21 Ways to Winter in Nashville

Winter is an enjoyable and festive time in Nashville while the city celebrates the holiday season. Music City doesn't stop when the thermometer drops, it just takes the fun indoors. Stay warm when the temperatures are low with these 21 amazing ways to spend winter in Nashville.

1. Winter Activities

Beginning January 8-March 21 on Thursdays-Sundays, Gaylord Opryland's Winterfest will offer a wide array of indoor and outdoor, family-friendly activities such as ice tubing, ice skating, and ice bumper cars outside on the Pinetop lawn along with animal encounters, and a Jack Frost-themed scavenger.

2. Celebrate Black History

Take a moment to appreciate and celebrate the contributions of African Americans to society. Start with honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 18 with service projects, virtual performances, and more. The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) will officially open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a socially distant ribbon-cutting ceremony. The museum will open to the public on Saturday, January 30, 2021 with tours being held on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-6pm. Take the whole month of February to pay tribute to African American history. Black History Month in Nashville has a calendar filled with art exhibits, tours, and more.

Feel like immersing yourself in the African American culture? Located a few miles from downtown, North Nashville is a neighborhood steeped in rich history. Home to three historically black universities, Fisk University with its framed art galleries and Fisk Jubilee Singers, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University, North Nashville has long been the hub of the city’s black community. Jefferson Street is known for its musical past, once the epicenter of Nashville’s thriving R&B and jazz scene.

Fisk University | Fisk Jubilee Singers | Tennessee State University

3. Stay In. Watch Documentaries.

It's cold outside, so we give you permission to stay in and cozy up next to the fire and watch a documentary about your favorite city. For over 130 years, Nashville has evolved into the world’s premier Music City and there's a one-hour documentary that tells the story in its entirety. The Story of Nashville goes behind the scenes about Music City through the eyes of musicians, songwriters, producers, and artists who live and breathe the inspiration of this great city. Watch it here.

We all hum their tunes and know their words by heart. It All Begins with a Song is an award-winning film about one of the most important unknown forces in music: The Nashville Songwriter. Now available for free on Amazon Prime. Cuddle up and watch it tonight.

4. Independent Music Venues

Experience our one-of-a-kind town that grooves to the constant beat of live music from some of the most iconic, independent spots in Nashville. Lately, Nashville's live music venues have invited local musicians to perform live streams so that you can enjoy the music from your own home. Support local live music venues and tune in so that you can help us #KeepTheMusicPlaying in Music City.

3rd & Lindsley | Exit/In | The Basement

5. Unique Eats

Spend your time indoors sampling of some of the more down-home cooking that has served Nashville locals and visitors alike for decades. A city of creators, Nashville is known for the creation of hot chicken – fried chicken doused in fiery spices and served on a bed of white bread with a pickle.

Another Nashville food staple is the classic meat and three, Southern cooking where you typically order meat accompanied by three sides. You will be forced to make those tough life decisions like fried chicken or meatloaf, mac & cheese or mashed potatoes.

Another node to Nashville’s Southern heritage is the award-winning barbecue joints you will find throughout the city. Each has its own distinct recipes that have locals passionately debating the best barbecue spot in town.

Hattie B’s | Edley’s | Loveless Café

6. Take In Music History

Hum the tunes of Nashville’s past. The Ryman was constructed in 1897 as a tabernacle and became the home to the famous Grand Ole Opry in 1942 where it remained until 1974 when it moved to the Grand Ole Opry House. Today it is one of the most popular music venues in the country, hosting big-name musical acts of all genres. The Grand Ole Opry is the country's longest radio show and celebrates more than 90 years on the air and still puts on live shows three nights a week. Historic RCA Studio B is one of the world’s most famous recording facilities and home to musical icons such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, and more! These three attractions will take you to another place in time for the winter.

7. Be Entertained - Safely

Nashville has the perfect mix of genres with cuts of country, bluegrass, rock, pop, Americana, gospel, classical, and blues, all blending in perfect harmony. The music scene is as diverse as the songwriters and musicians who make up the community. Nashville has more live music performances each month than one person can handle. Find your Nashville sound with upcoming events or upcoming concerts happening throughout the year. Live music is playing in Music City with safe limits on crowds and performers so check for details at each establishment before arriving.

8. Wine Down at a Winery

Wine and winter tend to pair well together. Warm up with a glass of red wine or get festive with your favorite bubble choice. Whether you prefer red, white, rosé, or sparkling, enjoy a glass from a Nashville winery at the end of a cold day (or any day, really).

Arrington Vineyards & Winery | Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery | City Winery

9. See What's New

We’ve all been looking forward to 2021 with great anticipation and Nashville continues to open new restaurants, hotels, and attractions to delight visitors when they're ready to travel again. With a brand new historic music museum, a European-style dining hall, and shopping mecca downtown, plus several more hotels still under construction, it’s hard to keep up with all the excitement for the new year. Check out what’s coming soon to Music City.

5th + Broadway | NMAAM | Grand Hyatt

10. Shop Local

A little retail therapy might be exactly what you need to keep warm during these winter months. Nashville shops offer something for everyone: records by local musicians, vintage items, jewelry, and more. Find a local treasure and take a piece of Nashville home with you.

Ceri Hoover | Emerson Grace | White’s Mercantile

11. Taste Music City

Nashville has become a culinary destination filled with award-winning chefs and restaurants and classic dining spots that serve unique flavors, cocktails, sweets, and more. Safely enjoy a seasonal cocktail in the crisp open air with outside dining surrounded by heaters or relax inside at physically distanced tables. Whether you're looking for comfort food, ethnic tastes, or fine dining experiences, a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure awaits in Nashville’s food scene.

New Restaurants | Outdoor Dining

12. Step into Historic Homes

There is no time like the present to explore Nashville’s past. From log cabins to plantation mansions, historic homes fill the city with stories of past presidents, old battlefields, racehorses, and so much more. Each place offers a variety of historic experiences including wine tastings, Segway tours, garden explorations, and unique exhibits that bring the past to life.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage | Belle Meade Plantation | Travellers Rest Plantation

13. Savor the Sips at Breweries & Distilleries

There's nothing like a shot of Tennessee whiskey to warm you up during the winter. Single barrel bourbon, rye, gin, and white whiskey are just a few of the local spirits you can sip on a distillery tour. Nashville also appeals to the ice-cold draft beer and craft cider drinkers. From smaller micro-breweries to larger taprooms complete with full food menus, Nashville has a variety of local beers, breweries, and cideries that are sure to satisfy any beer enthusiast.

6th & Peabody | Jack Daniel Distillery | Tennessee Brew Works

14. Play Indoors

There are plenty of ways to stay active in Nashville during the winter. If you are looking for an indoor activity to get your heart racing, take a shot at bowling, swing a golf club in a bar, or aim for the bullseye with ax throwing. Feeling competitive? Challenge your friends to a game or try indoor kart racing and of course, health enthusiasts can find a multitude of fitness options.

Downtown Sporting ClubPinewood SocialTopgolf

If you love the cold breeze on your face, Music City has outdoor activities for everyone too, so put on your mask (safety and warmth!) and explore options for running, biking, adventure courses, or just enjoying nature. Some activities are seasonal so check open dates and hours before choosing your favorites.

15. Customize a Vacation Package

Dreaming about a trip to Nashville? We're excited to welcome you back to Music City when you're ready to push play. Our Nashville experts have bundled some of the most popular attractions and events together in convenient one-stop-shop deals. Let our team help you customize a trip to Nashville with a choice of vacation packages or call 800-657-6910 for Trip Planning services.

Dream Now & Travel Later Bundle

16. Embrace Arts & Culture

There is truly nothing better to warm the soul than a moving art experience. In a city where creativity thrives, Nashville’s ever-growing art scene is as diverse and approachable as its music scene. Murals, street art, public art, museums, and art galleries are all a part of experiencing Music City’s art & cultural offerings. Embrace the unique varieties in performing arts, visual arts, and cultural collections throughout Nashville.

Chauvet Arts | Frist Art MuseumOZ Arts

17. Explore Unique Museums

Interactive science adventures, music-inspired hall of fame exhibits, the world’s greatest wax museum, and the country's largest collection of European cars are just a few of the options awaiting you in Nashville. Choose a Nashville museum that will expand your mind and enhance your visit to Music City.

Adventure Science Center | Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum | Madame Tussauds

18. Warm Up with Coffee & Tea

The best winter days in Music City start with a freshly brewed hot cup of coffee (or tea)! With an abundance of local coffee shops AND a delicious selection of pastries and breakfast options available, you won’t have any trouble finding a favorite. Explore the charming, cozy, and hip coffee shops located all throughout Nashville’s captivating neighborhoods.

8th & Roast | Frothy Monkey | Killebrew

19. Tune into Sports

Nashville is home to multiple professional sports teams and sporting events, and loyal fans travel from near and far to experience the thrill of the games. We completely understand a fan’s need to cheer on their team so whether you are watching from the sidelines or joining the socially distanced crowd in a sports bar, you can find a great place to tune into your favorite sports game.

Nashville PredatorsTennessee Titans

20. Conquer the Neighborhoods

Each of Nashville’s neighborhoods has its own district personality and character. Local businesses are the heart of Music City and what makes the town unique and authentic. Conquer the city like a local and discover what to do and where to stay, eat, and shop. Be our guest and live like a local while here.

Love Thy Neighborhoods | Neighborhood Trip | Shopping by Neighborhood

21. Plan a 2021 Trip to Nashville

Now that 2021 is almost here, we hope you are dreaming about your next trip to Music City. While you've been away, we have been creating, cooking, writing songs, and making the city you love even better and safer. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned Nashville visitor, we have some ideas on how you can spend a winter visit to Music City. When the time is right, you can come on back and experience it for yourself.

Dream Now & Travel Later Bundle | Trip Ideas

Winter in Nashville Bundle
Winter in Nashville Bundle

Take joy in escaping from the frigid air while visiting Music City with our Winter in Nashville Bundle. Bring the fun indoors with admission to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Step back in time at Historic RCA Studio B, Nashville's oldest surviving recording studio and the most celebrated studio in the world. Stay nice and cozy with a Spirit of Nashville Mug with Coaster and a Nashville Beanie which are the perfect souvenirs that will also keep you warm while exploring Nashville!