Nashville, Tennessee is a place unlike anywhere you’ve ever been. Its happy, music-filled and lively environment will have you wondering why you didn’t come sooner. Music City is rapidly growing in popularity, which makes it no surprise that Lonely Planet named Nashville the #9 city to visit in 2016. What’s even more impressive about making this list, is that Nashville was the only US city to make this list.
As a Nashville native there is an overwhelming amount of amazing things to do here. It’s no secret that nights out in Nashville can get a little pricey, so I want to give you guys some of my favorite things to do in Nashville that are absolutely free.
I’m counting down my top ten free things to do in Nashville.
- Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
The most iconic view of Nashville can be found on the Pedestrian Bridge. You can access the bridge on 2nd Ave next to Joe’s Crab Shack and take the elevator or stairs up. Take a walk across the bridge that connects downtown Nashville to East Nashville and see the incredible views over the river that highlight this beautiful city. You can see the infamous “Batman Tower” and take stunning pictures with the Nashville skyline in the background. The bridge is also a great place to listen to concerts going on at the Ascend Amphitheater and Nissan Stadium, especially during CMA Fest.
- Nashville Art Crawl
On the first Saturday of every month Nashville hosts an Art Crawl from 6pm-9pm. Art galleries offer free admission to view their exhibits while exploring Nashville. You can enjoy some wine and spend a few hours walking around downtown to view the local artwork of Nashville. The art crawl is located at 5th Avenue of the Arts, 5th Avenue South and The Historic Arcade. Nashville was ranked the #2 Most Vibrant Arts Community in the SMU National Center for Arts Research Arts Vibrancy Index. The art crawl is a unique and exciting way to meet new people while enjoying art and wine. What better combination?
- Centennial Park / Parthenon
Spend a day at Centennial Park for a unique mix of Nashville culture and Greek architecture. Centennial Park holds Nashville’s famous replica of the Parthenon that you can go explore. Bring a soccer ball or yoga mat and get active on the huge lawn surrounding it. You can even take a walk on the mile long greenway that goes around the lake and into a beautiful garden.
Nashville is home to some amazing murals. Some of the most famous murals here are the “I Believe In Nashville” mural at 12 South and Kelsey Montague’s #WhatLiftsYou angel wings in the Gulch. Whether you want to enhance your Instagram pictures or view some incredible street art, mural hopping is a great way to explore Nashville.
- Arrington Vineyards
6211 Patton Rd. Arrington, TN 37014
Arrington Vineyards is about a thirty-minute drive from downtown Nashville. Owned by Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, this vineyard has owned it’s title of “Nashville’s Wine Country”. Entrance is free, so pack a lunch and some blankets and enjoy a nice day at the vineyards. If you can, go on the weekend to experience “Music In The Vines”. You can also enjoy a wine tasting experience and wine is available to purchase at the vineyard.
Everything you imagine Nashville to be can be found on Broadway. This is by far the most iconic street of Nashville. Whether it is 11am on a Tuesday or 11pm on a Saturday, live music, great food and beer, cowboy boots and lively people will surround you. Broadway is home to many famous bars, restaurants, and arenas. On a typical day you will be serenaded by country music, see a pedal tavern flying by and have an amazing view of Nissan Stadium across the river. During nightlife most bars are free to get into and even have a rooftop view. Truly an experience you don’t want to miss when going to Nashville.
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Mix a little history with nature at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. You can find this gem located behind the Farmer’s Market. This park has everything from spacious lawns, a World War II Memorial, a huge TriStar beneath your feet, a 200 foot granite map of Tennessee and stunning views of the State Capitol.
- Live On The Green Music Festival
Music City wouldn’t live up to its name without a few concerts. Every August through September Lighting 100 hosts ‘Live On The Green’ which is a free concert series every Thursday night. Join in on the fun at Public Square Park. You can bring yourself, your friends, and even your dog to enjoy the music.
- Opryland Hotel (Christmas Lights)
Opryland Hotel is more than just a hotel; it’s like stepping into a small city. With rivers, waterfalls, shops, gardens and restaurants Opryland is impressive any day. Every year around Christmas Opryland Hotel transforms into a real life ‘Winter Wonderland’. During this time, every section of Opryland is made over with lights, decorations and outstanding Christmas trees. It is truly magnificent. Not only is the inside transformed, the outside is even more extravagant. Thousands of lights, decorations and even a manger scene are some of the things you are guaranteed to witness. It’s tradition in Nashville to come to Opryland Hotel and see the lights each year. No hotel room needed. To avoid parking fees, park in the back of Opryland Mall’s parking lot and walk over to the hotel.
- Fourth of July Downtown
Welcome to the one of the biggest firework shows in the entire United States. In 2016, Nashville’s firework show was said to have beat New York’s display. Come early, grab a bite to eat and set up a blanket or chair by the river. There are free concerts, patriotic crowds and an amazing show to make it your most memorable Fourth of July yet. You can watch the fireworks from any rooftop bar, the pedestrian bridge, hanging out on the streets, or truly anywhere downtown. The Grammy-Winning Nashville Symphony will play along with the fireworks making it a must see show you won’t forget.