what to do in nashville

Nashville to Knoxville, Tennessee

what to do in nashville


  • What pairs well with live music? Whiskey! Don’t miss the Tennessee Whiskey Trail of 30+ distilleries. Grab a passport at a participating distillery or download the Tennessee Whiskey Trail app, enjoy complimentary tours, and visit all the distilleries to earn a t-shirt and hat. With nearly 10 distilleries in Nashville, it’s a great way to experience the unique neighborhoods of Music City.

12 South

12 Avenue South Nashville

bar taco

  • Half a mile along 12 Avenue South, known as the 12 South neighborhood, are restaurants, boutiques, colorful murals, coffee shops, and more. The few downtown restaurants and coffee shops open Monday – Friday before 11:00am had long wait times. With dining establishments open earlier in 12South, it is a great area for breakfast or brunch. Unique and tasty cocktails at Bartaco pictured left and White Bison Coffee pictured right.


broadway in nashville at night

postcard from nashville

bootleggers inn bar nashville

  • Bootleggers Inn, the only moonshine bar in Nashville, offers more than 20 different flavors and a moonshine of the day. Check their website for a live music schedule.

tin roof on broadway

Traveling Gingerbread Note: Printer’s Alley was listed on many sites as a Nashville highlight. Walking by The Climax Saloon, Brass Stables Play and Dance Theatre, and asked if we were interested in purchasing illegal contraband, we decided Printer’s Alley wasn’t for us.


music walk of fame park nashville

  • Music City Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun Street is free to visit. There is plenty of street and garage parking nearby. See the stars here

The Gulch

wings mural nashville

  • Visiting the 20 feet high #WhatLiftsYou Wings mural at 10:00am the lighting was perfect, around 12:00pm the sun started to peek into the photos. There is plenty of nearby parking in lots, garages, and along the street. 

nashville barbecue

  • Mitch declared this family owned and operated, award winning barbecue joint the best in Nashville. Get to the Peg Leg Porker early! There was a line outside Monday before the doors opened at 11:00am. Ribs, chicken, smoked green beans, mac and cheese…we recommend it all!

Music Row

giant microphone nashville

  • Music Row is home to Nashville’s country music record labels, radio stations, and recording studios. There are many restaurants and bars along Broadway and Division Street.

tailgate brewing nashville

  • Tailgate Brewery has 3 Nashville locations and nearly 40 beers on tap at the Music Row taproom. A menu of appetizers, pizza, salad, and sandwiches can be enjoyed in the spacious taproom or on the large outdoor patio complete with an outdoor bar. We recommend ordering a flight of 3 and including Peanut Butter Stout, Passion Fruit Mango Peach Sour Schnak, Strawberry Colada Schnak, Imperial Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Stout, or Cobbler Cider.

Historic Edgefield

crazy gnome brewing taproom

  • Enjoy 10+ beers on draft at Crazy Gnome Brewing with a flight of 4 in the large taproom, cozy lounge, or in the outdoor space. Check their website for a food truck schedule. We recommend Celtic Grounds, a coffee stout that tastes like a fresh brewed cup of black coffee.


centennial park nashville

  • A full size replica of the Greece Parthenon with a 42 feet high Athena statue is at the center of the 132 acre Centennial Park. The park also features Lake Watauga, monuments, art centers, a sunken garden, trails, and volleyball courts. Spring Water Supper Club, across the street from Centennial Park, is the oldest continuously operating bar in Tennessee. 

Pie Town

new heights brewing beer flight

  • Order a flight of 6 to sample the 10+ beers on draft at New Heights Brewing Company. We recommend Coffee and Cream, a coffee and vanilla cream ale, and Peaches and Cream, a peach vanilla sour.

teneessee brew works nashville

  • A small menu of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches compliments nearly 20 draft beers. Tennessee Brew Works large 2 story taproom also has an upper and lower outdoor patio. We recommend King Chestnut, a chestnut brown ale, and Colts Bolts, an Imperial stout with chocolate, peanut butter, and roasted almonds tasting like Colts Chocolate. 

Hillsboro West End

fannie mae dees park nashville

dragon sculpture park nashville

  • Fannie Mae Dees Park, also known as Dragon Park, features a 150 long mosaic dragon sculpture, playground, and tennis courts. The park is located between Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. 

Green Hills

boy scout catfish nashville

  • In front of the Boy Scouts of America building is the Boy Scout Catfish, part of the 2003 Catfish Out of Water project benefiting the Cumberland River Compact, Greenways of Nashville, and the Parthenon Patrons Foundations. Around 50 catfish were decorated by local artists and auctioned off to raise money for the project. 

Radnor Lake State Natural Area

radnor lake nashville

  • Radnor Lake State Natural Area is Tennessee’s first natural area. The 1,400 acre area has several hiking trails surrounding the lake. The park map can be found here.

Traveling Gingerbread Note: There is a time zone change between Nashville and Knoxville.

Ozone Falls State Natural Area

ozone falls natural area

  • Ozone Falls State Natural Area is a 43 acre area near Interstate 40. Easy access to the gorge made it an ideal filming location for scenes from The Jungle Book. The name Ozone Falls originated from a belief the gorge had outstanding air quality from the waterfall’s mist. A short 300 feet hike reaches the top of 110 feet Ozone Falls or a steep 800 feet climb reaches the base of the falls. The path to the base of the falls begins by following the guard rail along Interstate 40 from the parking lot. After a short distance, a worn path veers left through the trees. 

Cumberland Mountain State Park

cumberland mountain state park

cumberland mountain state park trail bridge

cumberland mountain dam

  • Pioneer Short Loop Trail is a scenic 1.8 mile trail along Byrd Lake with a hanging bridge. Byrd Lake Trail is an easy .5 mile one way trail to the dam. The park map can be found here. Fishing boats, rowboats, paddleboards, paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes are available to rent.

Burgess Falls State Park

burgess falls state park

  • Burgess Falls is actually 4 separate falls. It’s a .75 mile hike to Big Falls Overlook, the most impressive of the 4 waterfalls at 130 feet high. A 1.5 mile trail along the river passes all 4 waterfalls, beginning at the main parking lot and ending at Big Falls Overlook.

Cummins Falls State Park

cummins falls tennessee

  • It’s a .5 mile hike to the falls overlook. A gorge access permit is required to hike the 1 mile or 1.5 mile trail to the base of Tennessee’s 8th largest waterfall at 75 feet high. The park map can be found here.


volunteer landing knoxville

knoxville tennessee

  • Knoxville is the third largest city in Tennessee and home to the University of Tennessee. There are breweries, boutiques, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and taverns along S Gay Street from Market Square to the Tennessee River.

Charles Krutch Park

charles krutch park knoxville

knoxville market square knoxville

  • A small stream flows among the art installations in Charles Krutch Park at the center of downtown Knoxville. 

Bicycle Arch

bicycle arch knoxville

  • The arch made of old bicycles and parts can be found near Volunteer Landing on East Hill Avenue at the entrance of a pedestrian walkway.

Fort Dickerson Quarry

fort dickerson quarry overlook

  • One of the best preserved Civil War earth forts sits on a hill near Fort Dickerson Quarry. A 4 mile trail from the scenic overlook accesses the fort and the 350 feet deep quarry.

Smoky Mountains National Park

smoky mountains visitor center

smoky mountains national park

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina is the most popular national park in the United States. Arrive early because parking becomes scarce at popular trailheads.

mushrooms at smokey mountains

  • At 1:30pm we began driving along Little River Road towards the exit to Gatlinburg. In 3.5 hours, we drove 6 miles due to the volume of traffic exiting the park towards Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge. Possibly the traffic jam was caused by a beautiful fall Saturday in October, but according to several locals it’s known to be a crowded area. Afterall, it is the most popular national park in the country. (These are smiles before spending a beautiful afternoon in a traffic jam.)


  • The town of Gatlinburg, pictured above, is home to North America’s longest pedestrian bridge. Unfortunately, the line to access the bridge is just as long. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge is reached by a sky lift and offers panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains. The touristy, mountain themed town resembles an ocean boardwalk with wineries, breweries, souvenir shops, photo opportunities, gift shops, restaurants, and more. It was extremely crowded on a Saturday afternoon, but was worth a drive through the unique town.

October 2020


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