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With summer quickly coming to a close, why not squeeze in the last bit of summer fun before school resumes and the weather turns brisk? Any excuse to stroll, soak up the sun, and experience all that Nashville has to offer sounds good to us! Here are 10 local things to add to your summer bucket list before the season officially ends.

Sunny day in downtown Nashville

What’s on your summer bucket list before the seasons change?

Things To Do in Nashville Before Summer Ends

Soak up the water activities.

Nashville has no shortage of ways to appreciate the water, from canoeing and kayaking on the Harpeth and the Cumberland to renting a pontoon on Percy Priest. You can even sip cocktails while you pedal downstream! No matter your choice of activity level, make a point to get out on the water for some splashing around. Experience a guided fishing trip on Percy Priest Lake with Music City Fishing Charter, rent jet skis with Cap’n Dave’s Water Sports, explore the river with Cumberland Kayak, discover stand-up paddleboarding with Paddle Up Nashville, go tubing with Sunshine’s Adventures, book Canoe the Caney for a sunset river cruise, or check out the River Queen Voyages Pedal Pontoon for some fun in the sun that includes tasty adult beverages, too. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

River Queen pedal pontoon

Enjoy the Nashville skyline from the water, whether you’re on a paddleboard, raft, or sunset river cruise. Image: River Queen Voyages

RELATED: 9 Ways to Get in the Water in Nashville This Summer

Have a picnic.

Grab a blanket and your favorite lunch, and head to one of Music City’s parks or green spaces for a picnic to remember. If you don’t already have a favorite spot to set up camp, we recommend soaking up the sights at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens as you peruse the current exhibits and dine on call-ahead boxed lunches from The Corner Market. You can also tote a basket of goodies to Arrington Vineyards, where you can grab a bottle of local wine (or delicious frozé) to go with your feast.

A family of four having a picnic and taking selfies

Sprawling out on a blanket and enjoying a picnic lunch is one of life’s simple pleasures. Image: Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Enjoy a staycation and SoundWaves experience.

How many times have you driven past the Gaylord Opryland Resort and contemplated a staycation? With the SoundWaves Experience package, you can not only enjoy a local getaway, but you can also indulge in some serious splashing around at Nashville’s premier luxury indoor/outdoor water attraction. From a lazy river and water rides to live music and private cabana rentals where you can relax a spell, SoundWaves is elevating our summer in a big way. Not to mention, there are special offers for Tennessee residents!

A man and woman on lounge chairs in the water at SoundWaves

Celebrate the end of summer with a staycation and SoundWaves adventure. Image: Gaylord Opryland SoundWaves

Catch a movie under the stars.

Whether you’re heading to a local drive-in or taking advantage of NightLight 615, the 21-and-over movie series that turns Bicentennial Mall into a cinematic experience beneath the night sky, there are some great nearby options for catching an outdoor summer flick. If you’re looking for a more classic drive-in experience, head to the Franklin Drive-in or take a quick road trip to Watertown for the Stardust Drive-in.

An outdoor evening concert with Nightlight 615

Experience a movie night under the stars. Image: Nightlight 615

Attend an outdoor concert.

Live music is an integral part of the quintessential Nashville experience, and we’re grateful that this summer is offering so many opportunities to appreciate music under the moon. From concerts at Ascend and FirstBank Amphitheater to smaller outdoor venues such as Secret Sounds, you’ve got your pick of pickin’ to jam to.

Rendering of FirstBank Amphitheater

Get a taste of Music City’s music scene — and bask in the sunlight (or moonlight) while you’re at it. Rendering: Live Nation

Hit up Nashville’s farmers’ markets.

Are you craving homemade pasta or pies, just-baked sourdough bread, farm-fresh eggs, tomatoes on the vine, or aromatic basil? There’s no better spot to find local goods on a Saturday morning in the summer than one of Nashville’s farmers’ markets. From the charming Richland Park Farmers’ Market to the grand Nashville Farmers’ Market that’s open downtown year-round, you’re bound to find all of the beautiful locally sourced flowers, produce, and artisan goods you can handle. For a full guide to the farmers’ markets in both Davidson and Williamson counties, check out our complete 2021 Guide to Nashville Farmers’ Markets. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some fresh produce on a more consistent basis, you can order a specially-curated box of local summertime produce from services like Green Door Gourmet.

Richland Park Farmers' Market stand selling veggies and flowers

Bring your culinary inspiration and your appetite to the farmers’ market. Image: Rebecah Boynton for Richland Park Farmers’ Market

RELATED: 3 Creative Summer Fruit Recipes

Take in a Sounds game.

There’s something about the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the smell of ballpark hot dogs that conjures up that childhood nostalgia we all know and love. Head to First Horizon Park for a dose of good old-fashioned family fun and excitement as the Nashville Sounds continue their season beneath the iconic guitar scoreboard. Not to mention, you can make your way over to The Band Box in “right field,” where you can play cornhole while you sip cocktails and cheer on the home team. Let the tradition live on.

A Sounds baseball game at night, with full stands

Let’s play ball! (Or, at the very least, watch someone else play ball.) Image: Casey Gower for Nashville Sounds

Wade in a waterfall.

If you haven’t gotten enough of wading in the water, and you’re looking for another way to cool off and enjoy Nashville’s scenic landscape, head to one of Nashville’s favorite local sites, the West Meade Waterfall, where you can dip your toes in the water and snap some stellar nature shots, too. For additional waterfall options within a short drive, head to Old Stone Fort Archaeological Park in Manchester, Tennessee, or check out these 8 Tennessee waterfalls within driving distance.

West Meade Waterfall

Did you know Nashville has a waterfall right in town? Image: Alexis Braun

Spend a day at Piccolo Farms.

If you’re an animal lover who finds serenity among goats, chickens, horses, and pigs, look no further than Piccolo Farms Animal Sanctuary for your perfect destination. The sanctuary space is available for private events and birthday parties too, but for a $25 donation, you can sit beneath a tree to unwind with the animals while you sip a complimentary glass of wine and check off one of the books on your summer reading list. Offered Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the adults-only “Nourish” experience offers self-guided access to the pastures. Tell Tank the tortoise we said “hello!”

Woman holding a baby goat

Find peace and tranquility amongst the animals at Piccolo Farms Animal Sanctuary. Image: Piccolo Farms Animal Sanctuary

Go on a nature walk.

Whether you opt for a stroll around Radnor Lake, hike the Mossy Ridge Trail at Percy Warner Park, or take to the streets in your own community and wave to your neighbors, it’s prime time to get out and explore all of the natural beauty Music City has to offer. If you’re looking for even more trail options, check out these nearby day hikes or consult for more places to observe wildlife, enjoy stunning vistas, and get in a little exercise while you’re at it.

A view of Radnor Lake

Enjoy the foliage at Radnor Lake in all its colorful glory. Image: Cameron Meek

Make the rest of your summer count, Nashville!


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