Read our definitive guide towards maximizing your spending power while visiting Nashville and be sure to add these budget-friendly tours and experiences to your vacation itinerary.
OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOURS
Our hop-on hop-off Nashville tour makes 15 stops along the way and tells a story of Music City that goes beyond the rhinestone cowboy, honky-tonk reputation that precedes it. With expert guides narrating every step of the way, you’ll see Nashville as not only one of the preeminent music towns in the United States but as a place with a pioneering spirit where talented, hard-working, passionate folks have staked their fortunes in the fields of art, medicine, and technology. You’ll experience a rich and vibrant city while paying homage to its many legendary figures along the way. Old Town Trolley Tours offers great package deals year round as well as saving you money on parking and rental cars.
NASHVILLE FARMERS’ MARKET, DOWNTOWN AT BICENTENNIAL MALL
If you have the means and the culinary inclination to create great meals from scratch, a visit to this open air farmers’ market gives you a chance to buy directly from the same local producers that supply some of Nashville’s trendiest eateries. This is the most diverse market in terms of demographics, pricing, and choice. Grass-fed beef and dairy products, farm-fresh eggs, poultry
and pork and an array of produce both in and out of season can be had alongside many international and regional foods. This is one of the rare markets that still operates after the sun goes down with an event called ‘Night Markets’ where you can purchase local wines and sample the offerings of the many purveyors all while enjoying some great live music.
RADNOR LAKE STATE PARK
If you’re looking to beef up your Instagram account with some dazzling, no filter necessary nature pics, this urban state park is a great place to start. Over 1,300 acres are at your beckon call including a six-mile hiking trail, environmental education programs and a plethora of wildlife and regional flora to admire. Observe owls, herons, and waterfowl as well as many species of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals such as mink and otter. Hundreds of species of wildflowers, mosses, fungi, ferns and other plants trees, shrubs, and vines add to the natural ecological diversity of the area. Several ranger-led programs are planned throughout the year including canoe floats, wildflower walks, astronomy night hikes, nature hikes, programs on snakes, off-trail land acquisition hikes and birds of prey.
FIRST SATURDAY ART CRAWL
Thousands head to downtown Nashville every first Saturday of the month to sip on free wine and contemplate the meaning behind the many artworks on display. Local galleries open their doors and offer rare opportunities to view diverse exhibitions featuring every genre of art in a festive atmosphere located in the Historic Arcade along the Fifth Avenue of the Arts. This is the kind of great night out on the town that unifies communities and keeps you and your money together too.
PERCY PRIEST LAKE
If you’ve got the itch to skip rocks across a lake and maybe see if you can reel in a largemouth bass for good measure, just hop in your car and 15 minutes later your whole world changes. This 42-mile long lake and the 13,000 acres of woodlands that surround it will more than adequately satiate your need to commune with the great outdoors without having to go too far out of the way to do it. Boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, wildlife watching, swimming, sailing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, water skiing, hiking, and biking makes for a day out on the lake that is short on priciness and long on fun.
Offering six levels of heat from no heat at all to ‘shut the cluck up,’ this joint turned fried chicken on its head so much that even the Colonel tried to get in on the action. Bountiful portions of honest, southern comfort food are this place’s claim to fame besides the incendiary poultry that has delighted visitors from all over. Not only is the bird the word here but their sides like pimento mac & cheese, greens, black-eyed pea salad and red skin potato salad are all beautifully rendered classics from the southern kitchen. One thing’s for sure, you won’t burn a hole in your pocket when you feed the family here.
GEORGE JONES MUSEUM
For a complete retrospective of a life lived in country music, this museum fits the bill. The Texas-born troubadour George Jones had an illustrious, rollercoaster of a career that spanned over 50 years, having penned and recorded some of the biggest hits in the history of country music. You’ll learn about the man and his life through the many exhibits displaying his most cherished memorabilia. Hunker down for some great BBQ at the on-site restaurant and grab a cocktail at the rooftop bar.
HATCH SHOW PRINT
What began as a humble little shop that would print announcements of an upcoming visit from a famous minister or to let everyone know the circus was coming to town, Hatch Show Print hit its stride and forged its legacy in the mid-20th century producing its iconic, typographic posters for the many country music artists that performed in the area as well as those in the blues and jazz genres. The Hatch family revolutionized letterpress printing and a tour of the facility and gift store located in the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame Building and Museum is like a trip back to the America of yesteryear. You’ll even get a chance to roll up your sleeves and make your own poster using the vintage equipment the factory once used.
For a piece of Civil War history and a study in antebellum architecture, Nashville’s Belmont Mansion is a fascinating attraction. Completed in 1853 by Adelicia Hayes and her second husband Joseph Alexander Smith Acklen, the 20,000 square-foot mansion rests on 177 acres of land designed in an Italian villa style with elaborate gardens and grounds. Take a stroll through the fragrant gardens and enjoy some shade beneath one of the mansion’s original gazebos or arrange a tour with the museum’s curator of collections to view the artwork and gain further insight into the their historic relevance.