All Kinds of Tours

All Kinds of Tours for All Sorts of Interests

Yesterday’s tours focused on homes of the stars. Today you have a crazy quilt of options. Whether you want something historical or hysterical, I can hook you up.

Hop-On/Hop-Off Tours

Get on and off as many times a day as you like with stops at some of the city’s most popular attractions. These companies give you the option of hopping on and off their vehicles at more than a dozen points of interest as many times as you like for a single flat fee. Because of the hop-on, hop-off features, they’re Nashville tours that double as short-range transportation with the drivers doubling as guides.

Old Town Trolley Tours

I’ve hopped aboard and found this a great way to get an overview of the city. I’d recommend it as a Day 1 experience so you’ll get a handle on how you want to spend your time in Nashville. The drivers are what make or break the voyage. I had one who was incredibly well-informed but dull and the other was light on information but a lot of fun. Hopefully you’ll get a hybrid. TIP: If you’re visiting someone with a Davidson County address, they can ride with you for free via the Hometown Pass program.

Grayline Neighborhood Hop

Offered Thursday-Saturday, this route includes stops at Riverfront Park, Bicentennial Mall State Park, The Gulch, and 12South.

Multi-Option Tours

Grayline Tours

They’ve been taking people around Nashville for 50 years in various modes of transportation–trolleys, mini-buses, buses and such. They offer a variety of options including tours of celebrities’ homes and historic sites. They also offer a daytrip to Memphis if you want to hit up Tennessee’s other musical mecca. Visit their website to find what fits your interests.

JoyRide

Want to just buzz around downtown? Book a chauffeured juiced-up golf cart. Want to see more, go farther, or have more people? JoyRide offers photo safaris, pub crawls, shopping sprees, and sightseeing. There’s even an e-bike option.

Cruzzin’ Nashville

Their public sightseeing tours take to some of Nashville’s most popular spots. With their private tour, you can provide input to map out exactly what you’d like to see. Both options are open-air so keep that in mind as you consider your wardrobe.

Self-Guided Tours

Historical Site Markers

Use this website to be guided to many points of interest across the city. Included are commemorations of music history, Civil Rights history, educational and manufacturing landmarks. More than 150 markers across the county.

Nashville Sites

Sponsored and funded by the Metro Historic Commission Foundation, these online tours provided scholarly narration on a number of notable locations. Accessible for mobile, tablet and desktop, each segment is based on a theme with the user creating their own travel route. Topics include Early History, Hidden History and Haunts, Music in Music City, and Women’s Suffrage.

Historic Tours

Historic Tours of Nashville

My friend, Captain Jim Hardaway, knows all about Nashville–country music stories, the Civil War and civil rights, train tales, and plenty about old Nashville. Climb aboard his minivan for a highly personal and personable tour with some customization to match your interests. Plus, he’s the only guide I know who ate breakfast with Johnny and June in their Hendersonville home. He will rendezvous with you at a convenient location or pick you up at your hotel if you’ve got a vanful of friends.

Nashville History on Tour

Choose from a mind-blowing 30+ custom tours with NHT. David Ewing, the company’s CEO and a ninth generation Nashvillian, is a walking encyclopedia of Nashville history including a wealth of knowledge about the roles African Americans played in shaping the city and nation. Tours include titles include “Rails and Rivers,” “Insider Music Tour,” and “Women’s Suffrage Movement.”

United Street Tours

With prices starting at $43, the two-hour walking tour focuses on Nashville’s role in the Civil Rights Movement include a stop at the Woolworth building, site of the lunch counter sit-ins. They’ll gladly answer questions before you book.

Soul of America Tours

Emphasizing African American culture in Nashville, their “Soul of Music City” tour incorporates the contributions of the city’s HBCUs, churches that played a role in the Civil Rights Movement, and stories about the music birthed on Jefferson Street.

Specialists in Funny

We Nashvillians don’t take ourselves too seriously. We tell jokes about banjos, drawls, rhinestone, and (with great respect) Dolly.

NashTrash Tours

Among the veterans of Nashville tours, the sometimes-bawdy Jugg Sisters have been providing laughs-on-wheels aboard their impossible-to-miss hot pink bus for 20 years. If they weren’t doggone funny, they would have landed in a ditch years ago. They’ve recruited some entertaining friends to diversify so now pick your choice of three distinctive tours. Come sober and stay that way; they don’t want to waste their wit on drunkards.

Redneck Comedy Tour Bus

It also offers a raucous ride around town aboard their equally impossible-to-miss camo-patterned bus bound for famous, infamous and historic locations. BYOC–that’s bring your own cooler for beverages including those with a kick. Might want to leave young’uns out of this trip into the tacky and sometimes-tawdry. Meet the bus at the Scoreboard Bar & Grill. Stops at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Old Smoky Moonshine Distillery. Groups of 12 or more get a $5 discount over the standard adult rate of $40.

Music City Rollin’ Jamboree

This category-defying tour company offers sightseeing, comedy…and singalongs! But they are NOT a party bus. Bachelorette parties and groups of more than six people need not apply. Who WILL love their tours? Fun-loving adults who don’t mind a little risque humor. See their website for details about on-board alcohol.

Tommy’s Tours

A few things set Tommy Garmon’s tours apart. First, he’s a comedian so laughter is guaranteed. Secondly, he’ll pick you up at your hotel and drop you back off again making him logistically superior to some of his competitors. Unlike some of his competitors, he takes his clients past the homes of the rich and famous. And also unlike some, his tour is family-friendly.

Food Tours

WalkEatNashville

Call it a progressive dinner on foot as you and up to 11 others graze from eatery to eatery on one of three tour options. Get both the abridged and unabridged version of East Nashville, Downtown or 12 South. Depending on the tour you select, you’ll walk up to 1.5 miles, stop in at least 5 destinations to sample the fare, and enjoy unlimited conversation. You can also make reservations for a private group.

Local Tastes of Nashville

These folks offer a pair of geographically centered walking tours (Gulch/Union Station and Historic Germantown) and the option for a private, customizable tour. Whether you’re drawn to brisket or cupcakes, these folks can accommodate.

Nashville Food Tours

This company gives you the option of driving or walking tours. Individuals have their choice of two driving tours while groups can choose such options as “Q and Brew” or “Global Eats.” Or they’ll custom-design a tour to satisfy your tastes. Walking tours are centered around Historic Downtown Nashville, Bicentennial Mall and Germantown, 12South, Midtown Food and Sightseeing, East Nashville Food and Sightseeing, Jefferson Street, and the Nashville Mural Tour.

Tasty Tours

It looks a little like a terrarium on wheels but it’s your opportunity to gather up to 12 friends around a table to share food and drink (bring your own) while you’re chauffeured around town for a 90-minute tour of the city’s sights.

Dabble Tours

Most popular is their “Taste of Nashville” van tour of restaurants and sightseeing destinations but they also offer “Moonshine, Murals & Munchies” as well as walking tours of downtown and Germantown.

Nashville Hidden Gems

Hot chicken gets the headlines but Nashville has a thriving community of international cuisine from immigrant chefs. Anas Saba will introduce you to a world of tasty delights that are a bit off the beaten path.

Why Drive When You Can Walk

Nashville Sites

This series of self-guided walking tours works with smartphone connectivity so you can hear audio commentary about each site. Among the diverse tours: Early History, Early Black Life and Culture, Music in Music City,  Historic Music Row, Music Row Neighborhood, New South Nashville, Women’s Suffrage, Women’s History Highlights, Downtown Schools and Education, Capitol and Church Architecture, Belmont-Hillsboro-Vanderbilt, South Broadway Architecture, Old Time Religion, Fort Negley, Seedy Side and Printers Alley, South Broadway Architecture, Hidden History and Haunts, Downtown Public Art and Murals, Civic and Public Spaces, Civil Rights Sit-Ins, Downtown Civil War, Tennessee State University, Fisk University and Meharry Medical College, Food for Thought, Family Fun, East Nashville, Gulch Highlights and WeHo Happy Hour. Each tour covers between 1-2 miles. FREE and cloud-based with nothing to download.

Walkin’ Nashville  

Local music history. Bill DeMain is a singer, songwriter, author and journalist who will take you deep into Nashville music history with a sense of humor during one of his mile-long Walkin’ Nashville tours. Prices start at $40.

Really Entertaining Tours

This walking tour operation in downtown offers two options. For $25, take the two-hour, all-ages Live Nashville! Walking Tour which hits the historical and entertainment highlights. For $400, your group can cavort on the Nashville Bar Bash, hitting four honky tonks while getting a bit more boozy story of Nashville.

Experience Nashville Tours

The “Famous Footsteps” tour sets out from the front of (soon-to-be-renovated) Ernest Tubb Record Shop, You’ll walk only seven blocks but you’ll hear the tales of some of our most celebrated country artists including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and Elvis Presley. Tour lasts approximately two hours. Cost: $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for children 12 and under, free to those in the military.

Legends of Music City Walking Tour

Your 90-minute stroll will take you by the Ryman Auditorium, down famous and infamous Printers Alley, past the War Memorial Auditorium. Your chatty tour guide will reveal the secrets of the city and give you the inside scoop on country music icons.

Nashville Ghost Tours

Take an otherworldly walk through downtown to learn of devious deeds and gravely dark secrets. Expect a super-natural good time in your hour-long stroll past historic buildings.

Novel Transportation

Don’t limit yourself to garden-variety vehicles when there’s a fleet of fun alternatives.

MusicCityAdventureCo.

Grab an e-bike and two-wheel your way around town with your choice of two tours: a 3-hr., 12 mi. trip around the city ($75) or a 2 1/2hr., 9 mi. trek ($65) to visit murals and street art. Prefer keeping your feet on the ground? They also offer 2-hr. downtown walking tours ($35).

iRideNashville

Segway anyone? Get a tutorial, then head out in a convoy of the little contraptions to tour the downtown entertainment district. Spend 2 1/2 hours tooling around town with your guide. Surely among the most novel of Nashville tours. Cost: $75, plus tax.

AeroLuxe Aviation

Get a bird’s eye view of the city and surrounding areas via helicopter. Whether you want to circle our ever-changing skyline, buzz by the homes of celebrities or follow our waterways, these folks take touring to new heights.

General Jackson Showboat

Not a lot of historic insight but a lot of fun as you go rollin’ on the river aboard a paddlewheeler. Feast on a fine meal and enjoy live entertainment in the Victorian theatre. The boat churns up the Cumberland to Riverfront Park before returning to the dock adjacent to Opry Mills.

Horsepowered Travels

Sugar Creek Carriages

Clip-clop your way around downtown aboard one of their horsedrawn carriages for a narrated tour of local history. Prices range from $71.50 for a 20-minute ride to $423.50 for a 2-hour round-trip ride from downtown to the Bicentennial Mall State Park for up to 9 guests. If you want something extra magical, reserve the Cinderella carriage.

Southern Comfort Carriages

Travel in style in these 19th century replicas of grand ole carriages with a sturdy team of draft horses as your power source. Rates start at $30 for four people with $5 more for each additional person.

Adult-Beverage Excursions

Music City Pub Crawl

Can’t get much more self-explanatory than this. This 21-and-up tour hits 4-6 downtown bars and showers you with Nashville insights along the way. Cost is $25 for a 2 1/2 hour romp, plus drinks. Private groups welcome.

Mint Julep Tours

Current offerings include a Jack Daniel’s tour (includes travel to Lynchburg, TN), a 3-hour Murals & Mimosas local tour, and a 4-hour Barbecue, Beer & Bourbon Nashville Foodie Experience. Custom tours also available.

Barrels of Fun

In addition to custom rentals, these folks provide round-trip transportation to Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg or Arrington Vineyard or a combination of distilleries and a winery. Private charters also available.

Music City Brew Hop

With the trolley captain as your designated driver, catch a ride in a circular route with stops at eight top-flight East Nashville and Germantown breweries. Hit them all or pass on any of them. Choose between one- and two-day passes. With so many breweries in town, they sometimes swap out destinations so check with them for current breweries on their route.

Uncle Nearest Distillery

Travel in style aboard a coach bound for this Shelbyville distillery for a tour and tasting. If you’re a whiskey aficionado, you’ll appreciate both the product and the story of this former slave who became a legendary distiller.

→You’ll find pedal taverns, party buses and such listed among Experiences.


For tours of historic buildings including RCA Studio B, the Ryman Auditorium, Tennessee State Capitol and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, visit my Museums post.