Nashville is an interesting destination that is known as the heart of country music in the United States. The city also offers many culinary delights, nearby historical sites and, of course, the wide open arms of Southern hospitality.
A great way to experience the many different faces of Nashville is to take a guided tour. There are many great tours with different themes – from music and history to food and art – that will help you gain a deeper understanding of Nashville.
Here are the 15 best tours you can take from Nashville.
1. Homes of the Stars Tour
Often regarded as the Hollywood of country music, Nashville is full of famous musicians. This tour gives you an insight into their lives and allows you to check out their mansions.
This three and a half hour tour will show you the homes of artists such as Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, and Dolly Parton, and explain a little bit to you about the history of music in the city.
You will also be treated to the beautiful architecture of some of Nashville’s most exclusive areas and be steeped in the culture of the city. It has even been known for some of the stars to jump on board in the past.
2. Nashville Hop-on Hop-off Trolley
Hop-on-hop-off buses are a great way to explore new cities and this tour comes in the style of a Southern trolley bus. It takes you to 15 different stops across the city, providing a great way to get around and explore the most famous spots across town.
Unlike other hop-on-hop-off tours, you are given a live guide who will add a personal touch to the tour.
The pass is valid for a day and a complimentary map is included to help you plan your route.
3. Fully Narrated Half Day City Tour
For a more structured tour, this is an excellent option; it gives you a fully narrated trip around the city with stop-offs at the best sites.
You will be given complimentary entry to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, as well as the Ryman Auditorium. This is a three and half hour tour – perfect if you are just looking for a taste of the city or are only visiting on a stopover.
The local guide will speak about the history and culture of Nashville and transportation between each location is included.
4. Grand Ole Opry Behind The Scenes Tour
The Grand Ole Opry is a Nashville institution where all of the city’s most famous residents have performed.
It is the longest operating live radio show with an audience in the U.S. This tour takes you behind the scenes of the show and teaches you about the history of the show and music in Nashville.
You will also be given entrance into the Gaylord Opryland Resort, with over six acres of beautiful grounds to see. In the resort, you can experience the Delta Riverboat cruise which departs from the area.
5. Grand Ole Opry Live Country Music Tickets
If you simply want to experience the live Grand Ole Opry show without the behind the scenes tour, this is a great way to ensure you have tickets to the show for your visit to Nashville.
You will witness the best in country music – both current and past – and join the audience in participating with the popular radio show. If you book for the right time, you will watch some true country music legends perform, as well as witness the future of country music.
This package includes tickets to the show as well as transportation from a hotel in central Nashville.
6. Nashville Nights and Lights
Take a tour of Nashville at night with this fantastic tour through the twinkling lights of the central city.
This five-hour experience will show you the city’s best monuments lit up at night, and you will learn about the local history and culture. You will also sample a typical Nashville dinner at Bar-B-Que, giving you a great taste of the best dishes Southern cuisine has to offer.
Your tour will finish with a Honky Tonk party, where you are encouraged to join in with the wild dancing and high spirits.
7. General Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise
The Cumberland River winds through Nashville; this tour takes you on a slow cruise down the river to check out the bright lights of central Nashville and the key riverside sights.
You will enjoy a full dinner on board in a dinner theatre with unique live performances.
This all takes place on a traditional paddle boat, helping you experience a part of Nashville history. The performance showcases the best of Southern music – from Bluegrass to gospel. A lunchtime option is also available.
8. Nashville: Experience the City Behind the Hit TV Drama
The TV show, ‘Nashville’, has captivated audiences up and down the country and this tour takes you around all of the major locations featured in the show.
The local guide is an expert in the show and knows all the main spots to help you feel as if you are immersed in the culture of the city. Enjoy a coffee at the Bluebird Café and visit the Two Old Hippies store.
This tour also includes admission into the Ryman Auditorium, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour at your own pace after the excitement of the Nashville TV show tour.
9. Historic Tennessee Sightseeing Tour
Dive deep into the vibrant history of Tennessee with this tour that departs from Nashville. You will be able to look at the most beautiful architecture in the state and learn the stories behind the buildings.
This tour will take you on a journey through music, civil war and cultural history in the state of Tennessee.
You will also be able to visit a working horse farm and taste some of the wine that is produced in the state. This ticket includes entry into the Hermitage and Belle Meade Mansion.
10. Amazing Nashville Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Take a self-guided tour of the city whilst enjoying the excitement of a scavenger hunt with this tour.
Available on most smartphones, take this tour at your own pace as you learn about the key historical and cultural monuments of the city. You will embark on an exciting scavenger hunt, adding a sense of achievement to your explorations.
It takes between two and three hours to complete fully and can be enjoyed on your own or as a team player activity.
11. Nashville Trolley Hop-on Hop-off Tour
This is another great hop-on-hop-off tour of Nashville that takes place on a typical Southern trolley bus. You will have a live guide to help explain all the major sites in the city.
Though the tour only features seven locations, the commentary is very in-depth and most other locations are within easy walking distance of the route. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours from your first trip on the bus; it takes around an hour to complete the circuit without getting on or off.
This is perfect if you only have a very short time in the city and need a tour that provides a brief overview of the main highlights.
12. Civil War History Tour – the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee
This tour leads you to Franklin, Tennessee, where you can take in some of the main sights of the town with a focus on the Civil War history of Tennessee.
Learn all about the Battle of Franklin, which has gone down in history as one of the bloodiest battles conducted during the American Civil War. You will be shown some of the existing bullet holes across the city and told all about how the battle still impacts modern culture across the state.
This tour includes pick up and drop off from your hotel in Nashville and admission to three important historical sites in Franklin.
13. Private 45-Minute Downtown Nashville Horse and Carriage Ride
Take your own bespoke tour of downtown Nashville in style with this horse and carriage ride through the city center.
You can tailor the short tour to your own preferences and the highly knowledgeable local guide will tell you all about the history and culture of the city.
This is a great option if you have a very limited time in the city and want an old-fashioned experience of the American south. You are given your own private carriage; this is a popular experience for couples.
14. Nashville to Jack Daniel’s Distillery Bus Tour
Get up close to the heart of Tennessee bourbon with this tour from Nashville to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
You will have the opportunity to explore the full production process – from maturation to distillation. You will also sample some of the upcoming flavors from the Jack Daniels range and learn about the history of whiskey production in the United States.
You will also be given time to explore the neighboring town of Lynchburg, where you can experience local Tennessee culture, before being dropped back off in Nashville.
15. Memphis Day Trip with VIP Access to Graceland
No music visitor can miss out on Memphis on their trip to Nashville. The home of Elvis Presley, this tour gives you private access to his Graceland mansion.
Learn about the deep cultural roots of Nashville and Memphis, and hear stories about Elvis and how he lived.
This 15-hour tour takes an entire day and is a truly in-depth look into one of the most enduring pieces of American music history. You will also visit the Sun Studios to learn more about the production side of the music industry.