12 Places You Have to Go in the Summer in Nashville

July 17, 2019

I get messages almost every day from people who are coming to visit Nashville and are looking for recommendations on places to go and things to do, especially in the summer.


I’ve spent the last three summers here, exploring and trying to find the best places to hangout, soak up the sun, and stay cool, so I wanted to put together a Nashville summer-bucket-list of sorts for y'all! Most of the things on the list don't cost a thing, or require drinking if that's not your thing. 


Y'all loved the fall list, and some of these things + places are on my fall list too, but they’re totally different experiences in different seasons!


Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you'll love these spots!


Here are some of my favorite (mostly free) things to do in Nashville in the summer:



1. Cliff Jumping, Boating and Hiking at Percy Priest Lake


There’s no place better to be on a scorching summer day than the lake. Percy Priest Lake is surrounded by trails for hiking, has places you can rent boats for the day (tubes included), and has a famous cliff for jumping. You can either hike or boat to the cliff, but I would recommend wearing shoes either way, the area is pretty littered with glass and empty solo cups... Whether I'm looking for exercise or just to relax, Percy Priest is one of my most visited places in the summer!


For more information on hiking, camping, fishing, etc, visit their website here.



2. The Nashville Farmer's Market


No matter the time of year, the Farmer’s Market is one of my favorite spots to eat, shop, and hangout. The sheds are filled with flowers, fresh produce, handmade products, and dogs, plus they have all kinds of events including live music, workshops, and more! Check out their calendar for all of their upcoming events.


3. Nashville Sounds Game


I’ll be honest and say I don’t care that much about baseball, but I do like any excuse to be outside and enjoy time with friends. First Tennessee Park has lawn games, and all kinds of fun events like Tito’s Tail Waggin’ Tuesday where you can bring your pup. You can get lawn tickets for as low as $10!





4. Movies in the Park


Some days in the summer here it's honestly too hot to get outside until it's dark,  so a movie in the park is the perfect way to still get outside and get together with friends, or have a sweet date night with your boo.  The weekly event  (usually on Thursday or Friday) happens in Bicentennial Park, and provides a perfect skyline backdrop. Some of the upcoming movies include Almost Famous, Fight Club, and The Goonies. For tickets, click here.


5. Radnor Lake


This is my absolute favorite hike in Nashville. I usually do the lake trail, and it’s not treacherous by any means, but it takes you on a beautiful hour-long lap around the lake, where I almost always see wildlife. For me and my friends, this hike is the perfect free way to get outside, get some exercise, and catch up.




6. Arrington Vineyard 


Arrington Vineyard has been one of my favorite spots {near} Nashville since I moved here and the views in the fall are to die for. You can bring a picnic, grab a flight of wine, take a tour, enjoy some live music, and enjoy the view. There's no admission fee, so you bring your own snacks and drinks, and it makes for the perfect spot for a cheap date night or girls day trip. It's about a 25 minute drive from downtown Nashville, but definitely worth it. For directions and hours, click here. 


7. Top Golf


You don't have to be good at golf to enjoy Top Golf,  I would know.  This is one of my favorite year-round activities to do with friends. It's inexpensive and is the perfect excuse for a little friendly competition. I would recommend using the app to make a reservation, I've seen the wait upward of 4 hours without one. If you do have to put your name on the waitlist, they text you when your bay is almost ready, so you can leave and come back. 

8. Cummins Falls State Park


This park is about an hour and half from the city, but is one of the best places to spend a hot summer day. The trail takes you a hike down some stairs, through a lake, and to an amazing waterfall. It's the perfect day trip for a day-date or an adventure with friends.  I would recommend wearing waterproof shoes that aren't flip-flops, because you have to hike through water to get to the waterfall. 




9. Love Circle


Looking for the perfect picnic date spot? This is it. Love Circle is a  hill at the top of West End Park that has a beautiful view of the Nashville skyline, and is perfect for a sunset dinner date.


10. Adventureworks


I could be wrong, but I honestly feel like this is a hidden gem. Zipline Forest is  in Fontanel Woods and includes 8 different zip-lines that essentially take you on a birds-eye tour of the woods and the property. If you're looking for something different, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Every now and then I see coupons for this on Groupon, so I would recommend checking if you're thinking about heading out there!

11. Canoeing / Kayaking


Whether you want some exercise, a peaceful day date, or a day of drinking on the water with your friends, canoeing or kayaking is a guaranteed good time. I've only been to the Harpeth River (I rent my canoe through Tip-A-Canoe) but there are so many options as far as rivers and rental places in the areas surrounding Nashville.



12. The Woods at Fontanel 
If you're looking to avoid the chaos of the city and experience a different aspect of Nashville, The Woods at Fontanel are such a cool place to spend a day or an evening. You can go zip-lining, see concerts, hike, shop, eat and drink all in one trip! For more information, click here. 
I hope these ideas keep you busy this summer!
xx, Ana


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