Where to Go on a Date This Summer in Nashville

Think beyond grabbing a drink.

Maybe your relationship has survived the pandemic, or maybe you’re in the thrall of new love and ready to hit the ground running. Fortunately, Nashville is ready when you are, because the city is pretty much wide open and rife with fun opportunities to spend time together. Whether you’re looking for something quiet and romantic or raucous and loud, there are plenty of opportunities to see who’s been hiding behind that mask.

Take an enjoyable carriage ride around Downtown

Few things are more romantic than snuggling in the back of a carriage while listening to the clip-clop of a steed pulling you on a tour of downtown Nashville. Let the tourists ride around in party buses or in the questionable hot tub on wheels while you choose the more elegant option. Sugar Creek Carriages offers narrated rides of various lengths, or you can go all out and splurge on the Cinderella carriage to make sure you’re the center of attention.

Take in an open-air flick with Nightlight 615

Nashville’s outdoor cinema series for adults is the place to be seen during the summer. Organizers set up a huge screen with the Nashville skyline as a backdrop. Hundreds of 21+ revelers gather together to enjoy classic flicks while they enjoy food trucks, craft beer, and wine from favorite local vendors. A DJ set before the screening gets the party pumping as the scene turns into Nashville’s biggest cocktail party.

Boogie with The Bard at Summer Shakespeare

West Nashville
SummerShakes has been a Nashville summer tradition for more than three decades, and this year they’ll be staging Shakespeare’s genderbending romantic romp Twelfth Night at The Yard at oneC1TY. Impress your date by purchasing a Royal Package that includes VIP garage parking and seating, a pre-show dinner from a terrace overlooking The Yard where you can catch musical performances and other entertainment before the curtain goes up. (OK, there’s no curtain. It’s all outdoors, but you get it!)

Knock a few balls and knock a few back on the green

East Nashville
Since TopGolf opened up across the river from downtown, it has been packed with golfers of all abilities trying to hit a round ball with a crooked stick into large illuminated targets spread out in front of them on a huge field. Whether you’re successful at that or not, you can always enjoy the energy of the crowd, some surprisingly good food and drink, and any playful teasing that comes with it. Since the hitting bays have always been socially distanced for safety since before it was cool, you’ll feel better about being out and about.

Climb (Nashville West, TN)
Photo courtesy of Climb (Nashville West, TN)

Take your relationship higher at Climb Nashville

East Nashville and West Nashville
With two locations, you’re never two far away from one of Climb Nashville’s rock-climbing gyms. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert climber, you’ll find all sorts of fun challenges as you scale the multiple routes up walls studded with grips and footholds. Safety is job one, so staff will be happy to help instruct you on how to safely belay your date in case of a slip up.

Enjoy the return of live music at Ascend Amphitheater

Everyone has been itching to see actual bands playing live music for quite a while now, because after all, what is Music City without music? The cozy Ascend Amphitheater tucked between the two bridges over the Cumberland south of Broadway has put together a summer of cool concerts, many of which have been rescheduled from “Before Times.” Lay out a blanket and dig on some tunes under the stars. Plus, when the show is over, you’re only a few blocks away from the craziness of Lower Broad if you want to keep the party rolling after the show.

Keep your eye on the calendar for great events

Various locations
Finding fun things to do is deceptively difficult -- even in a wild city like this one. That's why we keep a regularly updated, comprehensive calendar of the best possible events, activities, and things to do in Nashville. Some of your best date ideas will inevitably come from there.

Bobby Hotel
Photo courtesy of Bobby Hotel

Party at the pool

You can’t beat a pool deck with a view, and several of Nashville’s best hotels welcome guests to enjoy food and drink from poolside. Reservations fill up well in advance for spots at White Limozeen, the kitschy indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar at the Graduate Hotel in Midtown. L27 offers sweeping views of the skyline from high atop the Westin in SoBro while you enjoy the upscale Vegas vibe of the club. Tenn on Top at Holston House and the pool area at Bobby both have smaller pools, but you’re not there to swim anyway. Enjoy a drink in the urban core without having to worry about the traffic below.

Giddy up and go!

Primm Springs
Natchez Trace Stables is a hidden gem about an hour southwest of Nashville. It’s totally worth the trip to experience a peaceful trail ride on horseback where you’ll travel through lovely woods, across rolling green hills and even in the waters of Lick Creek. Rides are led by professional guides, and the horses are so gentle and easy to ride, it’s a lot safer than trying to manage an electric scooter. Reservations are required, so plan ahead for a special date.

Enter a virtual world and play some really fun games

Digital Worlds Virtual Arcade features cutting edge VR technology to offer dozens of incredibly realistic games ranging from horror to action to shooters to sports. If your date isn’t the competitive sort, there are also games that revolve around music and dance to show off your creative, or just silly, side.

Pennington Distilling Co.
Photo courtesy of Pennington Distilling Co.

Blend Your Own Bottle

The Nations
If you're both whiskey lovers, why not share your ardor by taking part in a really special experience at Pennington Distilling Co.? Every second Tuesday, small groups come together to actually blend their own custom bottles of their choice of bourbon, rye, or Tennessee whiskey. After tasting through samples from four barrels of each type of brown liquor, master distillers and blenders will take you through the process of creating your own blend of up to four whiskeys. While you enjoy a snack or take a distillery tour, the experts will take your choices and make a personally engraved bottle of your choice to take home. You can even purchase extra bottles if you want to show off your talents as a blender to your bourbon buddies.

Sample some high-class ballpark food at The Band Box’s chef series

A night at the ballpark is always fun, and The Band Box in right field of the Nashville Sounds First Horizon stadium is an adult playground where you can while away a game drinking frozen whiskey and cokes and playing cornhole without even knowing the score of the ballgame. They’ve taken ballpark fare to a new level with their special Summer Chef Series where major league kitchen talents from local restaurants like Redheaded Stranger, The Catbird Seat, Nicky’s Coal Fired, and Bastion prepare a singular dish that is served only in The Band Box until supplies run out. Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak Tots with Blue Cheese Whiz? Don’t mind if I do.

Take a boozy art or cooking class together

Dabble Studio in the hippest part of Germantown offers both painting and cooking classes that are perfect activities for the artistic or culinary types. It's also BYOB, so be sure to bring a fine bottle of wine to get the creative juices flowing.

Take a vacation in your own hometown

Various locations
There’s a reason why Nashville is a tourist mecca—it’s a damned entertaining place to visit. Don’t let out-of-towners have all the fun when you can take advantage of the special Couples Getaway package from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. Book a room at any of the participating hotels and receive a discounted Music City Total Access Pass which includes entrance to four local attractions from a list of more than 30 choices plus discounts at several other visitor experiences. Or check out Airbnb rentals nearby.

D'Andrews Bakery & Cafe
D'Andrews Bakery & Cafe

Order some sweets for your sweet

After years of lacking even a decent donut shop, the urban core of Nashville is now blessed with two fantastic bakeries where you can put together a box of exotic pastries, cookies and other baked goods to impress your beloved, because gift desserts have no calories (obviously). D’Andrews Bakery and Cafe offers all sorts of classic European pastries and other novel desserts, but trust us when we say that their Double Chocolate Dulcey Cookie is the most outrageous cocoa creation in town. Cafe Intermezzo is another Euro-inspired bakery and coffeehouse with a display cabinet of cakes and tortes that is well nigh on impossible to ignore.

See the city's finest murals and Instagram the hell out of your relationship

Various locations
From the angel wings in the Gulch to the Welcome to Nashville sign on the side of Reese Witherspoon’s building in 12 South, Nashville is a selfie city, so set up your own personal scavenger hunt of some of the most iconic street art in town. You’ll also discover that most of them are within a block of a decent bar, so make a drinking game of it!

Break out of a locked room together

Although it might be easier with a bigger group, the Escape Game will let couples play by themselves as they attempt to solve the clues within the allotted time to be released from a locked room, or you can take part in their online virtual challenges. Think of how proud your date will be of your teamwork and chemistry together—if you manage to figure it out.

The Candle Bar
The Candle Bar

Make your own candles

Berry Hill
You never know when Nashville will get struck by another ice storm and the inevitable power outages that accompany the icepocalypse. The light on your phone won’t hold out forever, so you’re gonna need some candles. Make your own artistic and fragrant tapers at Paddywax Candle Bar where you can design custom candles using a variety of aromatic oils. You might as well at least smell nice while you’re huddling in the dark waiting for the utility crew to arrive.

Take a loop around the lake

Oak Hill
If you've never had the pleasure, Radnor Lake State Park is a pristine natural area right in the middle of a Nashville suburb. Multiple trail options range from a flat and peaceful stroll around the lake to fairly rigorous trails that take you up on top of the rides for some breathtaking views.

National Museum of African American Music
National Museum of African American Music

Take a tour of the newest Nashville treasure

Lots of cities have thought about dedicating a museum to the impact of African-American performers on all sorts of musical genres, but Nashville was the first place to actually put a shovel in the ground and built one. The National Museum of African-American Music is a magnificent addition to Lower Broad with multiple galleries highlighting the role of Black musicians in art from the 17th century to today. It really is a marvel, and you should immediately add it to your to-do list.

Chris Chamberlain is a food, drink, and travel writer based in Nashville. Follow him @CeeElCee.