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What to Do in Nashville | A Travel Guide to the Best Nashville Neighborhoods

This post was created in collaboration with Hotels.com. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this blog!

Tennessee’s Music City capital, Nashville is the perfect place to vacation. There is plenty to do in Nashville and even more to eat and drink. Plus the city is home to several beautiful boutique hotels. Nashville city is small, but there’s plenty of adorable and funky neighborhoods to explore, and it’s very easy to get around.

At this point, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Music City several times. I’ve loved every visit too. 

Below are my highlights for planning your trip to Nashville. There’s a little bit of everything to suit all budgets and all travelers. 

Keep scrolling to learn more about what to do in Nashville, Tennessee!

What to Do in Nashville

Covid Update 

Traveling right now is uncertain, things are constantly changing. Please keep your safety (and the safety of others!) in mind at all times. If you feel comfortable with traveling, do so, but please travel responsibly and follow all regulations. Travel is at your own risk, always, and especially right now.

If you do decide to travel at this time, here are my recommendations:

  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
  • Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
  • Make sure to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
  • Additionally, some of these images were taken in pre-Covid times.

The 6 Best Neighborhoods in Nashville to Visit

12 South

12 South is an adorable neighborhood in Nashville. In this walkable area, you’ll find boutiques, cafes, and restaurants galore. It’s quite the upscale neighborhood where you’ll find all the bachelorette parties spending the day.

“I Believe in Nashville” mural is one of several famous art murals in Nashville, and this one tops the list!

imogene + willie (Pictured Above) is a high-end denim store located in an old gas station. Amelia’s Flower Truck is usually parked out front.

Draper James is a hip, Americana clothing boutique founded by the queen Reese Witherspoon herself.

White’s Mercantile calls themselves the “general store for the modern tastemaker.” This shop is a great place to visit if you’re looking to bring back some souvenirs from your trip to Nashville.

Five Daughters Bakery is a family owned donut shop and is most famous for its Instagrammable shop on 12 South.

Frothy Monkey is a great all day coffee shop, and you’ll need plenty of coffee as you venture through all the stores in the 12 South neighborhood.

bartaco is a fun and casual lunch spot to grab a few tacos and a few margs.

The Filling Station is the perfect place to visit if you need a cold (and local) beer after a day of shopping!

Downtown Nashville Neighborhoods (Broadway, SoBro, Printers Alley)

What to Do on Broadway in Nashville

Downtown Nashville has so many amazing things to do. From drinking beers at a honky tonk bar on Broadway to catching incredible karaoke at one of the dive bars in Printers Alley, there is so much to do in Downtown Nashville. Not to mention all the world-famous live music venues and the Country Music Hall of Fame!

Downtown Nashville is also one of my favorite places to stay when I visit the Music City. There are all types of hotels for all budgets in Nashville. You have the sky high luxury hotels, plenty of small boutique hotels, and everything in between.

Broadway

Broadway (Pictured Above) is the first stop for many visiting Nashville.  Running through the heart of Downtown Nashville the street is always alive and busy. Comparable to New Orleans’s Bourbon Street, Broadway has its own unique country feel. This is where to come if you want a wild, unforgettable night out on the town. Here are my two favorite bars on Broadway:

  • Tootsies Orchid Lounge is a historic watering hole and mind-blowing honky-tonk bar. One of my favorite spots to visit on Broadway.
  • Robert’s Western World is a live music venue in the heart of Broadway. This Nashville bar is the definition of honky-tonk and is constantly hosting big-name country artists, as well as up-and-coming country music stars. Also, fried bologna sandwiches 😉 

Printers Alley

Printers Alley is a historic and famous alley in Downtown Nashville. Traditionally this small, four block long strip was the center of Nashville’s nightlife. But way back when (in the 19th century) it was the center of Nashville’s printing industry. At one point, thirteen publishers and ten printers were located in the area serviced by the alley!

These days, Printers Alley is home to boutique hotels, speakeasies, and karaoke bars. Below are a few of my favorite bars in Printers Alley

  • Alley Taps
  • Lonnie’s Western Room 
  • Ms. Kelli’s Karaoke Bar 
  • Skull’s Rainbow Room

SoBro

The party continues in Sobro, the southern part of the world-famous Broadway. Still part of downtown the neighborhood has luxury apartment highrises, hip restaurants, and swanky bars.

  • Bar Sovereign
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Liberty Common
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken
  • Yee-Haw Brewing Company 

East Nashville

What to Do in East Nashville

East Nashville is a laid-back, hip and artsy neighborhood in Nashville, right across the Cumberland River. It’s a historic hub full of arts, local music, award-winning food, and great places to grab a cocktail. Here are some of my favorite places in East Nashville.

Chopper (Pictured Above) is a fabulous Tiki Bar with the most inventive and playful cocktail list you’ve ever seen! Make sure to sit at the bar underneath the massive, somewhat intimidating robot complete with glowing red yes.

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club is a cozy and swanky East Nashville cocktail bar with imaginative, seasonal cocktails & modern shareable plates served in a uber-stylish space.

Rosemary is a bar located in a historic house in the Five Points area of Nashville. It’s got a great vibe, hip drinks, and plenty of chic hangout spots to explore throughout the rooms.

Vinyl Tap is a music-centric beer bar with food to eat and vinyl records for sale.

Southern Grist (East Taproom) is across the street from Vinyl Tap and is one of Nashville’s most loved breweries. This is the original taproom where you can still find a long list of creative brown ales and fruity sours.

Dino’s Bar is an old-school burger joint with a straightforward menu of burgers, fries, and beers. I’ve heard from locals that THIS is the place to go for the best burgers in Nashville!

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish is one of the most famous spots for Hot Chicken in Nashville. The chicken is the main attraction, but I’ve been told the Hot Fish Sandwich is another can’t-miss menu item.

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden is a fun local hangout for beers and burgers in an outdoor beer garden setting. This spot also includes an old-school soda fountain!

Alley Shops in the Five Point Neighborhood of East Nashville is a one-stop destination for locally and independently owned stores where you can shop for gifts, goods and clothes with a creative East Nashville flare. 

The Gulch

What to Do in Nashville

The Gulch is located just a bit south of Downtown. The area is small but has a hip, trendy, and upscale vibe to it. It’s packed with things to do making it extremely walkable.

Hops & Crafts is one of the best beer bars in Nashville. Pizza and other light bar food is available as well!

Jackalope (The Den) (Pictured Above) is one of Nashville’s top breweries. The Den is the original Jackalope taproom and is now its production facility. 

L.A. Jackson is an amazing (and quite fancy) rooftop bar that provides some of the best views of Downtown Nashville.

Tennessee Brew Works is another great brewery to visit when your in Nashville’s The Gulch neighborhood.

Germantown

What to Do in Nashville

Germantown is a historic neighborhood just north of Downtown Nashville. The area was named after the German immigrants who lived in the 19th century. Today it’s a chic, hip area full of restored Victorian buildings, warehouses converted into breweries, and an incredible selection of fine dining restaurants and high-end shopping.

Barista Parlor is a hip, happening coffee roaster and cafe.

Bearded Iris Brewery (Pictured Above) is one of the best breweries in Nashville and their taproom is part speakeasy, part industrial warehouse. At this spot, you’ll find they focus solely on Pale Ales, IPAs, and DIPAs.

Butchertown Hall is a rustic-chic restaurant that features wood-fired eats and oak-smoked meats. Plus a knockout beer list and expertly-crafted cocktails.

Rolf and Daughters is an “industrial-chic” high-end restaurant that focuses on New American style dishes and an inventive cocktail program. Definitely the spot to visit if you’re looking for a fancy dinner in Nashville!

Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen is a massive German-style beer hall with a gorgeous outdoor beer garden and a delicious brunch.

Music Row

What to Do in Nashville

Don’t let the name fool you… Music Row in Nashville is home to record label offices, recording studios, and radio stations, and located near Vanderbilt University. Dolly and Elvis famously recorded hits at the iconic Historic RCA Studio B which is located in this neighborhood. It is not the most happening neighborhood but there are some incredible things to do here when visiting Nashville.

White Limozeen (Pictured Above) is a rooftop bar and restaurant dedicated to the queen herself: Dolly Parton. Stop here for pretty cocktails, delicious brunch food, and skyline views. Perfect spot for brunch with the gals!

Biscuit Love is the “it” spot for breakfast and/or brunch in Nashville. Prepare for a wait too, this palace is always packed.

Losers Bar & Grill is a fun and no frills venue with all the classic bar eats and an extensive list of local beers on tap.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken (Pictured Above) is one of the top spots in Nashville to eat hot chicken.

The Patterson House is an upscale bar serving craft cocktails in a cozy and relaxed lounge. Also one of the first bars to bring mixology to Nashville.

Old Glory is an interesting and innovative bar located underground in what used to be the boiler room for White Way Cleaners.

Now it’s your turn! Time to start planning your trip to Nashville, Tennessee!

Use these images below to save this list of things to do in Nashville to your Pinterest.

What to Do in Nashville Travel Guide
What to Do in Nashville Travel Guide
What to Do in Nashville Travel Guide

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I’m Caitlin, an Austin-based blogger sharing adventures, stories, and interviews from your favorite breweries and drinks. Join me!

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