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Due to COVID-19, many of these places may have adjusted hours and/or certain restrictions for visitors. Please check the websites and social media platforms of each location to see how to visit and enjoy your summer activities safely.


You have three months of summer ahead of you. How are you going to make sure that you maximize the daylight and the sunshine to see, do and explore? If you’re looking for some fun to have either right here in town or a short drive away, then add these ideas to your summertime bucket list.

Head to the drive-in.

Catch a first-run flick in an old-school setting at the Stardust Drive-In in Watertown. Open seven days a week, this is a unique and affordable way to spend a night at the movies. Grab dinner at the concessions stand, where you can get anything from a $1 Sno-Cone to a Philly cheesesteak — and an extra-large bucket of popcorn is just $5! Admission is $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for ages 6-11, and ages 5 and younger are free. The Stardust is located at 310 Purple Tiger Drive, Watertown, TN 37184, and the shows start at dusk! See the movie roster and learn more at

Get your row on.

Pick a day to play hooky, and paddle away the day on the Harpeth River. Book a canoe or kayak, pack a cooler and enjoy a laid-back float. Canoe Music City and Tip-A-Canoe Rentals are two great options – they let you choose from trips of different lengths. Trips usually last one to four hours, depending on the distance.

Take a day trip.

The options for day trips outside of Nashville are seemingly endless. Plan a quick trip south to Huntsville to check out Harmony Park Safari, a drive-thru safari experience that is absolutely hysterical; make your way to Mentone, AL, where you can see stunning waterfalls and amazing sights; and there’s always Mooresville, AL, home of 1818 Farms; stop by Columbia, Tennessee to see all this small town has to offer. In Christiana (40 miles southeast of Nashville), take a stroll through The Gentle Barn, where animals enjoy a second chance at life; or make the quick trip to Franklin. If all else fails, See Rock City!

A must-stop in Columbia? Muletown Roasted Coffee for a caffeine fix. Image: Cat Sewell of Simply Sewell Photography

Related: 5 Destinations Near Nashville for a Quick Trip Out of Town

Attend a Telescope Night at Dyer Observatory.

The Dyer Observatory is a Nashville treasure offering a highly educational, wildly fascinating experience for casual stargazers and wanna-be astronomers alike. Tickets are available a month in advance for the monthly viewing nights. Find a current schedule for the remainder of 2020 here.

Go for an adventure.

Nashville Adventure Park sits on five acres of land in West Meade. The Aerial Forest Adventure Park is home to 12 trails, 15 zip lines and 140 challenge bridges — with varying difficulty levels. This promises fun for the whole family. We haven’t yet checked this off our own bucket list so maybe we will see you there!

Ride/walk/bike/skate an unfamiliar greenway or trail.

Nashville has more than 80 miles of greenway paths, mostly paved. If you take advantage of your nearby greenway on a regular basis, try venturing out and exploring one you’re not familiar with to get a different view of Nashville. Or if you prefer the unpaved trails, Music City delivers there as well, offering more than 190 miles of trails in Davidson County. Peruse your options here or check out our ultimate guide to Nashville’s parks, and then get moving!

Take a walking tour.

Stroll the streets and learn about Nashville’s food scene, history and architecture. You will be surprised by how much you still have to learn about your city. Explore the city’s top culinary destinations with Walk Eat Nashville; visit the places that played a key role in Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement with the Civil Rights Tour; combine entertainment and history on the Walkin’ Nashville: Music City Legends Tour or drink your way through Nashville during the Music City Pub Crawl. And those are only a few of the many options you can find in Nashville!

Related: The Scoop on 6 Nashville Walking Tours

Go camping.

One of our adventurous readers recommended this experience, which is perfect for late summer. The Flying Ham is a travel trailer rental company based in Mount Juliet. Rent a trailer, take a road trip and set up camp. They will readily suggest camping spots and set you up for the perfect outdoor getaway.

Savor a beautiful sunset at Love Circle.

There’s no bad view from atop Love Circle. If you’re there bright and early, you can catch the sun rising. And if you time it just right, you can catch a beautiful sunset over the distant rolling hills for which Middle Tennessee is known. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and savor the waning days of extra daylight on a warm summer evening.

Watching the sunset from Love Circle should be on everyone's summer bucket list.

Watching the sunset from Love Circle should be on everyone’s summer bucket list.


If it’s been on your to-do list for a while, there’s no time like the present to give paddleboarding a try. Pick a date, grab a friend, and make a reso with PaddleUp Nashville to explore the Cumberland. Prices start at $26 for an hour, and you have to be 18 and older unless accompanied by an adult. After you test your balance — and likely go for a swim — swing by Blue Moon Waterfront Grille for lunch. If you’d like to see the sights of Percy Priest instead, head to Nashville Paddle Company. One-hour paddle boarding is available for $25 in advance ($30 walkup). SB TIP: Book online and save $5. Plus, you can rent single and tandem kayaks.

Ride in a hot air balloon.

See Nashville from a new perspective, thanks to Nashville Balloon. Take a hot air adventure and get a bird’s eye view of the city. You can take a private or group flight, starting at $250 per person. You can even take a flight lesson to learn how to fly the hot air balloon yourself.

Eat ice cream.

If you have already indulged in ice cream this summer, do it again. If you haven’t, now is your chance. Nothing says summer quite like an ice cream cone filled with your favorite flavors. Here is a handy list of frozen treats to try before bidding summer farewell.

The heat isn’t going anywhere just yet … cool down with a sweet treat!

Visit a food truck.

Food trucks are on just about every corner during the summer. With nearly 100 trucks serving a variety of cuisines, the options are endless. Use this guide and do your best to hit them all!

Enjoy the final few weeks of the season however you choose to spend them!


Keep up with all of Nashville’s great restaurants, shopping, events and more — download our free SB App!

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