Nashville's Summer Time Playlist
We all have those songs that, when we hear them, immediately take us back to that lazy day on the lake, that road trip we took with our friends, or that summer concert that we're all still talking about. Summer is when we set out on adventures, experience new things, and create memories. Music is often a way we can transport ourselves back to those moments.
So in honor of the glorious summer finally granting us with its presence, we have put together a "play" list of Music City summer suggestions, as well as a music playlist of Nashville musicians. Go ahead and plan your summer of adventure and new experiences, and we'll provide the soundtrack that will remind you of your amazing summer in the city that music calls home.
Fuel Up For the Day
In a town full of musicians who play late and party even later, the city practically runs on caffeine. Start your day with a latte fix at one of Nashville's local coffee shops such as Fido, Frothy Monkey, or Garage Coffee Company. Feel free to browse all of Music City’s coffee spots here: www.visitmusiccity.com/coffee.
Want a hearty breakfast before starting your day? A few local favorites include Puckett's, Loveless Café, Pancake Pantry, 1808 Grille, The Southern, Provence Breads & Café, and Marché Artisan Foods. For those weekenders seeking a brunch spot, you've come to the right place. Nashville loves a meal in which we can roll out of bed at noon and still order something dowsed in syrup. For all you fellow brunch lovers, some of your options include Josephine, Tavern, Husk, The Listening Room, Urban Grub, Pinewood Social, and M.L. Rose. Or check out more brunch options here: www.visitmusiccity.com/brunch.
Check out the Local Hoods
That cool vintage shop where your friend found some awesome deals, that awesome record store you read about, the hole-in-the-wall taco shop that keeps showing up on your Pinterest feed…you'll most likely find these places in one of Nashville's unique neighborhoods. Areas of town, no more than ten minutes from the heart of Downtown, such as 12South, East Nashville, Germantown, and Hillsboro Village offer up a taste of the local Nashville scene. From eating and drinking to shopping and listening, stroll these neighborhoods, and discover a side of Music City you may have never known was there. Don't forget to check out The Gulch with our latest Explore Nashville video series, giving you a crash course on things to do.
Dining Al Fresco
Take advantage of one of the greatest perks of summer…patio dining. What's better than sipping on a cold beer or sweet iced tea with your shades on? Grab lunch with a side of sunshine at places like 12South Taproom & Grill, Edley's Bar-B-Que, The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, Pub5, Saint Anejo, or Barlines. Feel free to browse through Music City's patio dining here: www.visitmusiccity.com/patiodining.
For the ultimate outdoor dining experience, find one of Nashville's food trucks. They can often be found at local parks, especially Centennial Park, or at any of the music festivals that take place around town. They may be cooking out of a truck, but they offer up some amazingly delicious and diverse cuisine. Some of the local award winners include Riff's Fine Street Food, Smoke Et Al, The Grilled Cheeserie, and Hoss' Loaded Burgers. You can also satiate your sweet tooth at trucks like Retro Sno, Doughworks, Crepe A Diem, and Moovers and Shakers.
Hit the Attractions
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is the perfect place to experience Nashville's natural beauty. The 55-acre estate includes stunning botanical gardens, and the mansion turned museum of art has collections of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts. All ages will enjoy their newest exhibit David Rogers' Big Bugs. Check out 10 enormous insect sculptures created from fallen or found wood, cut saplings, twigs, raw branches, twine, bark, and other natural materials. The exhibit will last all summer from May 23-September 7 with some additional family fun activities.
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere should certainly be on your summer must-do list. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere has it all from giraffes, elephants, alligators, owls, and the newest addition: red kangaroos!
A great place to cool off is in one of Nashville's coolest buildings, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The Frist is housed in what used to be Nashville's downtown post office, a prominent Nashville architectural treasure from the Art Deco period. Their summer calendar is filled with world class exhibitions including American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stuart and Real/Surreal: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art.
If you're lucky enough to be in town on the last Friday of June, July or August you can experience Frist Friday, an evening filled with live music, light snacks and beverages, as well as the exhibitions on view in the galleries.
Also be sure to check out the tallest indoor structure in the Western world, Athena, who lives inside of The Parthenon in Centennial Park. The Parthenon is the world’s only full-sized reproduction of the Greek Parthenon and includes a fabulous collection of fine art.
Of course, the best way to cool off is by jumping in a wave pool, going down a water slide, and cruising down a lazy river. You can do all that and more at Nashville Shores.
Cool Off With A Cocktail
Start your evening off with a refreshing cocktail or brew, at ... oh please, like we can even begin to name all the watering holes in town. Depending on your mood, hit up a chic cocktail lounge such as Patterson House, Holland House Bar & Refuge, or The Oak Bar. For a more casual atmosphere check out Hops + Crafts, Pinewood Social, or one or our local breweries. For a rowdier environment try Midtown's Winner's or Losers, East Nashville's 5 Spot, or any honky tonks on Broadway. Be sure to include a local pour in your drink such as world famous Jack Daniel's, Corsair gin or whiskey, or a pint from Black Abbey Brewery or Tennessee Brew Works. You can also check out our more complete list of places to find the perfect cocktail at: www.visitmusiccity.com/drinks.
Music, Music, Music
There's a reason we're called Music City. With more than 120 live music venues in the city, a trip to Nashville is not complete without partaking in some great live music. From country to classic, rock to rockabilly and blues to bluegrass, we've got it all. The best place to find out who's playing where is by downloading the Nashville Live Music Guide app on your iPhone or Android.
Sunshine means it's time for outdoor festivals, and concerts. There is plenty of ways to enjoy the music with the CMA Festival, Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival, Nashville PRIDE Festival, Music City's July 4th Celebration: Let Freedom Sing, and Live on the Green happening during the summer months in Music City. A perfect example of Music City's diverse selection of music anyone can enjoy.
The return of the popular Nashville Dancin’ offers free music downtown every Thursday night, and Musicians Corner offers free music in Centennial Park every Saturday through June. For a full list of music events follow: www.visitmusiccity.com/summerinthecity_musicevents.
Music lovers should also find time to head to the world famous Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, tour the mother church of country music, the Ryman Auditorium, or honor thy musician at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. For a full list of Music City venues take a look at: www.visitmusiccity.com/summerinthecity_musicvenues.
Looking for more ideas to fill up your calendar in Music City this summer? See: www.visitmusiccity.com/summerinthecity.
Also, check out what new things Nashville has to offer while listening to the “New Year/ New Nashville Playlist” and plan your trip to Music City, or see what we did during spring with our "Nashville Spring Break Playlist".