21 Things to Do in Nashville at Night

Bowling or bocce after dinner at Pinewood Social

This expansive property in an old renovated trolley barn converts from uber-trendy cafe and workspace to upscale bar and restaurant after dark. The dinner menu is basic American fare and the cocktails are amazing in quality — the mezcal-based concoction I tried may have been the first time I took a sip of a drink and thought “Yeah, that’s worth $13.”

What really sets Pinewood Social apart, though, is its recreation. Inside is a full bowling alley (albeit with steep prices), and outdoors is a huge patio with table tennis, bocce, and a swimming pool.

Sip a bougie cocktail at Patterson House

Opulent decor and old-school house rules like no cell phones and you must be seated to order a drink — to say nothing of the apothecary-like jars of house-made bitters and syrups — reinforce the private turn-of-the-century club vibes at this super-upscale bar. The menu is ever-changing, but let that be a testament to this bar showcasing the craft of mixology at its best. Even the ice is given careful attention to detail.

Snap a skyline view from John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

This is one of the best photo ops in Nashville and one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world.

Catch a rising star at a Music Row bar

The bars and restaurants surrounding Nashville’s many recording studios and radio station offices are almost always host to live music. The Row Pub & Kitchen has an impressive draft list featuring largely local craft beers. The menu is basic American fare like burgers and barbecue, but for something a little lighter and more decidedly Southern, order the fried green tomatoes.

Try local craft beers at a brewery

Southern Grist, Jackalope, Yazoo, Black Abbey and Tennessee Brew Works are all within the city. Find somewhere with a live band and settle in with a pint, or focus on the tasting with a flight.

Spot works of art at the Frist

Nashville is best known for its music scene, but the city is home to great visual art as well. The Frist Art Museum is near Broadway and holds evening hours on Thursdays and Fridays. The first Saturday of each month is host to an art crawl through numerous galleries in downtown Nashville from 6-9pm.

Breakfast for dinner at the Loveless Cafe

What’s more American than an all-day breakfast menu at an old-school diner? Loveless Cafe has been an iconic Nashville eatery since the 1950s. Pull up a seat to an evening meal of fluffy Southern biscuits, fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, fried chicken and country ham.

Hit up a honky tonk on Broadway

When it comes to finding live music in Nashville, you’re spoiled for choice. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World are some of the most famous joints on the Honky Tonk Highway — the stretch of Broadway famed for no-frills country music bars — but be prepared for major crowds. 

Take a tour on the Old Town Trolley

Spot major landmarks, enjoy live music and get an expert guide’s take on the soul of Music City on Old Town Trolley’s special two-hour nighttime tour. Tickets are about $40.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

This Southen candy shop and bakery is open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Pralines are probably the most classic treat you can try. If you’re not familiar, they’re a sugary mess of candied pecans or other nuts, almost like a fudge.

Chill at a rooftop bar

Some of your choices for an al fresco cocktail are Virago, Whiskey Row, Nashville Underground, and Rock Bottom Brewery.

Catch a midnight movie at Belcourt Theatre

This nonprofit film center is housed in an historic 1920s theater. Every other Friday and Saturday they host a midnight screening of classic cinema and cult-favorite B-movies.

See the Grand Ole Opry

This classic radio program is what gave Nashville its phenomenal musical reputation. While it’s left its historic location at Ryman Auditorium, the show goes on at a new theater constructed for the purpose. Country’s biggest stars grace the stage every week. Tickets range in price, but bear in mind this is one of the most popular things to do in Nashville at night, so book as far in advance as you can. You can also book a live show packaged with a tour. 

Taste Tennessee whiskey at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Nashville is in the heartland of American bourbon and whiskey. (It’s not true that bourbon can only come from Kentucky.) Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was one of the first in the country to put Tennessee whiskey on the map in the late 19th century. Get a taste of the good stuff at one of their daily tours and tastings.

Get spooked on a ghost tour

There are a number of tour operators that will show you the spookiest sights around Nashville and tell you haunting tales. Check out Amerighost, Nightly Spirits, or Nashville Ghosts.

Sing karaoke at Miss Kelli’s

If you care to take the mic yourself, there are a lot of karaoke joints in the city. I recommend heading to Ms. Kelli’s Karaoke Bar on Printer’s Alley. It’s just down-to-earth enough to feel a little divey without drifting into sketchy territory.

Printer’s Alley is an attraction in its own right. Over a hundred years ago, this historic district was home to printers, publishers and newspaper galore. It’s been a nightlife destination for a long time, bridging the decades from saloons to nightclubs.

Play a board game at Hurry Back

Get off the beaten Broadway path by visiting this locally favored bar. While a recent fire took out some of their collection, Hurry Back still has a number of fun board games to enjoy over a pint.

Stargaze on a night hike around Radnor Lake

Typically trails are only open until sunset, but Radnor Lake State Park organizes the occasional nighttime hike for astronomy lovers. Keep an eye on their event calendar for upcoming dates — this is one of the most unique things to do in Nashville at night!

Learn how to make craft cocktails at Liquor Lab

This unique business with a few locations around the country calls itself a “social mixology experience” — like a cooking class, but for high-end cocktails. Pick your poison on the course calendar and prepare to shake, stir and sip your way to a fun night out in Nashville.

Get down to bluegrass tunes

Once a month from May to October, the Percy Warner Park Equestrian Center is host to a Full Moon Pickin’ Party — a raucous good banjo-pluckin’ time. Enjoy live bands or bring your own intrument to jam. If a party’s not on during your visit, head to The Station Inn for your bluegrass fix.

Cheer on the Predators at a hockey match

Sports fans can find four professional teams in Nashville, and one of the most popular with locals is the NHL Nashville Predators. Don navy blue and gold for a trip to Smashville. The regular season runs October through March each year.

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