The Best Things for Couples to Do in Nashville

Nashville at sunset

The ultimate guide for couples exploring Tennessee’s Music City

Welcome to Nashville, the Music City, where romance thrives amidst the vibrant beats and flavours of the South. Whether you’re strolling down Broadway hand in hand, indulging in delicious Southern cuisine, or swaying to live music in cozy venues, Nashville offers an unforgettable experience for couples seeking a romantic getaway. This comprehensive guide to the best things couples can do and see in this Tennessee gem will help you plan the perfect romantic escape in Nashville!

Exploring Nashville’s Music Scene:

Okay, we know we are starting with the obvious—but with music such an essential part of the city’s DNA, we suggest you begin your couple’s vacation by stepping into Nashville’s Music Scene, the pulsating core of the city’s cultural identity and an essential first stop for immersing yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. Here’s some do-not-miss venues:

Grand Ole Opry House:

Grand Opry Nashville

Renowned as the epicentre of country music, the Grand Ole Opry may not be the first place that comes to mind for a romantic evening, but it certainly offers a memorable setting for a date night. 

Experiencing a live performance at this iconic Nashville venue is an absolute must—it holds the prestigious title of the world’s longest-running radio broadcast. The Opry treats its audience to various shows every week, all year round, featuring a diverse lineup of musical talents. 

Whether you’re a fan of country music legends like the Oak Ridge Boys or drawn to the contemporary sounds of artists like Carrie Underwood, there’s something to delight every ear. The Opry promises an unforgettable blend of nostalgia and discovery, allowing fans to revel in classic favourites while uncovering the stars of tomorrow.

Robert’s Western World:

Robert’s Western World, known as Nashville’s Home of Traditional Country Music and voted Nashville Scene’s Local Favorite Honky Tonk for eight consecutive years, hosts live music every day. Situated on lower Broadway, it’s one of the few remaining authentic honky-tonks. 

Adorned with posters, guitars, neon signs, and shelves stocked with boots, it pays homage to its origins as the Rhinestone Western Wear store. Featuring classic country music, Robert’s offers the “recession special” — a fried bologna sandwich with chips and a Pabst Blue Ribbon for $6. With beer prices ranging from $6 to $7 and no cover charge, it provides an affordable, authentic Nashville experience.

The Bluebird Cafe:

The Bluebird Cafe is a highly regarded listening room in a modest strip mall outside downtown Nashville. Despite its unassuming exterior, this intimate venue regularly hosts performances by famous artists and has been the launching pad for superstars like Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks.

Bluebird’s non-profit ownership model sets it apart. It ensures that every ticket sold benefits the performers directly. This fosters a supportive and nurturing environment for emerging and established artists alike.

The venue offers two shows every night—one at 6:30 pm for emerging acts and another at 9 pm for established performers. Due to the venue’s limited capacity, booking tickets in advance, particularly online, is highly recommended. Tickets typically go on sale a week before each show, with a maximum of six tickets per table available for purchase.

3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill:

Nashville’s midsize music venues have been facing a lot of uncertainty lately, but amidst all this, the 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill stands firm as a haven for live music lovers. Known for its excellent acoustics, comfortable seating, and delicious menu, this smoke-free establishment offers a friendly space for music lovers to gather and enjoy unforgettable performances. 

Explore Nashville’s Museums:

Enjoy a cultural journey through Nashville’s museums, where you’ll discover the city’s rich history and vibrant arts scene, from institutions celebrating its musical heritage to galleries showcasing contemporary art.

National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM): 

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM)

Immerse yourself in the rich history of African American musical heritage at the Nashville National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM). 

Their meticulously curated collection encompasses diverse artifacts, from audio and video files to costumes, posters, instruments, and photographs. NMAAM’s intuitive organization allows visitors to explore their favorite genres and musical eras easily. At the same time, interactive exhibits offer insights into the influences of pioneering musicians and their lasting impact on subsequent artists. From celebrated performers to unsung heroes, NMAAM illuminates the multifaceted history of African American music with depth and resonance.

The First Art Museum:

First Art Museum Nashville
Photo: John-Schweikert, courtesy FAM

Step into Nashville’s cultural epicenter at the First Art Museum, housed in a magnificent Art Deco building that once served as the city’s main post office. 

Since its inception in 2001, this institution has become a cornerstone of Nashville’s artistic landscape. With no permanent collection, each visit to the First Art Museum promises a fresh and engaging experience. The museum’s eclectic exhibits cater to various interests, from vintage cars to Japanese art and artifacts from Houghton Hall in England. 

Tennessee State Museum

Located adjacent to the farmers’ market and only a few blocks from the State Capitol, the interactive Tennessee State Museum boasts permanent displays that narrate the histories of the First Peoples and guide visitors through periods of turmoil such as the Civil War and Reconstruction. After exploring the museum, take a leisurely walk through the tranquil surroundings of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to relax and unwind.

Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny Cash Museum
Via Johnny Cash Museum

The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville is the ultimate destination for fans of ‘The Man in Black.’ Despite its compact size, it houses the most extensive collection of Cash artifacts and memorabilia globally, all officially endorsed by the Cash family. 

The museum takes you on an immersive journey through Cash’s iconic career, showcasing everything from his signature performance costumes to handwritten lyrics. Notably, the museum holds the prestigious AAA Gem rating, underscoring its significance among Nashville’s cultural attractions. A separate museum dedicated to Patsy Cline is on the second floor, but its operations are independent of the main museum.

Related: Here’s how to have a charming honeymoon in Tennessee

Restaurants, Cafes and Bars in Nashville Perfect for Two

We mentioned Nashville’s culinary delights at the outset—and there are many to discover. So it’s highly recommended that you allocate enough time to explore the city’s finest dining destinations, cafes, and bars, which are perfect for intimate twosomes. Here are some you’ll want to drop by:

Tailor:

Although BBQ and spicy chicken dishes are undoubtedly delicious, your culinary exploration of Nashville would only be complete with securing a reservation at Tailor. This supper club-turned-restaurant is renowned for its gastronomic offerings and is helmed by Chef Vivek Surti.

 Four evenings a week, Chef Surti leads guests on a unique and unforgettable gastronomic odyssey through his reinterpretations of traditional Indian cuisine, infusing each dish with his unique flair and creating dishes that seamlessly blend culture and cuisine. 

The experience promises to be intimate and unforgettable – perfect for date night in Nashville!

Big Al’s Deli:

Big Als Deli Nashville

This charming diner, reminiscent of a traditional family-owned eatery, welcomes customers with vibrant tablecloths and shelves adorned with assorted groceries. What truly sets the scene, however, is the warm smile of Alfonso Anderson, fondly known as “Big Al.” His genuine affection for customers permeates the space, creating a hospitable atmosphere. 

Indulge in Big Al’s delectable offerings, where the handwritten menu showcases rotating specials that frequently spotlight Southern classics like smoked pork chops and BBQ chicken. Renowned for his mastery of Southern cuisine, Big Al’s signature jerk chicken steals the show, marinated to perfection. Alongside this highlight, patrons can relish classic favourites such as hot chicken, shrimp and grits, and fried catfish, ensuring a mouthwatering experience that captures the essence of Southern culinary tradition.

And for an extra treat, don’t miss the fluffy biscuits or savoury johnnycakes, which are highly recommended additions to any Big Al’s Deli meal.

Sinema:

Are you looking for a unique dining experience in Nashville? Pull up a chair at Sinema, an Art Deco theatre transformed into a stylish restaurant. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be transported to a world of glamour and sophistication, where the patrons and staff are dressed to impress. 

The menu at Sinema offers a creative twist on American dining, with inventive cocktails and delicious dishes that will delight your taste buds. And if you’re visiting for brunch, take advantage of the bottomless option, a popular choice among diners. With classic films playing on the screens and elegant decor in every corner, Sinema perfectly blends Nashville’s rich history with modern culinary flair.

Margot’s Cafe & Bar:

Margot’s Cafe is in the bustling Five Points neighbourhood of East Nashville. Once a service station, today this fashionable dining spot is known for its exquisite dinner and Sunday brunch offerings. Owned by Margot McCormack, a seasoned culinary expert, the restaurant emanates a warm and inviting ambience accentuated by mismatched china and hanging copper pots. 

Margot’s is celebrated for its ever-evolving menus, which draw inspiration from French culinary traditions and seasonal produce. The menu promises a delightful culinary journey with pan-roasted scallops with parsnip puree or house-made fettuccine with butternut squash. With daily changes to the menu, patrons can expect a fresh and unique dining experience during each visit. 

Given its status as a local institution, reservations are highly recommended to secure a memorable dining experience at this beloved establishment.

The Patterson House:

Step into the epitome of refined drinking experiences in Nashville at The Patterson House. Since pioneering the craft cocktail scene in 2009, this establishment has become synonymous with elegance. 

While there’s no formal dress code, patrons often dress to match the upscale atmosphere, eschewing casual T-shirts and jeans. Guided by house rules that foster an intimate environment, distractions are minimized to ensure patrons can savour their drinks in tranquillity, with minimal interaction encouraged as part of the establishment’s ethos. 

As for the libations themselves, The Patterson House boasts a menu that seamlessly melds classic and innovative cocktails, featuring fresh herbs, house-made bitters, premium spirits, and artisanal ice—a testament to its fusion of timeless elegance and contemporary mixology. While the food menu complements the drinking experience, it serves more as a delightful addition to a cocktail rendezvous than a primary dining destination.

Skull’s Rainbow Room

Skull’s Rainbow Room, nestled in the historic Printer’s Alley, is a quintessential Nashville institution steeped in old-world charm and glamour. Dating back to the 1940s, this iconic venue made a triumphant return in 2015 after a 16-year hiatus, maintaining its seductive Prohibition-era ambience with a focus on craft cocktails and live entertainment. Expect sultry burlesque performances on Thursday through Saturday nights and smooth jazz music filling the air from Sunday through Wednesday, creating an alluring atmosphere perfect for a romantic date night.

When it comes to iconic Nashville dishes, don’t miss out on these must-try culinary delights:

Hot Chicken: Delight your taste buds with Nashville’s signature dish, hot chicken, known for its fiery spice and crispy perfection. Share a platter with your partner at renowned spots like Hattie B’s or Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Experience the heat and flavour that put Nashville on the culinary map.

Goo Goo Clusters: Try the iconic Goo Goo Cluster when in Nashville. The fluffy marshmallow centre, caramel, roasted peanuts, and chocolate make it a beloved Southern delicacy. You can find it at the Goo Goo Chocolate Co. in downtown Nashville or the Johnny Cash Museum’s gift shop. Keep an eye out at candy stores, souvenir shops, and specialty food stores across the city for this irresistible treat.

Related: Things for couples to do in New Orleans

Nashville’s Gardens and Parks:

Embrace Nashville’s Green Spaces – Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and bask in the serenity of Nashville’s picturesque parks. From the iconic Centennial Park and Bicentennial Park to hidden gems like Shelby Park, Percy Warner Park, and Cumberland Park, the city boasts an abundance of green spaces waiting to be explored. 

For those seeking a more exhilarating experience, a mere 90-minute drive from the city takes you to Cummins Falls State Park. A scenic hike leading to the majestic waterfall promises an unparalleled adventure, culminating in a refreshing wild swim that’s simply unmatched. 

Whether you’re craving a stroll or an outdoor adventure, Nashville’s parks offer a refreshing escape into nature within city limits.

Shopping in Nashville

Discover Nashville’s eclectic shopping scene, where boutique stores, local artisans, and unique finds await around every corner.

Hatch Show Print: Looking for the perfect Nashville souvenir? Grab a letterpress concert poster from Hatch Show Print, an iconic Nashville establishment with over 140 years of history. Originally located on Broadway, the shop relocated to the Country Music Hall of Fame several years ago, offering a larger studio space for browsing and letterpress classes.

Boot Country: At Boot Country, immerse yourself in the timeless allure of traditional cowboy boots and embrace your inner cowboy or cowgirl. This one-of-a-kind store provides a delightful shopping experience that couples can enjoy together. 

With its vast selection of boots, ranging from classic designs to modern styles, Boot Country caters to every taste and preference. Whether you’re seeking a rugged pair for outdoor adventures or a stylish addition to your wardrobe, you’ll find it here. Step into Boot Country and journey through Nashville’s rich Western heritage.

Shopping in 12South: Explore the charming neighbourhood of 12South, where boutique shopping thrives amid a picturesque streetscape. Stroll through this walkable district and discover a diverse range of stores that offer something for every taste and preference. 

At Savant, indulge in vintage treasures that evoke nostalgia and individuality, while at the actor Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, you’ll find Southern charm embodied in its stylish apparel and accessories. 

Whether looking for unique gifts, trendy fashion finds, or locally crafted goods, 12South invites you to explore its eclectic mix of shops and immerse yourself in Nashville’s vibrant retail scene.

Nashville Farmers Market: The Nashville Farmers’ Market is a bustling hub for locally sourced produce, artisanal goods, and culinary delights conveniently located near the State Capitol and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. With over 150 vendors offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to meats, cheeses, and baked goods, the Market House provides a diverse shopping experience. Outdoor farm sheds host, local vendors, several days a week, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

Unique & Fun Things for Couples to Do In Nashville

Looking for unique activities to enjoy with your partner in Nashville? Here are some exciting ideas to add to your itinerary:

Candle-Making Class at Paddywax’s Candle Bar:

Join Paddywax Candle Bar’s DIY candle workshop and unleash your creativity in a relaxing and intimate atmosphere while crafting your scented masterpiece. Visit Paddywax Candle Bar to reserve your spot in a class.

Southern Belle Biscuit Company Class: Indulge in the delicious and comforting flavours of Southern cuisine by joining a biscuit-making class with Maryann Byrd. The Southern Belle Biscuit Company is situated just a few miles away from the downtown area. You can relish freshly baked hot biscuits and homemade gravy while learning the tips and tricks to perfecting the Art of Southern Biscuit baking in this charming kitchen setting.

Break out of an Escape Room:

Test your teamwork and problem-solving skills with an escape room experience. Work together to solve puzzles and uncover clues to escape within the time limit. Book your escape room adventure at The Escape Game Nashville who offer three locations.

Helicopter Ride Over Nashville: Take your Nashville experience to new heights with a helicopter tour of Downtown. Soar above the city’s skyline and iconic landmarks for a bird’s-eye view with Helistar’s Nashville Helicopter Tours.

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