Updated July 21, 2020.
Do you love music? Is Nashville on your “to go” list? Then this post is for you! By popular demand, this is the ultimate list of things to do, places to see, and where to listen in world-famous Nashville, Tennessee. This is Music City for Music Lovers!
You can’t come to Music City on a musical mission without seeing a show at one of these world-famous venues! Check their schedules and plan accordingly.
The Ryman Auditorium
Not only can you see a show here, you can take a tour and get a real feel for the history! It was a church, as you might imagine from its architecture, and its very first concert was in 1892. Much has happened between then and now, and if you’re a music admirer, this site has to be at the top of your list!
The Bluebird Cafe
If you watch Nashville or know a little bit of background on some well-known stars, you’re probably already familiar with the Bluebird. Dozens of stars have been discovered here, starting with Kathy Mattea. Writers of the songs you love regularly come here to play, and new talent show up from time to time as well. Make a reservation so you don’t miss what could turn out to be the show of a lifetime!
The Grand Ole Opry
Reportedly the Goo-Goo Cluster’s namesake (G-O-O… get it?), this is also the definitive country music concert venue. Country artists dream of playing here. And to be inducted into this institution means that they have really made it as a star. Whether you’re an ultra-fan, country music hopeful, or you just want to know what the fuss is really all about, make time to see a performance at the Grand Ole Opry!
Schermerhorn Symphony Hall
Have a more refined side? A night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall is for you! It’s conveniently located right downtown, and their performances are some of the best in the country. They perform everything from Motzart to Elvis and every genre in between.
Rising Star Venues
You can’t throw a stick in Nashville without hitting an incredible musician working hard to get discovered. Like what you hear? That tip jar helps pay their rent! Buying their self-produced album encourages them like you may never know. Just stopping to listen or tag them in a video on social media can go a long way! Take a moment to pay attention. You might be listening to the next Taylor Swift or Garth Brooks!
BNA Arrivals Music
No really! If you’re flying into Nashville, you will be greeted with some incredible talent on the BNA Arrivals stage, on your way to baggage claim. That is the best way to start your trip to Music City, if I do say so myself!
The Listening Room Cafe
Can’t get into the Bluebird or just want more new music? Check out the Listening Room Cafe on 4th Avenue South. Their songwriters’ nights showcase local talent as well as some people you may have heard of before. Hearing a songwriter sing their own song is truly an experience for a music lover. There is an extra layer of meaning that you only get from the person who wrote the song.
Are you into the history? Want to know how it all began? The musical museums of Nashville are for you!
Patsy Cline Museum
She only lived to 30 years old, but her mark on country music continues. You can learn more about her life and her music here at this small museum right downtown.
Johnny Cash Museum
Oh, you’ve heard of Johnny Cash? Now you can visit his museum! It’s in the same building as the Patsy Cline Museum, and across from the Goo-Goo factory, so you should hit up all three!
Country Music Hall of Fame
Once you get the details on Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash, check out the rest of the country music stars at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum! It’s in the shape of a piano, and it’s right downtown–you can’t miss it!
Musician’s Hall of Fame
Want more than just country? You will find it at the Musician’s Hall of Fame. This museum showcases music of every genre, style, instrument, and more! Bonus: the price of admission also gets you into the Grammy Gallery!
George Jones Museum and Restaurant
That’s right, The Possum has his own museum in Nashville, too! And he deserves it. He has had more top 40 songs than any other country artist in history. How impressive is that? Learn more about his life and legacy here, just off the music mecca that is Nashville’s Broadway.
OK, normally I am not a wax museum kind of traveler. However, if your goal is to make a selfie with a country music star, this is the surefire way to make it happen!
The Real Music City
Hungry for more? These are the real Music City sites! Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for country music stars incognito, or maybe not disguised at all! Steven Tyler lives nearby and has been known to chime in when he hears a hopeful belting out one of his hits!
This is the #1 must when in Nashville for music. You can’t walk down Broadway without hearing phenomenal artists both on the sidewalk and in the restaurants and bars. You’ll swear you’re hearing a professional cut on the radio, until you realize it’s live and in person.
Why is it called the Batman Building? Find out in
Viva Nashvegas! What to Know Before You Visit Nashville.
Music City Walk of Fame
You know about the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but Nashville’s version has–you guessed it–a more musical flare! It’s right across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame, and each black square represents a musician or band who has made a mark on music history.
Before you get too thrilled about this, remember that this is mostly just office buildings that you cannot visit! But if you’re a die-hard music fan who loves history, this is worth a walk-through! The historic homes in this area were converted into recording studios and offices decades ago, but the homes still look the same from the outside. You may even spot a recording artist or songwriter heading in or out for the day!
RCA Studio B
Dying to visit a recording studio? Maybe one where Elvis recorded some hits? Check out RCA Studio B! It’s the only historic studio you can tour, and if you’re into the music scene, it will be right up your alley!
Are you ready for your own musical trip to Nashville? Check out my United States Page for more!
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8 thoughts on “Music City for Music Lovers”
The Listening Room Cafe was a great venue. Not a bar scene at all; really enjoyed my Songwriter’s evening.
Thanks for telling me about it so I could include it!
Best city in the world!! Full of so many talented people 😊
I agree! So proud to tell people I’m from there! 🙌🤠
I wish I could say I was from there! It’s on the bucket list of places to emigrate to! I just wrote a blog on Nashville and how much I fell in love with the place ❤️ you are very lucky 😊