Summer Activities » Nashville, TN

Summer Activities in Nashville, TN

Whether it's with a cold drink, a seductive swimming pool, or a balmy evening under the stars, there are myriad ways to enjoy summer in Music City.
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Nashville Farmer's Market

Whether it's tomatoes in March or strawberries in October, most of us take year-round produce for granted. But pay attention to foods' local availability and ripeness, and you'll be introduced to a whole new world of intensely flavorful ingredients. As fruits, vegetables and herbs become ripe throughout the summer months, you can find the freshest ones at the farmer's market. This spacious mart is a must-visit destination for home cooks and locavores. And it's the perfect way to spend a few hours-- browse the flea market, pick up goodies like candies and homemade jam, or have a meal at the food court, which features an amazing seleciton of indie restaurants.

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

This summer, ditch the staycation plans, and spend your vacation days getting away from it all. With over thirty sites for tents, and dozens for RV camping, Cedars of Lebanon has all the amenities you need for an off-the-grid adventure. The park offers bathhouses with hot showers, as well as a campstore, souvenir shop and laundromat. If you're not a fan of roughing it, stay in one of their rental cabins. The campground is open year-round and is situated on a 900-acre recreational park, with 8,000 additional acres of wilderness; explore their hiking trails, and check out their natural sinkholes. They even have a swimming pool.

Tomato Art Fest

The founders of Tomato Fest were convinced the flavorful, juicy late-summer tomato is something to be celebrated. The success of this festival (running since 2004) suggests they were right. As the name suggests, tomato-based works by local artists are on display, but that's not all. Browse dozens of vendor booths offering food, crafts and more. And marvel at the variations on the humble theme. Like a Tomato King and Queen Pageant, bloody Mary contest, Tomato Fun Run, recipe contest, parade, live music, Giant Ice Cream Sundae Extravaganza, and East Nashville Fashion Show, as well as competitions for the biggest, smallest, ugliest and most beautiful tomato. Typically held the second Saturday in August; be prepared for high temperatures.

Nashville Sounds

You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy a day out at a Nashville Sounds baseball game. Watching the local minor-league team play is cheap, low-stress—and much more fun than staying inside watching a game on TV. The Sounds have a dedicated fan base, and their “minor” status doesn't mean they're not awesome athletes (the team won the Pacific Coast League Championship in 2006). At Herschel Green Stadium, you'll likely be watching them at close range. Buy some game-day goodies like veggie burgers, hot dogs, nachos, Dippin' Dots and local beer. There's even a bar on the premises. Check out their schedule for deals on tickets and fun promotions (like cheap beer on thirsty Thursday).

Taste of Music City

Nashville is no longer just a meat-and-three town; the city boasts a growing array of first-rate restaurants, veggie delights and creative food trucks. If you've missed out on trying them, there's a simple solution: Check out the Taste of Music City festival, usually held on the first Saturday in June. The event runs all day and features booths from about fifty local restaurants: Tayst, Yolos, Puckett's Grocery, Past Perfect Restaurant and Infusion Bar, Delicioux Cafe, as well as meat and threes (and even Hooters). Admission is free; pay for your order at each booth with pre-purchased tokens, or spend more for an all-you-can-eat ticket. And if the June heat makes you dream of a cold beer, you're in luck—the festival's beer gardens offers local brews. Or explore the Jack Daniel's Distillery Tour Experience. You're sure to leave with some ideas for your next restaurant outing.