Rhinestones aren’t the only gems you’ll find in Nashville. Whether you’ve come looking for BBQ, country music, or something else altogether, we know how hard it can be to find cool attractions and venues that aren’t already listed on every Top 10 list. If you want to find some lesser-known things to do in the city, check out our list of hidden gems in Nashville. All of these ideas offer something new for curious tourists and locals to explore in or around the city.
1. The Belle Meade Plantation
There are dozens of historic plantations you can visit throughout the South, but the Belle Meade Plantation is noteworthy for the focus it puts on the African-Americans who were enslaved here. The Journey to Jubilee tour follows their story from 1807 onward, a welcome change from tours that avoid engaging with the reality of slavery. The plantation also offers Segway tours, bourbon tastings, and treasure hunts, and can accommodate weddings and other special events.
2. A New York-style loft in Germantown
This 1800s factory building has been turned into a stylish loft with an industrial feel and modern amenities. The inside space has several seating areas, including couches, a dining table, and a countertop with bar stools, plus a grand piano to complete the scene. The terrace offers another 800 sq.ft. of outdoor space with overhead string lights. Whether you’re planning a photo or video shoot, a company meeting, or a small party, you can fit up to 50 guests in this historic space.
3. A beautiful treehouse in Oak Hill, TN
This handmade treehouse is a one-of-a-kind location for photoshoots and video productions. It’s appeared in music videos and short films, and can fit up to eight cast and crew members inside at a time. Made of reclaimed wood, this treehouse is perched in trees 14 feet off the ground, with a small porch and double red doors that open wide. At 280 sq.ft., featuring 9-foot-high ceilings, it’s full of Tennessee charm. Plus, it’s got a two-plug electric outlet for basic lighting and camera gear.
4. The IDEA Hatchery in East Nashville
The IDEA Hatchery describes itself as a “small business incubator.” It’s kind of like a tiny house community for arts and crafts. You’ll find eight small businesses here that aren’t big enough to open a store of their own, but still offer some of the best handmade goods, books, jewelry, and other items in the city. This hidden gem in Nashville is a great place to find local souvenirs to bring home. There’s also a whimsical “fairy tree” out front that makes for a fun photo op!
5. An outdoor kitchen and lounge in Chestnut Hill
This indoor/outdoor venue is the perfect space for a company picnic, family reunion, or another small gathering for up to 75 people. The outdoor area includes a 1100-sq.ft. covered deck, and an outdoor bar and kitchen that can be used for catering or a pop-up dinner. There are outdoor heaters and firepits to keep you warm, plus a 600-sq.ft. house that’s decorated with a colorful (and musical) vibe. There’s also a creek and railroad tracks nearby, offering plenty of outdoor space for a photoshoot or simply to wander around and enjoy the Tennessee summer.
6. A farm and photo studio in Franklin
For another outdoor setting, check out this private farm and photo studio in Franklin, TN, just a 30-minute drive from Nashville. This 40-acre property is a must-see for anyone who wants to capture the Tennessee countryside on camera. In addition to a spacious barn, there are also antique cars and vintage road signs that can be in the background of your photos. The hosts recommend using the space for wedding, graduation, and family portraits, and can provide a professional photographer, hair and makeup artist, and studio equipment for an added fee.
7. Love Circle
Love Circle is a hilltop near Vanderbilt University that’s known for its epic views of the Nashville skyline. It’s worth making a trip here to see the sunset on a warm summer night, but it’s a great place to grab some photos during the daytime too! Bring a picnic and enjoy the view — but keep in mind that the park closes at 9 pm to avoid disturbing the neighbors.
8. A studio kitchen in North Rhodes Park
Ever wanted to be a celebrity chef for a day? This is one of those hidden gems in Nashville that is ideal for chefs and food bloggers. The space includes a working kitchen and all of the equipment you need to make a professional-quality YouTube video or commercial. The available gear includes green screens and backdrops, plus lighting packages and teleprompters. If you aren’t able to manage the gear yourself, you can hire a studio assistant and photographer to help bring your vision to life.
9. A historic manor in Muscle Shoals
Take a day trip to Muscle Shoals to explore this famous musical city just over the Alabama state line. This historic mansion has been used for weddings, photoshoots, songwriters’ retreats, and more. With over 3000 sq.ft. of space, you can invite up to 50 guests for a dinner party or retreat. And since it’s owned by musicians, you can hire them directly for musical entertainment!
10. A barn and cottage in the forest
It’s worth the two-hour drive from downtown Nashville to host a wedding, photoshoot, or dinner party at this beautiful 28-acre property in the forest. Adjacent to Cloudland Canyon State Park, you’ll be close to trails, waterfalls, and mossy hillsides that offer a range of backdrops for your wedding photos or family portraits. Plus, there’s a renovated barn and deck with room for 125 seated guests, as well as a cozy cottage with a modern kitchen for catering or cooking.
Nashville’s location just west of the Appalachians gives it a culture and climate all its own. Many of these hidden gems in Nashville are worth returning to throughout the year to see how they’re changed by the seasons. Whether you’re planning a summertime wedding or a photoshoot in the snow, we think you’ll find plenty of options here to provide a true Nashville experience!