The American capital of country music and hot chicken has something for everyone.
From must-see attractions, bizarre festivals, quirky shops, and tasty treats, ‘Music City’ is home to plenty of out-of-the-box activities. We’re sharing little known and unique things to do in Nashville.
So strap on your boots and put that cowboy hat on! This is going to be a funky ride.
Get saucy at the Tomato Art Fest
Have you ever seen a tomato bobbing contest? East Nashville’s annual Tomato Art Fest is the only yearly event where you’ll see attendees clad in red & green tomato suits paying homage to the fruit.
Nashville’s biggest tomato-themed block party takes place over a weekend in August each year. Tomato lovers line the streets to showcase their tomato art, compete for the best amateur Bloody Mary, challenge their best recipes, and even enter a contest to see who has the most tomato yard decor in their yard.
This wonderfully weird festival is totally worth visiting!
Put the pedal to the metal at Lane Motor Museum
If you’re a car lover, this place is heaven on earth. The museum is home to the largest collection of European cars and motorbikes in the nation. Along with an extensive collection of rides, rev-heads can explore quirky cars like propeller-driven vehicles, fabric-covered cars, and unusual amphibious vehicles. The off-beat cars and fun exhibits will keep you entertained for an afternoon.
Shop for oddities at Hail, Dark Aesthetics
The shop’s motto is “we buy weird stuff,” so that should give you an indication of the experience you’re going to have here.
This quirky resale boutique focuses on offbeat items, including apparel, jewelry, and a whole lot of taxidermy. You can get lost in the shelves of skulls, off-kilter wine bottles, books on cannibalism and death, and more creepy occult goods. While the oddities in the shop might not be the dark-side twist you want in your living room, a trip to this store is unforgettable.
Check out the old Tennessee State Prison
If you haven’t seen the old-fashioned, fortress-like prison in person, you’ve probably seen it on the big screen. Tennessee State Prison has been the setting for several movies, including The Green Mile, Ernest Goes to Jail, Walk the Line, Framed, and Nashville. The prison’s most well-known inmate was none other than James Earl Ray, who was convicted of assassinating Martin Luther King Jr.
You will have to take in the view from outside. The building is deteriorating, and there’s no public access, but you can still see the exterior of the gothic-style structure.
Address: Bomar Blvd. Nashville, TN 37209
Go on a mission at The Escape Game
Will you make it out in time? If you’re looking for unique things to do in Nashville, try and beat the clock at The Escape Game! The 60-minute interactive adventure is complete with missions, puzzles, clues, and riddles. The fast-paced rooms include everything from looking for gold, securing a record deal, breaking out of prison, and so much more.
Follow the clues and complete your mission in under an hour to win!
Get a bird’s eye view at The Nashville Adventure Park
Why walk when you can fly? Go on a thrilling zip-line adventure through the trees at The Nashville Adventure Park. This place is excellent if you’re looking for things to do in Nashville with kids. The park also had ax throwing, rope and cable bridges, and glow-in-the-dark zip-line courses.
You can explore the park at your own pace or opt for a guide to lead you through the adventure.
Try not to get starstruck at The Country Music Hall of Fame
Ok, we know this may not be the most ‘unusual’ Nashville attraction; however, you don’t want to miss your chance to explore the best of country music’s past and present. The Hall of Fame is filled to the brim with incredible memorabilia like Elvis’ Cadillac limousine and Taylor Swift’s guitars. If you’re looking for other similar excursions, check out our Nashville Museum Guide!
Enjoy a treat for your ears and belly at the Blended Festival
The Blended Festival is a Nashville experience like no other. When you get bored of average music festivals, this is the place you want to visit. The two-day affair combines some of the world’s most recognized artists, culinary stages, and plenty of wine, beer, and liquor to go around. The festival takes place at the beautiful First Horizon Park. Your weekend pass will grant you access to live performances, a 100-foot long wine tent, games, cocktail tastings, craft beer samples, and celebrity chef demos.
The Blended Festival truly lives up to its name. If you like food, music, and alcohol, add this festival to your summer plans. The 2021 event is happening in August. Get your tickets now, so you don’t miss out!
Catch some good old medieval fantasy at Elmington Park
Every Sunday afternoon, from noon until dark, Elmington Park is turned into a medieval battleground where the swords, javelins, arrows, and maces are made out of foam. Participants are clad in medieval costumes and wield their fake foam weapons. The event is hosted by Dur Demarion, Nashville’s medieval combat society.
You can sit back and watch or suit up and get in on the action. Dozens of people participate in the well-organized event, and there’s a strict playbook to follow. You’ll have to sign a waiver if you want to join the fight. Dur Demarion encourages inexperienced players and spectators to join.
Go on a Nashville Hot Chicken tour
Who is the true OG of Nashville Hot Chicken? While this might still be up for debate, you can crown your own hot chicken king by sampling a few of the city’s most well-known chicken joints.
You definitely don’t want to miss out on the fiery poultry at Prince’s Hot Chicken. Rumor has it Prince’s is the original. The recipe has been used for over a century and spice levels go from a boring ‘plain’ to XXX HOT, which only the bravest of eaters should dare try.
Up next on your things to do in Nashville list, sample the chicken at 400 Degrees. The owner of this popular spot actually grew up eating at Prince’s! Today, she’s crafted her own unique hot chicken recipe packed with cayenne and paprika.
Take a tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery
If you need something to wash down all that hot chicken, whiskey probably isn’t the best choice, but hey, you only live once! You can organize a 90-minute tour of the world-famous distillery. There are plenty of taste tests while you’re there, and you can buy an exclusive bottle of Tennessee-only Jack.
The distiller has a couple of different tours to choose from where you can sample whiskey from exclusive collections and learn all about the history of the world’s favorite whiskey.
That rounds up our list of fun, unusual, and unique things to do in Nashville!
The city is packed with history, music, and entertainment. Whether you’re here for a weekend, a day, or an extended stay, you’re guaranteed to have a blast!