The Best Time To Visit Nashville For Every Type Of Traveler

Find the Music City vacation that's right for you.

<p>John Coletti/Getty</p>

John Coletti/Getty

Nashville is one of the South’s most fun and dynamic cities, and there’s really never a bad time to visit. But depending on your interests—catching a music festival, strolling through flower-filled gardens, or eating your way around town—there are ideal times to book a Music City vacation. To get the most out of your stay, read on for our recommendations for things to do in the on and off-season, and why you should consider both when planning a trip to Nashville.

Best Times To Visit For Great Weather

<p>f11photo/Getty</p>

f11photo/Getty

To avoid scorching summer temperatures and the chance of winter storms, spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best seasons to visit Nashville. These months typically offer moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Because many areas in Nashville are walkable, so good weather means it will be much easier to get around.

Best Times To Visit For Outdoor Fun

Courtesy Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
Courtesy Cheekwood Estate and Gardens

Yes, Nashville is a big city, but it has plenty of beautiful places to enjoy nature and be active outdoors. Springtime brings a cascade of blooms to Cheekwood Gardens & Estate, Nashville’s beautiful botanical garden. The annual Cheekwood In Bloom festival (in March and April) is primetime to see 250,000 bulbs come into flower. Nashville’s Greenways offer plenty of options for biking, walking, and sightseeing right in the city. Spend an afternoon at Cumberland Park, which has innovative playspaces for kids and great riverfront views.

And if fall is your favorite time of year, then you can't go wrong with the September-October timeframe. October is typically when leaves start to change in this part of the South. Cheekwood Harvest, which is prime time for pumpkins (kids will enjoy the elaborate display), plus many seasonal festivals for the entiire family.

Best Time To Visit For Music Festivals

<p><a class="asset-detail__link" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?family=editorial&photographer=Frederick+Breedon+IV" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Frederick Breedon IV</a> / Contributor/Getty Images</p> Luke Bryan plays CMA Fest in Nashville.

Frederick Breedon IV / Contributor/Getty Images

Luke Bryan plays CMA Fest in Nashville.

You can catch a live performance just walking down Broadway any time of the year (or day), but the month of June is packed with festivals that attract big-name acts to Nashville. For country fans, there’s no bigger event than CMA Fest, a four-day celebration of back-to-back concerts that benefits music education in schools. Just outside the city, in Manchester, the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival brings together one of the most eclectic lineups in the country for a genre-defying event that also has a campground and other activities like a craft market and yoga classes. Back in town, catch some live bluegrass at one of the annual Pig Pickin’ Parties at Percy Warner Park

Best Time To Visit For Non-Music Festivals

Mary Hance / The Tennessean
Mary Hance / The Tennessean

Nashville’s calendar is packed with events in October, and there’s a festival for just about everyone. From the Southern Festival of Books, to the Tennessee Beer and Wine Festival, to the Old School BBQ Festival, to the Centennial Craft Fair, you’ll find plenty of things to do around town this month. And that's not even counting the Halloween celebrations and fall fairs at farms just outside of town. Plus, the weather is gorgeous this time of year.

Best Time To Visit On A Budget

Andrew Thomas Lee
Andrew Thomas Lee

If you’re looking for deals (and fewer crowds), visit Nashville out of peak season. During June, July, and August, the weather really heats up, which discourages some visitors. So score a deal on a hotel with a swimming pool, and you won’t mind the heat one bit. Winter (December to February) is also a less popular time to visit, but there are fun things to do during those months as well. December is filled with festivals, parades, and other festive ways to ring in the holidays. In February, Dine Nashville is a month-long event where you can find great deals at some of the best restaurants in town, as well as special ticketed dinners where local chefs collaborate.

Best Time To Visit For Holiday Festivities

Malcolm MacGregor / Getty Images
Malcolm MacGregor / Getty Images

In December, you can get your fill of lights, decorations, parades, Santa-themed bars, and everything Christmas-related. But July, specifically July 4th, is when the city really shines. Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th brings together some of the biggest country stars (2023 included Brad Paisley and The War and Treaty), along with one of the country’s biggest fireworks displays.

Best Time To Visit For Art

JacobH / Getty Images
JacobH / Getty Images

All year long, you’ll find captivating exhibits at the city’s two main art museums, The Frist and The Parthenon. But for something a little different, check out the Tomato Art Fest in August, which is—you guessed it—dedicated to all things tomato, including art, food, and contests. Shakespeare In The Park and the Defy Film Festival are two other cultural events held in August.

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