Nashville is best known as the historic home of country music, but these days it has grown into one of America’s great cultural hubs. It’s packed with museums, historic sites, shopping and nightlife that extends far beyond the legendary honky-tonks. With such diverse offerings, Nashville is an ideal destination for party weekends and family holidays, but choosing the right time to visit is key. In this article, we’ll give you the inside track on the best time to visit Nashville so you can get the most from your trip and save a few bucks while you’re at it.
Skip the Crowds, Beat the Heat
Summer is the most popular time to visit Nashville, but it’s not necessarily the best time. With school out and the city’s many parks and gardens in full bloom, tourists flock to Music City in the summer. This causes a predictable price jump for flights, hotel rooms and taxis. Crowds can grow huge on summer weekends in Nashville, especially in the most popular destinations like the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon in Centennial Park. But inflated prices and crowds are just part of the challenge when visiting Nashville in the summer. Temperatures regularly hit 100 degrees over the summer, and 100% humidity is the norm.
To beat the heat, miss the crowds and save on travel costs, we recommend visiting Nashville in the spring and fall instead. Both seasons have temperatures that range between the low 60s and mid-80s, with humidity dropping to between 60% and 70%. Expect flight and accommodation costs to bump slightly during spring and fall breaks, but crowds can be far smaller than the peak summer season. Nashville’s beloved music scene, iconic street art and world-class culinary offerings are year-round experiences, so there’s no reason to wait in long lines and battle the summer heat to get your fix of Music City.
Top Spring and Fall Activities in Nashville
If you’re traveling from a cold weather climate, take advantage of Nashville’s early spring with the Cheekwood in Bloom program. Held between March and April at the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, this yearly program offers visitors landscaped walking paths to view over 100,000 blooming tulips as well as other flora including dogwoods, daffodils and snowdrops. For music fans, the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival brings together 250 songwriters across 10 venues during the month of April.
If fall colors are more your speed, head to Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in September for the Music City Food and Wine Festival. Founded as a collaboration between rock band Kings of Leon and celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman, this festival blends Nashville’s progressive food scene with its historic parks and architecture. Fall also sets the backdrop for one of Nashville’s biggest electronic music events, the Breakaway Nashville Music Festival. Held in October at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, this three-day festival offers top hip-hop and EDM artists like Whiz Khalifa, Griz and 3Lau.
And if you want to make your trip one that you will never forget, then look for one of our Nashville Souvenir Mugs or Shots.