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Free Things To Do/Museums in Nashville

Nashville Belmont Mansion

Nashville, a growing city brimming with history and culture, offers a wealth of free activities for any budget. Explore world-class museums, stroll through parks, or catch live music – all without breaking the bank. The music capital of the world not only hums tunes of country music but also echoes the harmony of affordable tourism.

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Free Parks

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Must visit Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park Nashville In the center of Nashville, there’s a park called the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. It’s a special place where people can learn a lot about Tennessee’s past and its land. In the park, there’s a huge map of Tennessee made from granite, so visitors can see the state’s shape well. There’s a path in the park that shows all 95 counties in Tennessee, letting you see and feel how diverse the state is. And, 31 fountains represent the big rivers in Tennessee, showing how important water is in the state.

Music City Walk of Fame Park

All you need to visit Music City Walk of Fame ParkLocated on Nashville’s famed Music Mile, the Music City Walk of Fame Park pays homage to significant contributors from all genres who have left a lasting impact on Music City through song or industry collaboration. With a diverse range of honorees, from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash, this iconic landmark reflects Nashville’s musical heritage. The park is more than a tribute; it’s a testament to the city’s enduring connection to music, offering insight into the remarkable individuals who have shaped the music industry. A visit to Nashville would be incomplete without a stroll through the Walk of Fame Park, where the city’s musical history is embedded in the ground beneath your feet.

Centennial Park

Get to know about Centennial park NashvilleIn the heart of Nashville, vast and beautiful Centennial Park sprawls across 132 acres, offering an abundance of greenery and serene spots. Nestled at West End and 25th Avenue North, the park seamlessly blends nature, culture, and history. Its most recognizable landmark is the Parthenon, a majestic replica of the original in Athens, aptly earning Nashville the moniker “Athens of the South.”

Centennial Park beckons visitors with its tranquil Lake Watauga, where you can soak in the calming views and escape the bustling city life. Embark on a leisurely stroll along the one-mile trail, immersing yourself in the park’s natural splendor. Within the park’s embrace, you’ll find the Centennial Art Center, a creative hub showcasing local artwork and fostering Nashville’s thriving arts scene. Historical monuments and an arts activity center further enrich the park’s offerings.

Free Art Galleries/Exhibits

21c Museum Hotel Nashville

In the heart of downtown Nashville, the 21c Museum Hotel offers more than just a place to rest your head. This transformative space reimagines a historic building as an art hub, providing over 10,500 square feet of exhibition space. The hotel is a testament to Nashville’s burgeoning art scene, showcasing rotating exhibitions that are open to the public every day of the year — and all at no charge. The fusion of art and hospitality creates a unique atmosphere, making the 21c Museum Hotel a must-visit location for art enthusiasts and curious tourists alike. Here, visitors can appreciate compelling art installations while enjoying the comforts of a world-class hotel, further enriching their Nashville experience.

First Saturday Art Crawl

Every month, people in Nashville, both locals and visitors, eagerly look forward to the First Saturday Art Crawl. It happens on the first Saturday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. During this time, art galleries all over the city open their doors for special events and new exhibitions. This cool event lets art lovers and those just starting to get into art explore and enjoy Nashville’s diverse and lively arts community. And the best part? It’s free to attend, and some galleries even give out free wine and snacks, making the evening not only culturally enriching but also friendly and welcoming. The First Saturday Art Crawl shows how Nashville is dedicated to supporting and celebrating its thriving arts and culture scene.

Hatch Show Print

All you need explore hatch show print Nashville’s Hatch Show Print is one of America’s oldest letterpress print shops, still going strong. Stepping inside, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the late 1800s when this printing method began. You can watch them create their famous posters up close. These posters are a big deal in Nashville, hanging all over the city in music venues and art spaces. Visiting Hatch Show Print isn’t just a trip — it’s a chance to connect with Nashville’s love for music and art and experience a piece of its history firsthand.

Nashville’s Murals

Must visit Nashville Mural for freeCheck out the awe-inspiring large paintings all over Nashville! Local and renowned artists from around the globe have created these colossal artworks that add a burst of color to the city. You can spot them adorning the sides of restaurants, stores, garage doors, water tanks, and even old silos. These paintings are exceptionally diverse and captivating, just like the city itself. Each one holds a unique story, showcasing the essence of Nashville — the city’s vibrant rhythm, its captivating history, and its flourishing art scene. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply strolling through the streets, these captivating paintings take you on a captivating adventure through the heart of Music City. They’re not merely there for aesthetic pleasure; they serve as a testament to Nashville’s creativity and brilliance, and everyone should witness them firsthand!

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery

The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, nestled within the Vanderbilt University campus, stands as a haven for art aficionados in Nashville. It showcases a rotating array of art exhibitions, spanning the entire spectrum of time from ancient masterpieces to contemporary creations, offering visitors a comprehensive immersion into diverse artistic styles. The gallery’s welcoming doors are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, making it readily accessible to both tourists and locals alike. Each visit promises a fresh encounter with artistic brilliance, fostering a deeper appreciation for the vast tapestry of artistic expression. With its impressive collection and inviting ambiance, the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery enriches Nashville’s landscape, making it an essential destination for anyone seeking to delve into the city’s vibrant art scene.

Zeitgeist Gallery

In the middle of Wedgewood-Houston, you’ll find Zeitgeist Gallery, a cool place for modern art in Nashville. The gallery is famous for supporting local and nearby artists and has a bunch of different art shows that change regularly. When you go there, it’s not just about looking at art; you also get to learn about the artists and how they come up with their ideas. Every visit to Zeitgeist Gallery is like going on an adventure into the world of art, helping you understand and like modern art even more. This special place shows how Nashville cares about having a lively art scene and helping local artists. It’s an important stop if you want to explore the city’s culture.

Must-Visit Free Attractions

Arrington Vineyards

Arrington VineyardsArrington Vineyards, which is about the best winery in Tennessee, is a beautiful and fun place for people who love wine, and even those who just want to relax. You don’t have to pay to get in, and you can bring your picnic or enjoy a tasty dinner while looking at the amazing view of the vineyards. In the warmer months, from April to October, they have a special event on weekends called “Music in the Vines.” It’s a cool mix of live music and different wines, making it a memorable part of Nashville. Whether you know a lot about wine or just want a nice outdoor getaway, Arrington Vineyards shows how lively and artsy Nashville is. It’s a great place to experience the city’s culture.

Cooter’s Place

Another place of interest for both locals and tourists visiting Nashville is Cooter’s Place. This museum, operated by “Cooter” himself — Ben Jones from the iconic TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” — is a treasure trove of memorabilia that transports you on a nostalgic journey back to Hazzard County. Inside, you’ll find a diverse collection of original props, costumes, pictures, and other memorabilia from the show. Moreover, auto enthusiasts will be thrilled to explore the classic Dukes cars displayed here, including Cooter’s two trucks, Daisy’s Jeep, Rosco’s Patrol Car, and the legendary General Lee. A visit to Cooter’s Place promises to be an interactive and enjoyable trip down memory lane for fans of the show and curious visitors alike.

Downtown Presbyterian Church

nashville downtown presbyterian churchAdding to Nashville’s colorful culture is the Downtown Presbyterian Church, a special place that people come to visit from nearby and far away. This church is a big deal because it’s a national landmark, and it’s not like most other buildings you see. Inside, it’s decorated in a style that’s kind of like the time of Egyptian pharaohs, with fancy symbols on the walls and columns. The big organ in the church is amazing too, with lots of details and beautiful music. The Downtown Presbyterian Church isn’t just for worship; it’s a mix of history, art, and spirituality.

Fort Nashborough Interpretive Center

Fort Nashborough picture featuring a log house and a log fenceAt the heart of Nashville’s origins lies the Fort Nashborough Interpretive Center, a place that honors the courageous pioneers who laid the city’s foundation. James Robertson and his intrepid group erected a fort at the Cedar Bluffs to safeguard the first European families who dared to settle in this frontier land. This fort stands as the birthplace of Nashville’s history and vibrant culture. Today, the interpretive center serves as a living monument, transporting visitors back in time to experience the life of those early settlers. Authentic log cabins and interactive exhibits bring the past to life, allowing visitors to touch, explore, and connect with the spirit of Nashville’s beginnings. The Fort Nashborough Interpretive Center functions as a time machine, preserving the memory of the visionary individuals who breathed life into Nashville’s enduring legacy.

Fort Negley

A key highlight in Nashville’s historical tapestry is Fort Negley, the largest inland masonry fort built during the Civil War. This monumental stronghold stands as a testament to the city’s resilience and strategic importance during one of the country’s most tumultuous periods. Today, Fort Negley offers interactive exhibits that provide an immersive, in-depth exploration of the fort’s construction, its role in the Civil War, and the broader sociopolitical climate of the era.

Nashville Public Library

The Nashville Public Library, a focal point of the city’s intellectual and cultural life, provides an enriching hub of learning and entertainment for individuals of all ages. With its wide array of free, year-round activities, such as weekly Story Time for children, puppet shows that captivate audiences, lively music performances in the courtyard, engaging book clubs, and creative craft days, the library embodies the spirit of Nashville. Beyond just being a repository of books, it is a space that fosters community engagement, lifelong learning, and a deep-seated love of literature. A visit to the Nashville Public Library is not just an educational experience but a journey into the heart of Nashville’s societal and cultural fabric.

Tennessee Agricultural Museum

The Tennessee Agricultural Museum takes visitors on a journey through the state’s rich farming past, offering a closer look at the tools, implements, and household items that shaped rural life during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum’s serene campus houses a remarkable log cabin community, amid which a tranquil wooded trail beckons for exploration. Of notable interest are the heirloom gardens, which add a touch of timeless beauty, contributing to the overall ambiance and authenticity of the museum experience. Through these evocative displays, the Tennessee Agricultural Museum not only preserves a vital piece of the state’s heritage but also fosters an understanding of agriculture’s evolution over time.

Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee State MuseumAdjacent to the Tennessee Agricultural Museum, the Tennessee State Museum stands as a testament to the state’s varied and cultural history. With exhibits unfolding from Tennessee’s earliest origins to the present day, the museum provides a comprehensive look into the diverse narrative threads that have woven the fabric of the state. One cannot overlook the significant role of Music City in shaping the cultural and musical landscape not only of Nashville but of the country at large. Home to iconic figures and establishments in the music industry, Music City has been an indispensable chapter in the Tennessee story.

Free Things for Kids To Do in Nashville

Cumberland Park

Nashville Cumberland Park Cumberland Park, an innovative play space nestled on the east bank of the Cumberland River, stands as a must-visit destination for families with children. This unique park, graced with stunning views of the Nashville skyline, is meticulously designed to engage and excite children of all ages. It boasts a captivating array of play areas, including an interactive splash pad, a thrilling climbing wall, and a captivating sand play area. The park’s ingenious design seamlessly integrates natural elements with an adventurous twist, fostering free play and encouraging exploration of the outdoors.

Frist Art Museum

nashville the frist museumAnother enlightening destination in Nashville is the Frist Art Museum, renowned for its dynamic array of rotating exhibitions. The museum’s commitment to freshness ensures that there’s always something captivating and inspiring to discover. Especially engaging for younger audiences, the Frist Art Museum invites children to embark on an interactive and stimulating journey into the world of art. An added delight is the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, a space featuring 30 hands-on stations where budding artists can unleash their creativity and bring their artistic visions to life. With its unwavering dedication to fostering creativity and promoting understanding through art, the Frist Art Museum stands as an enriching destination, offering unique and enriching experiences for children visiting Nashville.

Storytellers Hideaway Farm & Museum

For families seeking an intimate glimpse into the life of the legendary Johnny Cash, the Storytellers Hideaway Farm & Museum offers an unparalleled experience. This property, once owned by Cash himself, breathes life into the enduring legacy of the iconic country singer. Its sprawling verdant landscapes and rustic charm provide a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Nashville’s city life. Here, children can explore the tranquil surroundings and connect with the vibrant history of the property. The museum, enriched with fascinating exhibits featuring priceless memorabilia and personal artifacts from Cash’s life, allows younger visitors to forge a deep connection with a vital thread of Tennessee’s musical heritage. With its commitment to accessibility, the Storytellers Hideaway Farm & Museum offers free admission for kids under six, making it a must-visit for families in Nashville.

Belmont Mansion

All you need to visit Belmont Mansion Completed in 1853, this majestic mansion stands as an enduring testament to the ingenuity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit of its original owner, Adelicia Acklen. Renowned for her astute financial acumen and shrewd maneuvering during the Civil War, Acklen managed to safeguard her considerable fortune amid the tumultuous conditions of the era. A visit to Belmont Mansion unveils a fascinating window into the opulent domestic life of the South during the mid-19th century and brings to life the extraordinary story of a woman who defied the societal norms of her time.


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

Nashville isn’t just about music; there’s a myriad of activities that go beyond its melodic symphony. History buffs will find the Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s historic plantation, a fascinating visit. The Nashville Zoo, with its diverse array of animals, is a fun-filled destination for families. Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the Frist Art Museum, which features rotating visual exhibitions from around the world. Foodies can dive into Nashville’s culinary scene, savoring everything from mouthwatering barbecues and hot chicken to exquisite fine dining. For those who love the outdoors, the city’s many parks, like Centennial Park with its striking Parthenon replica, offer serene spots for picnics and strolls.

What three things is Nashville known for?

Nashville is the heart of Tennessee and a city renowned for its history and culture. It’s no surprise that this city has earned a place in the hearts of many, both locals and visitors alike. Three main things define this city: music, history, and hospitality.

Nashville has long been hailed as the birthplace of country music, and its love for this genre is evident everywhere you turn. From the honky-tonks on Broadway to the legendary recording studios on Music Row, there’s no shortage of places to immerse yourself in live music in Nashville. And it’s not just country music that reigns supreme here — Nashville also boasts deep roots in R&B, pop, and rock music.

Beyond its musical heritage, Nashville is steeped in history. As the capital of Tennessee, it has played a significant role in shaping the state’s past. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson, or take a stroll through Centennial Park, home to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon.

But what truly distinguishes Nashville is its rich tradition of education and culture. Dubbed “The Athens of the South,” the city takes pride in its academic prowess and cultural heritage. However, Nashville’s warmth and hospitality are equally renowned. With its charming Southern accents and mouthwatering Southern cuisine, the city effortlessly makes visitors feel at home from the moment they arrive.

Is it better to stay downtown or in the West End?

Downtown Nashville and the West End are both great places to stay on vacation in Nashville, but they have different vibes. Downtown is the heart of the action, with honky-tonks, bars, and restaurants lining Broadway. It’s also home to major attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Ryman Auditorium. If you want to be in the thick of things and don’t mind the hustle and bustle, downtown is the place to be. The West End is a more laid-back area, with Vanderbilt University and several parks nearby. It has a lot of green space, with Centennial Park and Vanderbilt’s campus being popular spots to relax. The West End is also home to some great restaurants and bars, but it’s not as busy as downtown. If you’re looking for a quieter place to stay with easy access to some of Nashville’s best attractions, the West End is a good option.

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