How to Spend 3 Days in Nashville
With three days in Nashville, you can sample Music City’s top experiences—from studio visits to soulful cuisine—and add a day trip into the rolling hills beyond the city. Find whiskey stills, sprawling plantations, and Civil War battlefields as you use the following tips to make the most out of 72 hours in Nashville.
Day 1: Nashville’s Greatest Hits
Since many Nashville highlights are packed into an easy-to-explore downtown, you can get your bearings in just a morning of sightseeing. Choosing a hop-on hop-off bus or trolley tour means you don’t have to deal with driving and parking—and with a guide sharing inside tips, it’s a great way to discover where to visit later on.
After a classic Nashville lunch of barbecue or fiery hot chicken, scoop up tickets to one of the city’s musical attractions. The Grand Ole Opry still echoes with some of country music’s most iconic performances, while the self-guided tour of the Ryman Auditorium features music history presented by celebrity hosts. More reel-to-reel than rhinestones, RCA’s Studio B is a glimpse of the process behind the music, and tours feature the spaces where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson created some of Music City’s most hummable tunes.
Day 2: Beyond the City Limits
Pick a day trip from Nashville to taste Tennessee whiskey, walk Civil War battle lines, or tour grand plantations. With so much history in the Nashville area, there’s plenty of overlap between Civil War sites and other historic destinations, and many full-day tours combine a little bit of everything for a whirlwind introduction to Tennessee history.
For example, you can learn the legend behind Jack Daniel’s distillery in historical Lynchburg; there’s a lot to see here even if you don’t drink whiskey, but aficionados will love capping off the tour with a Tennessee whiskey toast. To peer into the heritage of the old South, head into the green hills of Tennessee for a guided plantation tour: see Andrew Jackson’s country retreat, visit a onetime thoroughbred farm, and walk the halls of historic mansions.
Day 3: Take a Deeper Dive
Make your last day in Nashville count by going in-depth to explore the side of the city that interests you most. Whether you’re tasting local food, taking in the music scene, checking out breweries, or interested in history, guided tours of the city take you beneath the surface.
Since food tours and brewery tours explore some of Nashville’s most colorful neighborhoods, you’ll see firsthand what the city is eating and drinking—and learn about the personalities at the cutting edge of Nashville trends. If you’re here for the music, brush up on your local celebrity lore by visiting star-studded neighborhoods and hearing the latest gossip. Whatever you choose, don’t skip town before you sample some of the city’s legendary nightlife. Spend your final evening in Nashville hitting honky-tonks, cruising the Cumberland River, or hopping from bar to bar.