A trendy and contemporary gay bar, Tribe is frequented by straight and gay patrons. A mainstay of the Nashville scene, Tribe offers a laid back and friendly environment. They have competitive pricing for menu items and drinks, and are known for their hospitality.
Local Expert tip: The best times to visit Tribe are in the evening hours leading up to 11 pm. The club becomes less infused with a crowd in the later hours of the evening, but the drinks are fast and tasty all night long.
An upscale club, Mai is located in The Gulch in Downtown Nashville. Their top of the line sound system allows for mesmerizing beat changes to be felt throughout the club. The dancing starts when doors open at 10pm and doesn't pause until the DJ stops spinning at 3am. The do insist on a strict dress code, and the drinks are on the pricey end, but the house music is reportedly the best in town.
Local Expert tip: Free valet parking and top-shelf drinks make this a must-see if you're big into the dance scene. VIP tables are also available.
Play welcomes everyone, drawing a mix of straights and gays, and has been a draw for Nashvillians since its doors first opened. With its sleek and trendy decor, famous drag show, and four sections of bar, this club draws an extensive crowd every night. It's also a hot spot for bachelorette parties and with the high energy performers, excellent cocktails and friendly staff, it's no wonder why. This club keeps the beer flowing and the celebration going.
Local Expert tip: An alternative club, Play is known for its show-stopping drag shows and lively entertainment.
East Nashville's legendary Lipstick Lounge opened inn 2002 and quickly became a hotspot for Nashvillians. Designed with women in mind, everyone is welcomed to the lounge. Lipstick was originally purely a lesbian bar, but the festive spirit and friendly staff soon became known around town. Female and male, gay and straight, black, white and other are welcomed through its doors. On any given night, the bar is hopping. Advertised as "A bar for humans," Lipstick lounge offers a friendly environment that is a perfect place to relax and have fun.
Local Expert tip: A great spot for karaoke, this bar was formerly a girls-only joint, but now it's the perfect venue for males and females to go belt out their favorite tunes and watch friends take the stage.
Concert-goers looking for a more intimate music will revel this Nashville night club's live music acts. A deck and back room, complete with pool tables, ensure plenty of space to take a break from the music. Mercy Lounge also hosts the 8 off 8th writer's nights, where you can catch local musicians. The Cannery Ballroom downstairs hosts larger concerts. Ticket prices are fair and locals boast about the great atmosphere.
Local Expert tip: A really intimate venue for music, they book the best acts and serve a wide variety of local beer.
One of the most well-known Nashville night clubs, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge got its start back in the 60s. Some of the club's earliest patrons included Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Today, visitors can listen to live music while enjoying the photos and memorabilia lining the walls. Music ranges from country and bluegrass to 80's tribute bands. This is a must-see, especially if this is your first trip to Nashville.
Local Expert tip: When the locals want to let loose, Tootsie's is where they go. As the night wears on, the bar becomes increasingly packed - so prepare for standing room only.
Horses on the ceiling, great drinks at the bar, and the sound of heals tapping on the floor – Wildhorse gives a good name to line dancing. If you're looking to kick up your heels in Nashville, this club's nightly dance lessons aren't to be missed. Located in a historic warehouse just one block from the Cumberland River, the Wildhorse Saloon features three levels of entertainment, including a billiards room on the third floor, concert stage and restaurant. If you come early, bring the kiddos - it's the perfect venue for the whole family in the early hours of the evening. Southern hospitality runs rampant across Music City and it's clearly evident in this hip bar and club.
Local Expert tip: Come for dinner and stay for the dancing. Wildhorse is known for it's tasty and filling meals. And don't be afraid to dance the meal off - newcomers to the art of line dancing are always welcome on the floor!
Set in a historic, dark, southern basement, you can feel the history from the best bluegrass and roots music from the last decade as soon as you cross the threshold. Station Inn features shows by both new and veteran musicians, so there's always a possibility you'll see a famous face. This Nashville club's past acts include Bill Monroe and Del McCoury, and its Sunday night in-house "jam sessions" have become a staple. A local favorite, admission is first-come first-serve, though, so be sure to arrive early!
Local Expert tip: Stick with the local beer, and come after dinner. Known more for bluegrass than their southern cuisine, Station Inn serves up a mean bowl of popcorn.
One of the more prominent stages, and Open Mic Night bars, Exit/Inn always draws a crowd. A popular spot for up-and-coming artists (along with those who have already made a name for themselves), this club hosts everyone from local punk bands to nationally known rock and country performers. The establishment has been around for a few decades now and is still going strong. If you're a fan of country music lore, check out the pictures along the walls that catalog the Exit/In's storied past. Past musicians have included Steve Earle, Shelby Lynne, and Seven Mary Three. Performers and showtimes vary.
Local Expert tip: This swanky venue is perfect for rockers. It's loud and the unforgettable performances are live - so come prepared to vibe off the energy and cut loose.