Planning a solo trip to Nashville, TN? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- Capital of the state of Tennessee, Nashville has a population of about 690,000.
- Named after Francis Nash, a war hero from the American Revolution.
- Home to three genres of music: country, Gospel, and Christian Pop.
- Nicknames: Music City, The Athens of the South, The Protestant Vatican
- Currency: US Dollar (USD)
- Spoken languages: English.
- Best time to visit: from August to October (humid subtropical climate).
- Arriving via airport: taking public transit to downtown Nashville costs about $2 USD. There is a bus from the airport straight to downtown. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown Nashville is $25.
WHERE TO STAY
- The average cost of a hotel in Nashville is between $100 to $200 per night.
- Hotels start around $50 near the airport, and get progressively more expensive as you head towards downtown.
- Upscale hotels located in the city’s center.
- The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority offers public transit service to Nashville-Davidson County with over 40 bus routes for central Tennessee. They also offer Bike and Ride, making it easier to take your bike with you. Fares are $1.6 for adults, and $4.8 for a day pass. All fares must be paid with cash.
- Music City Cab is the premier taxi service in Nashville, with cabs operating 24/7. You can call your pickup location to 615 865-4100. Reservations can also be made online, as long as you book at least four hours in advance.
- Car rental: Look for big chains (e.g. National, Budget, Thrifty) at the airport or in downtown Nashville. Note: ZipCar is not an option for most visitors, as it is only available for students and faculty of Vanderbilt University, or for Nashville community members who have preregistered to use it.
- Drinking age is 21, and last call is at 2:00 AM
- College scene: 21st Street
- Mainstream scene: Broadway
- Upscale: McGavock
- Hipster: East Nashville
- Looking for specific nightlife recommendations? Here are some suggestions: Mother’s Ruin ($$ – cocktails), Layer Cake (Cherry Lounge), Dirty Little Secret (lounge), Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa (live music), Bar Sovereign, L.A. Jackson ($$$ – bar).
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- Located in Centennial Park, the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Also an art museum.
- Visit and take a cruise down the Cumberland River in the General Jackson Showboat. The General Jackson is a replica steam-powered riverboat, and recreates the experience of traveling down the river from the 19th century.
- The Hermitage is the home of former United States President Andrew Jackson, and is one of the most well-preserved homes of a former U.S. president.
- The Lane Motor Museum is the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the United States.
- East Nashville is one of the hippest and coolest parts of town. Take a stroll and you’ll see fun public art, murals, and even the “I Dream of Weenie” food truck.
- The Music City Walk of Fame is located in downtown Nashville and boasts over 50 names of musicians who contributed to the city’s rich musical culture.
- Printer’s Alley (between Commerce and Union) was once home to thirteen publishers, ten print shops, and two major newspapers. The neighborhood is now an entertainment district, and some of the clubs are frequented by major players in the Nashville music scene.
- For an architectural treat, walk through the Second Avenue Historic District. You will find many restored Victorian-style buildings, nestled between Broadway and Union Avenues.
- Note: long spring and fall seasons (as well as a wide assortment of trees and shrubbery) make Nashville it a difficult place for those who suffer from allergies. If seasonal allergies are a problem for you, it’s best to go to Nashville in the winter or summer.
- Nashville seems to have a fascination with naming things “Hall of Fame” and is home to at least three: Country Music Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and Musicians Hall of Fame.
- Nashville boasts over 100 hiking trails in the metro area alone.
- Be sure to try the city’s specialty dish: Hot Chicken (forget KFC – this is the real, authentic Southern fried chicken)! Get your fix at one of these restaurants: 400 Degrees, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken (multiple locations), Helen’s Hot Chicken, Pepperfire Hot Chicken.
- Other great food to try in the city: Sweet 16th (for breakfast sandwiches), Urban Grub ($$$), Degthai (amazing Thai food), Rolf and Daughters ($$$ – New American), Subculture Urban Cuisine ($$), Graze Nashville ($$ – Vegan), Radical Rabbit (vegetarian).
- Where to find good cheap eats: East Nashville has good, tasty, and affordable food, and is frequented by food trucks. Food trucks also flock to the Second Harvest Food Bank at 331 Great Circle Road in Metro Center.
- Dangerous areas: East Nashville has a reputation for being crime friendly even though it’s one of the more popular areas of the city. Make sure to walk with a group. Antioch has over 100 crimes per month (mostly robberies and assaults), and is best avoided altogether.
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days