3 for Free – Nashville, TN

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This issue of 3 for free is going to be based around my hometown of Nashville.  I’m not Nashville’s number one fan by any means, but it does seem to have gained some traction on the tourist front in recent years, so I’m happy to help out others intent on going there.  Even though I don’t particularly care for it as a city, I did spend the first 18 years of my life there (and many holidays since, visiting my family) so I do offer some insight.  So after that bummer of an intro, here are some free things to see and do in Music City.

1- Downtown Music Scene

Nashville has earned it’s title of “Music City” and no where is that more evident than downtown on Broadway and 2nd Avenue.  You can’t walk more than a few feet without running into another live music venue or honkey tonk,  Of course mostly you’ll find country music, but Nashville is increasingly offering more rock, pop, and jazz options if that’s not your thing.  I should mention that while listening is free, most bars are probably going to want you to buy a drink 😉 .

Downtown Nashville - Photo by Thomas Hawk(Photo by Thomas Hawk via Creative Common)


2- Take In Some Civil War History-

Head to Franklin, about 20 minutes south of Nashville, (where I’m actually from) and you’ll find many hold overs from the Battle of Franklin.  There are many homes and churches there that were used as hospitals during the war that are open for tours during the day.  One of my favorite spots growing up was the Confederate Cemetery at Carnton Plantation (I was kind of a weird kid).  While they do charge for tours of the home, the cemetery is free to visit.  After witnessing the horrors of battle, the McGavock family buried the 1500 some odd dead from the battle in their private cemetery at their home.  The cemetery itself is beautiful and has a great view of the plantation home.

Carnton Cemetery


3- Radnor Lake State Natural Area

Radnor Lake State Natural Area is a gorgeous lake and park located within Nashville city limits.  Nashville is not lacking in green space, but this is still a nice respite from the city traffic.  There are loads of beautiful walking trails and pleasing vistas.  It’s a great place for a picnic lunch, weather permitting (which is like 3 days out of the year in Nashville…. sorry, couldn’t help it).

Radnor Lake In Nashville, TN


Did I miss anything good to do in Nashville?  I think it’s one of those weird places that everyone likes but me, so it’s possible I’m missing something.

24 thoughts on “3 for Free – Nashville, TN

  1. I live within a few hrs of Nashville & go multiple times a year. I have yet to explore Franklin much past the Christmas market they host. So, looks like I have more to explore.
    Erica recently posted…Traveling PartnersMy Profile

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I have always wanted to visit Nashville. It’s definitely on my bucket list of life.

  3. We’ve only spent a few days in Nashville, but had a good time .Love all the music downtown .
    Shann Eva recently posted…Eggplant Parmesan with Veggie SpaghettiMy Profile

  4. I would love to visit Nashville and enjoy their vibrant music scene. We drove through Nashville on the way to Florida years ago, but unfortunately we did not stay long enough to enjoy the city.

  5. Surprising, I have never been to Radnor Lake State Natural Area. I will have to fix that next time I am in Tennessee.
    Jennifer @ Made all the Difference Travel Blog recently posted…Getting my Open water Diver Certification on the Nature IslandMy Profile

  6. These are great! We’re hoping to explore North America more fully (since we barely scratched the surface before leaving to travel full-time) and Nashville looks like a place we’d definitely want to explore – even though it’s not your favourite place 🙂
    Carolann & Macrae – One Modern Couple recently posted…What Not To Do While Travelling To MalaysiaMy Profile

  7. Nashville has a different kind of charm. We often take for granted the places we grew up though. I’d love all the live music venues. 🙂

  8. Mia

    I haven’t spent much time in Nashville but I do like the concept of your post. It’s always nice to supplement your vacation or weekend (if you live there) with a few free things to save some money. Radnor Lake looks cool and I bet it’s gorgeous in the summer when it’s green and lush. I’ll be sure to check these out next time I’m in Nashville!
    Mia recently posted…Barcelona RevisitedMy Profile

  9. R U S S

    I have yet to do a lot of reading about Nashville but you did get me at the music scene and the beautiful Radnor Lake. Music spots are always one of the things that I look for and go to whenever I’m traveling. I love music and it’s always a great place to meet locals & experience the local culture.

  10. I would love to get to Nashville for the downtown music scene – we visited Memphis a few months ago, and that’s very similar to what I imagine Nashville to be. Thanks for the tips on the Lake State Natural Area and Civil War attractions too! It’s funny you only ever realy associate music – I had no idea to research further for anything else!
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Terrorism is Real. Why You Need a Travel Health Insurance Policy with Terrorism CoverageMy Profile

  11. I’ve never been to Nashville, but do want to visit when we move back to the U.S. I think the park would be my favorite free thing to do. I love the peacefulness of a long walk, or picnic lunch!

  12. I love historical places, I will have to add Nashville to my bucket list!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter recently posted…Top Ten Crumbs: Command Center EssentialsMy Profile

  13. Thanks for sharing! I am planning a trip to Nashville pretty soon! I love to always start with the cultural and free events when making my list.
    Audrey recently posted…ANYwhere: VolunteerismMy Profile

  14. I would love to do all three if I ever made it back to TN. It’s such a beautiful state, everywhere I’ve visited there was awesome. Hopefully I will make it back that way one day and I can’t wait to check out all of your suggestions.

  15. I’ve never been to Nashville but I’m sure the music scene would be awesome. I’ve also heard art is on the rise there.
    Amanda Zeisset recently posted…SORTEO: Gana una Mochila Robens “UL – Dry Pack”My Profile

  16. I have to admit that I’m not a big country music fan so it’s good to hear that Nashville offers other options. Regardless Nashville has been on my wish list for a while as I’ve heard good things form many people.
    sarah recently posted…Dubrovnik, Croatia – So Much More to Love than Game of ThronesMy Profile

  17. I love going out on a nice lake, it’s very beautiful and a lot of fun. I have never been to Nashville before!

  18. Elizabeth O.

    I would definitely do all these if i ever have the chance to visit Nashville. It sounds like a really awesome place.

  19. My husband and I are great jazz music fans. Nashville sounds like a fun city to visit.
    Ourfamilyworld recently posted…Movies Kids Can Watch This Summer with Their GrandparentsMy Profile

  20. I have a friend from Nashville and she always said that about the weather! It does seem like a cool place to visit.

  21. CourtneyLynne

    I just love Nashville! We went afew years ago for Halloween and it was a crazy fun time downtown!

  22. I’ve never been to Nashville. If I did, I’d be more interested in visiting the attractions at #3, and then #2, rather than the busyness and glitz of #1!
    K. Lee Banks recently posted…Transformation vs. Conformation – Resurrection of Dead Dreams – July 14 DevotionsMy Profile

  23. I have never visited Nashville and I would love to someday. The Downtown music scene looks like fun.

  24. I’d be most interested in the Civil War history in the area. We studied it so much in school that it’s interesting to see the places in person, like Gettysburg. So much history there.
    Laura Lynch recently posted…Northern Europe Cruises: What You Need to KnowMy Profile

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