Nashville is known as a place where the music never stops - some honky-tonks literally have live performers on around the clock! But if you're visiting the Music City for the first time and want to know see all of Nashville's best sights or to get the best deal, it's important to choose the right time to go.
The best time to visit Nashville is in April to May or September to October. The weather is ideal and not as hot as the summer months and there are less tourists in the city which means better hotel prices and shorter queues at the main sights.
Read our guide to find out exactly when you should go, see the detailed climate information and a month-by-month guide for the best events and festivals in Nashville.
When should you go to Nashville?
When to visit Nashville - Summary
- Best Time for Good Weather: Coming to Nashville for the weather depends slightly on what you like. If you're like me and you love the summer even when it gets hot, then you want to visit any time between May and September with July and August being the two hottest months. For those who don't like it hot and humid or if you're visiting with kids, you might want to avoid the summer heat and visit Nashville in April or October. During these months the weather is nice and mild - it's pleasantly warm and October is also the driest month of the year making it a great time to go to Nashville.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: April to May and September to October are best for visiting Nashville for sightseeing and going around the city. The weather is great and not too hot for moving from one location to another and you avoid the summer crowds which means you avoid long lines to get into some of the museums.
- Best Time for Saving Money: Hotel prices and travel to Nashville are cheapest during the winter months from December to February and these are the cheapest months to come to the Music City. The tourist season is at its lowest and so hotels offer discounts to try and get people to come and stay. January and February have the Nashville Originals Restaurant Week and the East Nashville Restaurant Week where restaurants all over Nashville offer cut price meals and fixed price menus which can help out a lot with saving money on your trip.
Best time to visit Nashville
- Best Time for Events and Festivals If you love going to street fairs, events and festivals, you really should visit Nashville in September or October. You've got food and drink festivals ranging from beer and wine to barbecue and music festivals including Live on the Green, Breakaway Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry Birthday Bash. Film lovers get the Nashville Film festival, car fans can go to Nashville Auto Show and Germantown hosts the Oktoberfest for 4 days in October. The Tennessee State Fair is also in town so there is always something on!
- Best Time for Restaurants: For the foodies, Nashville has a great selection of restaurants and you can visit any time to try out great local food. If you want to get more for your money, the Nashville Originals Restaurant Week and the East Nashville Restaurant Week take place in January and February - you can try some amazing venues at a fraction of the usual price and try unique dishes that are created for these weeks. The Tennessee Flavors event in March is a festival that brings together the best of local chefs and April has the East Nashville Beer Festival and the Cocktail Festival. The biggest food and drink event in Nashville is the Taste of Music City in June and if you want to try the best of local cuisine, the Hot Chicken Festival in July is the time to come. For BBQ lovers, the Old School BBQ event is in September and October brings the Jack Daniels BBQ World Champinoship is in October. Last but not least is the Wine on the River event in September which is a perfect way to enjoy some fine food and wine on the bank of the Cumberland.
- Best Time for Concerts and Music: Music events and concerts take place in Nashville virtually all year round - there are events specific to country and bluegrass music but June is the month to come if you want to see all the big stars in Nashville at the same time as the CMA Fest and CMT Awards take place in town. If you are after some local performers in honky-tonks, any time of the year is good, but try to visit outside the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and the venues can get very busy in the evenings.
- Best Time for Families and Kids: The shoulder tourist seasons are perfect for visiting Nashville as a family. You want to avoid going during the hot and humid summer months if you have kids and less tourists means less waiting in lines. It's even less busy over the winter, but the cold and wet or even snowy weather is not great for going around with kids or strolling around the different neighborhoods, so I'd avoid going then.
- Best time to Avoid Crowds: If your objective is to have Nashville all to yourself, avoid the crowds and not have to wait in line, then you should visit from November to March. This is the bottom of the tourist season and you will find many of the museums and sights around town very quiet. The weather turns cold and miserable during these months and so very few people come over the winter. If you don't want to go to Nashville during the worst weather, then late October and late March through to early April are good compromises - the weather is still mild and sometimes can be pretty good, but it's still very much outside the popular part of the tourist season.
Best time to visit Nashville for live music
Nashville is known as a fantastic city to visit for listening to live music all year round. The honky-tonks, bars and clubs have live music on every day and some of them will have performers at virtually any hour from the morning through to very late at night.
There are a few music events through the year that can be good if you time your visit right. The Cashville Blues Festival is in February, Tin Pan South is in March, Rites of Spring Music Festival takes place in April and Musicians Corner in Centennial Park kicks off in May. Check the event schedule below for more information.
The biggest music month of the year is June - the CMA Fest and CMT Awards both take place in June in Nashville and attract the biggest names in country music to the city. You'll find lots of concerts in genres ranging from rock to bluegrass as well.
The CMA Awards used to be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville but they have recently moved to Las Vegas and are now off the local roster.
Nashville travel seasons
High Season for Tourists (June to August)
Nashville is busiest with visitors during the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Despite the hot and relatively humid conditions, the tourist season peaks starting in June with people coming during their summer breaks and over the school holidays.
Expect to see lines at some of the more popular tourist sites like the Parthenon and Andrew Jackson's Hermitage if you visit Nashville over the summer. The honky-tonks in town also get a little more crowded so you might want to head out a little earlier to try and get a seat.
As the weather can get very hot at the peak of the tourist season in late July and August, make sure you have plenty of water with you - you may have to wait in line outside and even just walking around town and taking in the views from the John Seigenthaler Bridge can get uncomfortable in the middle of the afternoon.
Shoulder Seasons (April to May and September to October)
Late spring and early fall are the shoulder seasons where visitors still come to Nashville, but as it's outside the popular summer window, it's a less busy period.
The weather gets warmer through April and stays very mild almost all the way through October making it a good time to enjoy everything Nashville has to offer and those who have more flexibility with their time will often choose to visit during these months.
Hotel prices and travel will typically be a little cheaper either side of Memorial Day and Labor Day, but there isn't as much of a difference as you might think. Nashville is very popular with older tourists visiting for the music and culture which means the shoulder seasons remain relatively popular.
Low Season (November to March)
November to March is the low point of the tourist season in Nashville. The weather turns quickly in November, almost skipping through fall and heading for the cold winter season.
Late November and December are cold and wet and January brings with it snow and ice. The visitor numbers dry up considerably - the humidity makes the temperatures feel colder than they are and the Cumberland river breeze adds to the chill factor.
As the weather improves through March, visiting Nashville becomes more pleasant and you will see an increase in popularity towards the end of March as the shoulder season starts.
Weather in Nashville across the year
Average monthly temperature and rainfall for Nashville
|January||46.9 °F / 8.3 °C ||3.75 in / 95 mm |
|February||51.8 °F / 11.0 °C ||3.94 in / 100 mm |
|March||61.0 °F / 16.1 °C ||4.11 in / 104 mm |
|April||70.5 °F / 21.4 °C ||4.00 in / 102 mm |
|May||78.2 °F / 25.7 °C ||5.50 in / 140 mm |
|June||86.0 °F / 30.0 °C ||4.14 in / 105 mm |
|July||89.3 °F / 31.8 °C ||3.64 in / 92 mm |
|August||89.0 °F / 31.7 °C ||3.17 in / 81 mm |
|September||82.4 °F / 28.0 °C ||3.41 in / 87 mm |
|October||71.7 °F / 22.1 °C ||3.04 in / 77 mm |
|November||60.3 °F / 15.7 °C ||4.31 in / 109 mm |
|December||49.5 °F / 9.7 °C ||4.24 in / 108 mm |
Nashville weather by month
- Nashville weather in January: January is the coldest month of the year in Nashville and is usually the start of the snow season. Although it doesn't usually snow a lot and when it does, it doesn't get heavy, but expect to see occasional snowfall and ice forming overnight. Nighttime lows average 28.4 °F (-2.0 °C) and it will sleet or snow two to three times a week. Average temperature: 37.7 °F / 3.2 °C. Average precipitation: 3.75 in /95 mm.
- Nashville weather in February: February continues being cold and icy with occasional snow still falling in Nashville. The daily temperatures become a little warmer with January with virtually every day thawing in the afternoon and daily highs reaching the high 50s (over 13 °C) towards the end of the month. Average temperature: 41.7 °F / 5.4 °C. Average precipitation: 3.94 in / 100 mm.
- Nashville weather in March: Spring arrives in Nashville in March and although in the first couple of weeks some nights still dip below freezing, nighttime lows average 39.0 °F (3.9 °C). Sleet and snow turn to springtime rains with heavier rainfall twice a week. Daily highs warm to over 65 °F (18 °C) in late March making for pleasant afternoon and early evening weather. Average temperature: 50.0 °F / 10.0 °C. Average precipitation: 4.11 in / 104 mm.
- Nashville weather in April: April is the middle of spring and big season of change in Nashville. While the total rainfall remains relatively steady, expect some spring thunderstorms which can bring hail and even tornadoes (although these are rare). Daily highs average over 70 °F (21 °C) and the lows get to about 50 °F (10 °C) at night as April progresses making it comfortable to get around the city and do some sightseeing. Average temperature: 59.0 °F / 15.0 °C. Average precipitation: 4.00 in / 102 mm.
- Nashville weather in May: Weather becomes genuinely warm in May with daily highs averaging a very pleasant 78.2 °F (25.7 °C) and a few days reaching into the high 80s (over 30 °C). Nighttime lows increase to average over 60 °F (16 °C) in the second half of May. May is also the wettest month of the year with an average of 12 rainy days during the month and 8 of them having substantial downpours. Average temperature: 67.5 °F / 19.7 °C. Average precipitation: 5.50 in / 140 mm.
- Nashville weather in June: The hot summer months start in earnest in June. Daily highs average a very warm 86.0 °F (30.0 °C) and a fair few days later on in the month will creep over the 90 °F mark (32 °C). Rainfall reduces from the high in May and the summer humidity makes the weather feel hotter. It's not as bad as many parts of the South, but you'll need shade and plenty of water if you're walking around Nashville in mid-afternoon on a sunny day! Average temperature: 75.7°F / 24.3 °C. Average precipitation: 4.14 in / 105 mm.
- Nashville weather in July: July is Nashville's hottest month. 1 in 2 days reach a high of over 90 °F (32 °C) and some will go above 95 °F (35 °C). As humidity reaches an average of 73%, July will feel hot even later on in the evening. Although the majority of the summer the skies are bright and clear, the humid climate leads to rains once every 3 days on average - they tend not to last and provide a welcome respite to the searing heat. Average temperature: 79.4 °F / 26.3 °C. Average precipitation: 3.64 in / 92 mm.
- Nashville weather in August: August continues on from July in feeling very hot. The average highs are a fraction lower at 89.0 °F (31.7 °C), but the humidity is a few notches higher and August is usually the month in the year where one day can break the 100 degree mark (38 °C). Rainfall reduces significantly in August - it's the start of a drier spell through to October, although there is still around 8 days with rainfall during the month. Average temperature: 78.7 °F / 25.9 °C. Average precipitation: 3.17 in / 81 mm.
- Nashville weather in September: Weather begins changing in September - early in the month the summer heat remains but as the month progresses daily highs drop towards around 75 °F (24 °C) making it feel a lot more pleasant than peak summer temperatures. Although precipitation is a little higher on paper than August, the rain usually comes in bursts and September has the fewest rainy days averaging 7.5 in the month with less than 5 having any significant rainfall. Average temperature: 71.5 °F / 21.9 °C. Average precipitation: 3.41 in / 87 mm.
- Nashville weather in October: October in Nashville is surprisingly pleasant with the typical fall weather that reaches other parts of the United States largely holding off until November. Daily highs average a very mild 71.7 °F (22.1 °C) and even the nighttime lows stay above 50 °F (10 °C) until late on in October. Humidity takes a sharp drop from the summer levels and October is also the driest month of the year in Nashville with only 3 inches of rain falling over 8 days during the course of the month. Average temperature: 60.3 °F / 15.7 °C. Average precipitation: 3.04 in / 77 mm.
- Nashville weather in November: Fall season in Nashville comes in November with temperatures dipping, rainfall increasing and leaves turning all shades of gold and red. Daily highs drop to just 60.3 °F (15.7 °C) and nights get cold with lows dipping towards the freezing point as November wears on and going below at the end of the month. Rainfall increases to 4.3 inches adding 2 more rainy days. Average temperature: 49.8 °F / 9.9 °C. Average precipitation: 4.31 in / 109 mm.
- Nashville weather in December: The short fall season ends at the beginning of December and winter takes over. The weather gets cold with average highs at just 49.5 °F (9.7 °C) and most nights freezing over. Although it's cold and December is one of the wettest days of the year with over 11 rainy days on average, it's unlikely to snow until January with only a rare flurry just before the New Year in most years. Average temperature: 40.4 °F / 4.7 °C. Average precipitation: 4.24 in / 108 mm.
Nashville events and things to do by month
January in Nashville
- Nashville Boat Show - A huge indoor boat show that draws visitors from all over the region with everything from jet skis to powerful speed boats, accessories, parts and marina equipment. Usually takes place in early January with one-off special deals available on Super Thursday.
- Battle of New Orleans Celebration - The battle that took place all the way in Louisiana where Andrew Jackson led a misfit U.S. Army to victory against a superior British fleet is celebrated at the Hermitage which was the home of Jackson, the 7th President of the United States during the time and throughout his presidency.
February in Nashville
- Antiques & Garden Show - One of the leading events in the country dedicated to antiques and landscaped gardens that has run for over 30 years. It takes place over the first weekend in February and brings over 150 vendors for an exhibition, lectures and presentations and garden cocktail parties!
- East Nashville Restaurant Week - A selection of local restaurants in East Nashville offer discounts, fixed price $35 menus and special $1 cocktails supporting a local children's charity.
March in Nashville
- Music City Irish Fest - A 3-day celebration of St Patrick's Day in the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. It's free to attend and the VIP area costs $99 per day to enter so enjoy the music, food trucks and party outside the fancy area!
- Tin Pan South - The largest singer songwriter festival in the United States - 5 days, 10 venues and hundreds of performers singing their own songs all over town. Although there are 100 shows, they usually fill up so get there early to get your place in the line.
- Nashville Elvis Festival - The festival has only been going for a few years, but it's already become a staple with 4 days of live performances, the obligatory tribute act contest and famous musicians turning up to celebrate the life and music of Elvis Presley.
- Tennessee Flavors - Local restaurants, chefs and food fanatics bring their best to a food tasting event celebrating the best of traditional Tennessee cooking.
April in Nashville
- Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival - An annual celebration of spring and Japanese culture in the Nashville Public Square takes place on the first Saturday in April. Smaller events run in the city in the Japan Week that leads up to the festival.
- East Nashville Beer Festival - The local beer festival takes over East Square in East Nashville with over 60 breweries bringing their ales, stouts, porters and lagers. There's live music on a stage and food trucks too!
- St Jude Rock N Roll Nashville - The annual marathon with a difference. Events and concerts in the city support the runners and there are side races for smaller distances going down to a 1 mile course. If you're not running, come out and support those giving it a go!
- Nashville Fashion Week - It might not be the biggest of fashion weeks in the world or even the United States, but it has grown a lot since the first one in 2011 and there are interesting shows from local through to well known national designers.
- Nashville Comedy Festival - From stand up performances to hilarious podcasts to entire comedy shows, there's something for everybody at this week-long celebration of laughter with multiple shows every day across town.
- Rites of Spring Music Festival - Held every year at the Vanderbilt University, the festival offers a range of musicians from rap to blues with a focus on local artists although big names such as Public Enemy, Wiz Khalifa and Drake have performed in recent years. You might strike lucky and see an up and coming band like the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were making a name for themselves here in 1989.
- Nashville Cocktail Festival - This huge series of events is all about mixing drinks the Nashville way - expect experimental cocktails and lots of whiskey-themed options. The main events happen in Centennial Park and the Parthenon with many local bars putting on special cocktail master classes and evenings.
May in Nashville
- Musicians Corner - A dedicated corner of the Centennial Park is open in May and June to anybody who wants to perform music and those who want to listen. Based on London's Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, the hugely popular venue attracts local budding artists and the occasional big name performance.
- Iroquois Steeeplechase - The famous day of horse racing named after the first American horse to win the English Derby. Plenty of events throughout the day and you've got to dress to impress - there's an official Hat Contest that is almost as competitive as the horse racing.
- K-Love Fan Awards Weekend - A weekend centered around Christian music, film and literature. There is a whole series of shows and events leading up to the awards at the end of the weekend.
- Spring Tennessee Craft Fair - Runs on the lawn of the Centennial Park, right next to the Parthenon is the decades-old fair dedicated to handmade crafts. The fair's rules require artists to be onsite so you can talk to the person who made each piece of art before buying.
- Sevier Park Fest - A traditional street fair at the beginning of May bringing together artists and vendors from Nashville's Belmont/Hillsboro and 12 South neighborhoods. There's live music on 2 stages and lots of street food options.
June in Nashville
- Good Guys Nashville Nationals - One of the biggest shows for classic muscle cars, hot rods and custom cars by the Nissan Stadium. Over 2,500 cars come to the event with features like a dragster exhibition, a burn out competition and the Goodguys AutoCross.
- CMA Fest and CMT Awards - The biggest country music events in the calendar - the CMA Fest is a huge country music festival with stages and events all over downtown Nashville with all the biggest stars performing. The CMT Awards recognizes the musicians at an annual awards ceremony.
- Taste of Music City Festival - Nashville's biggest food and drink event with a one price admission opening the doors to tasting the best of local restaurants' food and trying out local drinks at the Public Square Park.
- Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival - The community music festival brings people to Jefferson Street which is slowly regaining its status as the heart and soul of North Nashville's jazz and blues music. Come to the one day event that celebrates the area where performers like Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles made their names.
- Make Music Nashville - A day of free live music performances ranging from a capella church choirs to heavy rock in neighborhoods all over Nashville - musicians of all abilities and status take part and it's a great day out for families.
- Nashville Pride - The annual event centers around the Public Square Park and features 3 music stages, a parade through the streets of Nashville, lots of food and a fantastic day celebrating the local LGBTQ+ community.
July in Nashville
- Music City July 4th - A huge party all over town to celebrate July 4th with hundreds of thousands of people spilling onto the streets for live concerts, family entertainment and a fireworks display.
- Music City Hot Chicken Festival - What better way is there to kick off the July 4th celebrations than at the Music City Hot Chicken Festival celebrating the most quintessential of Nashville foods. Just remember that the locals take hot chicken very seriously - don't call it buffalo or southern fried chicken under any circumstances!
- Nashville Soul Music Festival - The big day full of soul music happens on the July 4th weekend at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
- Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman - Usually starts in mid-June and running through most of July, the Ryman Auditorium hosts a series of shows celebrating Nashville as the birthplace of bluegrass music.
- Music City Brewer's Festival - Try beers made by over 40 producers ranging from small local craft breweries to large internationals at the Walk of Fame Park. Tickets are limited and do sell out so get yours in advance.
August in Nashville
- L'Eté du vin - The longest running charity wine auction in the country with many fine American and some European wines going and the opportunity to indulge in luxuries like jewelry or fancy car club subscription. Happens at the end of July or beginning of August.
- Tomato Art Fest - The wacky tomato-themed 2-day event has everything from an art show to music, food and various contests. The Bloody Mary Garden Party is a worthy conclusion to this East Nashville marvel.
- Defy Film Festival - One of the most interesting film festivals you're likely to go to - the Defy Film Festival brings movies that challenge traditions, local customs and break taboos from countries around the world.
- Summer Shakespeare - Runs from mid-August to mid-September, the free festival brings entertaining abridged versions of Shakespeare's famous plays to Nashville. $10 donations to contribute to the cost of running the show are highly encouraged.
- John A. Merritt Classic - The opening football game of the season is a big deal as the Tennessee State football team takes to the field at the Nissan Stadium.
September in Nashville
- Live on the Green - Concerts in Public Square Park in the run up to and over the Labor Day weekend - expect a mix of music on the big stage and plenty of food and drink options.
- Old School BBQ Festival - A relatively new festival that brings together the best of soul food and soul music - now that is one great mix to make the most of your Labor Day weekend!
- Tennessee State Fair - A 10-day classic fair at the Fairgrounds with rides, music and arts performances and contests that include the Butter Sculpture Contest, Apple Pie Contest and a Lip Sync Battle.
- Wine on the River - The annual event takes place in Riverfront Park and has wines from across the world for you to taste while live music plays in the background.
- African St. Festival - Hadley Park welcomes a big celebration of African culture and heritage with music ranging from Gospel to Jazz to Reggae, African dance, huge selection of food vendors and various games and contests.
- Nashville Whiskey Festival - A weekend full of events dedicated to whiskey, local bourbons and scotches. Some big producers bring specially crafted barrels for the Whiskey Festival Grand Tasting.
- Americana Music Festival - Not your typical Americana festival, this one is all about bringing together music fans and performers for six days of discussion, seminars and panels on the topic of traditional Americana music. The festival does get going in the evenings with music shows at venues across town.
- Music City Food + Wine Festival - 2 days starting on Friday afternoon filled with food you can try, cooking displays, wine to suit every taste and celebrity chef book signings.
- Nashville Songwriter Awards - The annual awards show has only been running since 2018 but has already become popular. You might notice that the awards are ever so slightly skewed in favor of country music.
October in Nashville
- Boo at the Zoo - 10 nights of fun evening Halloween-themed events at the Nashville Zoo. There's a Trick-or-treat for kids, a special haunted house set up and costumes are highly encouraged to add to the atmosphere.
- Nashville Film Festival - A week-long festival bringing filmmakers from across the United States and abroad to showcase their latest work. Winners qualify for Academy Award consideration.
- Nashville Oktoberfest - Oktoberfest is a big deal in Nashville as it takes over 10 blocks of the Germantown neighborhood and serves authentic German beer on tap. So what if everyone else celebrates Oktoberfest in September? Nashville' Oktoberfest happens over 4 days in the middle of... Oktober.
- Breakaway Nashville - A 2-day music festival in the middle of October in Fair Park at the Fairgrounds with a huge stage and thousands of youngsters going to see their favorite performers.
- Fall Fest at the Hermitage - A weekend full of fall activities at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. Expect to see pumpkin carving, autumnal arts and crafts, music and food. Entry is free.
- Centennial Craft Fest - Nashville's Centennial Park transforms into an arts market for a weekend with live music at the Musicians Corner, craft beer and food trucks.
- Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue - It may be an hour and a half outside Nashville, but the world's most famous Whiskey maker hosts the mother ship of all barbecue competitions in the small town where they are based and if you have the time, it's well worth going to judge the competitors for yourself!
- Tennessee Beer and Wine Festival - Nashville's big festival dedicated to wine and beer has been running since 2010 in the grounds of the Two Rivers Mansion just outside the city.
- Nashville International Auto Show - Over 350 cars are presented at the Music City Center and unusually for auto shows, you can test drive dozens of models there and then!
- Grand Ole Opry Birthday Bash - The Grand Ole Opry put on big annual concerts every year at the beginning of October.
- Southern Festival of Books - 3 days of readers and writers gathering for a festival including over 200 famous writers from across the United States, panel sessions, author Q&As and exhibitor booths.
November in Nashville
- A Country Christmas - The Gaylord Opryland Resort transforms into a winter wonderland with 3 million holiday lights, a 48-foot tall Christmas tree, many miles of garlands and ribbons and millions of pounds of ice. A great day out for the whole family - it runs from early November through to the New Year.
December in Nashville
- Nashville Christmas Parade - An annual event that has run since 1927 has giant floats, famous musicians, marching bands in the run up to Christmas.
- Music City Bowl - A big season ending game for the FBS football season that takes place just after Christmas at the home of NFL's Tennessee Titans - Nashville's Nissan Stadium.
- Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight - New Year's Eve in Nashville is special with a huge party at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park - expect big name performers and a huge turnout.