Nashville, Tennessee, embodies a harmonious blend of vibrant energy and Southern charm, making it an enticing destination for newcomers in search of homes for sale or apartments for rent in the city. Beyond its iconic skyline, Nashville invites you to immerse yourself in a cultural mosaic, surrounded by natural wonders and a thriving community that makes living in Nashville something certainly worth considering. In this Redfin article, we asked locals what some of the more unique things to do in Nashville were. Their responses paint a city laden with hidden gems that goes beyond its famous music scene.
1. Nashville’s mural Photo opps
“What I love photographing around Nashville are the many murals that can be found around town, namely around East Nashville,” says Tina Gionis-Nashville Event Photography. “I love posing people against these backdrops for fun and funky photos. Below is mural is located in front of Jerry’s Market on Gallatin Road.”
Courtesy of Tina Gionis-Nashville Event Photography
2. Beverages at House of Cards
“For a special downtown experience that’s a bit off the beaten path, escape into House of Cards, a speakeasy-style restaurant underneath the Johnny Cash Museum, recommends Silver Street Management. “Inside, you’ll find dim lighting, sumptuous decor, magical artifacts, and the best part—a dining room full of magicians performing sleight of hand and card tricks.”
2. Italian food at Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen
“Tucked just outside of the heart of East Nashville is the original location of Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen,” suggests Silver Street Management. “The restaurant is small but mighty, with just a few tables inside, so takeaway is your best bet. Nicoletto’s features a rotating menu of fresh pastas, so you might want to call to place your order to see what’s on the menu for the day.
Build your own bowl starting with the pasta noodle of your choice, add a sauce (try the pink sauce), and add a protein or veggies if you wish. The Nicoletto brothers hail from Chicago, so if sandwiches are your jam, don’t miss the Italian Beef. There is also a location in another lesser-known neighborhood, Donelson, that includes patio seating.”
3. Nashville’s green gem: Cheekwood
“Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a local treasure. While not a hidden gem per se, there are parts of the expansive botanical garden that are less known,” says Silver Street Management. “Once on the grounds, grab a map and find the Sculpture Trail, a 1.5-mile wooded trail featuring 10 works of art designed to play off their natural surroundings. It’s a beginner-level path, and so serene you may end up nose to nose with a squirrel or even a deer. The rest of Cheekwood is also not to be missed, so leave some time for the other gardens as well. Lastly, check out their website for upcoming events such as Cheekwood Harvest, Thursday Night Out, and Holiday Lights.”
4. Watch city landscapes
“My favorite photography spot is Cumberland Park and the Bridge Building,” says Liz Courtney Photography. “I love that it’s one of the lesser known spots so you don’t have to dodge as many people but it gives a beautiful mix of city landscapes and nature. It’s the perfect place to take a few dressy, classic portraits and then change into something fun and have a picnic in the grass.”
Courtesy of Liz Courtney Photography
5. Dancing at the American Legion Post 82
“Who needs weekends when you’ve got Inglewood’s Honky Tonk Tuesday at the American Legion Post 82,” suggests Vector Travel. “Hipsters, seasoned veterans, and experienced country line dancers mix it up fueled by cheap drinks and world class music played by bands in residency or the occasional national act like Jim Lauderdale who grace the stage to test new material and play old hits. You can even get line dance lessons if you arrive at 7PM, before the music starts. For a modest cover, you’re sure to leave with memories that last a lifetime.”
6. Lockeland Springs historical nature
There is an absolutely hidden gem of a three-acre park in East Nashville called Lockeland Springs,” recommends Vector Travel. “Its sinuous loop path leads you by the historic spring water bottling site and it feels like you’re descending back in time as you disappear into the lush vegetation filled with berries, tree fruits, wetland grasses, and dozens of bird species that announce your arrival. It’s a great way to shake off last night’s fun and rejuvenate your mind and your body.”
7. Try out Falconry
“Have you ever heard of Falconry or maybe seen it in a movie where some medieval knight is riding on his war horse with a huge hawk on his wrist? There, in the sky, a small bird flies by, and the knight launches his hawk. Well, just outside of Nashville, you get to be that knight,” says Brody Hall Photography. “Wing Blade Falconry, located about 20 minutes North of Nashville, has hawks, falcons, owls, and crows just waiting to sit on your wrist, or maybe hop on your head. This is something you want to do.
They have several different experiences to offer, and they are all fun. They use a lure hooked to a drone, a handheld lure, all kinds of things you get to experience. And yes, you get to hold and gently stroke the birds. Make sure you bring a camera.
The owner is incredibly knowledgeable and was trained by a falconer in England. The owner answers questions, shares information, and is an all-around great lady. And yes, you wear a glove and the birds will fly to your wrist. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Courtesy of Brody Hall Photography
8. Travel through time in The Union Station Nashville Yards
“One of the most historical places to explore in Downtown Nashville is The Union Station Nashville Yards,” recommends Union Station Hotel Nashville. “Now known as the Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, the building dates back to 1900 when it was initially built as a bustling train terminal for the L&N (Louisville and Nashville Railroad). Check out the lobby, home to a magnificent ceiling that includes 128 panels of original curved stained glass and a historic fireplace, which is original to the building. It has been a tradition from as early as 1915 for couples to get married in front of the fireplace, and the tradition continues to this day.”
9. Make your day relaxing at L&L Market
“L&L Market, a lively gem in Nashville, comes highly recommended for guests on work visits, trips, or bachelorette parties,” says Misfit Homes. “This locale offers a blend of shopping, dining, and local events embodying the Nashville spirit.
Courtesy of Misfit Homes
10. How to spend a day in Nashville
Misfit Homes offers suggestions on how to spend your day in Nashville, recommending to “Begin your day with a donut from Five Daughters Bakery, then grab a coffee at Honest Coffee Roasters. As the day progresses, enjoy a sweet treat at Gracie’s Milkshake Bar. For meals, Thai Ni Yom offers Thai cuisine, while Penne Pazze delights with Italian fare. Amidst your exploration, live music may serenade you as you discover unique finds at boutiques like Amelia’s Flower Shop and The Barefoot Cottage.
11. Spend your weekend at 12 South Neighborhood
Misfit Homes also recommends staying in “the vibrant 12 South neighborhood. Prepare for an unforgettable experience filled with mouthwatering local eateries, trendy boutique shops, and serene parks. Take a stroll down 12th Avenue South and be captivated by the eclectic mix of businesses. Discover high-end luxury and vintage stores, gourmet restaurants, and unique locally-owned establishments. This neighborhood perfectly combines local charm and tourist appeal, offering dining, shopping, and relaxation options to elevate your trip. Don’t miss the famous Five Daughters Bakery for fresh, gourmet donuts, and Christie Cookie Co. for delicious treats.”
12. Locally sourced bites at Stock and Barrel
“One restaurant that may be lesser-known is Stock and Barrel in the Gulch in Nashville,” says Gemstone Solutions Property Management. “They have a wonderful menu of locally sourced unique burgers, desserts, and drinks, including the Elvis Burger with Peanut Butter and Fried Bananas, Duck Fat Fries, Local Bourbon Pecan Pie, and among many other drinks.”
13. Walk the 440 Greenway
Afterwards, you can walk off your full stomach at the 440 Greenway. Gemstone Solutions Property Management says, “The 440 Greenway is a wonderful city hiking trail that spans off of West End to Centennial Park. The city has plans to connect the trail to several other points, eventually bringing it full circle.”
14. War Memorial Building
“The War Memorial Building is definitely a sightseeing spot that captures the best lighting in both morning and sunset hours, watching the sun rays go through the ginormous Greek like pillars,” suggests NitaInNashville Photography. It has a similar aesthetic to the popular Parthenon at Centennial Park in Nashville, but very private, and is a less tourist area where you can have peaceful moments, soaking in the neoclassical architecture.”
Courtesy of NitaInNashville Photography
15. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
“Opryland Hotel is a well-known spot in Nashville during the holidays, getting to see the wonderful Christmas lights brighten up at night in this huge luxury hotel and convention center,” says NitaInNashville Photography. “What some may not know is how big this hotel actually is from the numerous restaurants, events, shows and wonderful conservatory plants filled up in one room with a city inside. I’ve done plenty of shoots here with different clients from lifestyle, to jungle like aesthetic to weddings. This place is a sight to see even before or after the holiday season is over.”
Courtesy of NitaInNashville Photography
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