Everyone knows that Nashville is an “it” destination for music, whiskey, food, and southern hospitality. But, for the sports fan, Nashville has just as much to offer. When the athletic-minded friend comes to visit, be sure to whip out this itinerary. With options for both the the beer-drinking team sports fanatic or the athlete themselves (or the one who’s both!), there’s something here for everyone.
Kick off the morning with an energy-boosting activity to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Option 1: Grab a cup of coffee at Dose and head down the road for an early tee time at McCabe Golf Course in Sylvan Park. Regularly regarded as one of the best public golf courses, McCabe is a beautiful and inexpensive 27-hole course. Tee times are not required, but recommended – especially on the weekends.
Option 2: For the less serious golfer, TopGolf never disappoints. Sure, it’s not unique to Nashville, but that doesn’t make it any less fun! Their food is also very good (10/10 recommend the injectable donut holes), so you can golf and brunch at the same time! Again, reservations are (highly) recommended, but not required.
Option 3: If golf is not the sport of choice, Climb Nashville is a welcoming climbing gym that offers day passes for both adults and youth. Guaranteed to help work up an appetite for brunch after.
When it’s time to refuel, here are some great options for brunch/lunch that are sure to please.
There are so many good bbq places in Nashville, it’s hard to know which to choose. But, Edley’s is a Nashville staple, and its Sylvan Park location is walking distance from McCabe golf course, so it’s a great choice for the Option 1ers above.
For a lighter but equally delicious option, Radish Kitchen offers salads and bowls that are fully customizable. They are located in Sylvan Supply so very accessible to Climb Nashville, as well as to McCabe.
Just down the road from Top Golf is Von Elrod’s – Nashville’s favorite beer garden. The communal seating lends itself to a party vibe, as does the live bluegrass music at brunch – and the 1 liter stein of mimosas! Their outdoor patio has plenty of room for groups, pups, and the occasional game of corn hole.
After that post-lunch second wind hits, it’s time to get back out there for more fun!
Although a small museum, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame has exhibits featuring some of the most consequential people in sports – including Pat Summitt and Peyton Manning. Swing through Bridgestone to tour the museum and also show off the heart of Smashville. Then, head to Broadway Brewhouse or Lucky Bastard downtown to enjoy some of the Broadway vibe and still catch some games.
For the outdoorsy athlete, there are all kinds of fun things to do!
- Kayaking – whether it’s along the skyline of downtown on the Cumberland River or a little further out of town along the Harpeth, there are quite a few options for kayaking in and around Nashville. Rather than reinventing the wheel, here is a pretty good list compiled by Nashville Guru (thanks, y’all!)
- Hiking – Nashville has many great parks, but some of the best for hiking and a more in-tune-with-nature experience, are Radnor Lake and the Warner Parks (Percy and Edwin). But, if you don’t mind heading north just a little bit, Beaman Park in Ashland City also offers some great trails that are a little less crowded.
- The Adventure Park – For something more out of the box, head west to the Adventure Park near Percy Warner Park. With ropes courses, ziplines, bridges, and more, there’s something for everyone in the family, no matter the experience or fitness levels.
If it’s raining but you’re still in the mood for being active, maybe try your hand at one of these axe throwing venues – all of which have pretty clever names, TBH:
- AxeVentures – near Opry Mills
- Bad Axe Throwing – Downtown
- BatlGrounds – East Nash
- Blade and Timber – Wedgewood Houston
Nashville does so many things right when it comes to food, and steakhouses are no different. If your athlete is the “meat and potatoes”, get all the protein kind, here are some of the best:
If a fancy steakhouse isn’t the vibe, but meat is still the goal, Bringles in the Nations has the perfect combination of tons of delicious smoked meat and sides, a huge outdoor space with lawn games – and giant screens to watch the big game.
For the health-conscious athlete, the person counting their macros, or those avoiding a sensitivity, etc., be sure to check out my guide to diet-friendly restaurants. Nashville has something for everyone, no matter the need. And, don’t forget the mocktail guide for those in a strict training program – or abstaining for any other reason.
If somehow you still have energy after all of that, keep the party going with even more action.
With so many collegiate, minor league, and professional teams in Nashville, it’s a rare weekend that there isn’t SOME game to catch. Be sure to check out the schedules for the Titans, Preds, Nashville Soccer Club, and the Sounds, depending on the season. Or, if you’d rather catch a college game, Vanderbilt promises SEC action, while Belmont, Lipscomb, and Tennessee State also compete at the Division 1 level. And, if you’re looking for a totally different type of sport, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway does not disappoint!
Of course, 9/10 bars in Nashville are going to have live music. But, if you want to combine sports and music, 6th & Peabody and Sonny’s are both great choices. Both offer lively outdoor spaces with lawn games. Sonny’s also has TVs indoors and out for catching games, and both have a stage with live music – really the best of both worlds!
Bars and Games
For the most traditional nightlife, a bar never fails. But, why not add in some healthy competition to make it a little more exciting?
- Hi-Fi Clyde’s – with TVs, foosball, shuffleboard and more, Hi-Fi Clyde’s is a fun, sporty vibe with good food and drinks. They have brunch all day, as well as a non-brunch menu if you’re not in the mood for breakfast fare.
- Pinewood Social – trendy and popular, Pinewood Social is the place to be for upscale bowling and cocktails. Just be sure to reserve early!
- Pins Mechanical – from giant beer pong to giant Jenga to corn hole to arcade games to duck pin bowling to a fantastic bar (and so much more), is there anything Pins Mechanical doesn’t have?
- Tee Line – Curling: the Olympic sport even grandmas can do! If you haven’t tried curling, now is your chance to check it out, and hang at a really fun venue, too. Tee Line also offers bowling, in case you discover you’re not quite as skilled as grandma.
- SandBar – grab some friends for a night volleyball game at the beachiest spot in Nashville! After your match, be sure to stay for a delicious tropical drink made from fresh juices at the tiki bar.
Now that we’re all exhausted – what is your favorite place on this guide? If you visit and try out this itinerary, please drop a tip below or send me an email and let me know which options you chose and what worked well (or didn’t!) for your athletic day in Music City. I can’t wait to hear about it!