As vacation travel begins to slowly pick up again and people looking and spring and summer travel, we’re thinking about some of our favorite tours and outings and wanted to share so our guests can begin their planning early.
One of the ways we learned about our area when we first moved here was taking some of these tours. And now, even though we’re locals we still like partake when family and friends come to visit – when you’re in a city growing as fast as ours, it’s our way of keeping up!
So let’s get on with some of our top choices:
Music Lover Must- Combo Tour of RCAs Studio B/ Country Music Hall of Fame/ Hatch Show Prints: We did all of these individually before we knew you could buy the combo pack and save (doh)! Even my non-country music loving husband enjoyed the Country Music Hall of Fame and though I am not typically a museum-y type of person, I really did, too. My fave feature was seeing all of the stars’ clothes. The Hatch Show Prints (which you’ll find in a few of our rentals even) have such a cool story and role in the history of music in our town. You get to experience that first hand this way. And last but not least, located off Music Row, RCA Studio B may not look like much from the outside but it’s been home to recording same names you may recognize… you know, like Elvis Presley!
Tour of the Stars Homes: This was actually the very first tour we did in Nashville. Richard’s parents had come to town and we wanted to learn who our new, star studded neighbors were. The majority of the homes are (not surprisingly) stunning but it’s also really cool to see some of the more “every day” looking homes and the homes nestled in regular neighborhoods.
Self-Guided Ryman Tour: This is probably one of my favorite tours in town. It starts with a cool little video explaining some of the history of the Ryman but then they let you explore and do your own thing. I went with my aunts and cousin that came to town to visit and we found a ton of great, fun photo opps while exploring.
Options at the Opry: Alright, I’m going to be totally honest here and say that the Opry is not my favorite only because it’s become really commercialized. That said, I still feel like it’s a right of passage for any visit to Nashville and if you time your visit right, it’s definitely still worth the trip.
- Backstage Tour: I would suggest tour before seeing a show because you’ll understand the history much more. I really did like the tour itself and learning about the roots of country music. Since the Opry is pretty far outside of town and not really close to anything other than the mall, I would suggest timing it so you do the last tour available before the show. Hop over to the mall in between to kill some time (it’s an outlet mall) and then come back for the show.
- Opry Show Ticket: The show itself is a live radio show which is well, different. That means you’ll watch ads being recorded and then there is a lot of “filler” acts before you get to any named stars. Try to go on a night where there are a few named stars or something else happening because the headliner only plays 2 songs typically.
The Nashville City Tour: Learn the lay of the land when you first get to town with a tour on the double decker bus. When I travel, this is personally something I do first because it helps me figure out the lay of the city I’m visiting and then really compile the list of what looks like its worth going back to. For instance, sometimes I’m cool just seeing something from a distance and don’t need to spend the time going back and getting an up close. Other times, I may see even just a cute little restaurant or shop while driving (or in Nashville, an awesome mural) that I’ll note and make sure I head back to that area at some point during the rest of my trip.
Mural Tour by Golf Cart: As much as the Opry is a right of passage to any Music City visit, as is a mural tour. You can definitely check out our top murals to look at in our digital guidebook but unless you’re doing it mostly by foot it can be a bit of a challenge navigating and pulling over for photos in a car. Going by golf cart (while someone else is driving it at that) makes it easy to get right up where you need to go and nail your perfect photo opp! You also have an extra set of hands to take pictures so your whole group can be in the pictures.
Jack Daniels Tour (including transportation to/ from Nashville): I would suggest this for those who are staying more than 3-4 days in town as the Jack Daniels Distillery is actually located in Lynchurg, TN which is about 1.5-2 hours from Nashville. The town is considered a dry town so you can’t drink while there you do get the option of what I call a “sipping option” – you get a few tiny sips of each of their whiskey types. But the history is jam packed, the distillery is beautiful and not having to drive yourself for 3-4 hours in one day in a car (there/ back) is definitely worth having them take you.
Explore from the Water: Admittedly, I forget about the water options we have because I always just think of us as being land locked (which we are) and we’re originally from a beach area. BUT our lakes and rivers really live up to a good time and there are some great ways to enjoy them.
- Chartered Pontoon Boat: In the words of Little Big Town, “grab your koozie, let’s go…” (we even provide the koozies for our guests) you can live out your boating summer days with someone else driving you around the Nashville water ways.
- Kayaking with a Downtown view: A different way to see and experience Downtown – from the Cumberland River. This is a super fun, outdoor activity.
- SUP (stand up paddle board) on the Cumberland: If kayaking isn’t your thing, opt for the SUP tour to see Downtown. Personally, I enjoy the SUP over the kayak just because I have an easier time relying on both legs and arms than just my weak upper body.
Explore from the Sky: I have to include this because I am dying to do these but unfortunately my fear of heights holds me back. So even though I haven’t personally done any of these, our guests who lack that fear and have taken the leap, have raved about them!
- Helicopter with Champagne: I mean, when champagne is involved what’s not to love? This tour takes you Downtown but then also a bit around the outskirts.
- Helicopter (short ride): Take the tour sans champagne that’s a bit shorter and then just focuses on Downtown Nashville.
- Hot Air Balloon: This tour is based in Franklin, TN and will allow you to see beyond the city lights and enjoy the picturesque rolling hills of TN.
Alright, I think we’ve provided plenty of options to keep you busy while you’re in town. Now, if you’re looking for a relaxing place to stay after your days / nights exploring, we have studios and homes ready to welcome you. Check out our vacation rentals and book your next stay here.
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