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Best Places to Take Pictures in Nashville

Discover Nashville's photographic gems, from iconic music venues to historic landmarks and vibrant street art, in our guide to the city's best photo spots.

Nashville, Tennessee, often hailed as the heart of country music, offers more than just a vibrant music scene.

This dynamic city is a photographer’s paradise, brimming with picturesque spots that capture its unique blend of traditional charm and modern flair.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or simply a traveler with a camera, Nashville’s diverse landscapes, from its iconic music venues and historic landmarks to its lush parks and colorful street art, provide a stunning backdrop for any photo.

In this article, we’ll explore the best places in Nashville to take pictures, each offering its own unique story and visual appeal.

So grab your camera, and let’s embark on a photographic journey through the streets of Music City.

The Well-Known (But Unmissable) Places to Take Pictures in Nashville

Each city has some places that – even if they’ve been photographed by many – you need to capture them with your own style.

So, here are the best places to take pictures in Nashville.

Bicentennial Mall State Park

A park with a lot of green grass and trees.

Credit: Chad Horwedel, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is one of the best locations in the city for photography lovers. Even if it’s the smallest state park in Tennessee, it’s one of the most visited.

This landscaped park showcases the state’s history, culture, and geography. It opened up in 1996 for the 200th anniversary of Tennessee’s statehood – hence the name.

You’ll find a series of flags on each end of the railroad trestle to highlight this.

There is one big Tennessee flag celebrating the bicentennial and eight smaller flags surrounding it. Put together, those sixteen smaller flags symbolize that Tennessee was the 16th state to be admitted to the Union.

All the plants and trees in the park are native to Tennessee. Most remarkably, the park’s edges are delimited by tulip poplars – the state tree.

The National Mall in Washington D.C. inspired the park’s design, and it has Baroque and Classical Greek influences. You can visit the whole park through its four main walk paths.

Best spots

  • The Tennessee Map Plaza.
  • The Rivers of Tennessee Fountains features 31 geyser fountains.
  • The Amphitheater.
  • The Court of 3 Stars with its giant carillon.
  • The World War II memorial.
  • The Pathway of History.

Best time to visit

Sunrise and sunset.

Pro tip

From the park, you’ll have a clear view of the Tennessee State Capitol – don’t forget to take a snapshot.

Nashville Zoo


The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is one of the top attractions in the state of Tennessee.

Nonetheless, it’s an important center for international research and conservation efforts to save threatened species. This is why you’ll find that all the animals are very well cared for.

The Nashville Zoo is the home of more than 3000 animals representing 325 species. The President and CEO, Rick Schwartz, is dedicated to saving clouded leopards – which is why it’s considered the signature species of the zoo.

Also, many of the zoo attractions are suited for photography lovers. You can go to one of the up-close animal experiences to get better photos of the animals.

Otherwise, you can use the Wild Animal Carousel or the Jungle Gym to make beautiful portraits. Lastly, you can visit the historic Grassmere home with its gardens and the cemetery for various photographic subjects.

Please be careful and don’t disturb the animals while taking their photos. Their safety and comfort should be everyone’s top priority.

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Best time to visit

Try to visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds, as the Nashville Zoo gets over one million visitors annually.

To photograph the animals when they’re most active – you need to visit in the early morning.

However, to find the place less crowded, it’s better to go in the late afternoon.

Pro tip

Strap on a GoPro or any other action camera and head over to the Soaring Eagle Zip Line to capture some footage from above.

Centennial Park

A large building with pillars.

Credit: Kaldari, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Centennial Park opened in 1903 but has a longer history behind it. It started as a farmland by the earliest inhabitants – the Cockrills. It became the property of the state after the Civil War.

Then, it was developed in 1897 as the site for the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition. Many buildings were built for the Exposition, but only the Parthenon remained.

It was so popular that they rebuilt it in steel and concrete in 1920 – you can still visit it. In fact, it’s one of the biggest photo spots in the park.

A statue of the Greek goddess Pallas Athenea was added in 1990 as it was dedicated to the women’s suffrage movement. Then, in 2016, another statue related to the movement surged in a different part of the park – the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument by Alan LeQuire.

Other popular subjects that attract photographers and tourists are the steam locomotive and the F-86L Sabre Jet. Of course, nature and landscape photographers will find it a beautiful location, too.

Best view

Walk towards the James Robertson Nashville Founder to get a view of the Parthenon with the Lake Watauga.

Best time to visit


Pro tip

Use the Lake Watauga to capture the reflection of the Parthenon in your photos.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden


The Botanical Garden is at the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. The Estate is a Georgian-style mansion that was turned into an art museum in 1960.

The mansion is a great photo spot in itself. However, you can also take some amazing pictures of the outdoor sculpture collection on the Woodland Sculpture Trail.

The Botanical Garden and Arboretum extend on the rest of the property (55 acres).

Around the mansion, there are terrace gardens. Here, you’ll find a reflective pool, statues, plantations of boxwood, and a stone grotto.

The Turner Season garden is a must. Here, you’ll find different flowers blooming in each season. It doesn’t matter when you visit – you’ll always find a colorful view to photograph.

You’ll also find a Japanese-style tea garden, the Howe garden full of wildflowers, and even a children’s garden. You can explore the place independently or follow one of the suggested itineraries.

You can take photographs in the gardens, but not in the museum. However, if you want to organize a photoshoot, you need special permission and pay the fee.

All photographs must be credited “Photographed at Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.”

Best view

From the Martin Boxwood Garden, you’ll get a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains.

Best time to visit

During the fall, the mountains look stunning. However, spring and summer have more flowers in bloom.

Pro tip

Look for the special nighttime events, as photographing the Botanical Garden at night offers unique photo opportunities.

Printer’s Alley

A building with a sign that says printers alley.

Credit: Chris Connelly CC BY 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

This is the most famous alley in downtown Nashville. You can find it between Third and Fourth Avenues from Union Street to Commerce Street.

Today, Printer’s Alley is famous because of its very active nightlife. However, it used to be known due to its booming publishing industry – hence the name.

Its current vocation of entertainment started when serving alcohol was illegal, but the establishments on this street sold it anyway.

Over the years, many talented jazz musicians have performed in some of the Printer’s Alley bars and nightclubs. This is why its reputation has stayed and even grown.

The famous Printer’s Alley sign on Church Street is a classic Nashville shot.

Best view

From Church Street, you can photograph the beginning of the alley under its famous sign.

Best time to visit

If you want to capture the spirit of the place, you should visit Printer’s Alley at night.

Pro tip

To make better night photographs, you need a slow shutter speed. This will create motion blur if people are moving fast, but this will also add a dynamic look to your photographs, capturing the mood.

However, if you prefer a sharp picture, raise the ISO setting on your camera.

Lower Broadway

A street with a lot of neon signs.

Credit: Timothy Wildey, CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

If neon lights and street photography are your favorite photo spot in Nashville, then Broadway will be your favorite.

Lower Broadway is the part of Downtown Nashville where you’ll find some of the most famous honky tonks. You’ll also find restaurants, hotels, and other tourist attractions.

Following Broadway Street, you’ll reach Union Station – which is another wonderful building you can photograph. Some of the other landmarks in the area include the First Art Museum, Christ Church, Customs House, and Hume-Fogg High School.

Best view

From the rooftop of the Acme Feed & Seed, you’ll have a nice view of the Broadway Strip, the Cumberland River, and the stadium.

Best time to visit

To capture the lively spirit of the strip, it’s best to come at night. However, photographing historical buildings and landmarks is best to visit in the daytime.

Country Music Hall of Fame

A large building in the middle of a grassy field.

Credit: Antony-22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As you probably know, Nashville’s nickname is Music City. As such, it’s only natural that one of its most famous landmarks is the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The current building is not the original venue where the museum opened in 1967. Instead, it moved here in 2001 when the collection was too big to be displayed and conserved in the old one despite all the expansions.

When the building is seen from above, it is shaped like a bass clef – its design is from Seab-Tuck. If seen from the front, the windows resemble piano keys, and the rotunda is shaped like a drum kit.

The museum has multiple platforms hosting multiple exhibitions. It also has a theater, the Taylor Swift Education Center, and several spaces to rent for private events.

You can also visit the Hatch Show Print – the oldest letterpress print shop in the country.

Best view

The best view of the building is from the front, where you can see its instrument-inspired design.

Inside, the best photo spot is in the Hall of Fame Rotunda with its mural, The Sources of Country Music.

Best time to visit

Around sunset, you’ll still have color and detail in the sky, and the building will already be lit – this makes the best photograph.

Pro tip

Stand at the Nashville Music Garden and use a wide-angle lens to photograph the entire building with part of the Walk of Fame in the foreground.

John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

A bridge over a river in nashville, tennessee.

Kaldari, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge has historical and architectural importance that saved it from demolishing in 1998.

Just for this, it would be worth a photograph. However, there’s so much more to it. After a $15 million refurbishment, the bridge is an iconic landmark in the city. It’s also beautifully lit at night.

It has four scenic areas where you can overlook the Cumberland River and take wonderful skyline photographs of the city.

Music fans may recognize the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge from different music videos by Aaron Cole, Dolly Parton, Big & Rich, and other talented artists.

Best view

From the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, you’ll get excellent views of Downtown Nashville, the Nissan Stadium, and the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Best time to visit

To take photographs in the daytime, the golden hour is best. However, you can do great night photography here.

Pro tip

You can use the reflections of the city and the bridge itself on the Cumberland River to form interesting compositions.

Radnor Lake State Park

A lake surrounded by trees and a blue sky.

Credit: Sean Theriot, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

If you’re more into nature photography, you can reach the Radnor Lake State Park with a 20-minute drive.

Here, you’ll find a beautiful lake surrounded by a forest, which you can explore using any of the unpaved trails. The trails have different hiking difficulties, so there’s something for everyone.

The park is a great location to photograph local wildlife. It’s common to find coyotes, bobcats, white-tale deer, otters, beavers, and other animals.

Best view

There are beautiful looks of the lake on each hiking trail. If you’re not an experienced hiker, it’s best to decide according to the length and difficulty to avoid any accidents.

If you want to catch the sunset, Otter Creek Road is your best bet. The sun will set slightly on the left side, but you can make some interesting compositions.

Best time to visit

If you’re keen on bird photography, you can visit in April, May, September, and October to see all the migration birds passing through the area.

Generally speaking, the park can get crowded, and parking may be particularly problematic. So, it’s best to avoid weekends and holidays.

Pro tip

The park closes 20 minutes after sunset. So, have your gear ready to leave the park without delay – right after your sunset photos.

Love Circle

A view of a city skyline.

Credit: Brent Moore, CC BY 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

Love Circle is quite a small park, but it’s also the highest one in the city. Thanks to this vantage point, it’s a wonderful photo spot.

Best view

From here, you can photograph Nashville’s skyline and the fireworks on July 4th.

Best time to visit

Definitely, sunset is the most beautiful time to capture the city. Night cityscapes are also interesting – just consider that the park closes at 9 p.m.

Pro tip

Parking can be a real challenge. If possible, don’t bring a car – take a taxi or ask someone to bring you there and pick you up later.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center

A building with columns and steps at night.

Credit: Ryan Kaldari, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a shoebox design concert hall with a New Classical facade. The center opened in 2006, and it houses the Nashville Symphony.

Amongst the outdoor decorations, you’ll find a sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice, the Birth of Apollo, and the Flautist – all in the New Classical style.

Inside, you’ll find many symbols throughout the center contributing to its stunning design. For example, you’ll see Passionflowers, Tennessee’s state wildflower above the arch windows.

You’ll also find the Iris in the elevator doors, railings, columns, etc. – the Iris is the state flower.

These are just a few examples of why the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is a dream for architectural photography lovers.

Best view

You can photograph the building facade from the Nashville Music Garden.

Pro tip

It’s strictly forbidden to take photos or videos while the artists are rehearsing. As for concert photography, you’ll need to get a permit. To get it, contact the Communications office.

East Nashville

A vw bus parked in front of a house.

Credit: Adam Fagen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

This neighborhood has a little bit of everything and is ideal for photography lovers.

Most of the south edge of the city is confined by the Cumberland River. Inside East Nashville, you’ll find different smaller neighborhoods.

Aside from the geographic borders, they’re separated because each one has a different vibe and architectural style. This makes the area so attractive to wander around the streets taking photos.

You’ll also find plenty of parks. One of them is Shelby Park, which includes the largest green preserve in the metro area – Shelby Bottoms. There’s also Cumberland Park, which is the newest park in the city.

East Nashville has an international, young, artsy soul. Thanks to this, you’ll find plenty of artist’s studios, coffee shops, murals, etc.

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However contemporary, East Nashville has a lot of history. So, you’ll also find monuments and landmarks around the neighborhood.

Best spots

  • The sculptures at Shelby Park.
  • The ‘Red Park’.
  • The murals in and around Woodland Street.
  • What Lifts You mural on 1034 W Eastland Ave.
  • The Dive Motel.
  • The Farmers Market.

Best time to visit

All day, every day. It depends on the type of photography you want to make.

The Best Murals in Nashville for Taking Photos

Nashville, tennessee, nashville, nashville, nashville, nashville.

Credit: Stephen Drake, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

Nashville has some pretty famous murals and graffiti art. If you want to know which are some of the most photographed and where to find them – here’s my selection.

  • Dolly Parton mural in the House of Blues studio.
  • I Believe in Nashville mural on 12th Avenue.
  • Nashville WhatLiftsYou Wings mural on 11th Avenue S close to the corner with Laurel Street.
  • Legends Corner in Broadway.
  • One Little Dream at Night mural on Printer’s Alley.
  • Kindness Is mural at 1120 4th Avenue N.
  • Gateway to Heritage mural on Jefferson Street.
  • Nashville at Heart Rainbow mural at 2705 12th Ave. S.

The Lesser-Known Nashville Photo Spots (Local Secrets)

A row of sinks in a bathroom.

Credit: Peter-Burka, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED, via Flickr

  • Union Station Hotel – this Hilton hotel is built into a former train station. The lobby really is worth a few photos.
  • Emma’s Flowers – a cute flower truck past Vanderbilt University.
  • Grand Ole Opry House – a must-visit photo spot for all country music lovers. Take a picture with the famous sign and send a letter to your favorite musician while you’re there.
  • Hermitage Hotel men’s bathroom – I know a bathroom is a pretty strange photo spot, but this one has seen some important guests, and it’s very photogenic. In fact, it’s not such a ‘hidden gem,’ and many tourists come here – gender is not an issue.
  • The Sky Garden – this green rooftop is a wonderful location for a photoshoot.
  • War memorial – whether you’re looking for architectural photos or a classic location for portraits, this is the place you want.

FAQs about Taking Photos in Nashville

Is it legal to fly a drone in Nashville?

It is legal to fly a drone in Nashville as long as you follow local and federal regulations.

This means that your drone should be registered if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds.

You should also pass a TRUST if you’re flying for recreational purposes or a 107 certification exam if it’s for commercial purposes.

You shouldn’t fly above 400 ft. From the ground, use a drone to stalk someone or interfere with first response services, avoid the no-fly zones, etc.

Most of Nashville is Class-G airspace, so you can fly a drone. However, another law forbids flying them in parks.

Is it legal to take street photos in Nashville without permission?

Generally speaking, you can take street photos as long as they aren’t offensive. Tennessee’s law was recently changed to make a broader definition of what’s interpreted as offensive and embarrassing. It now includes the distribution of those images too, even if you’re not the photographer.

Regarding commercial purposes, you need a permit to photograph in a Metro Park. However, this permit doesn’t allow you to photograph individuals or events happening in the park without their consent.

Are there any places in Nashville where photography is strictly prohibited?

Flying drones for photographic or any other purpose is prohibited in all parks unless you see a specifically designated area.

Also, the restaurant and entertainment center House of Cards has a strict no-photography policy.

Is flash photography allowed in museums and indoor attractions?

Usually, flash photography is not allowed in museums or attractions. However, there may be some exceptions. When in doubt, it’s always better to ask the staff.

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