Looking to spend 2 days in Nashville? We’re sharing a detailed Nashville itinerary and guide with everything you need to know before you visit Nashville, where to stay, the best food and drinks, where to see live music, and more! Ready to plan your own Nashville adventure? Keep on reading!
We have always wanted to visit Nashville, Tennessee and this past January we finally made it happen! We drove 10 hours from Orlando to Nashville to attend our favorite travel vloggers, Kara and Nate’s 100th country party! Although it was freezing during our visit (it even snowed!), we had a blast exploring the city for the first time.
We loved the city’s laid-back vibe, delicious southern food, and awesome live music. Although our time in the city was short, we know we’ll be back soon as we continue our adventures traveling around the US in our Sprinter van. We definitely have a hot chicken sized hole in our heart that we need to fill! 😉
If you’re hoping to visit Nashville soon, we hope this 2 days in Nashville itinerary and guide helps you figure out when to visit, where to stay, the foods you must eat while you’re there, and where and how to see some incredible live music.
Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!
While Nashville is Tennessee’s state capitol, it also holds another important title: Music City, USA. Since the 1800’s, music has played a huge role in the city, and while the Queen of England may have been the first to call Nashville “Music City,” it wasn’t until 1950 when the name officially stuck.
Home to many recording studios, honky tonks, and the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, music is the heart of the city, but it’s not all that it has to offer. Nashville is also home to many large businesses, Greek-replicas, professional sports teams, a wide variety of restaurants, distilleries and breweries, and so much more!
Best time to visit Nashville
Nashville is a good year-round destination, with only a few days of the year being brutally hot or brutally cold. While you could visit year-round, there are definitely better times than others if you want the most ideal weather or if you have a specific event you want to attend.
Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect during each season so you can pick the best time to visit Nashville for your desired weather and activities!
We visited Nashville in the winter and had heard it was probably the worst time to visit. And while we still had a blast, the weather definitely wasn’t ideal. The highs are typically in the 40s-50s and the lows are in the 30s, but during our visit, it snowed!
We definitely weren’t expecting snow, so it was a fun, but very cold surprise (with the wind chill it was in the single digits…yikes!). One other negative about winter is that all of the trees are dead, so it’s a tad less scenic. However, it’s not all bad. The lights in the city around the holidays are said to be beautiful and it’s considered to be the low season, so if you want to snag some good flight and lodging prices, winter is a good choice!
Spring is said to be a gorgeous time to visit Nashville. The days are getting warmer (60s-70s), while still being a tad chilly at night (40s-50s) and the trees and hills around the city are turning lush and green.
There are also a couple fun events in Nashville during the spring, like the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival (the largest songwriters festival in the world!) and the St. Jude’s Rock N’ Roll Marathon.
Summers in Nashville are warm (80s-90s) and a tad muggy, but a fun time to visit the city if you love festivals! From music festivals, like Bonnaroo, CMA Fest, and the CMT Music Awards, to more unique food related festivals, like the Music City Hot Chicken Festival and Tomato Art Fest, there’s a little something for everyone!
Warning: because of the events, it’s going to be a pricier time of the year to visit, so plan ahead to lock down the best flights and lodging!
Oh fall, we love you! And Nashville fall sounds like no exception. With the leaves changing and temps ranging from 60s-80s during the day and 40s-60s at night, it sounds like the perfect time to visit.
There are also lots of festivals in the fall to enjoy! They call October, Artober, because of the many art festivals and events happening around the city. The summer crowds have also died down a bit during the fall and the prices start to lower as well.
Getting to Nashville
Did you know that 40% of the US population lives within 600 miles of Nashville? That means that for a good chunk of Americans, Nashville isn’t too far away, making it a great place to meet up with friends around the US, host a Bachelor or Bachelorette party (which you’ll definitely see lots of!), or go for a couple’s getaway.
While we drove to Nashville, the other best option to get to the city is by plane. Nashville’s airport, BNA, is home to 14 airlines, over 540 daily flights, and nonstop service to over 75 destinations (including some international)!
While you’re at BNA, make sure to get a BNA Carpet photo! Similar to the Portland Airport, Nashville’s Airport is known for its recognizable patterned carpet.
Getting Around Nashville
While many parts of Nashville are super walkable, some of the must-see spots on our 2 days in Nashville itinerary are more spread out and require a drive.
If you’re with a group and can split the cost, or plan to drink and need a safe way to get around, Uber or Lyft are likely your best bet. It may get a bit pricey, so we recommend looking at their fare estimator tools (Uber, Lyft) to see how much you’d expect to spend when getting around town.
You could also rent a car. The average cost to rent a car in Nashville is $64/day, which isn’t bad, and we were able to find parking everywhere we wanted to go (even in our long Sprinter van!) and for pretty cheap!
You could also take a bus around the city! It’s only $4 for an all day adult pass or $20 for a 7 day pass. You can see bus routes and schedules here. It will take you a bit longer to get around, but if you want to save a lot of money, the bus is the way to go!
Where to Stay in Nashville
One thing we loved about Nashville were the neighborhoods that made up the city. From the hoppin’ main downtown area, to the quieter 12 South, there are many different areas to stay in.
To hopefully make your decision of where to stay in Nashville a bit easier, we’re sharing a bit about the different areas that we enjoyed, as well as Airbnb and hotel options in them!
If you want to be in the heart of the action, SoBro, which stands for South Broadway, is a great spot! You’ll be a quick walk away from the bars and honky tonks on Broadway, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- Option #1: A 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment just blocks from Broadway!
- Option #2: A “tree house” in a beautiful building!
- Option #3: Located in a complex with a pool, climbing gym, and fitness center
- Option #4: A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with sooo much style
- Moxy Nashville Downtown
- AC Hotel Nashville Downtown
- Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Nashville Downtown
- Holiday Inn & Suites Nashville Downtown
The Gulch, which is right next to SoBro, is still close to the heart of Music City, but with a slightly less busy vibe. It’s home to many great restaurants and tons of Instagrammable murals.
- Option #1: A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom loft with tons of windows and natural light
- Option #2: A nice 1 bedroom, 1 bath loft just a mile from the honky tonks
- Option #3: A spacious studio with a full living room and kitchen
- Option #4: A 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with a pool
- The 404 Hotel
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville Downtown/The Gulch
- Thompson Nashville
- Stay Alfred at the James
12 South was our favorite area we visited! The neighborhood is super walkable, it has a Jeni’s Ice Cream, isn’t too far from a Hattie B’s, has trendy shops, and some awesome murals to check out.
- Option #1: 1 bedroom, 1 bath cute carriage house
- Option #2: Studio with a patio
- Option #3: 3 bedroom, 3 bath GORGEOUS house with an amazing patio!
- Option #4: Modern and bright 1 bedroom, 1 bath loft
East Nashville is known for having a culturally-diverse, artistic, and eclectic vibe. It has been going through a lot of revitalization and has become a trendier area to live and spend time in. It is across the river from the rest of Nashville, so you’ll definitely have to Uber/Lyft or drive to the main areas of the city.
- Option #1: Super cute 1 bedroom, 1 bath attic apartment
- Option #2: A 1 bedroom, 1 bath award winning cottage
- Option #3: A studio guest suite that can sleep 4
- Option #4: A super bright, white studio with a pool!
Hillsboro Village is the neighborhood near Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, so if you’re visiting a student or have an event on campus, it’s very convenient. While the area is a bit more family friendly and residential, it still has many shops and restaurants to enjoy.
- Option #1: A charming 1 bedroom, 1 bath in a historic building
- Option #2: A modern junior suite that sleeps 4
- Option #3: A 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with restaurants closeby
2 Days in Nashville itinerary
In this 2 days in Nashville itinerary we’re sharing our favorite, must-do activities and places to eat if you only have 2 days in Nashville! Have more time? Make sure to check out our “if you have extra time” section for more ideas of things to do in Music City.
- Have breakfast at Five Daughters Bakery, which is home to the 100 layer donut, which takes 4 days to make! And oh my gosh, it’s the BEST donut we have ever had!
Another great spot is Biscuit Love, which is known for its “bo-nuts,” a biscuit donut. This spot has a good-sized menu full of sweet and savory options.
- Grab coffee at Crema, an award winning coffee roaster. We loved their specialty lattes!
- Walk along the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The view of Nashville from this bridge is amazing!
- Explore Broadway during the day! Snap a photo outside of the Ryman Auditorium’s stained glass windows (or go on a tour inside!), visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, and swing by the State Capitol.
- Grab lunch at Peg Leg Porker! This spot is known for its dry rub ribs, but don’t show up on a Sunday because they’ll be closed! Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is also popular and has a cool menu item called the redneck taco.
- If you’re a whiskey fan, check out the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. They have tours seven days a week, every half hour for $12/adult. Friday-Sunday tours sell out, so make sure to book in advance!
More of a beer fan? Check out Tennessee Brew Works!
- Hang out at Pinewood Social! This spot is super cool and has bowling, a small pool, and outdoor games, as well as a bar, coffee, and a restaurant! You could grab dinner here as well after you’re done having fun. If you do want to bowl, we suggest making a reservation in advance.
- Nashville is known as Music City, so going out to hear some live music is a must! There are many places to see live music every night of the week and we suggest downloading the free Nashville Live Music Guide app to see who is playing, where, and when in Nashville. You can search by date and genre that way you can find the perfect music for you!
If you care less about who is playing and care more about where to see music, here is a list of some classic honky tonks and live music venues in Nashville:
Bluebird Cafe: This spot is extra famous due to the show “Nashville” and getting tickets to this venue can be a complicated process which can involve making reservations. Some tickets become available at noon the day of, some shows are first come first served, while others have reservations that become available the Monday of that week or a week in advance. It all depends on the day of the week you want to go!
A couple other things to know:
- All reservations have to be made through bluebirdcafe.com/reservations.
- There is a $3.28 per reservation non-refundable fee applied at checkout and a $10 per person minimum at tables.
- All ages are welcome, except for at the bar, which is 21+.
- Tuesday-Saturday shows have a few first come first served seats. The early shows have 10-12 first come first served seats, while the late shows just have a handful of seats. You must line up on the right side of the front door for first come first served seats
- You can only reserve for 6 people at once.
The Listening Room: A great spot to listen to singer-songwriters and enjoy a meal!
Whiskey Jam at Winner’s and Mercy Lounge: They both have free shows on Monday nights. This is apparently where all the big up and comers play!
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World, and The Stage on Broadway: All three are popular spots on Broadway.
- Have breakfast at the famous Loveless Cafe! This spot is known for having amazing biscuits and other southern delicacies. It’s a little bit out of town, but worth the trek!
- Visit the Belle Meade Plantation, which is a beautiful Greek-rival mansion and farm from the 1800s. Tours start at $24/person and include wine for adults!
- Transport to Greece by visiting a full-size replica of the Parthenon. While fun to visit on the outside, the Parthenon is an art museum on the inside and features a re-creation of the 42ft statue of Athena. It’s $6/person to enter the museum and is open everyday except Mondays.
- Have hot chicken for lunch! We loved Hattie B’s, but if you want to try the original hot chicken spot in Nashville, head to Prince’s! We ate our chicken “hot,” which was the perfect amount of heat to feel some burn, but still taste the flavor.
- Do you know what’s perfect after hot chicken? Ice cream! You must go to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which is one of our favorite ice cream shops ever! While not local to Nashville, it’s definitely the best ice cream in the city!
- Wander around 12 South! This area is super cute and has lots of shops and murals. Make sure to snap a photo of the I Believe in Nashville Mural and Nashville looks good on you murals!
- Head to East Nashville, a trendy area of town with great restaurants and an artsy vibe. We suggest having dinner at Mas Tacos (cash only and closed on Sundays), The Pharmacy for burgers, or Lockeland Table.
- See a show at the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium, which are both iconic Nashville music venues!
The Grand Ole Opry is the Nation’s longest running radio show and has live shows 3 nights a week and all shows feature multiple artists.
The Ryman Auditorium was constructed in 1897 as a tabernacle and was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. Located right on Broadway, it makes for a great spot to see a show if you want to visit some honky tonks afterwards. Make sure to arrive early to grab a concert poster from Hatch Show Print!
If you have extra time…
- Humphreys Street Coffee Shop
- Frothy Monkey
- Kettner Coffee Supply
- Three Brothers Coffee
- High Garden (tea)
- Proper Bagel
- Party Fowl
- Edley’s BBQ
- Arnold’s (Note: only open for lunch Monday-Friday)
- Milk and Honey
- Marche Artisan Foods
Breweries + Bars
- Bearded Iris Brewing
- Yee-Haw Brewing Co
- Southern Grist Brewing
- Bar Sovereign
- The Patterson House
- The Green Hour
- Skull’s Rainbow Room
- Colts Chocolates
- Olive & Sinclair–They have chocolate tours on Saturdays for $5/person. Book in advance here!
- Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles
- The Soda Parlor
- Goo Goo Shop
- For an “only in Nashville” experience, go to the Station Inn for the Sunday Bluegrass Jam!
- Visit the Nashville Farmers Market, which is a Farmers Market, plus an indoor market with permanent vendors.
- Go to a professional sports game! Nashville is home to a handful of pro sports teams, including: Nashville Predators (NHL), Tennessee Titans (NFL), Nashville Sounds (minor league Baseball), and Nashville SC (MLS).
- See Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, which is the home of President Andrew Jackson. Tickets range from $22-$28/person depending on which tour you want to go on.
- Visit the cute town of Franklin, Tennessee!
- Explore Radnor Lake State Park
- Go to the Johnny Cash Museum, which has the world’s largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world.
- Join a free walking tour, which takes place on Saturdays at 2 PM. Spots fill up fast, so book in advance!
- Spend a couple days at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is 3.5 hours away.
Ready to explore Nashville?
Pin this 2 Days in Nashville guide to help plan your trip!