When I moved to D.C. in 2008, I never ever would have guessed that just a few years later, Nashville would be the hot place to go! But now, everyone wants to visit Nashville, and every person I meet gets so excited when I tell them I’m from there! I recently went to Nashville and got to play tourist for a couple of days to come up with the ultimate guide to solo travel. Here is everything you need to know!
Whether you want music (and not just country!), Southern charm, hot chicken, Insta-worthy content, or history, you will find what you want in my beloved Nashville! Downtown is walkable, and there are tons of things to do. It’s an easy flight from most points in the United States, so it’s also an ideal weekend getaway (bachelorette parties have been taking advantage of that fact for years!).
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Nashville
Is it Safe?
Yes! You will find crime in every major city if you look for it, but if you’re looking for safety, you’ll find it here, too. You won’t feel at all uncomfortable walking around downtown during the day or early evening. Just be self-aware, look like you know where you’re going, and trust your gut. I know lots of people like to come to Nashville for Jack Daniels and margaritas, but know your limits and don’t overdo it. I don’t drink at all, though, so it’s okay if you don’t either! Do what’s comfortable for you.
Also helpful: How to Travel Safely
How Can You Get There?
Nashville is a road trip destination for many, but if that’s not for you, you’ll be flying into Nashville International Airport (BNA). From there, you can take a rideshare or taxi for around $40 (more or less depending on traffic and time of day), or you can take the bus for about $2. Once you’re in Nashville, you’ll be able to get around without a car, as long as you stay downtown or within reasonable walking distance of the things you want to see and do.
Where Should You Stay?
Definitely stay downtown! Unless you are renting a car, staying anywhere except downtown will be more trouble than it’s worth. Neighborhoods like Downtown, the Gulch, Music Row, Rutledge Hill, Pie Town, and the Arts District are all good locations. Green Hills, Brentwood, and Belle Meade are all nice areas, but too far outside downtown unless you have a car.
If you’re up for a splurge on something fancy and historic, check out The Hermitage Hotel or Union Station Hotel. For something more afforable but still boutique-style, take a look at The Graduate or Sentral Sobro. For points redemption, there are several Hilton and Marriott branded properties around downtown.
What Should You Do?
That’s depends. Do you want history, music, murals, famous food, parks, museums, art… The list goes on! With so much to see and do in Nashville, there is definitely something for everyone. My favorite things to do in Nashville are:
- Centennial Mall and the Parthenon
- Bicentennial Mall
- Tour the State Capitol
- Walk across the Pedestrian Bridge for a view of Downtown
- Visit the GooGoo Store (and eat a GooGoo!)
- Walk along Riverfront Park
Do it all: The Best FREE Things to Do in Nashville
How Can You Save Money?
Nashville is a great place to visit on a budget. Here are some ways to save while you’re here:
- Skip the rental car to avoid the cost of the car, gas, and parking either at your hotel or downtown.
- Take the bus to and from the airport instead of Uber or a taxi.
- Walk! Downtown is very walkable, and there is plenty to keep you occupied!
- Listen to FREE music on Broadway. Some of the best music you’ll hear is from buskers on the street corners!
- Visit the Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Mall, Centennial Park, Tennessee State Capitol, and more FREE things to do in Nashville.
- Get the “Dirty Bird Fries” at Hattie’s B’s Hot Chicken. For $9.50, you’ll get to try out Nashville’s original, famous hot chicken, and trust me, you’ll be full when you finish off the fries, pimento mac and cheese, pickles, and “comeback sauce” that comes with it!
Read next: The Best Ever Solo Travel Gear
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