Last updated on March 17, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Nashville

Best 3 itinerary options for one day in Nashville

Do you have just one day in Nashville?

Plan in advance and you will be surprised by how much you can experience.

Here are 3 itinerary options that work well for families, couples, friends&fun or a bachelor party.

Besides some accommodation options, I have included also a few places to enjoy the night, either for a bachelor party, live music or just a few fancy drinks.

But let’s have a start

One day in Nashville Itinerary
One day in Nashville Itinerary

One day in Nashville – In a nutshell

Here below you will find a Google map of the city with the best areas to visit and stay in Nashville.

If you have just one day in Nashville, then I would highly suggest booking your hotel in the Downtown area. 

Other areas are cheaper, but far from the action and you would need at least 2 days in Nashville or even more.

Best areas to stay in Nashville
Best areas to stay and visit in NashvilleCheck the interactive Google Map
  • One day in Nashville itinerary for couples: spend your morning at the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Walk of Fame. In the afternoon, head to the National Museum of African American Music and take a walk in North of Broadway. Do you want to make it memorable? Take a Sunset/Night Helicopter Tour. Finish off the day with some live music . Read below a detailed morning and afternoon plan, including suggestions for lunch and dinner
  • One day in Nashville itinerary with families: also in this case I suggest spending the morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, however, after lunch, drive (or take a taxi) to the Music Valley to discover the backstage of the Grand Ole Opry, visit a beautiful LEGO Store and enjoy a couple of hours at the Grand Old Golf & Go-Karts. Read more below for the best family itinerary with all the attractions for kids
  • One day in Nashville for fun with friends: galleries and exhibitions are not listed on this itinerary, however, I have to suggest at least a visit to the Johnny Cash Museum in this section. Then head to the Marathon Village for some whisky tasting and not only. In the afternoon, join a Pub Crawl Tour and spend the evening/night at Printers Alley, the little jewel of Nashville. Close the day at Honky Tonk Central. Read more below for a fun 24 hours in Nashville

Here below, I share a Google map with a selection of the best things to do, places to see and experiences to have in Nashville.

Things to do, se and experience in Nashville
Things to do, se and experience in Nashville – Check out the Interactive Google map

One day in Nashville for couples

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Start your morning in Nashville with probably the most iconic music place in the city, the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Country music introduced us to some of the greatest artists of all time, and a visit to the Hall of Fame is the perfect homage to them.

It is located in downtown Nashville and was opened in 1967.

The Hall of Fame and Museum was expanded in 2014 to the epic location it is today. It sits on 350,000 square feet of space.

Here, you will find the CMA and Ford theaters, an archive, an event space, the Taylor Swift Education Center and stores that you can shop in.

If there is one spot you must visit, it is the Hall of Fame Rotunda. You will be standing in the middle of country music greats – literally.

The Rotunda is a circular room and the plaques of the inductees have been placed around the room randomly.

This is to make them all feel like equals, although newest inductees are now placed next to Thomas Hart Benton’s The Sources of Country Music.

The permanent core exhibition at the Museum is Sing Me Back Home.

It is a self-guided tour of the history of country music. You will see the artefacts in glass cases, each telling a unique story.

You will be able to view this exhibition through videos, photographs, artefacts, text panels and interactive touchscreens.

As you would expect, this is a popular place to visit in Nashville and I highly suggest booking your tickets in advance to avoid the queue and be sure you will have a spot (the number of visitors is limited)

Expect to spend roughly a couple of hours inside

Country Music Hall of Fame

Walk of Fame

Right in front of the Music Hall, you will find the Walk of Fame

This is a great place to explore and finish off the morning (budget 30 minutes to 1 hour)

The Music City Walk of Fame is a collection of star plaques on the ground that pay tribute to artists that have contributed to the world of country music and not only.

You can come and find your favorite artist’s star and take some pictures.

Who knows, you may be lucky to attend one of the inductee ceremonies that take place here often.

You can find stars for celebrities like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Kid Rock and so many more.

Lunch at Pancho & Lefty’s Cantina

The Pancho & Lefty’s Cantina is one of the hidden gems of downtown for both quality and price.

It is a casual Mexican restaurant/eatery offering some of the best and tastiest tacos in Nashville at a very affordable price, especially considering the downtown location.

The place is also famous for its fresh guacamole and lovely margaritas.

You should also check it later in the day for a cocktail on the rooftop area

The Broadway busy part of Downtown
The Broadway busy part of Downtown

National Museum of African American Music

Right meters from the Pancho & Lefty’s Cantina, you will find one of the best museums about music in Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music.

This long-awaited museum had its groundbreaking back in 2017 and was officially opened in 2020.

Visit this epic 56,000-square-foot museum that will tell the story of over 50 genres of African American music.

These are genres like jazz, hip hop, RnB, blues, gospel and so much more.

The story will be told using clothing, objects, film, photographs and other artefacts.

There is a state-of-the-art performance hall that offers film screenings, concerts, lectures and so on.

There is also a library with classrooms and a repository with remastered African American music.

You can visit exhibitions like the Roots Theatre, Wade in the Water, A Love Supreme, One Nation Under A Groove and many others.

Each of these will share stories of how African American music has evolved over time.

There is also the Museum Without Walls live events such as Sips and Stanzas and My Music Matters.

If you want to enjoy a snack and some shopping, there is a restaurant and a store on the site for you to visit.

The National Museum of African American Music is another popular destination in the city and, also in this case, I highly suggest buying your tickets in advance.

You will skip the line and secure a spot (the number of visitors is limited throughout the day).

Budget 1.5 to 2 hours for the visit

African American Music Museum tickets

Discover North of Broadway

If you still have energy and time, explore the artsy North of Broadway.

Take the Rep. John Lewis Way N Street and in two blocks you will be in the Arts District.

Once there, check out the Tinney Contemporary as well as the other nearby galleries like the Rymer Gallery, Chauvet Arts and the famous O Gallery.

Turn left and walk one block to the beautiful Legislative Plaza, where you will see the beautiful facade of the War Memorial Auditorium.

Turn right, and one block down you will be in front of the Tennessee State Capitol, built over 150 years in typical Greek style.

Spend 20-30 minutes around the area to see also the Andrew Jackson Statue, the Capitol Steps and the President James K. Polk Tomb

For more information, you should check out my guide to the best areas to stay and visit in Nashville.

Downtown Sunset/Night Helicopter Tour

To close the day in a very romantic way, you should book this 15-minutes Sunset/Night Helicopter Tour.

It’s a short one, but you will enjoy every single minute for its amazing view over the city

Surprisingly enough, it comes at a bargain price, especially if comparing with similar experiences in other American cities.

Check price for the Helicopter Tour

Dining and live music

As you may expect, there are many options around for dinner and for some live music.

On the budget side of the wide spectrum of choice, you can check out Robert’s Western World.

This is one of the most iconic music bar on Broadway (street), with a great atmosphere, country music and budget food and beers.

Alternatively, you can book your dinner at one of the lovely restaurants as the Merchants and check the concert program at the Music City Center, Ryman Auditorium, the Tennessee Performance Arts Center or The Station Inn

Accommodations and experiences for couples:

The Nashville Walls Project
The Nashville Walls Project

One day in Nashville with families

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

I already suggested this museum to couples, however, I must say that the Country Music Hall of Fame is such an iconic place to visit that also family with children should not miss it.

The kids will love the interactive exhibitions where they will play with music.

It is really one of the most outstanding museums in the country to have an introduction, or a better understanding, of the music evolution.

Plan your visit as first thing in the morning, when brain and attention level is still at the top.

Remember to buy your tickets in advance to skip the line and avoid disappointments (limited number of visitors)

Country Music Hall of Fame

And of course, once finished with the museum, head with the family at the nearby Walk of Fame to make a few photos.

Who is gonna be the first to find Keith Urban? How many artists are there? Are Jimi Hendrix and Kings of Leon there?

Plenty of possibilities to have a fun time

Lunch at Assembly Food Hall

Head to the Assembly Food Hall with the kids at Coco.

This is an easy going Italian restaurant offering a wide choice of pasta and pizza.

You really can’t get wrong with your children and it’s just a stone away from the Walk of Fame.

The Grand Ole Opry in Music Valley

For the afternoon activities, take a brief trip out of downtown to the Music Valley

This is a fantastic area of Nashville, with attractions for any age

First things first, discover the venue that made country music famous and take a tour behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry.

The Grand Ole Opry turned 95 in 2020 and is still going strong. This is a stage with crazy and memorable musical stories to tell.

An interesting fact is that in 2010, the Opry was devastated by the flood. The great news is: it is still standing to this day.

It has hosted Johnny Cash and June Carter. This was also the birthplace of bluegrass music, thanks to Bill Monroe and his band.

Former President Nixon himself joined Roy Acuff on stage in 1974.

Other greats who have held one-night performances include Pharell Williams, Paul McCartney and Bill Murray.

All the shows held here are broadcast live on WSM Radio and Circle TV.

You can take a walk through the artist’s entrance and see all the photographs and artefacts along this path.

There are about 18 dressing rooms, each decorated with different themes. Each theme is a way of telling the stories of key moments in country music.

There is also a visit to Studio A which is a television studio on site.

It is here that many productions have been completed, including the legendary Hee Haw.

Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour

At the Grand Ole Opry
At the Grand Ole Opry

The LEGO Store Opry Mills

This is a stop for the little ones, but not only, because you will be surprised by what people can build.

The LEGO Store is located inside the Opry Mills shopping center, where you can find other shops dedicated to the children like the Kids Foot Locker or the Journeys Kidz.

The LEGO store is so much more than just a shop. You will find incredible buildings, ships, and you name it. It is almost a Lego Museum.

Grand Old Golf & Go-Karts

This is another fun place for the little ones and the grown-ups too.

It’s the perfect stop for a family time.

The mini-golf side has three possible routes, that reproduce a variety of characteristic features of Tennessee’s natural terrain.

They have one common thing though, lots of fun.

The go-karts lap is actually quite long, making things less repetitive and more enjoyable.

If your kid is too young to drive, well, you should not worry because you can get also a 2 seater carts. You get to drive, your children will get to enjoy the speed.

You can buy a ticket on-site that will give you unlimited entrance to both attractions for 2 hours.

Dinner at Puckett’s 

Back in the downtown area for a great family restaurant, the Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant.

The interior is a sort of old grand-ma style. Great service that delivers generous portions. The kids will appreciate the wide choice in the menu.

In the evening, they also have live music, which will be a superb entertainment for the little ones.

Accommodations and experiences for families:

One day in Nashville for friends and fun or a bachelor party

Johnny Cash Museum

Fresh in the morning, start with a visit to the Johnny Cash Museum.

This is the only museum of the day where you will discover the life of music legend Johnny Cash.

Walk among artefacts that tell the story of Johnny Cash at this highly ranked museum. It contains the largest collection of all things Johnny Cash.

As you walk around the museum, you will see films, clothing, photographs, records, album plaques and interactive exhibits.

You will love how easy it is to navigate the museum.

To check out the films, there are a couple of seating spaces for you to enjoy.

Some of the videos you will see include clips of his career in movies and television. There is another film of one of his many iconic concerts.

You must also check out the last video display called ‘Hurt’.

Visit the on-site shop to get some souvenirs as proof that you visited this epic downtown Nashville museum.

The Johnny Cash Museum
The Johnny Cash Museum

Marathon Village

From the Johnny Cash Museum head to Clinton Street (in Watkins Park, just outside downtown) where you will find the Marathon Village, an area famous for its distilleries and events.

First stop at the Jack Daniel’s General Store where you can have a tour or just buy a gift to take back home

Stop by the Southern Engine Deli for a quick lunch.

Then head to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery for a tasting experience.

On the way, stop to take a few photos in front of the murals, like the I believe in Nashville.

Pub Crawl

It is time to join an All-Inclusive Pub Crawl that starts from the historic Printers Alley and keeps going through the pubs of Broadway.

Drinks are included, which is great, but it is not all about drinking.

In fact, the tour is very informative as well, with stories about the visited places as well as the locally made drinks.

The tour is also a great way to meet new people and you will get to visit the less crowded pubs, not on the beaten path.

All-Inclusive Pub Crawl

Printers Alley in North of Broadway
Printers Alley in North of Broadway

Printers Alley

You quickly saw Printers Alley in the pub crawl, it was the meeting point.

This is the coolest area in downtown for drinking and live music. 

It’s not as busy as the famous Broadway, with a more boutique selection of venues.

Start the night at Alley Taps, where live music goes all night long.

Stop by the Whiskey Shot, for another shot and compare it with the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery whisky.

For a sophisticated drink, take the elevator to the Rooftop Lounge on top of the Bobby Hotel

Bowie’s Nashville is a cool place to have a meal and listen to some live bands too.

And to be honest with you, it’s impossible to get it wrong wherever you go in Printers Alley.

Honky Tonk Central to close the night

You can decide to finish off the night in Printers Alley, in one of the many bars I have listed (there are many more I have not listed, though, which are as good)

Alternatively, head to the famous Honky Tonk Central, on Lower Broadway.

This is a 3 storeys venue with different bar and live bands on each floor.

There is no cover charge, however, drinks tend to be a bit more expensive than average (Broadway is also the most expensive part of the city)

Honky Tonk Central tends to be very busy on weekends, less so during the week but it is a great fun everyday.

Accommodations and experiences:

Honky Tonk Central
Honky Tonk Central

More photos of the one day in Nashville Itinerary

Nashville downtown night skyline
Nashville downtown night skyline
The busy downtown of Nashville
The busy downtown of Nashville
The rooftop at the Luke Bryans 32 Bridge Bar
The rooftop at the Luke Bryans 32 Bridge Bar
Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in Printers Alley in the early morning
Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in Printers Alley in the early morning
A night at the Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Broadway
A night at the Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Broadway
Time for some live music
Time for some live country music
Time for music in Nashville
Time for music in Nashville
The Second Fiddle music venue
The Second Fiddle music venue
Inside a Nashville bar
Inside a Nashville bar
Acoustic guitar with country blues harmonica ready on stage
Acoustic guitar with country blues harmonica ready on stage
Guitars selection in Nashville
Guitars selection in Nashville
Eating in Nashville
Eating in Nashville
Nashville style hot chicken sandwich
Nashville style hot chicken sandwich
There are plenty of shops selling cowboy boots in Nashville
There are plenty of shops selling cowboy boots in Nashville
Nashville is one of the best place in the country to buy boots
Nashville is one of the best place in the country to buy boots
Marathon Village
Marathon Village
Inside the Country Music Hall of Fame
Inside the Country Music Hall of Fame
Inside the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum
Inside the Willie Nelson and Friends Museum
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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