Almost two months have passed since the official start of summer where longer days, hotter nights and an innate desire to get out and do took the city by storm. In case you’ve exhausted your summer bucket list or you haven’t yet taken advantage of Nashville’s extensive summer offerings, we’re simplifying. Here are 10 things to do in Nashville before the summer ends!
Summer Activities in Nashville
Get on the water.
One of the best ways to enjoy Nashville during the summer is on the water. With the Cumberland, the Harpeth, the Caney, the Piney, the Duck … river options abound! Spend the day floating with friends through one of the many canoeing or kayaking companies in town. Canoe the Caney, a staff favorite, offers 6-, 9-, and 15-mile routes down the Caney Fork River. They provide the canoes, kayaks and transportation to and from the river — you just bring your cooler and sunscreen!
If you prefer a little more in-the-water action, visit one of Tennesse’s beautiful waterfalls. Did you know there are eight within driving distance? Find them all here.
Listen to music al fresco.
It’s no secret that there are plenty of ways to hear live music in Nashville any time of year. To take advantage of the longer days and warmer nights, choose a show outside. Ascend still has The Revivalists, Lenny Kravitz, Judah & the Lion and more before the summer ends, offering lawn seating and plenty of concessions to fuel the evening. Cruise down to Warner Park for a Full Moon Pickin’ Party (tonight and September 13!) and listen to pickers play and three headliners perform.
If free music is more your jam, you’re in luck. Live on the Green kicked off this week, and it brings big music names to Nashville … for free! On Thursday nights and Thursday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend, head to Public Square Park to hear music from Lake Street Dive, The Strumbellas, Grace Potter, O.A.R., Yacht Rock Revue, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and more. Food trucks will line the street as you gather with 20,000 of your closest friends.
Both the Bobby Hotel and the Westin host free concerts on their rooftops and have one more each this summer. The Bobby will host an AmericanaFest Showcase on Thursday, September 12, and 27Live brings Sammy Miller & The Congregation and Nicki Bluhm on Thursday, September 5. Enjoy good tunes, good views and delicious cocktails!
Explore the farmers’ market and cook with a new-to-you summer vegetable.
To round out the summer, visit your farmers’ market of choice, pick up a veggie you’ve never cooked before and try a new recipe. With around 15 different options from which to choose, Nashville farmers’ markets are in no short supply. Maybe you’ll walk away with a new go-to summer dish!
Cool off with a cone at Bobbie’s Dairy Dip.
Don’t let the line detract you … it’s all part of the experience. Head to Bobbie’s Dairy Dip on Charlotte for the ideal hot summer night treat. They have a menu filled with all-American options — from burgers and hot dogs to sundaes and shakes. We recommend the nostalgic flavors of something simple — a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate and rolled in rainbow sprinkles.
Watch a movie outside.
The activity of the summer in Nashville has seemingly been movies beneath the moon. Several series have wrapped up for the season, but two still have showings scheduled. TailGate Brewery hosts Friday night movies at its brewery on Charlotte Pike. Tonight, watch Billy Madison at 8 p.m., and next week enjoy Clueless with a TailGate beer in hand.
Cinema by JW closes out its Monday night series next week with Sleepless in Seattle for all you Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks fans out there.
Spend a day in Leiper’s Fork or Franklin.
Take the backroads to one of our nearby small towns for a day outside the noise of Nashville. A little extra daylight means ample time to travel to Leiper’s Fork for the day, enjoying all the attractions — new and old — the charming town has to offer. Visit Morgane Stapleton’s Tennessee Turquoise Co. and grab a chocolate shake at Puckett’s. In Franklin, wander down Main Street stopping into the many local shops that offer everything from spices to clothing to antique jewelry.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Get your fix of summer’s bright, blooming crops. There are several unique floral-focused experiences that allow guests to take in their natural beauty. Batey Farms’ sunflower field at The Grove at Williamson Place is officially open and in bloom. The breathtaking sight is worth the jaunt to Murfreesboro. Get your cameras ready!
Just 10 minutes outside of Franklin, harvest your own flowers with Natchez Glen. They host guided dahlia cuttings each day where you have the opportunity to cut 20-25 flowers from their stunning field. Explore the gardens, with more than 5,000 dahlias, roses and rare trees, and leave with fresh flowers in hand.
Visit the flea market at the fairgrounds.
The Fairgrounds Nashville will host one more Nashville Flea Market weekend before summer draws to an end. The theme is “A Sip of Summer” and offers visitors the opportunity to sort through rows and rows of potential treasures. Head to the fairgrounds August 23-25, and let us know what you find!
Get a funnel cake at the fair.
The Wilson County Fair in Lebanon is right around 30 miles outside of Nashville, and the fun runs from August 16 through 24. It’s a year of milestones for the fair and for its town — the 40th anniversary under the leadership of Wilson County Promotions, Inc., the 200th birthday of Lebanon, 220 years of Wilson County and more. Special celebrations and programming will take place in addition to fan favorites like fair food, fun rides and live music. On September 6, the Tennessee State Fair kicks off its 10-day extravaganza at the Fairgrounds Nashville. Enjoy some of the state’s best apple pie, run in the Funnel Cake 5k or participate in the ice cream eating contest. It’s fun for the whole family!
Cheer on our Nashville Sounds!
Last, but not least, head out to the ballgame(s) at First Tennessee Park. Each day holds a different theme, from Friday Fireworks to Tail Waggin’ Tuesday (bring the pups!), so no matter which day you go, you’ll experience something special. Head over to The Band Box in right field to play corn hole, giant Jenga and other family-friendly games, and enjoy a not-so-family-friendly frozen Dreamsicle all with the backdrop of America’s favorite pastime.
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