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Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center | © Nick Amoscato / Flickr
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center | © Nick Amoscato / Flickr
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What to Do on a Layover in Nashville

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 31 October 2017
Don’t let a flight layover dampen your travel spirit. Make the most of the extra time you’ve got by squeezing in a mini-adventure. If you’re stuck in Nashville for an extended period of time, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your layover, and they don’t involve pacing around the airport. Use this guide if you ever find yourself stranded in Nashville before catching your flight.

If you have three hours…

Three hours doesn’t leave you a lot of time to explore, but the Nashville airport does have on-site services that you can use to kill time. Nashville Nails and Salon Services is a locally owned salon located in Concourse C near gate C-15. Stop by to get your nails done, your brows waxed or your hair styled. The salon offers services for men, women, and children.

There is also a massage bar with two locations—Concourse B near gate B-1 and Concourse C near gate C-14—where licensed massage therapists offer seated chair massages. And if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, there’s a walk-in clinic and wellness store called CareHere!, located in Concourse C, that offers primary and chiropractic care and has an in-store pharmacy.

A woman walking through the airport
A woman walking through the airport | © RyanMcGuire / Pixabay

If you have five hours…

When your layover reaches the five-hour mark, it’s difficult to be entertained for that long while staying at the airport. There are a few local attractions not too far that will keep you busy while you wait. The Lane Motor Museum is less than 20 minutes from the airport and features 150 cars and motorcycles and has the largest European collection in the United States. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all other days.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, also about 20 minutes away, is a great place where you can stroll and see the incredible indoor gardens and cascading waterfalls. You could probably hit both attractions within five hours and be able to briefly explore each one.

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Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center | © Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you have seven hours…

While you won’t be able to see all of the major Nashville attractions in seven hours, there are a few within a reasonable distance that you can hit. For families or those who enjoy animals, the Nashville Zoo is a 20-minute drive. The zoo’s hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except from March 11th–October 12th when the park is open until 6 p.m., and it has more than 2,764 animals to visit. If you’d rather spend your time learning new dance moves, the Wildhorse Saloon downtown offers free line dancing lessons most evenings and on Saturday afternoons. You can also enjoy live music, food and drinks most days starting at 11 a.m.

About 20 minutes from the Wildhorse Saloon is Dave & Buster’s, where grown-ups can act like kids and kids can enjoy fun and games. With a full menu, arcade games, and a bowling alley, you’re sure to stay busy for at least a few hours.

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Women playing arcade games | © PepaLove / Pixabay

If you have 12 hours…

Waiting 12 hours for a flight can feel like an eternity. Make the time go by faster by catching a cab to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to begin. You can easily spend a few hours there exploring the history of country music and learning more about some of today’s contemporary country artists. Then head over to Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar for live music and Cajun food. Grab a craft beer or cocktail while you’re there. Walk off your meal by strolling the streets of downtown and stopping in the shops and honky-tonks for souvenirs and more musical entertainment.

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Country Music Hall of Fame | © edwardhblake / Flickr

If you still have time to spare, head to the Adventure Science Center, which is about a 15-minute drive from downtown. The museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., offers tons of family-friendly exhibits and activities for children and adults. Learn fascinating facts about the human body, discover more about our solar system or have fun in the Virtual Reality Studio. There is also the Sudekum Planetarium where you can watch planetarium and laser shows.

And if you still manage to have some time left before your departure, head back to the airport and enjoy one of the many on-site services on offer.

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NASA robot | © skeeze / Pixabay