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The Music City Isnt Just for Country Music Fans


This past week, I packed up my spurs and cowboy boots and headed out to Nashville, TN. Nashville, the birthplace of Country Music, is also known as Music City. It's a popular destination for parties, spring break adventures, and concerts due to its famous Lower Broadway bars and music venues. 

Yet, there is so much more to this city than just drinking and bars. It's a very family-friendly destination, and I'll be sharing some of my favorite adventures from my four-day journey with you. My sister and 13-yr-old niece joined me for these adventures, so you will see and hear our experiences and tips along the way! 


We opted to fly into the city rather than doing our perspective drives from coastal NC and Maryland.  A car rental was reserved in advance and was definitely a must for our adventures. The process was super quick and easy, unlike other airport car rental agencies. My sister picked up the car and she said it was a very fast and easy process. After claiming your bags, head over to your car rental agency. Sign your paperwork and receive an envelope with directions to your car. Each car is in a numbered space in a parking lot. Using a walk-way, escalators, and your feet, head over to a parking garage to find your numbered spot. An elevator is available for those with mobility access. The keys to our car were found inside the vehicle as well. 

Returning the car was very simple too. Head to the car rental return using the airport signs, and find your agency. Note: there are tire treads that you go over, and the sign states to not back up. Moving forward is fine for tires, but backing up will shred them. I think it's to help prevent theft, along with making sure your cars move forward. An agent will check your car in, you leave your keys inside, and be on your very way back to airport check in.

Of course, the popular uber/lyft options are available as well. If you choose this route, most likely you will be staying downtown and not venturing outside the city limits, as everything is pretty much walkable downtown. If you have kiddos and plan to head anywhere outside of downtown (and/or are not staying downtown), a car is convenient. 

Paid parking is required downtown, so you will have to weigh your costs and options, along with how much you think you will be staying in the city versus elsewhere. Most downtown hotels have valet fees and nightly parking fees that are significantly more expensive than in/out garages. We opted for a couple of garages near Music City Center that were pay by day, versus by hour, as we knew we would be downtown for a significant amount of time. Friday night parking was fairly easy too and since it's considered "event" parking, it mostly was a flat rate. 


There are so many places to stay in Nashville! If your family is headed to a specific event, then downtown prices might be worth it. If you are like us, and are venturing in and around Nashville plus her suburbs and small farming communities, it might be better to be away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. 

We opted for a Marriott-branded hotel in the metro center. It was quick and easy access to downtown, not too far from the airport, and super easy to hop onto the interstate to head to our daily destinations. Of course, you might consider renting an vbro or air-b-n-b, depending on your needs and finances too, especially if you want to save money in the food area. 


Nashville has an abundance of food! Restaurants, Food Trucks, normal fast-food places, and more all exist.  We ate at several places, but the two favorites I'll be sharing with you are Puckett's and Pharmacy Burger. Both of these places are great for families with kids, or adult families traveling together. Good food, good drinks, and great service were my top notes from these two places! 

Puckett's has several locations in smaller towns outside the city of Nashville, but within, its located downtown, walkable distance to the Ryman, Country Music Hall of Fame, and lower Broadway. 

Pharmacy Burger is located in East Nashville. It has a cool vibe with a beer garden, free parking, and great burgers! Plus, their other claim to fame is that they make their own soda phosphates! 

Kid-Friendly Adventures

Like I said, Nashville is much more than bars on Lower-Broadway. While these places are kid-friendly before designated evening times, your kiddos may enjoy other adventures than following you around to bars and restaurants. While we spent some time on Lower Broadway and ventured into a few boot stores, we also explored the city in other ways! 

Old Town Trolley Tours takes you through a unique history of the city! The hop/on off tour is an easy way to explore with its 13 stops throughout the downtown area, including the Vanderbilt and Gulch communities. It's a great way to hear the history of Nashville, to see the various locations, and to explore on foot but still having some transportation available. Right now, the tours are between 9:30 and 4:30 pm, but the city doesn't allow buses to go to parts of downtown after 3:30 pm, so just be aware when planning your adventures. Our bus driver pointed out eating establishments, things to do, and places famous people ventured along the way. Plus, if you love music, then consider the evening Soul of Music Tour. This was an insightful and inspiring tour and a great way to learn that the Music City is way more than just country music! 

The Country Music Hall of Fame is a definite must! Kids of all ages will love exploring this three story venue. While your smaller kiddos might get bored at the displays, your older kids will love seeing the costumes, cars, and videos that portray country music. Even if you aren't a fan, it's definitely worth seeing. 

The Gentle Barn is an animal rescue farm located outside of Nashville. They seek to provide protection and respite for animals that might have been hurt by humans in some fashion. Whether it's rehabbing turkeys, saving pigs & cows, or rehoming horses from bad situations, these animals learn to trust humans again and in return provide a wonderful way for humans to connect and learn. I highly recommend visiting the Gentle Barn, located in a small community an hour south of Nashville. Along the way, feel free to stop in Murfreesboro and learn about the Civil War!

The Grand Ole Opry is an experience that can't be missed. It's been on my bucket list for a few years now, and I was so glad I had the opportunity to get to this venue! It's the oldest running radio show in the US (in case you didn't know, it's a radio show that still airs today), and is home to some of the greatest country music stars. We attended the Classic Country night and it definitely didn't disappoint. Plus, don't miss the backstage tour! You will learn more about the Opry's history and see where famous stars dress!

Nashville Ghost Tour: no historic city is without it's stories of mayhem and woe, and Nashville is no different. US Ghost Adventures has a great tour that highlights some of the important historic notes in Nashville history. From its inception as a river city to mob life, there are many adventures that live behind remnants of history and perhaps a soul or two haunting old establishments. 

Free Stuff

Nashville can be an expensive city to visit, especially if you take advantage of all the musical options available. While tours like the Ryman are amazing to see, there are plenty of free and cheaper adventures for you and your littles. 

Head over to the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to learn about Tennessee's history through its museum, wall art, and fountains. Virtual Tours are available for download from your phone. Of course, it's a park, so there are plenty of parklike things for your family to do- run, play, picnic, etc. There's also the unique Nashville Farmer's Market, full of vendors and food options for families to check out, too! 

Don't miss the Centennial Park, home to Nashville's Parthenon, an exact replica of the one from Greece. Learn about the cool story related to this $10.00 attraction, that has lots of kid-friendly options and events happening all the time! Plus, the Centennial Park is also home to the 1897 Exposition, which is kind of cool to learn about too. 

Visit Nashville! 

Over all, Nashville is an amazing place to visit, no matter the age of kiddos in your family. While I might not recommend that toddlers go to the Grand Ole Opry as it is a staged show, there are so many unique and exciting things for your family to do in Nashville that are beyond bars and drinking. Visit the Zoo, head to Opry Mills for a movie, or find hands-on activities at the Science Museum. If you are staying at the Gaylord Opryland, their water park is a definite must too! 

I hope that you will follow along on my Nashville adventures and feel free to ask questions for your next family visit! I can't wait until I get to go back, as I felt these four days flew by!

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?

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