It’s been quite a busy year here at Kidbilly Music! We’ve facilitated Team Building Through Song® programs with groups from all over the globe. From Nashville to cities far and wide, we’ve been rocking and rolling all year. With summer winding to a close and autumn approaching, this seems like the perfect time to press pause for a moment to highlight some awesome fall activities in Nashville.
Why press pause on work mode to highlight fun fall activities in Nashville? Well, many of our clients travel to Music City from far away for their annual conferences. Some have never been to Nashville before.
Clients often ask us for recommendations for fun outings to enjoy when they have free time during a conference. Being intentional about plans to explore the city and enjoy the fall scenery is the best way to capitalize on all that Music City has to offer in the fall.
Why Nashville in the Fall Rocks
Full disclosure, fall is my absolute favorite season! And Nashville has plenty to offer this time of year. The sweltering Tennessee summer heat finally breaks in late September. In fall, visitors can look forward to colorful foliage and crisp, cool days with blue skies and stunning sunsets.
Whether you have an hour to spare during your convention schedule to explore downtown, or an afternoon free to get a bit more adventurous, here are some fun fall activities in Nashville to get you started.
Fall Activities In Nashville – Downtown
- The Country Music Hall Of Fame
Spending a few hours touring The Country Music Hall of Fame is a fun, easily accessible option for folks staying in downtown Nashville. In fact, if you and your group happen to be staying at the Omni Hotel, you can actually walk through the lobby of your hotel right into the the Country Music Hall of Fame. Even if you’re not staying at the Omni, any of the major downtown hotels will be within reasonable walking distance, giving you an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
There are plenty of tours and experiences to choose from. You can do a self guided tour if you’re in the mood for a more low key ramble through country music history. If you want the whole enchilada, you can invest a bit more to have a professional tour guide spend several hours giving you the inside scoop. This includes pro insight on all the exhibits and a tour of historic RCA Studio B where stars like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton recorded. The good news is both options are quite affordable.
If you’re planning on the self guided tour, make sure to give yourself at least 90 minutes to enjoy the exhibits. For the “Experience It All” Tour, you’ll need to set aside at least three and a half hours to see everything there is to see!
Whether you’re a country music fan or a new explorer, this is a great way to get a feel for Nashville music history and culture. This is a kid friendly (for kids over 6) activity. If you’ve got any mini Swifties in the family unit, they will be overjoyed to explore the dedicated Taylor Swift exhibit in the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.
- Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
This open air trolley is a great way to explore the city and soak in the fall scenery. You can buy tickets and start your journey by buying a ticket right by the Rock Bottom Brewery at the trolley office at 201 Broadway. The cool thing about this trolley is that you can literally hop on and hop off at any stop along the route during operating hours, which are 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
You’ll see historic sites like the Ryman Auditorium and Centennial Park. The shopping enthusiasts in the family can hop off at Nashville’s massive open air farmers market for treats and treasures from local vendors. You’ll get a chance to see more of Nashville in addition to the bustling downtown scene.
You’ll have plenty of time to explore the various restaurants, music venues, and beautiful parks near each stop. There’s no shortage of fun for each person in your crew. Whether you’ve got honky-tonkers, park wanderers, or foodies along for the ride, the possibilities are endless. The journey is pure fall fun.
- Honky-Tonk Your Heart Out
Doing your own thing on a beautiful fall evening in downtown Nashville can be just what the doctor ordered after a long day of meetings and conference events. Stretch your legs, stroll around and take it extra slow as you explore on your own time.
The entire strip of downtown Broadway is lined with honky-tonks full of world class musicians. You should be able to hear each band from out on the sidewalk. So you can walk and listen and pop in where you like the sound.
Don’t be surprised if you happen upon a finalist from your favorite singing show like The Voice or American Idol when you walk into Casa Rosa, Whiskey Row or other bars on the Broadway strip. Even the guys on the instruments backing up the singers often have crazy credits. Settle in, have a drink and make friends with the band.
One must see venue while you’re on your Nashville fall walk-about is Robert’s Western World. This old time downtown staple has resisted the wave of change that has transformed Nashville in the last decade. You’ll hear classic country music the way it’s been played on Broadway since Robert’s opened in the early 90’s. Pro Tip: Make sure you show some love in the tip jug, it’s the Nashville way!
Full Day Activities
- Downtown Franklin, Tennessee
If you have a full free day on your hands and you are looking for a memorable way to spend a fall afternoon, try traveling a bit outside of Nashville to Franklin, Tennessee. Downtown Franklin is a small town Main Street dreamscape straight out of a movie scene.
Restaurants, shops, and historic sites are all within walking distance in this beautiful downtown area. The fall foliage will be on display and the small town charm in full force.
Keep in mind that Franklin is a solid thirty minute drive from downtown Nashville, so you’ll need to use Uber/LYFT or rental car to get there.
If you’re schedule allows you to visit Franklin in late October, you can enjoy the 38th Annual Pumpkinfest. Pumpkinfest makes this idyllic downtown experience even better. Vendors line the streets with everything from food to clothes to handmade jewelry. There are spooky pumpkins and fall themed activities for kids and adults alike. You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.
- Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park is my personal favorite fall activity in Nashville. It’s a place to spend an afternoon hiking and reconnecting with nature. The park is a short fifteen minute drive from downtown and it’s open from sunrise to sunset.
The hiking trails at Radnor Lake offer various options, depending on how much of a challenging hike you’re up for. The main trail around the lake has no significant elevation, so you’ll be able to enjoy the incredible nature and fall foliage while strolling comfortably.
There are several other trails such as Ganier Ridge that provide a steeper hike up into the hills surrounding the lake. Wildlife roams free around Radnor Lake you’re are likely to spot wild turkey, deer, turtles, owls, hawks and even Bald Eagles.
Whatever fall activities in Nashville you choose to dive into, you won’t go wrong. The weather is optimal and the locals are friendly. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for taking a break and enjoying all that Music City has to offer!