after your one day in Nashville, here are a few great options:
Music City Hostel – $ – The original Nashville backpacker hostel, located in Midtown. The community garden and bbq grill foster an awesome atmosphere with plenty of impromptu jam sessions! Click here to check prices.
Nashville Downtown Hostel – $ – Music City Hostel’s sister hostel with an amazing downtown location just off of Broadway. Rooms are simple but have everything you need, and there’s a nice looking common area as well. Click here to check prices.
Best Western Suites near Opryland – $$ – For a simple, predictable mid-range hotel experience, you can’t go wrong with the Best Western Suites in Opryland. It’s right near the Grand Ole Opry (though driving distance from downtown). This is where we stayed and I was perfectly happy with it. Click here to check prices.
Graduate Nashville – $$$ – One of my favorite small hotel chains, Graduate, has a super quirky location in Nashville that I am ALL over. It’s located in Midtown, near Vanderbilt University. Click here to check prices.
Hotel Indigo Nashville – $$$ – Another one of my favorite hotel chains, Hotel Indigo, focuses on creating unique, local experiences based on their locations. The one in Nashville looks like so much fun! Click here to check prices.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center – $$$ – If you’re ready for a bucket list experience like no other, then book a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. With an expansive indoor atrium and stylish rooms and suites, it’s a destination in and of itself. It’s also within walking distance to the Grand Ole Opry! Click here to check prices.
Vandyke Bed & Breakfast – $$$$ – The ultimate in boutique luxury, this adults-only hotel also features a concierge service and trendy bar. The ultimate hipster Nashville experience! Click here to check prices.
One Day in Nashville Itinerary
After fueling up with a hearty breakfast, make your way to the Nashville Parthenon.
One of the most iconic symbols of the city, the full size replica of the Greek Parthenon is truly a sight to behold. It’s great for imagining what the temple must have been like before it was destroyed.
By going in the early morning you can beat out the crowds that will show up later in the day. You might even take some time to enjoy the absolutely lovely surrounding park!
Lunch on Broadway
For lunch head on down to Broadway, where you will find a plethora of options for your mid-day meal. We made our decision based on several internet recommendations and were not let down by Jack’s Bar-B-Que, a fast and delicious counter service barbecue restaurant with patio views of the Ryman Auditorium.
Country Music Hall of Fame
After lunch make the short walk over to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Though you are likely to encounter a long line for tickets, it is well worth the wait (or just buy your ticket online here to avoid the wait!)
You gain access to several floors of country music memorabilia and history – including Elvis’ car!
Even if you aren’t the biggest country fan in the world, I definitely recommend setting an hour or two aside for the place. You’re sure to find something there that you’ll enjoy.
Another must-visit for country music fans is the famous Ryman Auditorium.
Once the home of the Grand Ole Opry and the heart of country music since 1892, this absolutely historic theatre is a sight to behold. You can either take a self-guided tour as part of the entrance fee or a guided backstage tour for a one-of-a-kind experience.
After getting your fill of country music history walk back over to Broadway. Take a stroll along the street towards the riverside, checking out the shops as you go along.
You definitely can’t go wrong with the buy one get two free deal at the various boot stores around town.
Take a moment to relax by the river after all of your shopping. Or take a walk along Nashville’s John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.
Grand Ole Opry
After grabbing a bite to eat make your way over to Opryland and take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry. This live radio show has been going for almost 100 years.
No matter who’s performing it’s sure to be a hell of a night. The perfect end to your perfect day in Nashville.
Alternatively, if you want a real VIP experience, you can get a backstage tour!
One day in nashville: other things to do
More time or just want to get off-the-beaten-path on your one day in Nashville? Here are a few alternative things to do!
Take a food tour – Nashville is home to some seriously amazing food, and a food tour is one of the best ways to experience all that the city has to offer! This one takes you to hot spots around the city, this one focuses on soul food, and this one combines delicious food with a bit of civil rights history.
Check out the breweries and distilleries – In addition to its delicious food, Nashville also has some great drink. Go brewery and distillery hopping on a golf cart tour or take a day trip out to the home of Jack Daniels.
Take a tour with a song writer – This super unique tour pairs you up with a local songwriter to get a behind-the-scenes look into their life.
Learn more about Black History – There’s a LOT more to Nashville than country music, so take some time to learn more about that history. Take a Black History walking tour like this one or this one, or get super specific and learn about the secret network of women during the Civil Rights Movement on this tour!
Check out the street art – Nashville also has some amazing street art. This tour takes you to some of the best murals.
And there you have it – the complete guide to what to do with one day in Nashville!