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What to Do in Nashville in 1 Day

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I have friends taking a day trip to Nashville who asked my recommendation of what to do. They have two young children (and so do I), so I mapped out what I feel is the single best way to experience Nashville if you only have a few hours to enjoy it.

We’ve taken friends on this little jaunt who are visiting in town, and I thought I’d share it in case others were interested.

This mini trip is kid-friendly and gives you a remarkable view of the city.

Hope for good weather, though! Here are the details:

Cumberland Park


592 S 1st St, Nashville, TN 37213

Innovative play space along the river with a climbing wall, splash areas, amphitheater & a trail.


From I65/I24: Exit 49 (Shelby St.) right in front of the city. Go left toward the stadium. take a right on S. 2nd St. (past the Exxon), left Victory Lane, then left onto S 1st. and into any the parking areas around bridge. the park is on the other side — accessible by walking under the bridge.

There’s an elevator that will take you up on top of the bridge or you can walk from S 1st avenue.

The bridge provides such a great view of downtown! I hope you enjoy it. great photo opp. and there’s a cool story behind the bridge too (although maybe not for the kids. haha)


(615) 862-8508

Schermerhorn Symphony Center 


1 Symphony Pl, Nashville, TN 37201

The bridge empties out at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, which is so beautiful. It’s worth a look inside. There are also fountains there.

You can see a lot from here — the new Music City Center (conference venue), the Bridgestone Arena (where the NHL Nashville Predators hockey team play and lots of concerts, etc … It’s the building with the tall steeple)…

Walk down 3rd and you’ll see the new Johnny Cash Museum.


(615) 687-6400

Mike’s Ice Cream 


208 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201

Cross over on Broadway, and Mike’s Ice Cream will be on the right. homemade super yummy stuff – sodas and coffee, too. Tennessee Fudge is a winner, also Red Velvet Cake. These folks also own Sip Café, a little coffee shop in Inglewood, where I live. Homemade super yummy stuff. Also, you can usually catch horse and buggy rides downtown on broadway in front of mike’s ice cream.

Here’s another view of downtown. (Printable maps here.)

(This Riverfront Park/ Ascend amphitheater space south of the bridge is brand new. A great place to catch a show and a beautiful view of the city as well.)

After ice cream, walk north up 3rd and take a look outside theRyman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974). Lots of fun history there. The “Batman” building (AT&T building – the tallest in Tennessee) will be on the corner there too.


(615) 742-6453

Ryman Auditorium


116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

If you have more time, East Nashville has a lot of fun eating places. There’s a hot dog stand called I Dream of Weenie. It’s a walk-up place that is really fun (a bit pricey and fancy hot dogs) but there are places to sit in the grass or picnic tables too. 5 Points Pizza is really good. You may have to pay for parking over there though.

There are lots of fun places to visit right there in 5 Points: Pied Piper Creamery & Fairytales Bookstore (in same house), Fanny’s House of Music, Bongo Java East, Tenn 16 (oh so good, but no kids), Batter’d & Fried (lots of variety/choices here, if you’re looking to please several different palates).


(615) 889-3060

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