Free Things to Do in Nashville, TN: Top 12 Attractions

by Jen
Free Things to Do in Nashville, TN
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Are you looking for free things to do in Nashville? Here are some of the coolest and most unique attractions in Nashville that won’t cost you a dime. Enjoy these incredible Nashville activities without breaking the bank!

Welcome to Nashville! Known for its country tunes and legendary music venues, there’s a depth to this city that’s waiting to be explored. Dive a bit deeper, and you’ll find a Nashville that’s rich in stories, vibrant in culture, and generous with its free offerings.

From historic landmarks that echo tales of yesteryears to sprawling parks perfect for a sunny day out, Nashville’s got a little something for everyone. Whether you’re a lover of history, an outdoor enthusiast, or a music fan, there are free things to do in Nashville that cater to every taste and interest.

The beauty of this city lies in its diversity. Every street, every corner, and every venue adds a unique note to Nashville’s symphony. And the best part? Many of its best experiences come without a price tag.

If you’re ready to discover a side of Nashville that’s both authentic and budget-friendly, you’re in for a treat. Let’s embark on this journey together and uncover the free gems that make Nashville genuinely shine. Here’s everything you need to know about free things to do in Nashville.

The free things to do in Nashville, TN right now
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Free Things to Do in Nashville: 12 Free Nashville Destinations

Are you ready to explore all the free things to do in Nashville? As noted previously, there’s a large array of exciting sights and attractions in Nashville that won’t cost a dime. Keep reading to find out all the free places to go in Nashville, Tennessee.

Are you looking to enjoy Nashville’s world-famous live music performances? Or would you prefer to learn about the city’s rich history? Whatever you’re planning, there are free places in Nashville that can accommodate your needs. Here are all the coolest things to do in Nashville for free that you should know about.

1. Free Music on Honky Tonk Highway

Nashville is synonymous with music, and there’s no better place to experience it than on the Honky Tonk Highway. This iconic strip, stretching along Broadway, is a testament to the city’s rich musical heritage. From sunrise to way past sunset, live performances echo from every corner, showcasing everything from budding talents to seasoned pros.

The Honky Tonk highway is unquestionably one of the best free places in Nashville, TN where you can immerse yourself in authentic country vibes. Just walk in, grab a drink if you fancy, and let the melodies take over. Legendary venues like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Ole Red Nashville, and Whiskey Bent Saloon are just waiting to serenade you with some of the best live music around.

Neon lights, the infectious energy of the crowd, and the stories these walls could tell make the Honky Tonk Highway more than just a place—it’s an experience. If you’re looking to dive deep into the heart of Nashville’s music scene without spending a dime, this is your jam!

Visiting Honky Tonk Highway is one of the free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.
Honky Tonk Highway is an iconic music strip along Broadway, echoing live performances day to night.

2. Centennial Park and the Parthenon

One of the most iconic free places to go in Nashville is Centennial Park. Spanning 132 acres, this urban oasis is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It’s a perfect spot to have a picnic, take a stroll, or simply relax by the lake.

But the crown jewel of Centennial Park has to be the Parthenon. Yes, you read that right! Nashville boasts a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens. While there’s a fee to enter the museum inside, wandering around its massive columns and admiring its grandeur from the outside won’t cost you a thing.

The park also hosts various free events throughout the year, from music festivals to art shows. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Nashville for free, Centennial Park should be on your list. It’s a blend of history, art, and nature, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.

Centennial Park: Iconic Nashville oasis, perfect for picnics, strolls, and lakeside relaxation.
Centennial Park: Iconic Nashville oasis, perfect for picnics, strolls, and lakeside relaxation.

3. Tennessee State Museum

If you’re a history enthusiast or just curious about the rich tapestry of stories that shaped Tennessee, the Tennessee State Museum is a must-visit. Situated right in the heart of downtown, it’s easily accessible and a great addition to any Nashville itinerary. Hands down, it’s one of the best freeNashville places to visit.

Located in the heart of the city, the museum offers a comprehensive look into Tennessee’s past. Exhibits range from the First Peoples of Tennessee to the Civil War and Reconstruction, each meticulously curated to provide a deep understanding of the state’s evolution.

Interactive displays, artifacts, and art pieces make the experience engaging for visitors of all ages. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through time. For those looking for free things to do in Nashville with kids, this museum offers educational programs and activities that are both fun and informative.

Next time you’re in Nashville, take a moment to step back in time and discover the stories that make Tennessee unique by taking a trip to the Tennessee State Museum.

Tennessee State Museum offers interactive displays, artifacts, and art to engage all ages in a time-travel journey.
Tennessee State Museum offers interactive displays, artifacts, and art to engage all ages in a time-travel journey.

4. Music City Walk of Fame

In Nashville, the city’s profound love for music is evident everywhere you turn. The Music City Walk of Fame, located right next to the iconic Honky Tonk Highway, stands as a shining example. This landmark is a top pick for free outdoor activities in Nashville that every music enthusiast should experience.

The Walk of Fame honors the legends of music. From Dolly Parton to Elvis Presley, the stars embedded in the walkway celebrate those who’ve left an indelible mark on the music industry. Each star has its own story, its own melody, and its own legacy.

While country music holds a special place here, the Walk of Fame recognizes artists from a spectrum of genres, highlighting Nashville’s diverse musical heritage. As you wander along, you’re retracing the steps of musical giants, feeling the city’s heartbeat with every step.

If you’re on the hunt for where to go in Nashville for free, the Music City Walk of Fame offers a journey through musical milestones, ready to captivate your senses. It’s an attraction I recommend everyone visiting Tennessee to add to their itinerary.

Music City Walk of Fame is a must-visit landmark for music enthusiasts seeking free fun.
Music City Walk of Fame is a must-visit landmark for music enthusiasts seeking free fun.

5. Symphony Under the Stars

Imagine a warm Nashville evening, a blanket spread on the grass, and the air filled with the harmonious notes of a live symphony. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, that’s exactly what Symphony Under the Stars offers. It’s one of the coolest free events in Nashville, TN that combines the city’s love for music with its beautiful outdoor spaces.

Held at various locations throughout the city during the summer months, these concerts by the Nashville Symphony are a treat for the ears and the soul. From classical pieces to contemporary hits, the repertoire is diverse, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

The ambiance is relaxed and communal. Families, couples, and solo travelers gather, making it a melting pot of music enthusiasts. It’s a chance to mingle, share, and enjoy the magic of live music under the open sky.

For visitors or locals wondering what to do in Nashville for free, this is a melodious answer. Symphony Under the Stars is an experience that encapsulates the spirit of Nashville, guaranteeing to leave you with memories for a lifetime.

Symphony Under the Stars offers harmonious live music, a dreamy blend of music and nature in a cool free event.
Symphony Under the Stars offers harmonious live music, a dreamy blend of music and nature in a cool free event.

6. Hatch Show Print

In today’s digital world, the charm of traditional printing stands out even more. Hatch Show Print is a testament to this allure. As one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the U.S., it’s among the most unique free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee that art and history enthusiasts shouldn’t miss.

Situated in downtown Nashville, this iconic print shop has crafted posters since 1879. From music events to circus extravaganzas, their creations have captured the spirit of countless occasions, turning into sought-after collectibles.

Visitors get a front-row seat to the magic of old-school printing. The rhythmic hum of the machines, the scent of fresh ink, and the sight of hand-carved wooden blocks imprinting on paper—it’s an experience that engages all the senses. Plus, the shop often showcases demonstrations, shedding light on the intricate art of letterpress.

For those seeking free Nashville activities that offer a blend of art, history, and craftsmanship, Hatch Show Print is a must-visit. It’s a window into a bygone era, yet its artistry remains timeless.

Hatch Show Print is the oldest U.S. letterpress shop, a captivating blend of art and history.
Hatch Show Print is the oldest U.S. letterpress shop, a captivating blend of art and history.

7. Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park

Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, everyone needs a serene escape. Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park provides just that. Covering over 960 acres, this expansive green space is one of the top free outdoor places to visit in Nashville for nature lovers.

The park boasts a variety of habitats, from wetlands to forests, making it a haven for wildlife. As you wander the trails, keep an eye out for deer, birds, and even the occasional fox. The winding pathways, both paved and unpaved, are perfect for walking, biking, or even horseback riding.

The Nature Center at Shelby Bottoms is an added bonus. It offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and insights into the local ecosystem. Whether you’re keen on bird-watching, eager to learn about local plants, or just in the mood for a peaceful picnic, Shelby Bottoms has something to offer.

For those searching for free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee that allow a deep connection with nature, Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park is a breath of fresh air. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best things to do in the city!

Exploring Shelby Bottoms Greenway is one of the free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.
Shelby Bottoms Greenway boasts a serene 960-acre escape from city life, a top free outdoor spot for nature lovers in Nashville.

8. Nashville Farmers Market

Step into the Nashville Farmers Market, and you’re instantly greeted by a symphony of colors, aromas, and sounds. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market is a top pick when you’re deciding where to go in Nashville for free.

Rows upon rows of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and handcrafted items await. Local farmers proudly display their harvest, from juicy tomatoes to crisp apples. Meanwhile, artisans showcase their crafts, making it a perfect spot to pick up a unique souvenir.

The market is a vibrant hub of activity. Live music performances, cooking demonstrations, and seasonal events regularly grace the venue. And if you’re a foodie, the array of global cuisines available at the food stalls is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Overall, the Nashville Farmers Market is more than a shopping destination. It’s an experience, a place where community thrives, and traditions are celebrated—a must-visit for those seeking authentic free Nashville activities.

Nashville Farmers Market offers a vibrant heart-of-city spot, a symphony of colors, aromas, and sounds.
Nashville Farmers Market offers a vibrant heart-of-city spot, a symphony of colors, aromas, and sounds.

9. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Nestled near the Tennessee State Capitol, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is a gem that seamlessly blends history with natural beauty. If you’re looking for free things to do in Nashville for couples, this park offers a romantic setting infused with historical significance.

Spanning 19 acres, the park commemorates Tennessee’s 200th anniversary of statehood. Its features include an expansive granite map of the state, a poignant World War II memorial, and the captivating Rivers of Tennessee fountains. Each element provides a glimpse into pivotal moments of the state’s past.

The Carillon, with its 95 bells, is a standout. Playing Tennessee-themed melodies, it adds a musical touch to the park’s tranquil environment.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park provides a tranquil green space as well as offering a journey through Tennessee’s history. It’s a place where visitors can relax, learn, and immerse themselves in Nashville’s rich heritage, all while enjoying the city’s natural beauty.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is a historical-natural gem and a free romantic spot for couples.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is a historical-natural gem and a free romantic spot for couples.

10. The Gulch Murals

Urban art has a way of capturing the spirit of a city, and in Nashville, the murals in The Gulch district do just that. For those on the hunt for free places in Nashville to snap some Instagram-worthy photos, this vibrant neighborhood should be on your radar.

The Gulch, once an old railway terminal, has transformed into a hotspot for art, dining, and shopping. But what truly sets it apart is the stunning murals that adorn its buildings. From colorful wings that have become a selfie sensation to thought-provoking pieces that reflect societal themes, each mural tells a story.

Artists from around the world have left their mark here, turning the district into an open-air gallery. As you wander the streets, it’s like embarking on a visual treasure hunt, with each turn revealing a new artistic surprise.

For visitors seeking free attractions in Nashville, TN that blend urban vibes with creativity, The Gulch Murals is a must-see. They showcase the city’s dynamic art scene and its ever-evolving cultural landscape.

The Gulch murals capture urban spirit and Instagram-worthy charm, a must-visit for those seeking free photo spots in the city.
The Gulch murals capture urban spirit and Instagram-worthy charm, a must-visit for those seeking free photo spots in the city.

11. Fort Negley

Perched on a hill overlooking downtown Nashville, Fort Negley stands as a silent guardian of the city’s Civil War history. Built during the Union occupation, this stone fortification offers panoramic views of the skyline, which makes it a unique blend of past and present.

As you explore the fort’s ruins, you’ll encounter informative panels detailing its significance during the war. It’s a place where history comes alive, allowing visitors to reflect on the events that shaped the nation. Amidst the stone walls and battlements, you’ll find that it’s one of the most unique free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee that offers a deep dive into the country’s tumultuous past.

Beyond its historical importance, Fort Negley is also a hub for community events. From historical reenactments to educational programs, the fort continues to play a vital role in Nashville’s cultural scene.

For history lovers and curious travelers alike, Fort Negley is a testament to Nashville’s commitment to preserving its heritage while fostering community engagement. As such, it’s a free Nashville attraction I recommend to everyone visiting the city.

Fort Negley: Silent guardian of Civil War history, offering panoramic skyline views, a unique blend of past and present.
Fort Negley: Silent guardian of Civil War history, offering panoramic skyline views, a unique blend of past and present.

12. Frist Art Museum

While the Frist Art Museum is renowned for its rotating exhibitions of art from around the world, many don’t realize that the building itself is a masterpiece. Originally Nashville’s main post office, this Art Deco structure is a sight to behold. Its intricate details, from the aluminum doors to the geometric designs, are a nod to a bygone era.

Inside, while the galleries require an admission fee, there are areas of the museum that are accessible without any charge. The Grand Lobby and the Turner Courtyard often host free events in Nashville including artist talks and musical performances. These events provide a taste of the museum’s cultural offerings without the need for a ticket.

Moreover, the museum’s architecture and design-centric exhibitions make it a favorite among art enthusiasts and history lovers. It’s a space where creativity thrives, and the past meets the present.

Blending art, history, and architecture, the Frist Art Museum provides a multifaceted experience that captivates both the mind and the eye. It’s a destination where creativity thrives, and every visit feels like a discovery.

Frist Art Museum is one of the free things to do in Nashville, Tennessee.
Frist Art Museum is a globally renowned masterpiece with intricate details echoing a bygone era.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Free Things to Do in Nashville:

Looking to further your knowledge on free activities in Nashville, TN? Here are some common questions I get asked a lot about what to do in Nashville for free.

What is the number one thing to do in Nashville for free?

Nashville, often referred to as “Music City,” is renowned for its vibrant music scene. While there are numerous attractions, many visitors and locals alike enjoy strolling the Music City Walk of Fame, which honors significant contributors to the music industry. Additionally, exploring the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, taking in the murals in The Gulch, or simply soaking in the live street performances downtown are all free ways to experience the heart of Nashville.

What is not to be missed in Nashville?

Nashville, Tennessee, known as “Music City,” is famous for its vibrant music scene, rich history, and Southern charm. Here’s a list of must-see attractions and experiences that should not be missed when visiting Nashville:

1. Grand Ole Opry:

  • A world-famous country music stage show that has launched many careers. Take a backstage tour or catch a live performance.

2. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum:

  • Explore the history of country music through interactive exhibits, recordings, and memorabilia.

3. Ryman Auditorium:

  • Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” this historic venue offers tours and live performances.

4. Broadway and Honky Tonk Highway:

  • The heart of Nashville’s entertainment district, filled with bars, clubs, and live-music venues.

5. The Parthenon:

  • A full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, located in Centennial Park. It houses an art museum and a statue of Athena.

6. Nashville Zoo:

  • A great place for families, the zoo offers a chance to see various

What is there to do in Nashville that’s not a bar?

Nashville offers a plethora of activities beyond its bars. You can explore historical sites like Fort Negley, take a stroll in Centennial Park, visit the Frist Art Museum, or enjoy the outdoors at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park. The city’s rich history, art scene, and natural beauty provide ample opportunities for diverse experiences.

Aerial view of Nashville, TN, showcasing the city's skyline, iconic landmarks, and flowing river.
Aerial view of Nashville, TN, showcasing the city’s skyline, iconic landmarks, and flowing river.

Are there family-friendly activities in Nashville, TN?

Absolutely! Families can visit the Tennessee State Museum, explore the interactive exhibits at the Adventure Science Center, or have a fun day out at the Nashville Zoo. Additionally, many parks and green spaces offer playgrounds and recreational areas suitable for children.

How can I experience Nashville’s music scene for free?

The Honky Tonk Highway is a great place to start, with numerous venues offering free live music. Additionally, events like Symphony Under the Stars and various street festivals often feature free musical performances that showcase the city’s rich musical heritage.

Is Nashville’s art scene limited to music?

While music is a significant part of Nashville’s cultural identity, the city also boasts a thriving visual art scene. Areas like The Gulch are adorned with street art murals, and institutions like the Frist Art Museum offer rotating art exhibitions. Nashville celebrates creativity in all its forms.

Exploring Nashville: The Best Freebies in Music City

Nashville, with its rich tapestry of music, history, and art, is a city that beckons to be explored. And the best part? You don’t need to break the bank to experience its charm. From its iconic landmarks to hidden gems, there’s a wealth of free activities in Nashville that offer a genuine taste of what the city has to offer.

Every corner of Nashville tells a story, and each visit reveals a new layer of its vibrant culture. Delving into its historical sites, wandering through its parks, or immersing oneself in its art scene provides a unique perspective of the city’s essence. It’s a place where traditions meet modernity, and where every traveler can find something that resonates with their spirit.

In Nashville, adventures await at every turn, and many of its most memorable moments are available to all, free of charge. Here’s to discovering the soul of Nashville and creating memories that last a lifetime!

The free things to do in Nashville, TN for all types of travelers
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