So back in April I was have a typical convo with one of my besties over Gchat. You know, weekend plans, work stuff, but then we started talking about how we REALLY wanted to book our trip to Nashville. We had been talking about going for a while, and it felt like the right time to start planning. Well, 15 minutes later, the flights we’re booked. And twenty minutes after that the Airbnb was booked. Done and done. Nashville in June, here we come.
Per usual, I stalked Nashville prior to the trip. I found restaurants, shops and bars in every neighborhood so if we happen to find ourselves nearby, and we were in need of something to do, we would have plenty of previously vetted options. That’s just how I roll.
Now for your all of your Nashville needs, I’m sharing my favorite places to sleep, eat and do. My favorite spots to shop will follow in a separate post.
Where to stay
Our Airbnb was right off 12th Ave South in the 12 South neighborhood. There is a lot to do in the area and it’s a great reprieve from the madness of Broadway (more to come on that). We were about a 10-15 minute Uber ride from Downtown. In Boston, that ride would’ve cost like $10/person each way, but in Nashville, it was like $2/person each way. BAR-GAIN.
The house that we rented was the shit. It was beautifully decorated and just super cool. There was even a porch with a swing. A.porch.swing. Basically what Southern dreams are made of.
(Full disclosure: this being my first visit to Nashville, I don’t really have any previous stays to draw on. Personally, 12 South is where I’ll always stay now. I love it that much. I’ve heard great things about East Nashville as well. So there’s another potentially great option.)
Shout out to Airbnb’s guide to Nashville for giving me a kickstart on where to go and what to see in the neighborhood.
Where to eat
(Giddy up, this is going to be a loooonnnngggg section)
For lunch in 12 South: BarTaco
This place is AWESOME. I know there are a ton of taco places out there, and you probably expected me to list fried chicken or BBQ first, but bartaco is outstanding. I’m drooling just looking at that picture. (Oh, and the corn usually comes on the cob, but ask for them to take it off for you. You’re welcome.) They don’t take resies and there will be a wait, but use the NoWait app to put your name in before you get there.
For lunch in 12 South: The Flipside
You wanted fried chicken? Here’s your fried chicken. The Flipside has like 20-some fried chicken options. I, of course, I ordered a really weird combo – fried chicken, peanut butter, sriracha and a Thai basil slaw. I have a really hard time saying no to sriracha anything so hence my lunch. The Flipside also has a pretty badass drink menu. They make killer Bloodys, and have a 2 for 1 drink special. Coming from Boston, a 2 for 1 anything has me excited.
For brunch in The Gulch: Adele’s
This isn’t your average brunch. You have everything you could possibly want – kale salad, smoked salmon, biscuits, waffles, and pastries – all for a flat price of $25. The Bloody’s are also amazing. I’m not a huge horseradish person, but there is just enough that it doesn’t bother me. Bottomeline: the kitchen knows what it’s doing here. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Adele’s. Go here for brunch, lunch and dinner. In the same day. Also, it’s really pretty inside. Industrial, country, beach and chic. I’m submitting the picture above as evidence.
For dinner in Rolling Mill Hill: Husk
Ok, yes, I did go here in Charleston, but it’s that good! Sean Brock is one of my favorite chefs, and if he’s got a spot close to me, you can bet that I will be there.
No surprise, the meal was outstanding. Everything was perfectly prepared, local and fresh. The charcuterie and oysters are always a good choice, but the menu changes daily so try and share as much as possible. Please, if you’re ever in Charleston or Nashville, go to Husk.
What to do
On Broadway: Bar hop
Broadway has an endless amount of country bars for your listening pleasure. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of beer and whiskey to go around too. A few notables are:
- Tootsie’s – A classic country bar! Everyone will recommend it to you, so you might as well stop by.
- The Listening Room – A great spot to catch a real country star!
- Honky Tonk Central – A multi-level country bar. Fun for a casual night out. Or for day drinking.
- Acme Feed and Seed – Another multi-level bar, but this one isn’t solely focused on country music. The roof has amazing views and when I was there they had a DJ playing the latest Calvin Harris and Rihanna.
Visit The Johnny Cash Museum
The Johnny Cash Museum is right off of Broadway and it’s worth the $20 ticket. If you grew up listening to The Man in Black or only saw Walk the Line, you’ll be happy. There are great stories at every turn, lots of videos to watch and tons of music to listen to. No matter what, you’ll be surprised how big of an influence Johnny Cash had over the music industry.
Go to the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is mecca if you’re a country music fan. If you’re lucky to catch a concert there, do it. I know that I’ll make it a point to do so next time I’m in town. (Rumor is that the acoustics are PERFECT.)
If there aren’t any artists playing while you’re visiting, definitely try to catch a Backstage Tour. It’s pretty cool to visit the backstage area. The guide tells stories about Hee-Haw and Nashville (the TV show), and how all of the rooms backstage got their name. My favorite stories all centered around how artists learned they were being made a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This is my favorite one.
The Grand Ole Opry is located 20-30 minutes outside of Nashville, but I’m guessing that you’re likely going to make the trek if you’re a big enough fan. (Also, sidenote, taking an Uber wasn’t very expensive. Also, this post is not sponsored by Uber.)
I’ve got more to come on Nashville (**ahem**shopping), but that’s it for this post. It’s long enough, don’t you think?
If you’re looking for a full list of recs, I created a Nashville list on the Spot app that includes all of the spots I didn’t make it too.
Heading to Music City and and need help with your itinerary? Email me! I’m happy to help you build your perfect visit.