Where to Go on a Date in Nashville This Spring
For everything from first impressions to anniversary celebrations, these dates are guaranteed to impress.
Springtime means thoughts turn to love, and whether the flame is novel or has been burning for a long time, it’s always a good idea to try something new to introduce a few extra sparks. As a tourist destination, Nashville is well-equipped to help you plan special evenings, like being a tourist in your own town. The big difference is that you get to go home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the evening, and what you would pay for a weekend in a swanky hotel downtown might equal your monthly rent!
If you’re sick of staying in and watching movies, but the peopling involved in actually going out to a theater still feels like a lot, consider a retro solution: Head to the drive-in to enjoy first-run films from the comfort of your own car. An easy interstate drive from Nashville in Watertown, Stardust Drive-In shows double features of new movies on two screens every weekend from March through November, and seven nights a week during the summer. Plus, this cool outdoor theater has a concession stand (or bring your own for a nominal charge). Just tune your radio to listen along as the story is digitally projected on massive screens.
Inspired by the Finnish tradition of a good hot soak, this East Nashville bath house includes a sauna, steam room, large hot soaking pool, plus private locker rooms so that you can decide whether to embrace “swimsuit optional” or not. Couples or small groups can rent out the entire space by the hour, and Holiday even offers catering from the popular Cafe Roze so you can make an entire evening of it. The spa provides Turkish towel wraps, bath towels and basic cleansing products, so all you have to bring is yourselves.
It seems like you can’t open a new bar in downtown Nashville without a rooftop anymore, and locals and tourists alike love gazing down at the party people on Broadway. However, if you really want the best views in town, take a helicopter tour of downtown with Helistar Aviation. Tours are 15 or 30 minutes, which is plenty of time to fly over the urban core for a unique perspective on Music City. Your pilot also serves as an entertaining tour guide, and custom tours are available.
Don’t feel like going out? Don’t want to cook either? Enjoy the luxury of a private chef for an evening, courtesy of Cozymeal, a service that connects diners with talented cooks who will prepare an entire meal in your home. Choose a chef and a menu from a list of options, and your chef will arrive with all the ingredients, equipment, and expertise to whip up a four-star dinner. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the repast.
Unleash your inner Dolly or Garth with some karaoke
In some towns, karaoke is a way to cast off your inhibitions. In Nashville, though, there are some serious singers at local bars. Fortunately, there are also plenty of spots where the mood is loose and the lights are dim enough to prevent your performance from being immortalized on the internet. Lonnie’s Western Room usually features some fantastic country singers, but amateurs are always welcome. The Lipstick Lounge, a convivial gay bar in East Nashville, welcomes all-comers for karaoke as long as you’re kind. Santa’s Pub is a favorite cash-only, canned beer-only, Christmas decorations-only dive bar near the Fairgrounds that is a favorite among locals looking to cut loose. Cross-eyed Critters Watering Hole, a wonderfully bizarre karaoke bar where a band of animatronic animals serves as the back-up band for singers, feels like being at a Chuck E. Cheese on peyote.
At this opulent subterranean lair beneath the Johnny Cash Museum downtown, guests dress up in their finery for an evening of eating, drinking and dining in a space that rivals Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle. The cocktails are first-class, and the fine dining menu plans for breaks between courses for trips to the small theater spaces to enjoy magic shows that range from close-up card work to telepathy to comedy. In order to preserve the secrets that are hidden below street level, no cell phones are permitted.
If it’s been a while since you visited the Goo Goo Shop on 3rd Avenue downtown, you need to get back to the renovated space that is now a must-see (and eat) destination. The walls of the shop are covered with switches and levers that give off a definite Wonka vibe, and displays tell the stories of the history of America’s first combination candy bar, still a cult favorite. Kiosks allow you to design your own custom Goo Goo Premium bars for the talented confectioners to whip up, and you can enjoy a boozy milkshake while you wait.
Have some fun on ice
When we’re between Winter Olympics, people become temporarily obsessed with the curling (which is sort of like shuffleboard on ice), a somewhat obscure sport that is worth checking out. Ignore your pickleball-obsessed friends (who can be worse than CrossFit and keto fans) because Nashville has its first official curling center, Tee Line in West Nashville. If you’re looking for a more traditional date night on ice, both of the Ford Ice Centers in Bellevue and Antioch offer public skating sessions, but you’ll need to register in advance.
Explore some of Nashville’s lesser-known museums
We’re big fans of Nashville’s most well-known museums, like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the new National Museum of African American Music, and the Frist Art Museum; but don’t miss out on some of Nashville’s more obscure collections. Make a day of visiting the huge collection of exotic vehicles at the Lane Motor Museum, discover the sidemen who made the legendary music at the Musicians Hall of Fame, and find out more than you ever wanted to know about The Dukes of Hazzard at Cooter’s Place.
Go on an art crawl
In addition to the city’s reputation as a center of music, Nashville is blessed with some pretty talented visual artists as well. Many of them showcase their works in galleries and studios as part of monthly art crawls in various neighborhoods around town. The First Saturday Art Crawl takes place downtown around the urban core from 5 pm to 8 pm on the first Saturday of each month, the same day as the WeHo Art Crawl in the burgeoning Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood (opening and closing times vary; check individual galleries’ websites). Grab a date and enjoy some of Nashville’s finest boxed wine while checking out the art on the walls.
Embrace your inner-Lebowski
If your last bowling experience was in a dingy alley with questionable rental shoe hygiene practices, you definitely need to discover what modern bowling venues have to offer. At Brooklyn Bowl, you’ll find one of the best music venues in town along with first come/first served lanes that can be shared by up to eight bowlers. Popular new venue Eastside Bowl is a lot like Brooklyn Bowl, except in East Nashville, which come to think of it...
East Nashville and West Nashville
With two locations, you’re never too 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.
Since TopGolf opened up across the river from downtown, golfers of all abilities have packed it and taken aim at the large illuminated targets spread out over 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. Plus, TopGolf has an Angry Birds-inspired game if you’d rather fight pigs than chase birdies.
Even if you tell yourself that you have no art talents at all, you like to drink wine, don’t you? A couple of glasses and classes into it at Dabble Events, and you won’t care at all whether your “happy little trees” actually look like angry bushes. The supportive attitude of the instructors makes any class a treat, and you’ll get to go home with a new creation to hang on your wall. Or in the back of the coat closet. No judging here.
See the city's finest murals and Instagram the hell out of your relationship
From the angel wings in the Gulch to the “Welcome to Nashville” sign on the side of Reese Witherspoon’s 12 South building, 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!