Best Budget-Friendly Free Things to Do in Nashville

Home » Blog » Best Budget-Friendly Free Things to Do in Nashville

Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, juxtaposes both big city vibe and southern small town charm. While it is widely popular for being home to legendary country music venues, Nashville also flaunts wild honky tonks on broadways and hiking trails. Despite receiving millions of visitors annually, the city remains humble and offers plenty of free things to do in Nashville. As expected, most visitors come to the city to attend musical events and performances. However, go beyond those venues and you get to explore the parks and enjoy hiking, fishing, museum hopping, and wildlife spotting.

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or planning for an extended vacation in the Music City, be assured that the city has a lot to entertain you. One of its top attractions is the replica of Parthenon, which earned it the nickname of ‘Athens of the South’. Its noteworthy dining and cultural experiences make it a popular destination. If you are in the city for music, make sure to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Ryman Auditorium, a church-turned-music venue.

Budget-Friendly Free Things to Do in Nashville

Exploring Nashville shouldn’t cost you a fortune. There are plenty of free unique things to do in Nashville for free. Here, we’ve listed some attractions and experiences, which are free for all.

Honky Tonks on Broadway - Nashville

Honky Tonks on Broadway

Listening to legendary country music shouldn’t cost you a penny. The neon-lit district of the Broadway is the main thoroughfare, dotted with plenty of Honky Tonks or nightclubs and bars, where you can enjoy the tunes of some excellent musicians free of cost. The lower Broadway, locally called the Honky Tonk Highway, is where you can find live music wafting out into the street. Among the most notable, the Legends Corner records country music and its walls are adorned with memorabilia. If you are up for a drink, grab a can of beer and enjoy its soothing live music performances all night.

Centennial Park - Nashville

Centennial Park

Located at the site of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, visiting the park is one of the free things to do in Nashville with kids. This 132-acre park has a lot of attractions, including a walking trail, a lake, a dog park, a band shell, and volleyball courts. However, its most distinguished attraction is the iconic Parthenon, the replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 with wood, brick, and plaster to commemorate Tennessee’s first century. It houses a wide collection of 19th and 20th century American painters and a 42-foot high statue of Goddess Athena Parthenos. There is an ice-skating rink at the park that remains functional all year round. It also hosts numerous festivals and free concerts on Saturdays during Spring and Fall.

Radnor Lake State Park - Nashville

Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park in Oak Hill within Nashville, is where you can spot native wildlife of Tennessee. There are plenty of free things to do in Nashville and visiting this park is one of them. It has a lot for the outdoor enthusiasts. This 1,368-acre green getaway is home to rich flora and fauna, such as herons, Otters, deers, and plenty of bird species, such as owls, waterfowl, and more. Locals flock to the park on the weekend for biking, hiking, and jogging. During spring, the park bursts with wildflowers and local wildlife. Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center inside the park offers some interactive displays and is a must-visit.

Fort Negley - Nashville

Fort Negley

Built by Union troops after the capture of Nashville during the American Civil War, Fort Negley is a must-visit historic site in the city. When it was built, it was the biggest stone fortification in North America. The structure was constructed to withstand the Confederate Army’s advances. The fort went into despair after the battle of Nashville. In the 1930s, many tried to restore the fort. However, by that time, the country had entered WWII. Due to low funds, zero interest, and lack of manpower, it couldn’t be restored. Finally in 2004, it was restored and opened to the public. Visitors can take a free self-guided tour to explore the fort.

Tennessee State Museum - Nashville

Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum depicts the state’s social and natural history. The museum is located downtown, next to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and Farmer’s Market. This state-of-art museum boasts a massive collection of interactive exhibits and multimedia displays. It has a wide spectrum of diverse collections, which are considered ‘Smithsonian of Tennessee’. The original items inside the museum are related to Native American history, Civil War history, natural history of the state, and military and sporting history. The museum also organizes various rotating art and cultural exhibits and visiting them is one of the free things to do in Nashville. If you are traveling with a kid, make sure to take a look at the Children’s Gallery.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway - Nashville

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway

Want to escape Nashville’s urban chaos? Head to Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway, home to the city’s natural and cultural history exhibits. It has several gardens, beehives, and a children’s nature play area. Locals flock to this sprawling greenspace to enjoy outdoor recreational activities. Since it is the southern trailhead, it boasts five miles of ADA accessible trails and five miles of primitive trails. If you don’t want to walk, cycling is a great option too. However, you have to rent a cycle from BCycle station. While camping is prohibited, you can spend the entire day from dawn to dusk here. Since entry is free, exploring the center is one of the free things to do in Nashville.

Bottom Line

Nashville is often considered a city of legendary music. It is home to the Grand Ole Opry stage and radio show and the Country Music Hall of Fame. But the city has more than the music to offer. There are plenty of free things to do in Nashville, which are enough to give you insights into the state’s cultural, historical, and natural significance. While the Nashville Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour is convenient to roam around the city on your own, it is best to take an affordable local transport. It also has several cheap hotels and motels, which shouldn’t cost you more than 40$. Even most of the musical performances, museums, and nature parks here don’t charge any penny. So, even if you are on a limited budget, don’t shy away from exploring this vibrant city of culture.

Leave a Comment