Nashville is full of music, friendly faces and several must-see attractions that make up this thriving city. We have been fortunate to visit Nashville on various occasions and each time we stumble across another hidden gem that just adds to the beauty of a destination known as “Music City.” Trying to find the best places to take pictures in Nashville might seem like a daunting task but hopefully, this guide will give you a few ideas as to where you can capture that perfect shot and create lifelong memories along the way.
Whether you are thinking about the infamous “Batman” building or the gorgeous Grand Ole Opry, we know that capturing those perfect shots is something we all strive for. If you are considering a weekend in Nashville in the near future, be sure to follow our tips on the best way to ensure you don’t leave without all of your favorite photographs.
Best Places to Take Pictures in Nashville
It’s critical that you plan effectively before taking any trip, especially if you focused on finding the best photo spots. A city like Nashville can be extremely overwhelming, particularly with the urban sprawl that is apparent with a number of neighborhoods scattered far and wide from the downtown area. Of course, it goes without saying that ensuring you have the right photography equipment with you is another critical component!
We are going to walk you through all the best places to take pictures in Nashville and the best way to capture the perfect photo.
If you are looking for the perfect place to stay in Nashville while capturing these awesome pictures, why not spoil yourselves and stay at the spectacular Omni in Nashville. If this is a little outside of your budget, be sure to check out all of the following recommendations that are a little more affordable.
There are several ways to take a photograph and no two are the same. I don’t believe that you need an expensive camera for a great photo. The best parts of any photo are ones that are in focus and it is pleasing to the eye.
We use a Nikon D7100 camera with either a 35mm lens or an 18-200mm lens. We both also have iPhones (7 Plus) that make some situations a little better than carrying a heavy DSLR around. Extra accessories that might be needed for some of these shots include a tripod to keep those images in focus, particularly if you looking to shoot night photography.
Depending on what the subject is, you can also use a filter but it’s certainly not needed for all shots.
Nashville Downtown Skyline
Taking pictures of any skyline can be mesmerizing. Be prepared to stay focused on the task of taking a great photo. Nashville can be proud to have a spectacular skyline that is easily accessible.
In order to get the best angle visit the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge, located next to the Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. There is a path that you can walk along the river, then take the steps or elevator up to the bridge that will take you across the river on to Broadway.
For night-time photos, you want to make sure you definitely have a tripod as the shutter speed will be much lower. We used a 35mm lens and we had our ISO set to 100 and our aperture was set at f/5.6 with a 15-second shutter speed.
No trip to Nashville is complete without a stop to the Ryman Auditorium, also known as the original location of the Grand Ole Opry between 1943 and 1974. If you love architecture, visiting the Ryman is a no-brainer. A classic beauty with so much history and probably one of the most interesting stories. As the Carnegie Hall of the South, it is conveniently located just around the corner from Broadway.
A classic beauty with so much history and probably one of the most interesting stories. As the “Carnegie Hall of the South,” it is conveniently located just around the corner from Broadway.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
Many visitors to the Ryman are unaware of the hidden door inside the auditorium that leads to an alley behind the world famous Tootsies Bar. Country artists that were fortunate enough to perform at the Ryman Auditorium, would use this door to pay Tootsies a visit to enjoy a drink and surprise locals and visitors alike with a special show. Be sure to check out the “Ryman Alley” as you never know who you could run into!
Nashville is home to many iconic alleys, one of the most well known is Printer’s Alley, which at one time was a booming publishing industry but now is a nightclub district. This thriving alley started when it was illegal to consume alcohol in Nashville, while today it has an eclectic blend of clubs and entertainment.
Music City Walk of Fame
Take a walk around the legendary Walk of Fame and see all of the Country Music Hall of Fame legends from Little Jimmy Dickens to Miranda Lambert. This iconic attraction started in 2006 and is constantly being updated to add the rich history of country music and the dedication to the stars. If you cross the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame you will start your journey along the Nashville Walk of Fame.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park
In 1996, Bicentennial Mall was opened to help commemorate Tennessee becoming a state but it is so much more. This park contains waterfalls, an amphitheater, and an opportunity for visitors to take “a walkthrough” guide to Tennessee history. The State Capitol, as well as a farmers market borders the park to make it very accessible for everyone to enjoy.
Bicentennial Mall is just a short walk from downtown Nashville and certainly feasible for those that prefer to get around on foot.
The Grand Ole Opry
If you are looking for the best places to pictures in Nashville, you have to be willing to step away from the downtown area and travel to the area that includes the gorgeous Gaylord Hotel, Opry Mills Mall and of course, the Grand Ole Opry itself. If you visit the Ryman Auditorium as well as the present day Grand Ole Opry, you will have a much better understanding as to why Nashville is called Music City.
I decided to make this photo black and white while editing because I felt that it captured more of the essence of the Opry. You can choose based on your own opinions which photos are better for either color vs. black/white but I personally think that any time you are trying to depict a historical reference, black and white offers a great perspective.
Did you know that Nashville was home to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon? Located in the heart of Centennial Park with paths and open areas for picnics and sports, there is something for everyone here.
Inside the Parthenon is an art museum which for only $6 is a real bargain. Once you enter you will see the various construction stages of the Parthenon along with present day art exhibits. The self-guided tour inside the Parthenon culminates on the top floor where you are presented with the gorgeous sight of a massive… Sorry, you will just have to check it out to see for yourself!
In 1877, President Hayes dubbed the Customs House in Nashville as a “national treasure” as it symbolized the end of Southern Reconstruction after the Civil War. Today, it is privately owned and rented out to tenants, which is a major step in restoring pieces of Nashville’s history.
The Customs House is definitely one of the most attractive pieces of architecture in downtown Nashville. Take a short walk along Broadway away from the river and you will arrive at this spectacular sight.
Belle Meade Plantation
Belle Meade Plantation was once a thriving stud farm that was able to claim the prestige of having every horse that participated in the Kentucky Derby until 2011 trace their bloodline to this Nashville attraction. Today, it is a museum and definitely not to be overlooked when planning your Nashville itinerary.
In addition to all the history, there is also a wine tasting available at the end of the tour that is included in the price of your ticket. The wine is only available and made on site, so be prepared for a unique experience tasting a variety of delicious wine flavors.
The Belle Meade Plantation tour is certainly a unique and “different” experience to anything else in Nashville, so be sure to add this to your itinerary if you are looking for some alternative things to do in Music City.
I don’t think I have ever met anyone that has been to Nashville and didn’t visit the main strip downtown. Broadway has several nightclubs and honky tonks that will keep you busy until the early hours of the morning.
There are several iconic stops but my personal favorite is Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop. Opening in 1947, the country star opened the shop and it is still serving locals and visitors alike to this day.
Nashville is a thriving city with many attractions to keep your itinerary packed. We hope this guide has helped capture some of the best places to take pictures in Nashville. Music City has turned into a “home away from home” for us as we are always eager to return.
If you would like to see more of our Nashville pictures, be sure to visit more of our travel photos.
Music City is waiting for you. What is on your to-do list?