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Exploring the Music City: Top Things to Do in Nashville for Music Lovers

Are you a music lover looking for an exciting destination to explore? Look no further than Nashville, also known as the Music City. This vibrant city in Tennessee offers a rich musical heritage and a wide range of experiences for music enthusiasts. From visiting iconic recording studios to indulging in delicious Southern cuisine, Nashville has something for every music lover. In this article, we will guide you through the top things to do in Nashville to make the most of your music-filled adventure.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Explore Music Heritage
    1. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
    2. Attend Live Music Performances
    3. Discover Historic Music Venues
  3. Experience Music Festivals
    1. Attend the CMA Music Festival
    2. Enjoy Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
  4. Explore Music Neighborhoods
    1. Visit Broadway
    2. Explore East Nashville
    3. Discover Music Row
  5. Indulge in Southern Cuisine
    1. Try Hot Chicken
    2. Sample BBQ Delights
  6. Take a Studio Tour
  7. Visit Iconic Recording Studios
  8. Discover Music History
    1. Visit the Johnny Cash Museum
    2. Explore the RCA Studio B
  9. Conclusion
  10. FAQs


Nashville is renowned for its contribution to the music industry, particularly in the country music genre. It's a city that embraces its musical roots and celebrates its heritage. Whether you're a fan of country, rock, blues, or any other genre, Nashville has a lot to offer. Let's dive into the top experiences that will make your visit to the Music City an unforgettable one.

Explore Music Heritage

1.1 Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for any music lover in Nashville. This iconic museum showcases the history and evolution of country music through engaging exhibits and interactive displays. Explore the exhibits dedicated to legendary artists, learn about the genre's roots, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of country music.

1.2 Attend Live Music Performances

One of the best ways to experience the vibrant music scene in Nashville is by attending live music performances. The city is home to numerous venues that host talented musicians from all genres. Whether it's a cozy acoustic set in a local bar or a high-energy concert in a renowned music hall, you'll find plenty of options to suit your taste. Check out the schedules of popular venues like the Ryman Auditorium, Exit/In, and The Bluebird Café for unforgettable live music experiences.

1.3 Discover Historic Music Venues

Nashville is dotted with historic music venues that have played a significant role in shaping the city's music scene. Visit places like the Ryman Auditorium, often called the "Mother Church of Country Music," where legendary artists have graced the stage. Other notable venues include the Grand Ole Opry, Station Inn, and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Take a trip through time and immerse yourself in the stories of these iconic venues.

Experience Music Festivals

2.1 Attend the CMA Music Festival

If you're planning a visit to Nashville in June, don't miss the CMA Music Festival, one of the largest country music festivals in the world. This four-day event brings together country music fans and some of the biggest names in the industry. Enjoy live performances, meet your favorite artists, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of this iconic music festival.

2.2 Enjoy Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, held just outside Nashville, is a mecca for music lovers of all genres. This multi-day festival showcases a diverse lineup of artists spanning various genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. Experience the vibrant energy of Bonnaroo, camp under the stars, and enjoy a weekend filled with music, art, and community.

Explore Music Neighborhoods

3.1 Visit Broadway

Broadway is the heart of Nashville's music scene. This lively street is lined with honky-tonks, bars, and music venues where live music fills the air from morning till late at night. Walk down Broadway, pop into different venues, and listen to talented musicians showcasing their skills. It's the perfect place to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and get a taste of Nashville's renowned hospitality.

3.2 Explore East Nashville

For a more alternative and indie music experience, head to East Nashville. This neighborhood is known for its vibrant music scene, with numerous venues featuring local talent and up-and-coming artists. Explore the eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, and shops while enjoying the unique sounds of East Nashville's music community.

3.3 Discover Music Row

Music Row is a historic district in Nashville that has played a pivotal role in the music industry. Take a stroll along Music Row and immerse yourself in the surroundings where countless hit songs were written and recorded. Explore iconic recording studios, music publishing companies, and record labels that have shaped the industry. Don't forget to snap a photo with the famous Music Row sign as a memento of your visit.

Indulge in Southern Cuisine

4.1 Try Hot Chicken

When in Nashville, trying hot chicken is a must for food-loving music enthusiasts. This local specialty is known for its fiery flavor and crispy coating. Head to Hattie B's or Prince's Hot Chicken Shack for a mouthwatering hot chicken experience that will spice up your taste buds.

4.2 Sample BBQ Delights

Southern cuisine and barbecue go hand in hand, and Nashville offers some fantastic barbecue joints. Sink your teeth into tender and flavorful smoked ribs, pulled pork, or brisket at places like Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint or Peg Leg Porker. Pair your meal with classic sides like baked beans and coleslaw for a true Southern feast.

Take a Studio Tour

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Nashville's music production by taking a studio tour. Several studios offer guided tours where you can see where renowned artists have recorded their hits. Visit RCA Studio B, where legends like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton have recorded, or tour the iconic Blackbird Studio known for its state-of-the-art facilities. Gain insights into the music-making process and witness the magic that happens behind closed doors.

Visit Iconic Recording Studios

In addition to studio tours, some recording studios in Nashville allow visitors to step inside and experience the atmosphere firsthand. Explore the historic Studio A at the Quonset Hut, where countless hits have been recorded over the years. Another notable studio is Ocean Way Nashville, known for its exceptional acoustics and impressive client list. If you're lucky, you might even catch a recording session in progress.

Discover Music History

7.1 Visit the Johnny Cash Museum

Step into the life and legacy of the Man in Black at the Johnny Cash Museum. This fascinating museum houses a vast collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and interactive exhibits dedicated to the iconic musician. Learn about Johnny Cash's impact on the music industry and immerse yourself in the stories behind his legendary songs.

7.2 Explore the RCA Studio B

Take a guided tour of the historic RCA Studio B, often referred to as the "Home of a Thousand Hits." This studio has witnessed the recording of numerous chart-topping songs by legendary artists. Walk in the footsteps of music icons and get a glimpse into the golden age of recording.


Nashville offers an immersive experience for music lovers, combining rich music heritage, vibrant festivals, iconic venues, and delicious Southern cuisine. Whether you're exploring the country music roots or diving into diverse genres, the Music City has something to offer every music enthusiast. From visiting museums and historic sites to indulging in live performances and flavorful food, Nashville promises an unforgettable journey through the world of music.


Q1. Is Nashville only famous for country music? A1. While Nashville is renowned for its country music heritage, the city embraces a wide range of genres, including rock, blues, gospel, and more.

Q2. What is the best time to visit Nashville for music lovers? A2. Nashville is a year-round destination for music lovers, but popular music festivals like the CMA Music Festival in June and Bonnaroo in September attract a significant number of visitors.

Q3. Can I visit recording studios in Nashville? A3. Yes, several recording studios in Nashville offer guided tours, allowing visitors to explore the studios and learn about the music-making process.

Q4. Are there any famous music events in Nashville apart from festivals? A4. Yes, Nashville hosts various music events throughout the year, including songwriter showcases, live music competitions, and industry conferences.

Q5. Where can I find the best live music in Nashville? A5. Broadway and the surrounding areas are known for their lively live music scene, with numerous honky-tonks and bars offering live performances.



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