A 48 Hour Itinerary for Nashville, TN

Me sitting on a sofa reading a guide book to Nashville, TN.

What do you do when you only have 48 hours in Nashville? I mostly want to eat, but I did my best to cram as many things as possible into my short 2-day stay in the Grand Ol’ Opryland! My cousin is getting married in Nashville, TN, which is the real reason I jumped my happy self on a plane to celebrate with her. Nothing against Nashville, but it wasn’t high on my bucket list. Rome? Munich? Yes. Nashville? Only for her. Even though it wasn’t part of my worldwide plan, domestic travel within the United States is fun and can feel like you’re traveling abroad; each area has it’s own culture, customs, and even dialect. Flying from the east coast to the south feels this way, but overall I am happy to have the opportunity to frolic in this cool city and witness my cousin tie the knot!

Getting There

I booked a flight on Southwest airlines during one of their beautiful flight sales to do exactly that – fly southwest from DC to Tennessee during the lovely, yet hot (90°F or 32°C), month of May. Seating is up for grabs on Southwest so be sure to check-in online at least 24 hours in advance to be placed in a priority boarding position. Group A is seated first and Group C is last. The flight was comfortable and took a little less that two hours. I didn’t expect there to be anything out of the ordinary at the airport, but as soon as I got off the plane I heard the twangs of a man and his guitar singing live country music inside a bar. It was a welcome, but unexpected, surprise to know that I was being transported to the country music capital of the world.

I mean, what better way to welcome visitors than to hear the sounds of live country music as soon as you step foot into the terminal? As I walked to baggage claim (2 bags fly free, woohoo, but we had to check our carry-ons due to the priority boarders taking up all the space) I peeked into a few more airport restaurants that hosted live music. If you want, you can even buy CDs on the spot. I did not because I only had a short time to get things moving. After we picked up our rental car we were off!

Two-Day Nashville Itinerary

If you only have 48 hrs in Nashville, make the most of your time there. Here are a few suggestions based on my Thursday, 2pm arrival and Saturday 2pm exit, but feel free to add your ideas in the comments!

Picture of the words "NASHVILLE" sitting on top of a floral red guitar in from of a Nashville skyline silhouette.
Taking a peek at wheretraveler.com‘s guide to Nashville, TN.

Day 1


  • Listen to live music. I’m not a country music fan by any stretch of the imagination, but listening to a bit of music at the airport is a great way to kill two birds with one stone – get your luggage and listen to local, possibly untapped, talent.
  • Check-in to the Sheraton Music City Hotel.


  • Eat dinner at Bolton’s Spice Chicken and Fish. When in Nashville, eat fried catfish and spicy chicken! Bolton’s is the best!
  • Cool down with Jeni’s ice cream


Day 2


  • Nashville Zoo


  • Grab lunch at Hattie B.’s Hot Chicken
  • Try to take in a few of the city’s beautiful murals


  • Visit a Local Brewery – Fat Bottom Brewing Co.
  • Explore the “Honky Tonk Highway” on Broadway St., where the parties last all day and all night.


Day 3


  • Take a trip to downtown Nashville
  • Brunch at Acme Feed & Seed
  • Fly Home!


I usually have very ambitious itineraries, so here’s to hoping I can do everything! I’ll be sure to write about the highlights, but until then, what are your favorite things to do in Nashville? Where do you like to stay? Leave your best suggestions in the comments below!


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