Things to do on Broadway, The Main Strip in Nashville

Nashville is a huge vacation destination for many reasons.

The city is located in the heart of the south with beautiful sights, lots of history and tons of things to do.

But the primary reason most people want to visit Nashville is to hear the incredible live music.

So that’s why you’ll want to pay a visit to Broadway, the main strip in Nashville.

Where is Broadway?

The main strip in Nashville is a vibrant street located in the heart of downtown.

Known as the “Honky Tonk Highway,” Broadway is a major attraction for live music, entertainment, and nightlife, making it one of the most popular destinations in the city.

Broadway stretches for approximately one mile, running perpendicular to the scenic Cumberland River in the city center.

It is lined with a multitude of honky tonks, restaurants, bars, and shops, each exuding its unique charm and character.

The section of the iconic street that contains the honky tonks is from 1st Avenue (next to the river) up to 7th Avenue.

It’s here the street’s iconic neon signs, live music that pours out onto the sidewalks, and the lively ambiance create an unmistakable energy that has become synonymous with Nashville’s music scene.

The area’s roots trace back to the early 20th century when Broadway began to emerge as a hub for country and western music.

As the years passed, the vibrant street grew in popularity and evolved into a prominent destination for both locals and tourists seeking authentic Nashville experiences.

The Music on the Main Strip in Nashville

The Music on the Main Strip in Nashville

Live music is the beating heart of Broadway, the main strip in Nashville.

Almost every establishment along the bustling street features live performances throughout the day and well into the night.

Talented musicians, ranging from aspiring artists to seasoned professionals, take the stage, performing various genres such as country, rock, blues, and bluegrass.

Visitors can enjoy an eclectic mix of covers and original songs to dance the night away.

Broadway’s music venues vary in size and style. Some establishments are intimate and cozy, allowing for an up-close and personal music experience, while others boast large stages and dance floors, accommodating a bigger crowd.

Whichever venue you choose, you can expect top-notch musicianship and a lively atmosphere that invites dancing, singing along, and creating unforgettable memories.

Nowadays, many of the venues are owned and named after the biggest stars in country music.

The Food on the Main Strip in Nashville

Beyond the live music, Broadway offers a diverse culinary scene. From Southern comfort food to international cuisine, visitors can find a wide array of dining options to suit their taste buds.

Whether you’re craving mouthwatering barbecue, hot chicken, or a delicious slice of pizza, Broadway’s restaurants have got you covered.

Many establishments also offer rooftop patios, allowing patrons to enjoy their meals while taking in the cityscape and the energetic atmosphere of the bustling street below.

Broadway’s vibrant nightlife extends beyond the music venues and restaurants.

Numerous bars and clubs cater to different tastes, ensuring that everyone finds a spot to enjoy a night out.

Whether you’re looking for a low-key dive bar, a swanky cocktail lounge, or a high-energy dance club, the main strip in Nashville has it all.

The street comes alive after dark, creating an electric atmosphere that pulses through the city.

Is Broadway Kid-Friendly?

Yes! That’s one of the best parts about Broadway – it is super kid-friendly during the day.

No matter the day of the week, almost all stops along the main strip in Nashville will be open to people of all ages.

Each place turns 21+ in the evenings, with start times ranging from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm depending on the bar.

There are a select few places that are 21+ all day, so if you have your heart set on a specific spot, be sure to check their website in advance.

The Best Bars on Broadway

There are tons of great bars on Broadway in Nashville. Here are just a few favorites:

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Tootsies is easily the most famous bar on the main strip. This purple (aka orchid) building has been sitting prominently on Broadway since 1960, and many famous artists have played, written songs, or at least stopped by to hang out here. You’ll have to get a picture out front with the famous purple building.

Wildhorse Saloon

Okay, so this one isn’t technically on Broadway – it’s a block up the hill. But the Wildhorse Saloon is SO worth including.

It’s a massive bar and restaurant where you can hear awesome live music. But that’s not why it’s great – it’s also a line-dancing bar.

The middle of the restaurant has a huge area blocked off for line dancing, and the staff gets up on stage throughout the day to teach line dancing classes.

Then you get to dance along to the live band up on stage in front of you. It’s seriously a blast and great for groups of all ages.

The Twelve Thirty Club

Not your typical honky tonk, the Twelve Thirty Club is the place to go when you’re looking for a fancier environment.

It’s a multi-level bar with a casual bar/restaurant on the ground floor listening to live music, usually country. But head upstairs, and you’ll find the swanky jazz club complete with red velvet chairs and fancy cocktails.

Then, head outside, and you’ll find a rooftop bar that looks out over Broadway, the main strip in Nashville.

The rooftop has a DJ and dancing and is a great environment to get some fresh air and hang out with friends. There’s also an incredible restaurant here.

Acme Feed and Seed

Another multi-level spot along Broadway is Acme Feed and Seed. The first two floors are restaurants, and the rooftop has the bar.

It’s got great views over Broadway but is also located right on the river, so those views are awesome too.

And, of course, no bar on Broadway would be complete without amazing live music on the rooftop.

Some other top bar recommendations on the iconic street include:

  • Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar: This massive, rowdy honky-tonk is perhaps the most popular nowadays, with great live music on two stages.
  • Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk & Steakhouse: As you’d expect from Kid Rock, this place has a fun, irreverent vibe with line dancing and great Nashville hot chicken.
  • FGL House: This spot owned by Florida Georgia Line has a true party atmosphere spanning four levels with areas for dancing, games, and even a huge rooftopSpace Cruise complete with astronaut photobooth.

The Best Restaurants on Broadway

Most of the honky tonks don’t have great food, serving more basic American bar fare. There are some standout dining spots worth checking out:

Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa

This awesome sit-down Mexican restaurant has gorgeous decor, delicious food, and great drinks.

The entire place is decked out in hot pink and super girly, fitting for the female country star who owns it. The menu offers a wide variety of Mexican cuisine that’s all quite tasty.

“The queso blanco fundido was OUT OF THIS WORLD! The flavors were unbelievable. Fun, girly atmosphere too.” – Yelp Review

The Supper Club at The Twelve Thirty Club

When you’re looking for a fancy dinner on Broadway or in all of Nashville, look no further than The Supper Club.

The menu is mostly centered around steak, but they have other dishes like poultry, seafood, and vegetarian options too.

However, you absolutely must start with their homemade focaccia bread – it’s served with various spreads and is likely the best focaccia you’ll have in the states.

Make a reservation for delicious, high-quality food in a fun jazz club setting, but be prepared for higher prices.

Assembly Food Hall

My go-to recommendation is the Assembly Food Hall, featuring over 30 eateries with cuisines from all over.

From Nashville hot chicken to pizza, Thai to Greek, there’s something for everyone.

Best of all, they feature local small business restaurants, so you can support the community and enjoy the true food culture of the city. The variety makes it perfect for groups.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

You can’t come to Nashville without trying the signature Nashville Hot Chicken! Hattie B’s is one of the most popular and acclaimed spots for this iconic dish.

Get the chicken traditionally served on white bread with pickle chips, or opt for tenders or a sandwich.

Just be sure to specify your heat level – the “mild” is plenty spicy for most, but if you can handle serious heat, they offer very hot levels all the way up to “Shut The Cluck Up!!!”

Acme Feed & Seed

This spot has multiple options all in one place. The ground floor serves classic Southern fare cafeteria-style with live music adding ambiance.

On the second floor, you’ll find an excellent sushi bar and lounge for a completely different vibe.

The Best Places to Stay on Broadway

There are tons of hotels downtown, but only a few located directly on the iconic Broadway strip:

  • Hilton Nashville Downtown
  • Moxy Nashville Downtown
  • Renaissance Nashville Hotel

All are good options super close to the main attractions, though rates tend to be higher.

For something cheaper but still on Broadway and walkable to everything, consider the Holiday Inn Express Nashville Downtown.

More Unique Places to Stay Nearby

If you want something unique and memorable, here are some distinct hotel options near Broadway:

The Bobby Hotel

Just two blocks away, The Bobby has an awesome rooftop area with a pool, bar, and even a renovated school bus.

In the winter, they have an amazing “Fableground” pop-up with an ice rink, igloos, fire pits, and holiday drinks.

The Westin Nashville

A few blocks further, The Westin has an incredible infinity rooftop pool that hangs right over the edge of the building – a thrilling experience.

The Graduate Nashville

Finally, if you don’t mind being over a mile out, there’s The Graduate – a Dolly Parton themed hotel decked out in pink from top to bottom, including a rooftop bar. It’s charmingly over-the-top.

Whether you’re looking for incredible live music, amazing food, lively bars, or just a taste of Nashville’s vibrant culture, Broadway offers an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the beating heart of Music City along this iconic street.

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