know before you go

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE IS A CITY LIKE NO OTHER. FROM THE NEARLY 24/7 LIVE MUSIC TO THE WORLD-RENOWNED SPORTS, ARTS, AND FOOD SCENE- THERE REALLY IS A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT NASHVILLE BEFORE YOU VISIT. WE'VE PUT TOGETHER JUST A FEW THINGS TO GET YOUR NASHVILLE WANDERS OFF TO A FRUITFUL START. 

Image by Hari Nandakumar
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MUSIC CITY, U.S.A.

SINCE THE FISK JUBILEE SINGERS MADE THEIR FIRST PROPER APPEARANCE FOR QUEEN VICTORIA, NASHVILLE HAS UPHELD QUITE THE REPUTATION FOR LIVE MUSIC. WHAT SHOCKS MOST FIRST-TIME VISITORS IS JUST HOW MUCH LIVE MUSIC THERE IS IN NASHVILLE.

LOWER BROADWAY ALONE BOASTS OVER 30 LIVE MUSIC VENUES, CALLED "HONKY TONKS." EACH OF THESE SPOTS HAS A STAGE (OR TWO) ON EACH LEVEL OF THE BUILDING, MOST OF WHICH ARE 3-4 FLOORS. AS LONG AS THE BAR IS SERVING ALCOHOL, YOU'LL FIND A MUSICIAN UP ON STAGE ENTERTAINING THE CROWD. IF THE AVERAGE ARTIST GETS A 3-4 HOUR "SET," YOU'RE LOOKING AT ROUGHLY 300 VARIOUS MUSICAL ACTS DAILY IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD ALONE. 

IT'S NOT ONLY THE QUANTITY OF MUSIC THAT IS PERFORMED IN NASHVILLE THAT TAKES VISITORS BY SURPRISE, BUT ALSO THE QUALITY. WHILE NASHVILLE IS KNOWN FOR ITS COUNTRY MUSIC, YOU CAN HEAR LIVE JAZZ, BLUES, BLUEGRASS, ROCK, AND CLASSICAL MUSIC DAILY- OFTEN TIMES AT THE SAME VENUE. YOU CAN EXPECT TO HEAR MUSIC NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, TOO. WHETHER SITTING IN A QUIET CHURCH OR TRYING TO CATCH SOME SHUT-EYE BACK AT THE HOTEL- THE MUSIC IN NASHVILLE IS 23/7 (IT'S PRETTY QUIET AROUND 5AM.)

 

TIPPING IS NECESSARY

IN NASHVILLE, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TIP MUSICIANS AND STREET PERFORMERS. MANY OF THE GREAT SUPERSTARS OF TODAY, INCLUDING TAYLOR SWIFT, BLAKE SHELTON, AND LUKE BRYAN GOT THEIR STARTS PERFORMING FOR TIPS IN THE HONKY TONKS AND BARS OF NASHVILLE. THE RULE OF THUMB IS: IF YOU LISTEN TO MORE THAN 10 MINUTES OF MUSIC, YOU SHOULD TIP THE BAND OR PERFORMER. THE STANDARD FOR TIPPING MUSICIANS IN NASHVILLE IS COMPARABLE TO THE TIP YOU LEAVE YOUR BARTENDER OR SERVER. FOR EXAMPLE, IF WHILE AT A BAR, YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE CONSUMING $20 IN ALCOHOL- A $4 TIP FOR EACH THE BARTENDER AND THE PERFORMER WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE. YOU WILL GENERALLY FIND A "TIP JAR" OR "PICKLE JAR" AT THE FRONT OF THE STAGE OR BY THE ENTRANCE OF MOST BARS TO SUPPORT THE MUSICIANS. 

IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR MUSICIANS IN NASHVILLE TO ASK FOR TIPS. YOU MAY FIND DURING THE MUSICAL SET THAT A MEMBER OF THE BAND OR BAR STAFF WILL COME AROUND WITH A JAR SEEKING TIPS FOR THE PERFORMER. THIS IS NOT CONSIDER RUDE OR OFFENSIVE IN NASHVILLE (OR MEMPHIS.) MUSICIANS WILL HAPPILY TAKE REQUESTS FOR SPECIFIC SONGS OR ARTISTS IN EXCHANGE FOR A TIP. THE STANDARD IN NASHVILLE IS AT LEAST $5 PER SONG REQUEST. 

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WEATHER

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, NASHVILLE SEES ON AVERAGE ABOUT 100 NEW RESIDENTS MOVING INTO THE MUSIC CITY METROPOLITAN AREA PER DAY. THIS MASS MIGRATION IS THANK, IN PART TO OUR AMAZING WEATHER. WHILE THERE IS ALWAYS THE CASE FOR A FEW RARE AND EXTREME CASES, MIDDLE TENNESSEE GENERALLY SEES VERY MODERATE SEASONS. IN THE SPRING AND FALL, VISITORS CAN EXPECT CRISP-WARM DAYS AND CHILLY AFTERNOONS. NASHVILLE SEES VERY LITTLE SNOW IN THE WINTER AND RARELY GETS TEMPERATURES BELOW 20 DEGREES. MUSIC CITY SUMMERS TEND TO BE ON THE HUMID SIDE, BUT TEMPERATURES VERY SELDOM RISE ABOVE 100 DEGREES.  IN SHORT, NASHVILLE IS A BEAUTIFUL CITY TO VISIT YEAR-ROUND. 

MIDDLE TENNESSEE DOES FREQUENTLY SEE TORNADO WATCHES AND WARNINGS AND AVERAGES ROUGHLY 16 CONFIRMED TORNADOES A YEAR. WHILE THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN A FEW DRASTICALLY DANGEROUS ONES OVER NASHVILLE LONG LIFE, IT IS WORTH VISITORS FAMILIARIZING THEMSELVES WITH NASHVILLE'S WEATHER SAFETY SYSTEMS, ESPECIALLY IF VISITING IN THE LATE SPRING-EARLY FALL. NASHVILLE HAS AN EXTENSION SYSTEM OF RECENTLY UPDATED TORNADO SIRENS, WHICH CAN BE HEARD THROUGHOUT THE REGION  IN THE CASE OF A LOCAL TORNADO WARNING. IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT MOST MIDDLE TENNESSEE CITIES, INCLUDING NASHVILLE, CONDUCT TESTS OF THESE SIRENS AND SYSTEMS EVERY FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH. 

CLICK HERE TO HEAR A SAMPLE OF NASHVILLE'S UPDATED TORNADO SIREN.

 

SPEAKING, TOUCHING & LOOKING

NASHVILLE, LIKE MUCH OF THE SOUTH, IS KNOWN FOR THEIR "SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY." IT IS VERY CUSTOMARY FOR NASHVILLIANS TO LOOK, SPEAK, AND ENGAGE WITH STRANGERS. WHETHER IT BE IN LINE AT A STORE OR WHILE CASUALLY CROSSING THE STREETS- NASHVILLE CITIZENS ARE SOME OF THE FRIENDLY FOLKS AROUND. 

NASHVILLIAN'S FIND IT NORMAL TO GREET EACH OTHER WITH A HANDSHAKE, HIGH FIVE, WAVE, OR EVEN A HUG AMONG FRIENDS. KISSING AND OTHER KINDS OF INTIMATE AFFECTION MIGHT BE SHOWN BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS IN A RELATIONSHIP, BUT RARELY WITH FRIENDS. NASHVILLE TENDS TO BE A VERY POPULAR AND CROWDED PLACE. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR INDIVIDUALS TO BUMP INTO EACH OTHER OR CROWD SMALL PLACES. YOU MAY ALSO FIND THAT SOME INDIVIDUALS WILL PHYSICALLY ENGAGE WITH YOU TO PASS BY IN CROWDED AREAS. OTHER FORMS OF TOUCHING WITHOUT CONSENT IS STRICTLY LOOKED DOWN UPON. 

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GUNS AND OTHER WEAPONS

AS MOST VISITORS HAVE COME TO LEARN- THE UNITED STATES IN GENERAL IS VERY GUN-FRIENDLY. ON AVERAGE, 43% OF AMERICANS LIVE IN A HOME WITH A GUN PRESENT. IN NASHVILLE AND THROUGHOUT TENNESSEE, IT IS EXTREMELY COMMON TO SEE CIVILIANS WITH FIREARMS AND OTHER SORT OF WEAPONS, INCLUDING KNIVES AND MULTI-TOOLS, PERSONAL MACE (OR PEPPER SPRAY), AND PERSONAL STUN GUNS.  

WHILE IT IS NORMAL TO SEE INDIVIDUALS "OPEN CARRY" IN NASHVILLE, MANY PRIVATE BUSINESSES AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS PROHIBIT FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS ON THEIR PROPERTY. INDIVIDUALS CARRYING AN OPEN FIREARM IN A PROHIBITED PLACE SHOULD BE REPORTED TO EITHER A PROPERTY MANAGER OR THE LOCAL POLICE. 

IN NASHVILLE, NON-EMERGENCY POLICE REPORTS AND COMPLAINTS CAN BE MADE BY CALLING 1-615-862-8600.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE IMMEDIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT OR MEDICAL PERSONNEL SHOULD BE MADE BY CALLING 911.

YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT FIREARMS LAWS IN TENNESSEE HERE.

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SMOKING, DRINKING, & DRUGS

AS WITH MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD- SMOKING IN THE UNITED STATES IN CONSIDERED A MAJOR HEALTH CRISIS. ALONG WITH OTHER STATES, TENNESSEE HAS TAKEN NUMEROUS STEPS TO LIMIT SMOKING IN PUBLIC AND PREVENT SECOND-HAND SMOKE WHEN POSSIBLE. 

IN NASHVILLE, TN YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OLD TO PURCHASE, CARRY, AND USE TOBACCO PRODUCTS- THIS INCLUDES VAPORIZERS CONTAINING ADDICTIVE NICOTINE PRODUCTS. THE USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. YOU WILL FIND VERY FEW EXCEPTIONS TO THIS- SUCH AS IN PRIVATE CLUBS, SMOKING-PERMITTED BARS, AND CIGAR LOUNGES. SMOKING IS PERMITTED IN SOME HOTELS AND MOTELS AROUND NASHVILLE- WE ENCOURAGE VISITORS TO CHECK TO SEE IF THEIR HOTEL PERMITS SMOKING PRIOR TO BOOKING THEIR ROOM.

ALCOHOL MAKES UP A LARGE PART OF THE TOURISM CULTURE OF NASHVILLE. WHILE THERE IS PLENTY TO DO IN NASHVILLE THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE DRINKING- VISITORS CAN EXPECT TO SEE ALCOHOL AND ALCOHOL PARAPHERNALIA ALMOST EVERYWHERE IN NASHVILLE. INDIVIDUALS MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OLD TO LEGALLY PURCHASE, CARRY, AND CONSUME ALCOHOL IN THE UNITED STATES. MANY BARS IN NASHVILLE LIMIT THEIR AUDIENCE TO EITHER 18 YEARS OLD OR 21 YEARS OLD AND OLDER TO ENTER. PLEASE VERIFY THE MINIMUM ENTRY AGE PRIOR TO PLANNING ON VISITING BARS AND RESTAURANTS. 

RECREATION DRUG USE IS ILLEGAL IN NASHVILLE, TN. WHILE THE USE OF CBD PRODUCTS HAS BEEN LEGALIZED IN TENNESSEE SINCE 2015- THE USE OF MARIJUANA AND OTHER CANNABIS RELATED PRODUCTS IS STILL PROHIBITED. THIS IS NOT TRUE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. IF YOU PLAN ON VISITING OTHER DESTINATIONS WHILE IN THE COUNTRY, WE RECOMMEND YOU CHECK THEIR LOCAL LAWS PRIOR TO VISITING.

 
Image by Hari Nandakumar

NASHVILLE AT NIGHT

NASHVILLE IN THE EVENING CAN BE A VERY DIFFERENT, AND EVEN STARLING, THAN IN THE DAY. 

BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF MUSIC CITY'S TOURISM IS GENERATED BY HONKY TONKS, BARS, NIGHTCLUBS, AND MUSIC VENUES, IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT THE CITY TAKES ON A VERY ACTIVE AND BUSTLING NIGHTLIFE SCENE. LARGE CROWDS AND HEAVILY INTOXICATED INDIVIDUALS ARE COMMONPLACE STARTING AS EARLY AS 5:00PM. MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS AND VENUES BECOME 18 OR 21 YEARS OLD AND UP AFTER A CERTAIN HOURS (BETWEEN 7:00 AND 8:00PM.) 

NASHVILLE METROPOLITAN CURRENTLY HAS A MINOR CURFEW IN PLACE FOR INDIVIDUALS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD. IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR MINORS TO BE IN PUBLIC PLACES OR ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE OWNER OR OPERATOR BETWEEN 11:00PM-5:00AM SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY AND 12:00 MIDNIGHT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 1ST AND MAY 31ST AND 12:00 MIDNIGHT BETWEEN JUNE 1ST AND AUGUST 31ST.

WE ENCOURAGE VISITORS TO USE A GROUP OR "BUDDY" SYSTEM WHEN TRAVELLING AROUND NASHVILLE AT NIGHT. AS WITH ANY METROPOLITAN CITY, IT IS BEST PRACTICE TO AVOID DIMLY LIT AREAS, PLACES WITH LITTLE OR NO FOOT TRAFFIC, AND SPOTS THAT ARE UNMONITORED/INACCESSIBLE TO CAMERAS, SURVEILLANCE, AND POLICE PRESENCE. 

IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GIVE, SOLICIT, OR ACCEPT RIDES FROM PERSONS THAT DO NOT POSSESS THE PROPER TAXI OR RIDE SHARE CREDENTIALS AND ARE FOUND USING VERIFIABLE MEANS (SUCH AS A CALL CENTER DISPATCHER OR PHONE APP.) DO NOT ACCEPT RIDES, DRINKS, GOODS, OR SERVICES FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO SOLICIT OR APPROACH YOU FROM THE STREET.

NASHVILLE DOES HAVE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF HOMELESS AND AT-RISK INDIVIDUALS THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN NEIGHBORHOODS. PANHANDLING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN NASHVILLE. IT IS CUSTOMARY, HOWEVER, FOR GENEROUS PERSONS TO SHARE MEAL LEFTOVERS, UNUSED CIGARETTES, ARTICLES OF CLOTHING, AND OTHER SMALL GIFTS WITH HOMELESS AND AT-RISK INDIVIDUALS. IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO GIFT MONETARY DONATIONS, ALCOHOL, OR OTHER SUBSTANCES TO THESE PERSONS. UNSOLICITED, UNCOMFORTABLE, AND  AGGRESSIVE PANHANDLING BEHAVIOR SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. 

 

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP

 

TICKETS

TRUSTED VENDORS SHOULD BE USED TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO ATTRACTIONS, TOURS, MUSEUMS, SPORTING EVENTS AND SHOWS. WANDER RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING:

EMERGENCY

EMERGENCY: 911 (ANYWHERE IN USA)

NON-EMERGENCY POLICE: 1-615-862-8600

DOWNTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT:

601 KOREAN VETERANS BLVD (AND 6TH AVE)

AIRPORT SECURITY: 1-615-275-1703

DOWNTOWN HOSPITALS:

NASHVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL (CLOSEST)

ST. THOMAS CENTENNIAL (MIDTOWN)

ST. THOMAS WEST (NORTH/WEST NASHVILLE)

TRI-STAR SOUTHERN HILLS (SOUTH NASHVILLE)

LEARN MORE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS' HEALTH AND WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN VISITING THE UNITED STATES HERE.

VISITOR SERVICES

NASHVILLE VISITORS CENTER:

CURRENCY EXCHANGE:

ATM: LOCATE THE CLOSEST ATM HERE

TRANSPORTATION SERVICES:

TRANSLATION SERVICES:

RELIGIOUS

CATHOLIC: CATHEDRAL OF THE INCARNATION

  • WEEKDAYS- 7:00AM & 12:10PM

  • SAT- 5:00PM, SUN-  8:30AM, 11AM, 5PM

EPISCOPAL: CHRIST CHURCH DOWNTOWN

  • SUN- HOLY EUCHARIST (RITE II)- 10AM

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NASHVILLE

  • SUNDAY SERVICE- 10AM

FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH NASHVILLE

  • SUNDAY WORSHIP-9:30AM

ISLAMIC CENTER OF NASHVILLE

  • JUMUA'H (FRIDAY PRAYER)- NOON & 1PM

HINDU SRI GANESHA TEMPLE

PADMASAMBHAVA BUDDHIST CENTER OF TN

WEST END SYNAGOGUE (SHABBAT SERVICES)

PUBLIC RESTROOMS

PUBLIC RESTROOMS AND PAID RESTROOMS ARE NOT COMMON IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS IS A BRIEF LIST OF PLACES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A PURCHASE TO USE THEIR RESTROOM:

PUBLIC WIFI

METRO NASHVILLE NOW OFFERS FREE PUBLIC WIFI THROUGHOUT THE CITY. TO FIND THE NEAREST LOCATION, CLICK HERE.

NEWS & MEDIA

travel planner

DISCOVER SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SPOTS AROUND TOWN TO EAT, DRINK AND VISIT WHILE IN MUSIC CITY.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

MUSIC CITY IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER. PREPARE YOURSELF WITH OUR NIFTY GUIDE ON WHAT TO EXPECT.

UPCOMING EVENTS

FROM BASEMENT CONCERTS & WORLD TOURS, TO WINE FESTIVALS AND MORE, SEE ALL THAT'S GOING ON HERE. 

FACTS & FIGURES

LEARN MORE ABOUT CITY STATISTICS, NUMBERS, AND MORE, COURTESY OF OUR FRIENDS AT THE NCVC. 

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WANDER NASHVILLE

SEE THE BEST OF MUSIC CITY FROM THE GROUND UP. RESERVE YOUR SPOT ON OUR $10 WALKING TOUR TODAY.