Nashville is one of the coolest destinations for music lovers—particularly those who love country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll and learning about the icons of the industry who lead us to where we are today. Nashville is also a terrific tourist destination for those looking for a great night out on the town full of great food, great drinks, and even better company. From restaurants and clubs to massive music venues, there’s something to do no matter your taste or preference.
With a city this large, it could be pretty intimidating to plan an itinerary for your next trip to the Music City. Not only is there so much to do, but since Nashville is an extremely popular destination, you may find most popular tourist destinations packed to the brim on weekends or holidays. If you’re looking to avoid the typical attractions of Nashville and want a more unique experience, plan your trip around some of the coolest, yet most underrated, spots in town.
Most people make the long trek to Greece to see the Parthenon—the iconic temple in Athens, built during the fifth century BC. If you’ve been craving a little bit of historical Greecian architecture but don’t have the budget to visit the Parthenon in person, why not head to Nashville to check out the next best thing?
Nashville’s Centennial Park is home to a full-scale replica of the one you’ll see in Greece. Yes, you read that right, a full-scale replica—including the 42-foot statue of Athena. According to nashville.gov, the building was erected for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition back in 1897 as a way to honor the original and celebrate classical architecture. Today, you can visit the Nashville Parthenon to enjoy the architecture, as well as the art museum located inside.
Harpeth River State Park
Looking for a little more nature on your trip to Nashville? Head just outside the downtown area for a gorgeous hiking experience at Harpeth River State Park. The Hidden Lake Loop is a short, easy hike, taking just about 25 minutes, and features a gorgeous hidden lake as well as some other lesser-known gems.
This spot is located about an hour and a half outside of downtown Nashville, but we promise it’s worth the drive. In the town of Pelham, deep underground, you’ll find the Caverns—an incredible natural wonder that doubles as a music venue. The space is able to accommodate concerts all year long thanks to the constant temperature of 59 degrees deep in the caves. This is certain to be one of the most unique concert-going experiences you’ve ever had in your life. Can’t stay for a concert at night? Sign up for a daytime tour of the Caverns, complete with a tour guide to teach you about the rich history of this area.
If you’re in the Nashville area for a short period of time, this may seem a bit out of the way. But unless you’re looking at Nashville houses for sale with plans to plant roots here, this may be the only opportunity to check out this truly special attraction, so don’t miss your shot during your visit.
Hot Chicken Crawl
If you find yourself feeling famished after a long day of spelunking in the caves, why not head out on a self-guided fried chicken tour of Nashville? Fried chicken—specifically a dish unique to the area called “hot chicken”—is a staple in Nashville, and you would be doing yourself and your travel buddies an extreme disservice if you didn’t try at least a few of the best spots in town.
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is one of the most famous spots in town, as well as Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. These two are definitely bucket-list-worthy. Some other great spots are 400 Degrees. and Red’s 615 Kitchen.
Hermitage Hotel Men’s Bathroom
It’s not really a list of weirdly cool attractions in Nashville if you haven’t mentioned the men’s bathroom at Hermitage Hotel. You may be thinking, “Just how cool can this bathroom be?” That’s a fair question, but you’ll just have to see for yourself. Let’s just say, it’s so cool, it’s won countless online polls for best bathroom in America.