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8 Things to Do in Nashville

Walk in the steps of music legends before you in Nashville. Known for country music, honky tonk, and hot chicken, Nashville is a must-visit for adventurers and music enthusiasts alike. Though you won’t want to miss longtime Nashville favorites, there are also countless new activities and attractions taking center stage. 

From craft chocolates to designer discounts to historic honky tonks, this is one city where you’ll never have a dull moment. Not even at Graduate Nashville, where funky florals and Dolly Parton paintings bring Music City spirit into each and every experience. Take on Nashville starting with these eight things to do, see, and eat, all near campus.


White’s Mercantile

Locally-made is the name of the game at White’s Mercantile, a modern-day shop that channels the mercantile spirit of old. Enter to antique tables and repurposed barrels stacked with products like books, hats, mugs, and more. 

Each item is carefully curated and, for the most part, made right here in Nashville, making this a great place to grab items you forgot to pack or stock up on momentos for once you’ve returned home.

Insider Tip

Plan to spend hours in this shop looking through all of the locally made goods they have to offer.

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United Apparel Liquidators

Shop discounted designer duds at United Apparel Liquidators, a favorite among Nashville locals for high quality clothing at affordable prices. They add new styles to their racks weekly so you’ll always find something new to add to your wardrobe. 

Explore on your own or book an appointment with a UAL stylist, whether you want to leave Nashville with a whole new wardrobe or simply need an exciting new piece to complete your look.

Insider Tip

Don’t lose your patience here – the more you dig, the more treasures you’ll find on their racks.

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National Museum of African American Music

African American musicians are underrepresented in Nashville’s music city culture. These musicians and their music are on full display at the National Museum of African American Music. Part celebration, part education, the museum immortalizes important moments in music history. 

Peruse a collection of photographs from some of today’s best hip hop photographers. Cozy up in the Roots Theater for immersive music experiences. Walk the Rivers of Rhythm pathway to see how African American music traditions have changed over time. Don’t miss the Museum Without Walls live events, which feature chats on life, music, and more.

Insider Tip

Double up on tours and book one at The Ryman Auditorium – located right across the street from the museum entrance.

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Frist Art Museum

A little bit local, a little bit global, Frist Art Museum has a knack for curating both classic collections and up-and-coming works of art. Their exhibitions span Picasso to Nashville area creators, inviting visitors to both embrace the broader world of art and keep their focus closer to home. Built in 1934, the building served as a Nashville post office before the Frist opened over two decades ago. 

Immerse yourself in everything from Picaso to paintings of the American West to a retrospective on Nashville itself. Be sure to check their event calendar before you go to see if they’re hosting any art education gatherings. If so, you won’t want to miss it.

Insider Tip

Traveling with little ones? Kids get free admission – all the time!

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Poppy & Peep

Bonbons and chocolate bars steal the show at Poppy & Peep. A father and daughter duo opened this mega-popular chocolate shop, which also features a mini-factory where they create all of their confections. Everyone will find a treat to love here, from inventively flavored, melt-in-your-mouth bonbons to hibiscus and pomegranate white chocolate.

Take a look at their Bon Bon Flavor Guide before you go or simply let your heart lead the way once you arrive. Poppy & Peep also sells chocolate on their website so you can satisfy your cravings long after you’ve left Nashville.

Insider Tip

 Not a chocolate fan? Grab a jar of their Bourbon Caramel Sauce for a different kind of sweet treat.

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Hattie B’s

Whether you’ve been to Nashville or not, chances are you’ve heard of Nashville hot chicken. Treat yourself to some of the best at Hattie Bs’s. Hot chicken is freshly fried chicken with seasoning that’s both a little spicy and a little sweet. At Hattie B’s, you can opt for a sandwich piled high with chicken, slaw, and more, or go for a plate where the chicken can be the star of the show. 

Add a cold drink to your order to cool off between bites, and don’t forget Hattie B’s Dirty Bird Fries, topped with pimento mac and cheese, dark meat tender bites, and Nashville Comeback Sauce.

Insider Tip

Make sure to be there right when they open to beat the line.

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Robert’s Western World

It’s not a trip to Nashville without a honky tonk bar. But if you only have time to visit one, make it Robert’s Western World. This historic bar is well known in the honky tonk world for its traditional country music, wide range of beer, and great food straight off the grill. Since it also sits beside Ryman Auditorium, you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar more authentic to the Music City experience. 

There’s no such thing as a week day at Robert’s Western World, as musicians take the stage seven days a week. No matter when you’re in Nashville, be sure to stop by for a boot stomping good time.

Insider Tip

This honky tonk operates as a boot store by day. Grab a pair before you sit down for some live music.

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Centennial Park

Immerse yourself in 132 acres of outdoors at Centennial Park. Nestled in the heart of Nashville, Centennial Park is a surprising break from the hustle, bustle, and honky tonk. Stroll along the meandering trails, look out over Lake Watauga, and even experience a beautiful sunken garden.

Both Nashville locals and Music City visitors make up the thousands of people who visit the park each year. Visit Centennial Park to get in an early morning workout on the exercise trail or simply soak up some greenery before hitting Music Row.

Insider Tip

Walk around The Parthenon, right in the middle of the park. It’s a massive statue of the Greek goddess Athena and looks just like the one in Athens, Greece!

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