Visiting Nashville for People Who Hate Country Music

Nashville is known for being the Country Music Capital of the World, which is why it’s affectionately known as Music City. While there is a ton of great, live country music and you have a pretty good chance to run into some of country’s most popular stars here, not everyone likes country music.

However, we are here to tell you that Nashville is still definitely worth visiting if country isn’t your thing, which is why we put together this guide for Visiting Nashville for People Who Hate Country Music. Because quite frankly, we don’t like country music…

Many of the traditional “Must-dos” in Nashville that you will find on what to do in Nashville lists won’t be applicable if you don’t like country music. You can skip Broadway, the Ryman Auditorium, and many of the other bars with live country music.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Where to Stay in Nashville if You Hate Country Music

East Nashville is located east of downtown Nashville and famed Broadway across the Cumberland River. It’s a much more down-to-earth neighborhood that will give you the real feel for Nashville compared to the “Woo Girl” Bachelorette parties of Broadway and will get you away from the country music bars lining Broadway.

East Nashville is filled with outstanding restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. Even just walking around the neighborhoods is a treat as you can experience what it’s like to live in a different part of the city.

Look for a nice, affordable Airbnb in East Nashville to if you want to visit Nashville but hate country music!

If you’ve never used Airbnb before we highly recommend it! Here’s a code for first-time users where you can get $30 in travel credit when you book a place

Now that you’ve booked a place to stay, you need things to do for your time in Nashville!

Where to Eat in Nashville if You Hate Country Music

As mentioned, East Nashville offers plenty of wonderful spots to eat!


Bongo East and Game Point Cafe

If you are looking for a coffee to get your quick morning caffeine fix, start your day off at Bongo East and Game Point Cafe. They are a locally owned, full-service cafe that is also completely stocked with tons of board games.

Bongo East and Game Point Cafe also offer adult beverages later in the day, so you can stop back in for an afternoon pick-me-up with more coffee or play board games later into the night with friends and a few beers.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Breakfast or Brunch


Graze is the place to go in East Nashville if you are looking for a plant-based breakfast or brunch. The vegan restaurant is smaller, but has a big menu that offers many different options. It’s a little further out in East Nashville on Eastland Ave., but it’s worth the walk, drive, or Uber.

Everything on the menu looked delicious, but the Hot Tempeh Biscuits were mouth-watering and paired well for brunch with the turmeric kombucha.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Pinewood Social

Pinewood Social is another unique Nashville brunch option with it’s open seating, nearly 360° bar, bowling alley, and lounge area. It was also featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Nashville episode.

Pinewood is a popular spot and is less than a mile from downtown and Broadway, but it does not have the country music vibe you are trying to avoid on this Nashville trip. There may be a little wait for a spot to eat, but don’t be afraid to sit at the bar. If you’re looking to go bowling, make a reservation in advance as it usually fills up.

Non country music things to do in nashville


The Southern V

For lunch, get out of East Nashville and head over to North Nashville for maybe one of the best vegan restaurants we have ever been to, The Southern V.

The Southern V offers up traditional southern-style Nashville cuisine, but it’s all vegan! Make sure to try their Nashville Hot Chick’n. If you want to guarantee your food right away, get there early because there can be a line!

They’re only open two days a week, and their menu is constantly changing. Make sure to arrange when they’re open with your Nashville itinerary, so you can enjoy this can’t miss restaurant in Nashville!

Non country music things to do in nashville


Five Points Pizza

If you are back in the East Nashville neighborhood at night trying to avoid Nashville’s country music scene and want a quick, inexpensive dinner, check out Five Points Pizza.

Read more  Our 10 favorite places to do it:

This pizza-by-the-slice joint was rated by USA Today as the Best Pizza in Tennessee! It’s fast, cost-effective for traveling on a budget, and delicious. Best of all, you avoid all the obnoxious bachelorette parties! You can’t beat that!

Got a Sweet Tooth?

Five Daughters Bakery

Five Daughters Bakery, home of the 100 layer doughnut, is one of the best and most unique doughnuts that we have ever tried. They have a variety of flavors and types and are beyond delicious.

Pick one up after you have brunch at Graze and save it for later in the day when you’re craving something sweet.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Where to Drink in Nashville if You Hate Country Music

Naturally, Nashville is full of country bars with live country music. However, it’s assumed that because you are reading this, that is exactly what you are trying to avoid. Luckily, Nashville has a lot of great bars that are essentially void of the country music you are trying to escape.

Patterson House

The Patterson House is an upscale, hidden bar with probably the best cocktails in Nashville. It’s located right near Music Row, even though there’s no country music in the Patterson House.

When you walk up to the rather unassuming house, you might not even notice it’s a bar. Go inside past the host and it suddenly transforms into a grand, luxurious bar that captures a sophisticated, yet cozy feel. The Patterson House is a must-visit in Nashville if you want an amazing, handcrafted cocktail in a sophisticated setting.

Nelson Green Brier Distillery

What’s a visit to Nashville without a distillery tour?

The Nelson Green Brier Distillery tour is an outstanding distillery tour that’s located right in the city of Nashville. While there’s no country music here, it’s as close to “country” as you are going to get with the places to drink with the bars listed in this post.

Nelson Green Brier Distillery is a slice of Tennessee and Nashville history all rolled into one. The tour is very informational in terms of history and distilling, but it’s also humorous. At the very end, you get overloaded with samples of Belle Meade Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, and different types of liqueur made right there.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Skull’s Rainbow Room

This little gem of a non-country bar is actually located just a couple minutes off Broadway on Printer’s Alley in downtown Nashville. Skull’s Rainbow Room has been around since 1948 and offers excellent piano music and burlesque shows to go along with decadent cocktails.

Non country music things to do in nashville

Hidden Bar at Noelle

Right around the corner from Skull’s Rainbow Room is Hidden Bar at Noelle. Noelle is a boutique hotel in downtown Nashville with a hidden bar on the inside.

The actual hidden bar on the inside is a little difficult to find and took us a while, so be patient and discreet when trying to find where it is. So, “How do you get to Hidden Bar at Noelle?, you might ask.

Go to the elevator and take it to the lower floor. Once you arrive at the lower floor, there is a bar, but it is not the Hidden Bar. Look around for a door labeled ‘Storage.’ Open it. In there, you will find Hidden Bar at Noelle in Nashville!

The food and drinks are great, and it’s a wonderful atmosphere. Plus, you will be totally free of country music!

Rudy’s Jazz Room

Lastly, Rudy’s Jazz Room will provide you a refuge from country music in Nashville. This one is pretty obvious as it is called a “jazz room.” They have live jazz music, food, and drinks in a cozy, authentic jazz club setting.

On certain nights, they allow audience members who want to play a jazz tune sign-up and hop on stage in a sort-of open-mic night setting. This is great if you want to hear local talent or are trying to build your own jazz career in Nashville.

Non country music things to do in nashville

While Nashville is best known for country music, and nowadays high-pitched screaming bachelorette parties, there is plenty to do in Nashville if you hate country music and want no part of it.

Following this guide to Nashville for People Who Hate Country Music will allow you to explore a lot of what Nashville has to offer without having to endure any of the honky tonk country music you want to avoid.

Even if country music isn’t your thing, but you want to experience that side of Nashville too, it is still a great city to visit. Becca has been to two different bachelorette parties in Nashville, and they were both a blast. However, Nashville is more than just country music. If you are interested in a long weekend trip to Nashville that has some country and some not, check out our other post How to Spend a Long Weekend in Nashville.

What do you recommend in Nashville for people who hate country music?

— Update: 15-02-2023 — found an additional article Our 10 favorite places to do it: from the website for the keyword non country music things to do in nashville.

You’ve heard the old cliché:

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But today more than ever, that’s really true.

If you tune out at the sound of the Grand Ole Opry but still like to get in the groove, the opportunities to see live music that’s a little less country are endless.

Arrington Vineyards

Non country music things to do in nashville

Founded by Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, Arrington Vineyards features two live music locations on their grounds, with live jazz groups and bluegrass bands playing all year round.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery while listening to great music and drinking a glass of their locally produced and award-winning wines.

Saturdays and Sundays: Arrington Vineyards hosts Music in the Vines every year from April through October.

The Back Corner

Non country music things to do in nashville

Looking for the next cool music club before everyone else discovers it? The Back Corner might be it.

Owned by the folks at 5th and Taylor, it’s a separate event space that opened in late 2016 and has quickly become the site of rock shows, dance parties and acoustic singer-songwriter sets.  The music schedule each week includes special themes such as: 

  • “HARD 45: Vintage. Vinyl. Dance.” and
  • “ENTRO: Nashville’s music industry/influencer playlist night.”

Thursdays: Pull on your leg warmers and bring along your pet rocks to “NEON: an 80’s revival,” which goes back in time to the days of Culture Club and Duran Duran.

The Basement

Non country music things to do in nashville

James Bond once said, “Sometimes the old ways are the best” and that absolutely applies to The Basement, which resides in a 100-year-old red brick building under Grimey’s.

It’s an intimate venue with a full schedule of up-and-coming bands and singer-songwriters. If you get there early enough, head upstairs and choose from the best vinyl selection in the city. In 2015 the Basement’s East Nashville sister venue — with a capacity of 400, four times that of the original — opened to rave reviews.

Clout control: Need further proof of The Basement’s hip factor? Alice Cooper made a surprise appearance there earlier this year.

Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar

Non country music things to do in nashville

Downtown can be a tough place to find anywhere country isn’t oozing out the open doors, but you can always find a stellar talent lineup at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar.

The venue has an impressive lineup of regulars, as well as guest appearances from former band members for Aretha Franklin and Prince, among others.

Mondays: Open mic nights are a major draw, and allow people to sign up for an impromptu jam session. The emcees put together a band and the musicians have to perform three songs together. It could be music to your ears or things may come to a screeching halt; not knowing what you’re getting is half the fun.

Cannery Row

Non country music things to do in nashville

Housed in a former flour mill, Cannery Row is home to three different venues:

Long before she had the most popular account on Twitter, Katy Perry performed at the Mercy in April 2009. Later that same year, a modest young singer-songwriter from England made her Nashville debut inside Cannery Ballroom. Her name: Adele.

Mondays: The weekly 8 off 8th event is free to the public and features a glimpse of the indie rock scene with eight different acts playing short sets.

The Family Wash

Non country music things to do in nashville

Since opening a new location on Main Street two years ago, this East Nashville favorite has found a wider audience beyond its cult following.

Everybody knows that the best time to visit Family Wash is on Tuesdays for pie & pint nights: a shepherd’s pie (traditional or vegetarian) and a pint of beer for only $10.

Mondays: Every first Monday of the month, American Songwriter Magazine and Reverb Nation present Discover, which offers an introduction to some of the rising talent around Nashville.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Non country music things to do in nashville

Offering a variety of historic and contemporary art exhibits, the Frist Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of monthly live music performances:

  • Classical guitarists
  • Jazz ensembles
  • International dance groups and more.

Fridays: The outdoor summer concert series Frist Fridays takes place on the final Fridays of June, July and August in the Turner Courtyard. Visitors are treated to an evening of live music, snacks and beverages, as well as access to the exhibition galleries.

The End

Non country music things to do in nashville

Known as Nashville’s premier rock ‘n’ roll dive , The End on Elliston Place has seen some career-making shows for some of the most successful bands of the last 30 years — think REM, the Black Crowes and the White Stripes.

Kick back with a PBR tallboy, pump your fist in the air and headbang with the best of them.

The Sutler

Non country music things to do in nashville

The Sutler is home to Bluegrass Brunch every Saturday and Sunday, but this revived saloon in the Melrose area features entertainment from musical genres across the board.

Case in point: On weekends, DJ Foldy holds late-night dance parties, where he spins new favorites and old classics in hip-hop and house music.

Thursdays: It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday: #TBT is a nostalgia trip back to the 90s with a mix of hip-hop, pop, rock and more — anything from Boyz II Men to Metallica.

Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music

Non country music things to do in nashville

Get a musical education at one of Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music hosts an array of live performances, from major concerts to student recitals.

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Collaborative concerts bring together:

Many of the ensembles feature a mix of students, professors and guest artists, so you can experience everything from future classical music stars to contemporary sounds from the city’s most talented musicians.


  • Meet & Three

    If you’re looking for something a little more country but in a legitimate, old-school way, we offer three classic options:

    The Station Inn

    Non country music things to do in nashville

    Located smack in the middle of the uber hip Gulch, the inside of the Station Inn couldn’t feel more removed from it.

    On any night, you can strike gold. A lot of country and bluegrass greats — like Chris Stapleton back when he was heading up the still-excellent Steeldrivers — get their start here.

    Robert’s Western World

    Non country music things to do in nashville

    Robert’s is not a secret; its PBR-bologna-sandwich combo has launched 1,000 blogs all on its own.

    But it’s nice to step in from time to time and remember that the bands they put on stage every night of the week are Nashville’s best examples of what country music can be.

    Music City Roots

    Non country music things to do in nashville

    Another staple of the Nashville music scene, Music City Roots offers 4-5 acts that are often and eclectic mix of country, rock, bluegrass and more every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

    People often make the trek to the Factory at Franklin to see one artist on the roster and end up falling in love with someone new. If you can’t make the trip, can catch the live show on 89.5 Roots Radio.

  • — Update: 15-02-2023 — found an additional article Non-Country Music Things To Do in Nashville, Tennessee from the website for the keyword non country music things to do in nashville.

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    Nashville, Tennessee, is considered by many to be the Mecca of country music, but there are still plenty of non-country music things to do! If you’re looking for something to do besides go to a honky-tonk, check out our list of activities below.

    Take a Food Tour

    While Nashville may earn the nickname The Music City, it’s also renowned as a city that offers some of the best, most classic Southern-style food you’ll find anywhere in the country. For many visitors, it can feel overwhelming to try all the famous restaurants and dishes the city offers, so consider taking a food tour to make it easier!

    Many services offer walking or trolley tours of the city, bringing you to heralded food spots for Nashville’s famous hot chicken, barbecue, biscuits, and more. Some tours focus on certain aspects of the Nashville food scene—like the best barbecue joints and chicken spots—or offer a taste of everything. No matter what you’re craving, you’ll find a spot to chow down!

    Photograph Nashville’s Many Murals

    One of the most underrated parts of Nashville is its incredible art scene. Artists from all over the region come to Nashville to express themselves, and one of the ways they love to do it is with a mural!

    Drive around Nashville for a few short minutes, and you’ll likely pass numerous gorgeous murals worth photographing and remembering. If you love documenting art and murals, consider taking a mural-guided tour of Nashville, where you will visit some of the many famous art pieces the city offers while seeing the sights of Music City. There are practically too many murals to count, but Nashville’s tourism site offers a handy list of some of the most popular and their locations.

    Tour Nashville’s Many Non-Music Museums

    Nashville is home to iconic music-oriented museums like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Johnny Cash Museum, but there are many non-music museums to see. For car lovers and gearheads, the Lane Motor Museum is one of the best automotive museums in America and features the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the country!

    And what’s a trip to Nashville without a visit to the world-famous Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum? There’s also the Lotz House Civil War Museum and the Andrew Jackson Hermitage for those more interested in history. If sports are more your style, consider touring the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame!

    Visit a Distillery, Winery, Brewery, or Cidery

    Another great non-country music thing to do in Nashville is to visit one of the many distilleries, wineries, breweries, or cideries in and around the city. Whether you prefer a sip of real Tennessee moonshine or whiskey or a glass of high-quality wine, beer, or cider, there’s no shortage of options!

    Some of the most popular places to drink in Nashville include:

    • Jack Daniels Distillery
    • Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
    • The Wintery at Belle Meade (Winery)
    • Amber Falls Winery
    • Yee Haw Brewing Company
    • Fat Bottom Brewing
    • Diskin Cider

    What will you do first in Nashville? Leave a comment and let us know!


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    About the Author: Tung Chi