Nashville, Tennessee, a city that is famous for its vibrant music scene, delicious food, and rich history. But beyond the well-known attractions lies a world of hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered by the intrepid traveler or inquisitive newcomer. From off-the-beaten-path eateries to secluded parks and historic landmarks, Nashville is full of hidden gems that even some people living in Nashville might not even know about.
To truly experience the heart of Nashville, you need to explore its hidden nooks and crannies. From the historic architecture of Germantown to the quirky boutiques of East Nashville, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. These hidden gems offer a unique perspective on Nashville’s rich cultural heritage and give new-comers a chance to experience the city like a local.
So, if you’re looking for a Nashville adventure that’s off the beaten path, discover some of the local’s best kept secrets in this Redfin article, from hidden parks, to eateries, and more. So put on your exploring shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of Nashville, Tennessee.
1. Printer’s Alley
Printer’s Alley is a historic alley located in the heart of downtown Nashville. Once home to printing shops and publishers, the area transformed into a lively nightlife spot with bars, restaurants, and live music in the mid-20th century. Today, it’s a hangout for anyone looking for a unique, lively atmosphere in the city. The alley is lined with neon signs and brick buildings, and each establishment has its own distinct vibe. One of the most famous spots is Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, which features live music every night of the week. Another popular spot is Skull’s Rainbow Room, which is known for its cocktails and burlesque shows. Printer’s Alley is a great spot for a night out with friends, a date, or even a solo adventure.
2. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a stunning 55-acre estate located in the Belle Meade neighborhood of Nashville. The estate was built in 1929 as the home of Leslie and Mabel Cheek, who were prominent members of Nashville’s high society. Today, the estate serves as a museum, botanical garden, and event venue. Locals and tourists can stroll through the beautiful gardens, which feature everything from tulips and daffodils to cherry blossoms and roses. The estate also hosts rotating art exhibitions, including works by local and international artists. In addition, the mansion itself is a beautiful example of Georgian-style architecture and features original artwork and furnishings from the Cheek family. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a sanctuary for anyone looking for a peaceful, beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville.
3. Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation is a historic plantation located just outside of downtown Nashville. The plantation dates back to the mid-1800s and was once one of the largest horse farms in the world. Today, it serves as a museum and event venue, offering new-comers a glimpse into Nashville’s past. Guided tours of the mansion are available, as well as tours of the stables and carriage house. Tourists can sample Belle Meade bourbon and wine, which are produced on-site. One of the most unique things about Belle Meade Plantation is its role in the Civil War. The plantation was used as a headquarters for soldiers, and visitors can learn about this fascinating piece of history during their visit.
4. The Parthenon
Here’s a fun fact about Nashville you may not know: the city has its own Greek Parthenon replica. The Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece, located in Centennial Park. The building was originally constructed for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition and has been a fixture of Nashville’s skyline ever since. Today, it serves as an art museum, housing a permanent collection of American art as well as rotating exhibitions. One of the most striking things about the Parthenon is its size – it’s hard to believe that such a monumental structure exists in the middle of a park in downtown Nashville. People are free to take a self-guided tour of the museum and admire the incredible architecture and artwork on display.
5. The Station Inn
The Station Inn, a local’s best kept secret, is a small bluegrass music venue located in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville. The venue has been around since 1974 and has hosted some of the biggest names in bluegrass music over the years. What makes the Station Inn special is its intimate atmosphere as the venue only holds around 150 people, so it feels like you’re watching a performance in someone’s living room. The walls are covered in photos and memorabilia from past performances, giving the space a cozy, nostalgic feel. Here you can enjoy a night of foot-tapping bluegrass music while sipping on a cold beer from the bar.
The Station Inn is also known for its late-night jams, where musicians from around the city gather to play impromptu sets long after the scheduled performances have ended. It’s not uncommon to see some of the biggest names in bluegrass join in on these jam sessions, making for a truly unforgettable experience. The Station Inn has become a beloved institution in Nashville’s music scene and is a venue for anyone who loves live music or wants to experience the city’s rich musical heritage in an intimate setting.
6. The Love Circle
The Love Circle is a scenic overlook located on a hill in the upscale neighborhood of West Meade. The overlook offers stunning views of the city skyline and the Cumberland River, making it a popular spot for sunset watching and romantic dates. The hill itself is surrounded by beautiful homes and winding roads, adding to the charm of the area. While it’s not the easiest spot to find – you’ll need to navigate some narrow streets and sharp turns – the views are well worth the effort. The Love Circle is a hidden gem that offers a unique perspective of Nashville that you won’t find anywhere else.
7. The Hermitage
The Hermitage is the historic home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, located just outside of Nashville. The plantation dates back to the early 1800s. Today, visitors can tour the mansion, explore the grounds, and learn about the life and legacy of Andrew Jackson. The Hermitage is also home to a museum that houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to Jackson’s life and career. The property is a fascinating look at Nashville’s history.
8. The Patterson House
The Patterson House is a speakeasy-style bar located in the Midtown neighborhood of Nashville. The bar is known for its craft cocktails, which are made using fresh ingredients and house-made syrups and bitters. The interior of the bar is decorated in a vintage style, with leather couches, dim lighting, and a cozy, intimate atmosphere. In addition to its impressive cocktail menu, the Patterson House also offers a small selection of bar bites, including charcuterie and cheese plates. The bar is a great location for a date or a night out with friends, and its hidden location and speakeasy vibe adds to the allure.
9. Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park is a 1,332-acre park located just outside of Nashville. The park is known for its scenic hiking trails, which wind through hardwood forests, past wetlands, and around the lake itself. Adventurists can spot a variety of wildlife in the park, including deer, otters, and a wide variety of birds. The park also offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and wildlife photography. What makes Radnor Lake State Park special is its proximity to Nashville being just a short drive from downtown, but feels like a completely different world. The park is a great spot for anyone looking to escape the city for a few hours and enjoy some fresh air and natural beauty.
10. The Pharmacy Burger
The Pharmacy Burger is a classic burger joint located in the East Nashville neighborhood. The restaurant serves up juicy, delicious burgers made with locally sourced beef and topped with all the classic fixings. In addition to its burgers, the Pharmacy also offers a selection of homemade sodas and milkshakes, as well as a wide selection of craft beers. The interior of the restaurant is decorated in a vintage style, with old-fashioned soda fountains, wooden booths, and a cozy, neighborhood vibe. The Pharmacy Burger is a great restaurant for a casual lunch or dinner, and its reputation as one of the best burger joints in Nashville is well-deserved.