10 Free Things to do in Nashville

We visited Nashville for a friend’s wedding while in grad school, so my friend and I were on a mission to find as many free or cheap things to do. A previous post details different neighborhoods in Nashville to explore, with a lot of fun stores to explore and views along the riverwalk. Here are some of the free things we found entertaining in Nashville:

  1. Walk around Vanderbilt University: We visited while school was in session. It was nice to be on a traditional campus again, as our university was located in downtown Boston and didn’t have any green space or the feel of being on a campus.

2. Stop at the Walk of Fame Park: A green space area near the Nashville Symphony Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, this park has a paved path with artist’s names paved, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Neither my friend or I are interested in or know much about country music, but notable names include Elvis Presley, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Amy Grant. We skipped going to the museum but this can be an easy way to still get part of the experience.

3. Walk through Music City Center: Also next door to the Walk of Fame Park, the Music City Center is a convention center that hosts a wide range of things including business forums and even a Covid vaccination site. We had no idea what the building was but it caught our eye with it’s unique architecture. We explored inside and found some great views of the city from it’s upper floors.

4. Mural hunt: There are a multitude of murals throughout Nashville. So many times I wanted to stop to get photos. One of the most recognizable is the “I believe in Nashville” mural found at Howells Alley, but there are bright and colorful murals all over the place!

5. Walk the pedestrian bridge: Get great views of the city and the riverwalk area from the pedestrian bridge.

6. Walk along the riverwalk: There’s a nice walking path along the riverfront. I particularly liked the grassy area that included places to sit (seen in the image above!)

7. Take in the sites and sunset at Love Circle: Located in the Hillsboro West End area of the city, this park at the top of a hill provides a beautiful view of the city. While I’m sure the view is great any time, we arrived just a little before sunset and had some spectacular views. I definitely recommend a vehicle to get to this spot, as it winds through a neighborhood to get to the top of the hill and would not be a fun walk!

8. Enjoy live music in the bars along Broadway: Most of the bars along Broadway don’t have a cover fee, so you can easily stop in and out until you find one with live music to enjoy. Thursday through Saturday nights can get incredibly crowded. We noticed a lot of bachelor/bachelorette parties, and we were there the weekend just before Halloween so it was incredibly busy! However, we stopped in Sunday night to watch the College World Series, and then Monday night to listen to some music, and the bars were nearly empty. We were easily able to find seats our last night there and really just enjoy the music.

9. Window shop: If you check out my post linked above about the different neighborhoods to walk around Nashville, I mention some different thrift and vintage shops. We also found some boutiques in these neighborhoods. While we didn’t buy anything, these are the perfect places to find something you may not ever find again!

10. Visit the Parthenon: Is there anything more American than recreating famous sites from other places around the world? (I’m thinking of you Carhenge in Nebraska, or all the places in Vegas!) The Parthenon is a recreation of the original in Athens. There’s plenty of green space around it to relax. We arrived just before dusk, and it was a beautiful time to visit.

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