pink and yellow mural in nashville that says looking pretty music city

10 Unique Things To Do in Nashville

A trip to Nashville usually means country music and late-night revelry on Broadway — it’s easy to see why Music City has become a hot spot for bachelor and bachelorette parties. While a little partying can go a long way and is pretty easy to find, you might wonder what other unique things there are to do in Nashville.

Nashville is a unique and fast-growing city with a rich history and culture. So, if you’ve been worried about how you will fill your itinerary, worry no more! Check out this lineup of 10 unique things to do in Nashville

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The Best Things To Do & See in Nashville

#1 Kayak on the Cumberland River

A unique way to experience Nashville is from the water! Depending on your level of kayak skills (or stand up paddle board) and time, there are multiple options, from just over an one-hour paddle right into the heart of the city to a half-day paddle. Depending on the length of your ride, you’ll get an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, Nashville’s Shelby Bottoms Nature Reserve, farmland, and more. 

All kayak adventures end downtown, which is the perfect place for skyline views. Just don’t forget sunscreen and a hat!

kayaking on the cumberland river in nashville on a partly cloudy day with views of downtown

#2 See armadillos at Radnor State Park

Did you just read that twice thinking, did she really say armadillos?! Yes, you read it correctly; There are armadillos in Tennessee — I was just as surprised!

Radnor Lake is a 1300-acre protected natural area with nearly 8 miles of walking trails. It is the perfect place to see bald eagles, armadillos, otters, herons, and much more wildlife. Since it is a protected natural area, there are quite a few rules — on the wooded trails, dogs, running, and bicycles are not allowed (it is allowed on the paved Otter Creek Trail). 

The hiking trails are not strenuous; they are perfect for an afternoon break and a little exercise. Oh, and want to know the best way to spot an armadillo? Try and move away from other people and just listen for the rustling of leaves — not only is it cool to see them, but the entire activity is quite relaxing!

#3 Sample vegan wines at Grinder Switch Winery

You will find a few wineries throughout the area, but the only one producing vegan wine is Grinder Switch! The tasting room is located downtown in the historic Marathon Village. About 30% of their wine is made using grapes for their 6-acre vineyard; the rest comes from East Tennessee, South Georgia, and the Finger Lakes in NY. 

Their wine lineup includes traditional wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a variety of their own blends — Blackberry Express, Honeysuckle Rose, Ivory Mist, and many others. 

Aside from wine, they also sell house-made jams and hot peaches!

glass of white wine held in the middle of a vineyard in the finger lakes on a bright and sunny day

#4 Skip the tour and see a show at The Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium is a popular spot for Nashville visitors, and for a good reason! The “Mother Church of Country Music” has a unique history and has hosted countless celebrities and musicians like Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and it was the home of the Grand Ole Opry for over 30 years!

As its nickname suggests, it didn’t initially start as a music venue; It originally opened its doors as a church. To keep the doors open, the church began renting the facility for lectures and performances — the Ryman is known for its fantastic acoustics. 

You can take a behind-the-scenes tour and check out the history and special exhibits, but I think the best way to really experience this Nashville treasure is by enjoying a show! Not all exhibits are accessible to the public during a show, but you will be able to see some of the old promotional posters and memorabilia from past performers. 

#5 Shop local at The Fatherland Shops & Five Points Shops in East Nashville

East Nashville is the place for all things local! Both shopping areas are close to each other and offer a variety of independent boutiques, art galleries, a zero-waste shop, and even vegan biscuits! If you’re looking for a gift or a souvenir to bring home, wander through both areas. And, if you get hungry, two of Nashville’s best vegan restaurants are nearby — Wild Cow and Graze.

#6 Say hi to some kitties at The Catio

If you’re a cat lover (like me), you might miss your furry friends while you’re traveling, and I have just the place for you. The Catio is Nashville’s only cat lounge and adoption center. Visitors are welcome to come in, relax with the kitties and even have a snack or beer! 

Aside from welcoming visitors to hang out, the Catio also hosts cat yoga every Tuesday evening. The class is $15 and you need to reserve your spot ahead of time. 

#7 Go chase waterfalls (just outside of Nashville) 

Although this isn’t technically in Nashville, if you have time and want a break from the city, this is perfect! There are over 800 waterfalls throughout Tennessee, many within an hour or two from Nashville. 

If you’re looking for a leisurely walk (or not much of a hike at all), then check out either Rutledge Falls (1.5 hours from Nashville) or Greeter Falls (just under 2 hours from Nashville). If you’d like to cool off with a quick waterfall swim, check out Cummins Falls, just under 1.5 hours from Nashville, but for an awe-inspiring waterfall that takes a little effort to get to, check out Burgess Falls, about 1.5 hours from Nashville. 

#8 Take a line dancing lesson

Even if you’re a terrible dancer, this is just a fun activity, and as you wander down Broadway, it’s hard not to get into the two-step spirit! 

There are a couple of options for line dancing lessons. You can book group lessons ahead of time or pop into the Wildhorse Saloon, Wednesday – Saturday, for a free lesson! The lessons at Wildhorse are generally offered once per day, you can view the schedule on their online calendar. They are seriously entirely free and open to all learners. 

#9 Capture Insta-worthy shots 

If you’re looking for the best spot to capture a shot of the Nashville skyline, you need to head to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge spans over 3,000 feet over the Cumberland River (one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world). It has multiple viewing platforms that make for an excellent location to snap picture-perfect photos.

One other spot to check out for incredible sunrise and sunset photos is Love Circle Park. The park is actually a hill located in Hillsboro Village, one of the highest points in Nashville. Nicknamed “Lover’s Lane of Nashville,” it’s an excellent spot for a romantic picnic. 

downtown nashville skyline on cumberland river on a partly cloudy day

#10 Take a street mural tour

Everywhere you turn, you’re bound to run into one of Nashville’s gorgeous street murals. There are over 100 throughout the city that local and international artists have created. The murals are funded by another activity in Nashville that is hard to miss — construction! A percentage of every new construction project is allocated to the city’s beautification through art.

You can find many murals on your own while wandering, but the most efficient way to see the most popular ones and learn a little about them is on a mural tour.

A Few More Unique & Fun Things To Do in Nashville

More Vegan Travel Planning Help

For further trip inspiration or planning, be sure to check out these other guides and articles!

The Complete Vegan Travel Guide to Nashville
The 11 Best Restaurants for Vegan Food in Nashville

The 10 Best Vegan Bakeries & Ice Cream Spots in Nashville
The Best Washington DC Vegan Travel Guide
The Complete Chicago Vegan Travel Guide
Vegan-Friendly Hotels in NYC

13 Unique Things To Do in Detroit

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