I’ve visited Nashville nearly ten times, and every time I come back from the trip impressed with just how many fabulous shopping opportunities there are in the city! So if you’re wondering what to buy in Nashville, have no fear, because you really won’t run out of unique Nashville souvenirs, from cheap souvenirs to nice gifts to bring back home for friends and family.
While this list certainly isn’t every Nashville gift or souvenir you will find, these are my personal favorites with something that fits all budgets!
This list of what to buy in Nashville, Tennessee, is brought to you in collaboration with Hotels.com.
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A Quick Note about Traveling Now
Travel today is filled with a certain level of uncertainty, so please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are some important recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
Where to Stay in Nashville
A few tips on finding the best place to stay in Nashville:
First, think about what you want to be near. If you’re coming to town to enjoy the food and shopping scene, you might want to stay near Broadway Street. If you’re coming to visit Vanderbilt
Second, think about how much time you’ll plan on spending at your hotel. If you’ll be out of the room most of the time, then you might not need to get as nice of a hotel. However, if you want to enjoy great views and nice amenities like a pool, make sure you look for those things before you book!
Third, travel is uncertain right now. Look for accommodations that have flexible booking options. The best hotels in Nashville will understand this and be excited to welcome you most safely!
Finally, I love taking road trips in the South with my dog Lucy. I have found that there are great pet-friendly hotels in Tennessee, provided you book in advance and make sure to look for hotels that welcome pets. You can find the best pet-friendly Nashville hotels here.
The Best Nashville Souvenirs
In no particular order…
If you’re headed to the Country Music capital of the world, then you need to have some country swag to show for it! Whether you get something fancy that will last or something flashy to decorate your shelves, a pair of cowboy boots is the perfect Nashville memento. Just make sure you get a pair that fits and wait til you’ve broken them in to wear them around all day (i.e. don’t wear them sightseeing right after you buy them).
While in Nashville, be sure to enjoy some Nashville Hot Chicken, local barbeque, and other assorted Nashville delights. The city is truly foodie heaven and not a place where you will want to miss a meal!
Bring home some barbeque sauce so you can keep the good times rolling once you’re back home! Many restaurants sell their own sauce, bottled up and ready to go. Just don’t try to pack it in your carry-on, and make sure it’s in a sealed bag in your checked luggage so if it does break you don’t have sauce all over your clothes. (Plus you can salvage some from inside the bag!)
My personal favorite Nashville gift that I’ve ever received was a Vanderbilt sweatshirt that my Dad got me when we visited the campus. At the time, Vanderbilt was one of my dream schools. While I got in, the cost was prohibitively expensive. However, I cherished my Vanderbilt souvenir for years after, and it’s a great memory of traveling with my Dad.
Whether you go on a campus visit or to see a Vanderbilt sporting event, picking up a Vanderbilt gift or souvenir is a great way to remember your time in Nashville!
Locally Made Ceramics
I love buying local artwork when I travel, but lately, I’ve been even more excited by local ceramics. Artisans who create these works love to see them going to homes where they’ll be cherished, and you can keep it on display in your home to remind you of your trip whenever you see it.
In Nashville, you’ll find artisans to fit every style of decor, and you can get items for every room in your house. You can also look for vintage and antique ceramics made in the area if you want a bit of history, too.
Something For Your Furry Friend
Whether you will be traveling with your pooch and staying at a pet-friendly Nashville hotel or you will be leaving your best friend at home, make sure to pick up a little Nashville present for him or her during your trip. You can shop at the local pet boutiques like Crossroads Pets and Winston Dogs, or see what you find at regular Nashville souvenir shops. And if you’re a cat person, I guess you can get something for your cat as well.
You can find old records all over the city, from mainstream artists and hidden gems of country music history. If you have a record player at home, make sure to pick up a few new-to-you vintage records to enjoy the sounds of the city once you’re home.
If you’d rather play music than simply listen to it, Nashville is a great place to pick up an acoustic guitar. If you don’t play, you can pick up guitar souvenirs that celebrate the iconic instrument like books, shirts, and artwork.
While you might feel like this belongs on a list of the best Greek souvenirs, if you do head to Nashville’s full-size replica of the Parthenon, don’t skip a trip to the gift shop! My favorite Parthenon souvenir here is the t-shirt that refers to Nashville as the “Athens of the South.”
A Nashville Novel (or Two)
Nashville has produced some great writers, and I love buying books by local writers as a souvenir. When picking out what to buy, I look at both authors past and present, so whether you want something contemporary or reach for a second-hand copy of Agee’s Tennessee classic A Death in the Family, don’t leave Nashville without a book in hand!
Typical Nashville Kitsch
Is there a souvenir that you collect on all your trips? Whether it’s magnets, t-shirts, mugs, spoons, bells, etc., you’ll find something that fits your needs during your trip as there are no shortages of souvenir shops and stands to stop by during your trip.
5 Things to Pack for Nashville
The Moon Nashville (Travel Guide) guidebook. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you land, or you’ll find them overpriced. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.
Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS, and general travel genie.
A Waterproof Passport Holder so that if something happens when you are near the water, your passport and important IDs don’t get wet. I’ve seen people denied boarding on flights due to wet passports, and you can technically not be allowed to go over the border.
A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc). My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for Nashville because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets. It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for Nashville make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in popular tourist spots like Nashville.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for four years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.
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