There are plenty of fun things to do in Nashville, TN for couples. In the article below, we break down our favorite things to do with our better halves.
About Nashville, TN
Almost everyone has heard of Nashville, TN, but for those that haven’t, we wanted to give you a quick overview of Music City and why it’s the next place you should travel.
Nashville is known for its music scene but, in particular, it has a reputation for being a hot bed for country music. There are countless honky-tonks to visit and famous music industry sites, like the Grand Ole Opry House. Nashville is also purported to be the birth of bluegrass.
However, music isn’t the only thing Nashville has to offer. Nashville has a lively nightlife scene (with over 32 bars on Broadway alone!) and is a burgeoning food capital of the US. There are countless wonderful restaurants within the city and surrounding suburbs, including some concepts from Michelin-starred chefs like Tony Mantuano.
For those who are more interested in nature, the city also boasts over 15,000 acres of open space, including 178 parks and 99 miles (ca. 159 km) of greenway. There are also many beautiful hikes just a short drive away from the city.
Nashville has so much to offer, but is a particularly fun city for couples. Below, we’ve broken down our top 20 fun things for couples to do in Nashville, TN.
1. Take a mural walk or tour
Time: 2–3 hours
One of the coolest, free things Nashville has to offer is an exposé of its street art. There are countless murals to find and admire throughout the city. And one of the coolest parts of the Nashville street art scene is that much of the street art was actually deliberate art organized by collectives. This means that the art can be found in safer, more accessible parts of the city, making it a perfect thing for couples to do in Nashville. We recommend making a list of murals you’d like to see and make a day of walking through the city to find the hidden-in-plain-sight gems. A bonus to this method is you’re certain to stumble across other cool Nashville things along the way. For an in-depth look at the different neighborhoods and their street art offerings, check out this excellent post.
2. Grab a coffee together
Price: $5-10 per person
Time: 30–45 minutes
As Nashville has grown over the past several years, so too has its proclivity to produce spectacular coffee. There is a wide range of coffee shops in Nashville, ranging from elegant to chic and everything in between. We love grabbing a coffee in the early afternoon to help us make it to prime honky-tonk time. Our personal favorite is Elixr in downtown Nashville. From the cozy vibe inside to the airy patio, this coffee shop is the perfect place for a coffee and conversation with your significant other. Elixr is right off Broadway, making it a convenient choice for those staying in the area. If you’re looking to go on a coffee crawl, check out this list of other exceptional coffee options from our friends at Eater.
3. Go dancing at a honky-tonk
Price: <$20 per person for cover charge (if applicable)
Time: 3–5 hours
If you’re not from Nashville, or the South, you may not be familiar the term honky tonk. We’ll bring you up to speed real quick: the term honky tonk usually refers to a bar that plays or hosts country musicians for its patrons. Honky tonk can also be used to refer to the music style or even a special type of piano that’s used to play the music.
You may be at a loss as to what honky tonk music actually sounds like. Apple Music has a curated playlist with some greats like Lefty Frizzell and Ray Price that’s worth a listen before visiting a honky tonk in Nashville.
There are a bunch of honky tons to visit in Nashville, with quite a few on Broadway. Some fan favorites on this strip are Honky Tonk Highway, Nudie’s Honky Tonk, and Robert’s Western World which doubles as a boot store during the day.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge—the oldest honky tonk in Nashville—is world-renowned. Many consider it to be a “must stop” spot when you’re visiting Music City. Once you’re inside, the live band is practically right in front of you. But you’ll want to get here early. The place fills up, especially on Friday and Saturday night.
4. See a Grand Ole Opry performance
Time: 2–3 hours
If you’re heading to Nashville for the first time, odds are you haven’t heard of the Grand Ole Opry. You may not even know what an “opry” is. We’re here to tell you not to fret—opry wasn’t even a real word until the hip folks at the radio station WSM invented the term in the 1927s. WSM was an early radio station in Nashville. It was a side project of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company, a local insurance company. The radio station was founded in 1925 on the fifth-floor of their headquarters and every week, they had a program called “Barn Dance” that came on Saturday evening for two hours. During a regular program in 1927, the program director and announcer, George D. Hay, first uttered the term “opry” on the radio with the following quote:
For the past hour, we have been listening to music largely from Grand Opera, but from now on, we will present 'The Grand Ole Opry'.
The “Barn Dance” program began to be known as the “Grand Ole Opry” and the rest is history. The Opry has been housed in several venues, including Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House (built in the 1970s), but has continuously run on a weekly basis since November 28, 1925.
The Grand Ole Opry hosts many country singers every week, and some of the biggest names in country have performed a show over the years. Some of the more renowned musicians include Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, and Johnny Cash (who subsequently got kicked out). The list of musicians who have been members is quite extensive. Many fans of country music consider induction into the Opry to be analogous to being inducted into a hall of fame. However, there are a number of exceptional country musicians who have neither performed at nor been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Since the show runs weekly, and the lineup is ever-changing, we recommend checking out the Opry website before your trip to Nashville to make sure you’re able to get tickets and see your favorite musicians. Shows are typically on Saturday, but occasionally, there are shows on Fridays. The venue alternates between Ryman Auditorium and the Opry House, so be certain you’re booking the correct location.
5. Give Nashville hot chicken a try
Price: $10-20 per person
Time: 30-60 minute
Nashville hot chicken is a point of pride for Nashvillians. For those who aren’t local, you probably want to try this favorite before you skip out of town. The thing that makes Nashville’s recipe unique is its preparation and serving style. Nashville hot chicken is marinated, then floured, deep-fried, and covered in a cayenne pepper paste that is quite different from a well-known dish like Buffalo chicken. Typically, Nashville hot chicken is served on a slice of white bread with pickles on top. This dish has become so popular that you can find it in destinations far from Nashville. The local favorite has even made it to other countries and is found in places like Seoul, South Korea and Melbourne, Australia.
One of the most well-known establishments serving this specialty is Hattie B’s. Another favorite place is Prince’s Hot Chicken, which helped to put Nashville Hot Chicken on the map. Don’t leave Nashville without trying this dish! And for what it’s worth, couples who eat fried chicken together generally stay together.
6. Go on a carriage ride through downtown
If you’ve never been on a cozy carriage ride through a romantic city like Nashville, now’s your chance. While there are several carriage gigs in town, one of the largest and most popular is Sugar Creek Carriages. The company has been in business for quite a while and has more permits than any other carriage company in Nashville. This means they can go more places and have more options for making your time in Nashville extra special.
They offer many services ranging from private, scheduled historical tours to pickup/drop-off service and even wedding rentals. Their Cinderella Carriage is one of the few carriages of its kind in the US, and was even featured on Netflix’s Marriage or Mortgage. We’re certain you’ll be able to find a carriage option that’s a good fit for your style and budget.
The company has a limited number of horses and further limits service during the hotter months for the safety of the horses, so you’ll want to be sure to book these tours well in advance of your visit to Nashville.
7. Grab drinks on Broadway
Price: $10-20 per person for cover, plus cost of drinks
Time: 2–3 hours
Broadway is known around the country for its bar scene. A quick Google search of “best bars on Broadway” quickly autofills the word “Nashville” as the first option.
The bars on Broadway in Nashville are something special. Nearly all of them offer live music and most are honky-tonks, but every single bar has its own unique feel and story.
A few fan favorites are:
- Honky Tonk Central
- The Stage on Broadway
- Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop
- The Valentine
- Nudie’s Honky Tonk
- Tin Roof
- Redneck Riviera
- Bootlegger’s Inn
- And so many more!
There are far too many outstanding bars on Broadway to describe here, so we’d recommend you check out this thorough review of each one before taking a stroll down Broadway with your better half.
8. Have a picnic lunch
Price: Free to picnic (or $$$ if you pay for a picnic service)
Time: 1–2 hours
With so much green space, Nashville is the perfect place for a romantic picnic with your better half. Some of the most popular parks to picnic at are the Warner Parks (more on those later), Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and Centennial Park (yes, that Centennial Park for you Swifties).
Centennial Park is a perennial favorite because of the full-scale Parthenon that sits in the middle of the park. The Nashville Parthenon is a sight to behold; both the building and the 42-foot tall Athena statue inside are replicas of the originals in Athens. Built in 1897 ahead of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, they provide an elegant backdrop for you and your significant other’s picture perfect picnic lunch. After lunch, you can visit the art museum under the Parthenon. It’s one of the more cost-effective attractions in Nashville. Centennial Park is also a great option for couples traveling with a dog. There are two dog parks within Centennial Park, so you can lunch without worrying about where to go that’s dog-friendly.
Don’t want to plan the picnic yourself? There are a few picnic services you can hire that can provide you with that special date in between your adventures in Nashville. Two of our favorites are Picnic In the Ville and Picnic PopUp. Both are local to Nashville and have everything you need to knock your picnic out of the park.
9. Tour a Tennessee whiskey distillery
Price: Free to $$$, tastings are usually around $10 per person
Time: 1–2 hours
It’s hard to hear the phrase “Tennessee whiskey” without hearing it in Chris Stapleton’s signature voice, but he paid tribute to the libation for good reason. Tennessee whiskey is a signature liquor that has spread far and wide, even to other countries.
Lucky for you, if you’re visiting Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll have no shortage of access to amazing Tennessee whiskey options. While many of the distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail are located south of Nashville and over to the east of Knoxville, Nashville is host to several distilleries on the list. A few of the choices downtown are Ole Smoky Distillery, Big Machine Vodka (formerly Tenn South Distillery), Nashville Craft Distillery, and Corsair Distillery. There are a few others just a short drive from downtown and even more 1–2 hours south of the city.
We’d recommend starting with the ones downtown first and expanding south if you decide to lengthen your whiskey crawl. Ole Smoky offers tastings at their downtown location and reservations are not required. If you want to take a tour, though, you’ll need to reserve a slot online.
Nashville Craft Distillery also offers tours, but their tours cost money. However, they have a wider variety of liquor options (even outside of whiskey), so we’d recommend giving them a shot. The tour concludes with a cocktail and two straight tastings of their house-made spirits.
Corsair Distillery has an excellent tour, but it’s a bit pricier than the others. Coming in at $20 per person (and $7 for non-drinkers), the tour is well worth the price of admission. Tours are capped at 8 people, so you get an opportunity to truly learn about the craft without just being a number. Corsair Distillery is also a great option if you want to grab dinner with your other half after the tour. They have a taproom and bar where you can get local craft beer, fresh baked pizza, and craft cocktails after the tour.
10. Go for a hike at the Warner Parks
Time: 2–3 hours
The Warner Parks are a place that Nashville locals love to go to be in the great outdoors without going far. The parks are less than 10 miles (ca. 16 km) from downtown and are visited by nearly a million people each year. The Warner Parks are actually two parks: Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park. Collectively, they make up 3100 acres of forest and field.
There are plenty of things to do in the parks, including scenic roadways and overlooks, hiking and biking trails, horse trails, and golf courses. For a light hike, we recommend checking out the Harpeth Woods trail in Edwin Warner Park; it clocks in at just under 3 miles (ca. 5 km), making it a great hike for those who are looking for more of a “wooded stroll” than a “high adventure trek”. However, if you are looking for more of the latter, the Percy Warner Park has a longer trail called the Mossy Ridge trail that total around 4.5 miles (ca. 7 km).
The parks are open from dawn to 11 PM, so you’ll have ample opportunity to fit a romantic hike in to your weekend plans.
Still looking for things to do? Here’s our list of other exceptional couple-y activities and things to do in Nashville, Tennessee:
- Have a wine tasting at Belle Meade
- Swim or boat at Percy Priest Lake
- Tour The Hermitage
- Walk through the beautiful Vanderbilt campus
- Take line dancing lessons
- Write and record a song together (Meetup, Airbnb Experiences)
- Have a couple’s photo shoot
- Go horseback riding
- Kayak on the Cumberland
- View the Nashville skyline from the John Seigenthaler bridge
- Tour the Johnny Cash Museum
- Visit Music Row for music history and heritage
- Travel to The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s former estate
- Try absinthe at the Green Hour, a Nashville Absinthe Bar
- Walk down West End Avenue to grab coffee and brunch.
- Go for a romantic ride on the General Jackson Showboat
- Bike along the Cumberland River Greenway
- Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
- Go to the Nashville Farmer’s Market
- Try some world-famous BBQ at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant
- Enjoy an evening of live music at The Bluebird Café
- Visit the Frist Center for Visual Arts
- Go to a drive-in movie at the Stardust Drive in Movie Theater
- Head to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
- Visit the Tennessee State Museum