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Making The Most Of Music City: How To Spend 48 Hours In Nashville


by Sheela Balderrama



Welcome to Music City, the vibrant and energetic capital of Tennessee. Nashville is famous for its thriving music scene, rich history, delicious food, and warm southern hospitality. Whether you’re a country music lover, a foodie, or a history enthusiast, Nashville has something to offer for everyone. With 48 hours in this captivating city, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in its unique charm and experience some of its top highlights.


Begin your Nashville adventure by exploring the city’s rich musical heritage. From iconic honky-tonks on Broadway to the legendary Ryman Auditorium, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the sweet sounds of guitars and fiddles. Take a stroll down the famous Lower Broadway and soak in the lively atmosphere while listening to live music pouring out of every bar.


No trip to Nashville is complete without diving into its fascinating history. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where you can learn about the legends who have shaped the genre. Explore the historic Belle Meade Plantation, once a renowned thoroughbred horse farm, to get a glimpse into the city’s past. And don’t miss the chance to visit the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek structure, located in Centennial Park.


When it comes to food, Nashville is known for its mouthwatering cuisine. Indulge in hot, crispy fried chicken, a Nashville specialty, at iconic spots like Hattie B’s or Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Savor the tangy and smoky flavors of authentic Tennessee barbecue at Martin’s or Peg Leg Porker. And don’t forget to try some classic southern comfort food like biscuits and gravy or shrimp and grits.


Besides its music and culinary delights, Nashville is also a hub of creativity and culture. Explore the fashionable 12South neighborhood, known for its unique shops and eclectic dining options. Visit the Frist Art Museum, housed in a former post office, to see captivating exhibitions from around the world. And immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of East Nashville, filled with trendy boutiques, art galleries, and local coffee shops.


No matter your interests, Nashville offers a captivating blend of history, music, food, and culture that will leave you wanting more. So grab your boots, put on your favorite country tunes, and get ready to make the most of your 48 hours in Music City!


Day 1: Exploring the Music and History in Nashville

Start your first day in Nashville by immersing yourself in the city’s rich musical heritage. Begin your morning by visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Explore exhibits dedicated to the legends of country music, learn about its history, and marvel at the collection of memorabilia. Don’t miss the iconic wall of plaques honoring the country music industry’s biggest stars.


Afterward, take a stroll down Lower Broadway, the heart of Nashville’s music scene. You’ll find honky-tonks lining the street, where talented musicians play live music day and night. Pop into famous venues like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge or The Stage, and let the toe-tapping melodies and lively atmosphere captivate you. Take a break from the music to enjoy a delicious southern-style lunch at a nearby BBQ joint or try a classic meat-and-three at Arnold’s Country Kitchen.


In the afternoon, visit the Ryman Auditorium, affectionately known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Take a guided tour to learn about its storied past and hear fascinating anecdotes about the artists who have graced its stage. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live show or intimate concert at this historic venue.


After immersing yourself in the music, it’s time to dive into Nashville’s intriguing history. Head to the Belle Meade Plantation, a beautiful antebellum estate that was once a prominent thoroughbred horse farm. Take a guided tour of the stately mansion, stroll through the lush gardens, and learn about the fascinating history of the property. Don’t miss the chance to go wine tasting at the winery located on-site, and savor the flavors of Tennessee.


As the sun sets, make your way to the Cumberland River for a scenic sunset cruise. Hop aboard a riverboat and enjoy the stunning views of Nashville’s skyline as you sail along the river. Listen to live music onboard, sip on a refreshing beverage, and take in the beauty of the city from a different perspective.


End your music-filled and history-packed day with a delicious dinner at one of Nashville’s renowned dining spots. Whether you’re in the mood for upscale southern cuisine, international flavors, or farm-to-table fare, the city has a wide range of dining options to satisfy any palate. Indulge in a mouthwatering meal and reflect on the rich experiences of your first day in Nashville.


Day 2: Experiencing the Food and Culture Scene

On your second day in Nashville, shift your focus to exploring the city’s vibrant food and culture scene. Kickstart your morning with a visit to the Farmers’ Market. This lively marketplace offers an array of fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious treats. Take your time strolling through the various stalls, picking up some local goodies, and enjoying a delightful breakfast.


Afterward, head to the trendy neighborhood of East Nashville. Known for its eclectic atmosphere and artistic flair, East Nashville is a haven for food lovers and creatives. Explore the neighborhood’s unique boutiques, independent shops, and art galleries. Stop by a local coffee shop and fuel up with a cup of freshly brewed coffee before continuing your exploration.


For lunch, indulge in some of Nashville’s iconic hot chicken. These fiery and flavorful fried chicken dishes are a must-try when visiting the city. Try legendary spots like Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack or Hattie B’s for an authentic Nashville hot chicken experience. Pair it with traditional southern sides like mac and cheese or collard greens for the ultimate southern feast.


After satisfying your taste buds, spend the afternoon immersing yourself in Nashville’s thriving art scene. Visit the Frist Art Museum, housed in a stunning Art Deco building that was once a post office. Explore the diverse exhibitions featuring works from local and international artists. From contemporary art to historical collections, the museum offers a range of artistic experiences for all visitors.


As the day progresses, make your way to the vibrant 12South neighborhood. This trendy area is known for its colorful murals, fashionable boutiques, and unique dining options. Take a leisurely stroll along 12th Avenue South, stopping to admire the stunning street art and browse through the stylish shops. Treat yourself to an ice cream cone at the iconic Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or indulge in a gourmet cupcake from Sprinkles.


In the evening, experience the lively atmosphere of Nashville’s nightlife. Head back to Lower Broadway and explore the countless honky-tonks and live music venues. Get lost in the rhythm of country music as you hop from bar to bar, enjoying the electrifying performances of talented local musicians. Dance the night away and soak in the energy of Music City.


Wrap up your 48-hour adventure in Nashville by enjoying a late-night meal at one of the city’s late-night diners or food trucks. Indulge in some comfort food like a juicy burger or a plate of loaded nachos. Reflect on the amazing experiences you’ve had, the music you’ve enjoyed, the food you’ve savored, and the vibrant culture that makes Nashville an unforgettable destination.


Where to Stay in Nashville

When it comes to finding accommodation in Nashville, you have a diverse range of options to choose from. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or trendy boutique properties, the city has something to suit every traveler’s needs and budget.


If you want to stay in the heart of the action, Downtown Nashville is the perfect choice. This vibrant area is home to numerous hotels, including large chains and boutique establishments. Staying downtown puts you within walking distance of popular attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and Lower Broadway’s honky-tonks. You’ll also have easy access to a wide selection of dining options and nightlife venues.


Those seeking a more historic and upscale experience can opt to stay in the trendy neighborhood of Germantown. This charming area is filled with beautifully restored Victorian homes, boutique shops, and unique restaurants. It offers a quieter atmosphere while still being in close proximity to downtown Nashville. Enjoy leisurely walks through the tree-lined streets and savor the neighborhood’s culinary delights.


If you’re a music enthusiast looking to immerse yourself in Nashville’s legendary music scene, consider staying in the Music Row area. This neighborhood is known for its record labels, recording studios, and the famous Music Row roundabout. You’ll find a mix of hotels and vacation rentals in this area, providing easy access to music-related attractions and a vibrant atmosphere.


For those seeking a more laid-back experience, the East Nashville neighborhood offers a unique blend of indie shops, art galleries, and local eateries. Stay in a charming bed and breakfast or a stylish Airbnb and enjoy the neighborhood’s eclectic vibe. East Nashville is a great choice for those looking to explore a different side of Nashville and indulge in the local culture.


Other notable areas to consider for accommodation include Midtown, known for its lively nightlife scene and proximity to Vanderbilt University, and The Gulch, a trendy and modern neighborhood filled with upscale hotels, restaurants, and boutiques.


Regardless of where you choose to stay in Nashville, it’s always a good idea to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons and major events. This ensures you secure your preferred choice and have a comfortable base for exploring the city.


How to Get Around Nashville

Nashville has several transportation options that make it easy to navigate the city and explore its various neighborhoods and attractions.


1. Walking: Downtown Nashville and many of its popular attractions are easily accessible on foot. Take a leisurely stroll along Broadway or explore the vibrant neighborhoods like 12South or Germantown on foot. Walking allows you to soak in the city’s atmosphere and discover hidden gems along the way.


2. Bicycles: Nashville offers a bicycle-sharing program called B-cycle, which allows you to rent bicycles from various locations throughout the city. Grab a bike and pedal your way through Nashville’s vibrant neighborhoods, parks, and greenways. Biking is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city while enjoying the beautiful scenery.


3. Public Transportation: Nashville’s public transportation system, known as the Nashville MTA, consists of buses that cover various routes throughout the city. You can purchase single-ride tickets or day passes to use the bus system, making it a convenient and affordable option for getting around. The Music City Circuit is a free bus service that operates within the downtown area and links major attractions and neighborhoods.


4. Ride-Sharing Services: Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Nashville. Simply download the app and request a ride to be picked up from your location. Ride-sharing services offer a convenient and reliable way to get around the city, especially if you’re traveling in a group or carrying luggage.


5. Taxis: Traditional taxis are also available in Nashville, and you can find designated taxi stands at major transportation hubs, hotels, and popular tourist areas. Flagging down a taxi on the street is also possible in certain areas, but it’s recommended to call or book a taxi in advance to ensure availability.


6. Rental Cars: If you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle, you can rent a car from one of the many car rental companies in Nashville. Having a car gives you the freedom to explore the city and venture further out into the surrounding areas. However, keep in mind that parking in downtown Nashville can be limited and expensive.


When planning your transportation in Nashville, it’s important to consider traffic conditions, especially during peak travel times and major events. Additionally, keep in mind that parking may be challenging in popular areas, so it’s a good idea to research parking options in advance if you’re driving.


No matter which mode of transportation you choose, Nashville is a city that is relatively easy to navigate, allowing you to make the most of your time exploring its vibrant neighborhoods, iconic attractions, and lively music scene.



As your 48-hour adventure in Nashville comes to a close, you’ll be left with memories of vibrant music, delicious food, and a deep appreciation for the rich history and culture of Music City. From exploring the legendary honky-tonks on Lower Broadway to savoring mouthwatering hot chicken and experiencing the thriving art scene, Nashville offers a dynamic and unforgettable experience for every traveler.


Immerse yourself in the city’s musical heritage by visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, catching a live show at the iconic Ryman Auditorium, and indulging in the sights and sounds of Lower Broadway. Take a step back in time and explore the historic Belle Meade Plantation, and be sure to admire the stunning Parthenon replica in Centennial Park.


Nashville’s food scene is a feast for the senses, with its famous hot chicken, mouthwatering barbecue, and classic southern comfort food. Treat yourself to a culinary adventure by sampling these local delights and exploring the diverse range of dining options scattered throughout the city.


But Nashville is not just about music and food—it’s a city that bursts with creativity and culture. Explore the unique neighborhoods like East Nashville and 12South, filled with hip boutiques, art galleries, and vibrant street art. Lose yourself in the exhibits at the Frist Art Museum, and embrace the energy of the city’s nightlife on Lower Broadway.


Whether you’re a music lover, a history buff, a food enthusiast, or an art aficionado, Nashville has something to offer everyone. The warm southern hospitality, the lively atmosphere, and the infectious passion for music make this city an irresistible destination.


As the final notes of your Nashville adventure fade away, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich heritage, memorable experiences, and a longing to return and discover even more of what Music City has to offer.