Nashville Celebrity Hotspots: Where To Go To See Stars

As the epicenter of the country music industry and a popular filming location for movies and TV shows, Nashville is one of the best places in the U.S. to spot celebrities. Famous folks are regularly spotted in public in Tennessee's capital city, even if it's not New York City or Los Angeles in terms of star power. With historic venues like the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville is a music lover's paradise

Many country stars live in Nashville, and a surprising number of rock and pop singers also own homes here, including Sheryl Crow, Jack White, Justin Timberlake, and Miley Cyrus. Ed Sheeran and Kelly Clarkson also lived in Nashville for a while. Actress Reese Witherspoon has a mansion in Nashville, and so does Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, wife of country star Keith Urban. 

Because Nashville is smaller than NYC and LA, stars here seem more likely to go out in public, which makes spotting them a bit easier. The city's walkable neighborhoods are great for people-watching in Nashville, and you can often see famous people in mundane places like grocery stores, gas stations, and movie theaters, so keep your eyes open. From the upscale Palm restaurant to the honky-tonk bars on Broadway, here are some of the places in Nashville where you have the best chance of seeing a celebrity.

Bluebird Cafe

Sometimes you can see the biggest stars in the smallest places. For more than 40 years, the Bluebird Cafe has hosted intimate gigs from up-and-coming performers in its tiny, 90-seat club. In 1987, Garth Brooks earned his first record deal on the spot when an executive was blown away by his performance at Bluebird. In 2005, history repeated itself when 14-year-old Taylor Swift took the stage and had a contract offer by the time she finished her set. Swift once told Billboard that the Bluebird Cafe is "the heart of Music City."

At the Bluebird Cafe, the stars aren't just on stage — they're in the crowd. The café's website features a remarkably long and diverse list of celebrities who have visited over the years, including Vice President Al Gore, Cher, Tom Hanks, Katie Couric, Jon Bon Jovi, Ted Danson, Bonnie Raitt, and the late Barbara Walters. Imagine coming to the club to see a small acoustic show and sitting next to any of those luminaries. The cafe became an even bigger tourist attraction after the 2012 musical drama "Nashville," which aired for six seasons on ABC and CMT and featured many performance scenes set in the Bluebird Café.

The Palm

The Palm is a high-end steakhouse and seafood restaurant chain with more than a dozen locations around the country, many of which are popular with celebrities. Visiting stars who want a lavish dinner often stop into the Nashville location in the middle of downtown. Located just around the corner from Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, and the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Palm is an obvious spot for celebs attending shows at those venues to stop in for a pre-concert meal.

The Palm has a celebrity history, as actors like Robert Redford and James Gandolfini used to dine here. Power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill still come by these days, and football great Peyton Manning dines here as well.

The Palm enjoys its reputation as a celeb hotspot. Several of the stars who've visited the Nashville restaurant are featured on a caricature mural inside the restaurant, including the rockers of KISS, country star Miranda Lambert, and the legendary Tennessee icon, Dolly Parton. If you've got the cash, make a reservation and maybe you'll dine next to someone famous.

Bridgestone Arena

The Nashville Predators joined the National Hockey League in 1998, and by the time the team started winning playoff series in the 2010s, local celebs started coming to the arena in droves. Way before Taylor Swift famously started showing up to NFL games to see Travis Kelce, country music superstar Carrie Underwood was the ultimate celebrity sports wife, attending Predators games to watch her husband, Mike Fisher, who played eight seasons with the club.

The celebrity-spotting reached its peak in 2017, when Fisher helped lead the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final. Underwood was a regular, and her fellow country singers Keith Urban, Vince Gill, and Faith Hill came to the arena to sing the National Anthem and cheer on the team. Pop star Kelly Clarkson and Nashville-based rock bands Kings of Leon and Paramore all attended playoff games.

These days, you can still spot the occasional celeb in the crowd, especially during the playoffs. Bridgestone also hosts dozens of major concerts and other events that attract celebrities every year, so make sure to scan the private suites for famous faces when you're in the building.

Music Row

Walk down 16th and 17th Avenue South to travelerblog the Music Row neighborhood, which serves as the center of the country music business. Famous singers come to Music Row often to visit their record labels, publishing companies, and recording studios. Name a popular artist from the past 60 years in any genre, and chances are they've recorded at least a song or two at one of the studios on Music Row. Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Lionel Richie, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffett, Shania Twain, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, and the Foo Fighters are among the hundreds of superstars who have created music inside the walls of these historic studios.

Nashville residents pride themselves on not being overly intrusive when they see famous musicians in public, so spending all day on the sidewalks of Music Row hoping for a chance celebrity encounter probably wouldn't be cool. But you can certainly take a casual stroll around the neighborhood to see the famous studios. So many A-listers visit Music Row on a regular basis that you may very well catch a glimpse of one on the way to a recording session. While visiting Music Row, consider taking a guided tour of historic RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton recorded some of their biggest hits.

Hutton Hotel

The Hutton Hotel is situated in West End, a budget-friendly area of Nashville near Music Row. The high-end boutique property is one of the most popular spots for famous folks and touring rock bands to stay while visiting Nashville. Gwyneth Paltrow stayed here during the filming of the show "Country Strong" and raved about the hotel. In her since-deleted online journal, the Oscar-winning actress wrote, "I stayed at the Hutton Hotel for three weeks and truly enjoyed the whole experience ... It is very clean and exceptionally kempt." She especially appreciated the Hutton's eco-friendly practices. Fans have also spotted Jimmy Fallon at the Hutton. 

While celebs do stay here, seeing them can sometimes be difficult, as some hotel suites come with private entrances, which are ideal for stars seeking to avoid the public eye. If booking a room at the Hutton isn't in your budget, grab a cocktail or tapas at Evelyn's, the elegant American restaurant that opened in the hotel in late 2023. The Hutton Hotel also has a small music venue, Analog, which hosts concerts several times a month. Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson, and Carly Pearce have all performed at Analog. So if you're not fortunate enough to spot a celeb in the hotel lobby, maybe you can at least catch one on stage.

Centennial Park

Taylor Swift is among the celebs who have spent quality time in Centennial Park, a 132-acre public green space just west of Downtown Nashville. She mentioned the park twice in her 2020 song "Invisible String," singing, "Green was the color of the grass where I used to read at Centennial Park," and "Gold was the color of the leaves when I showed you around Centennial Park."

Be sure to stop by the "Taylor Swift Bench," a small park bench dedicated to Taylor by the city of Nashville in 2023, with the inscription, "For Taylor Swift. A bench for you to read on at Centennial Park. Welcome home, Nashville." There's no evidence that Swift ever sat on this specific bench, but as her lyrics indicate, she visited the park when she lived full-time in Nashville.

Another popular Centennial Park attraction is the Parthenon, a full-size replica of the famous Greek temple that stands prominently in the center of the park. Visiting celebrities sometimes come to see Nashville's Parthenon up close. The late comedian Robin Williams and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger both stopped by the Parthenon when they were in town. Jagger, in fact, shared photos of his 2015 visit on social media and was said to have been blown away by the structure and its replica statue of the goddess Athena.

Robert's Western World

Robert's Western World started as a cowboy apparel store, and while it still sells cowboy boots, it's evolved into an award-winning honky-tonk bar with live traditional country music every night. Robert's is the opposite of fancy. The bar offers cheap beer and affordable snacks, like a fried bologna sandwich. Robert's has no VIP suites and doesn't take reservations, so its booths and tables are always first-come, first-serve.

Despite — or perhaps because of — its no-frills atmosphere, Robert's has been named Best Honky-Tonk in Nashville several times in the Nashville Scene readers' poll. Most performers at Robert's are local singers with aspirations of hitting the big-time, but occasionally, an established superstar stops in for a surprise performance, like when pop star Lana Del Rey jumped on stage to belt out the classic "Stand By Your Man."

Actor Chris Pratt once took the stage to sing a Johnny Cash song, while Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Stokes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brett Eldredge, Gigi Hadid, and Kacey Musgraves have been spotted in the crowd. Hadid and Musgraves posted Instagram photos from the sidewalk outside Robert's during their girls' night out. To find Robert's Western World, just look for the giant marquee on Lower Broadway with the neon guitar. Robert's does not charge a cover, so arrive early to avoid waiting in line. The entire strip of bars on Lower Broadway is great for celeb sightings. Consider also Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row, Alan Jackson's A.J.'s Good Time Bar, and Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse.

Santa's Pub

What's not to love about a karaoke dive bar with a year-round Christmas theme, run by a no-nonsense owner with a long, white Santa beard? Santa's Pub is a spot that famous people visit when they want to enjoy a party atmosphere while staying under the radar. Take note: The bar is cash only, serves only beer (no liquor or wine), and doesn't tolerate swearing.

Numerous celebs, from actress Hayden Panettiere to singers Ed Sheeran and Kacey Musgraves, have called Santa's one of their favorite spots in Nashville. Sheeran came to Santa's after his summer 2023 concert in Nashville and led the bar crowd in a karaoke sing-along of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want it That Way" and Sheeran's own "Thinking Out Loud." He posted the video on Instagram, with the caption, "When I lived here, this was the spot and it still is."

Musgraves told Us Magazine of Santa's, "It's my bar in Nashville." And Panettiere said to Stylist magazine (via, "It's so much fun and no one bothers you or gives you a hard time. It almost feels like you're in someone's living room." She added that she sometimes takes a turn at Santa's karaoke cuts loose on "Don't Stop Believin.'" Word has gotten out that Santa's Pub is the place to be, because megastars Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny even visited the bar in 2023, according to an Instagram post.

Pancake Pantry

Imagine going out for pancakes and spotting Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber sitting together at a nearby booth. The pop superstars are among the many famous folks who enjoy Pancake Pantry, a small breakfast spot in the Hillsboro Village neighborhood that has been serving up flapjacks and omelets since 1961. The food is affordable enough that just about anyone can enjoy a meal here, so it's a low-budget way to potentially see someone famous.

What brings wealthy celebrities to such an unassuming diner on a regular basis? It seems the food is so good they just can't stay away. The restaurant boasts about its variety of flavors of scratch-made pancakes and its secret-recipe syrups and fruit compotes. Expect a wait if you come during peak hours because everyone in Nashville knows about this place. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch, and breakfast dishes are served all day.

Swift and Bieber dined here together early in their careers, when they were moderately famous but hadn't yet reached the heights of their fame. Radar Online reported that Hollywood power couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively ate at the restaurant when they spent a few days in Nashville, and Vince Gill is said to be a regular. In 2021, Pancake Pantry opened a new, larger location in Downtown Nashville, but most celebrity sightings have taken place at the Hillsboro Village location.

Hermitage Hotel

Located one block from the state capitol building, the Hermitage Hotel would be worth a visit even if it had no celebrity connection. Opened in 1910, the hotel has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Its Beaux-Arts architectural style reveals eye-catching elements, like a painted glass ceiling in the lobby, a Renaissance-style outdoor corridor, and an Art Deco-style men's room from the 1930s that has been named "America's Best Bathroom."

The hotel played a prominent role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. As the National Park Service notes, Tennessee was the final state that needed to approve the amendment for it to become law. Activists and lobbyists from both sides stayed at the Hermitage Hotel and attempted to woo lawmakers, leading to days of spirited debate and even fighting inside the hotel, before the Tennessee House narrowly voted in favor of the amendment.

For decades, this was the place where wealthy and famous Nashville visitors rested their heads. According to its website, the Hermitage Hotel has hosted no fewer than eight American presidents, ranging from Taft and Wilson to Clinton and Bush (#43). Other legendary guests through the years included Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin, and Elvis Presley. Despite that history, the hotel closed in 1977, before changing ownership and re-opening a few years later. More recent visitors include Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, and comedian Aziz Ansari, who shot scenes for the show "Master of None" at the hotel.

The Mall at Green Hills

Home of the aforementioned Bluebird Cafe, the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville is known as a place where many country singers and local celebs live, so it's not uncommon to see them out and about in that area, especially at the Mall at Green Hills and the nearby Whole Foods.

While some retail outlets across America may be struggling, the Mall at Green Hills appears to be thriving. The mall features more than 100 stores, including high-end retailers that tend to attract a wealthy clientele, such as Swarovski, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana. The mall has dozens of other clothing stores, so if you're into shopping, it's worth a visit.

Keep an eye out for Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, who have a house in the area. Superstar singer-songwriter Alan Jackson has been spotted at the Mall at Green Hills more than once. In fact, according to his Facebook post, before he was famous, country singer Dierks Bentley was starstruck when he spotted Jackson inside the mall and got to say hello. Other shopping malls in the Nashville suburbs where locals have reported seeing celebrities include RiverGate Mall in Goodlettsville and Cool Springs Galleria in Franklin.

Nashville International Airport

In a city with so many recognizable residents, the airport is an obvious place to run into someone famous. On your way into or out of town, keep your eyes open at Nashville International Airport, in case any of the city's celebrities happen to be traveling at the same time.

The Nashville airport now serves more than 20 million passengers annually. Passenger traffic here has doubled in the past 10 years, which might make it harder to pick out celebs among the crowd, but airport visitors still frequently see famous people. Fans have reported on social media seeing Justin Bieber, Ashley Judd, Dan & Shay, and Toby Keith walking through the airport.

If you've got time, head to Concourse C to check out Ole Red, a bar and restaurant owned by country superstar Blake Shelton. You never know when the owner might stop in. In fact, he took the stage in 2023 for an unannounced performance in his airport bar. Shelton sang "Ol' Red," the track that provided the inspiration for the name of his business, giving travelers an unexpected thrill.

Pinewood Social

It doesn't matter if you want to bowl, get some work done, eat any meal of the day, lounge by the pool, or spot a celebrity — Pinewood Social has it all. This unique venue in Nashville has a little bit of everything for everyone, and celebrities seem to agree. Some of the celebrities seen at the happening spot include Reese Witherspoon (who said on her blog that Pinewood Social is her favorite place in the city to hang out), Taylor Swift, Adam Richman, and Mike Wolfe. It is easy to imagine these big names chowing down on the NoBro hangout's eclectic dishes like short rib mac n' cheese, brown butter bourbon steak, tofu and tempeh chorizo bowls, and buttermilk sticky buns with pecan caramel.

Pinewood Social has been a Nashville staple since 2013 when it opened its doors under Strategic Hospitality. Housed inside former trolley barns, Pinewood Social has the best of all worlds with throwback games like bocce and bowling, comfort food like fried chicken and beer, and Instagram-friendly modern décor like exposed brick walls and Edison lights.

Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar

It shouldn't be too challenging to work out which celebrity hangs out here the most, based on the name of this Nashville hotspot that opened in 2018. The country music star's four-floor namesake restaurant and bar has locations in Nashville, Gatlinburg, and Pittsburgh, but since Jason Aldean lives in Nashville, we're guessing this one is his favorite. The restaurant offers a menu of American comfort eats cultivated by Aldean, such as hot chicken sandwiches, pot roast, meatloaf, and Mama Aldean's peach cobbler. Unsurprisingly, Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar has live music performed by both local and national country acts seven days a week.

Even if you don't see Aldean himself at this eatery, fans will have fun finding the décor that specifically correlates to Aldean's songs, such as the vintage green John Deere tractor behind the bar, a nod to his hit "Big Green Tractor." Plus, for a killer view of Nashville, the rooftop bar — called "My Kinda Party" — is the biggest on the entire street.

Loveless Cafe

It doesn't matter how rich and famous you get — there's nothing like a down-home Southern country dinner made from passed-down recipes. That's what stars and regular folk enjoy at Loveless Cafe, known for its country ham, 22-hour Tennessee hickory-smoked BBQ, and homemade biscuits. It's here that celebrities like Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Martha Stewart, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Al Gore, and Princess Anne have been seen diving into plates. Visitors can see all the famous diners who have eaten a meal at Loveless Cafe, and their photos are pasted all over the restaurant's lobby walls.

Stewart even once said that the café served the best breakfast she ever had and the biscuits and country ham were the best things she ever tried, which she revealed on Cooking Channel show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." She's just one of many. The iconic Nashville eatery, which dates back to 1951, feeds more than 500,000 diners every year and makes 10,000 biscuits everyday just to keep up.