I love long weekends. They were fun as kids, but as adults, long weekends are a refreshing change of pace from the 9-5 grind. Since moving to a new city, I have managed to fill my weekends by visiting old friends, which is probably not the most rational coping mechanism – certainly not for my wallet – but it’s been fun.
Fortunately, Nashville was a cheap(ish) flight and it quickly climbed to the top of the list of favorite places. I mean endless food and live music? Nashville was pretty much heaven on earth.
Where To Stay
Airbnb has made my penchant for wanderlust so much more realistic. I love that it gives you a somewhat uncensored look into the life of locals, and at a price that isn’t going to greatly impact your budget for the trip.
We stayed at this cute and quirky location. It wasn’t right in the downtown area, which may have made our lives a little easier, but it was a really short uber ride from everything that we wanted to check out. It was a comfortable space, and our host was very helpful with any questions we had during the trip.
If budget isn’t an option for you (can I come on your next trip?), you may want to check out The Hermitage. It’s a luxury old-style hotel located right in Downtown Nashville. It gives you a dose of sophistication in an enviable location! Rates start at around $300 a night, so this stay will cost you a pretty penny.
The Omni Nashville Hotel
This is another location worth checking out. It’s right downtown, which is great for people looking to party. But it’s also worth noting that the closer you are to downtown, the closer you are to the rowdy nature of other Nashville tourists.
Where To Eat
The food in Nashville was absolutely incredible. I found myself wishing I had the power to never become full. Remember the pill in the Hunger Games, the one that empties your stomach so you can have the most gluttonous experience possible? Well, those were necessary in Nashville. My body prevented me from trying out every eatery, but was absolutely in love with the ones I had the chance to enjoy.
Bolton’s Spicy Chicken
Our AirBnB was located near this infamous hole in the wall. I didn’t have the pleasure (re: pain) of experiencing this hot chicken first-hand, but my friends did and they couldn’t stop raving about it! The spice is not for the faint of heart, so if you have a sensitive stomach you may want to steer clear of this location.
Have you ever heard of a bonut? This miracle is a tiny slice of heaven. I don’t even like donuts that much, and this treat totally changed my life. The line at this location nearly scared us away, but we had to find out for ourselves what all the hype was about. Fortunately, we discovered that seats at the bar are first come, first serve – and we were able to cut our wait time in half! This menu boasts tons of homemade and delicious items, but the bonuts are an absolute MUST.
Choosing my favorite meal experience in Nashville is nearly impossible, but this place takes the cake (or biscuit?).
Not only does it have two-for-one cocktails (can we say day drunk?), but it also has the most incredible brunch I’ve ever experienced. We went a little out of hand ordering at this place, but that’s just because every item looks SO GOOD. I highly recommend the Maple Fondue plate, the cheddar cheese biscuits, AND the white trash hash.
One reality we quickly learned about Nashville is that wait times at restaurants are just as common as musicians trying to make it big there. Fortunately, at this location, the wait time involved enjoying an outdoor setting while listening to great live music. Eventually, we got to appreciate three different musicians while munching on some delicious BBQ.
This location is perfect for a romantic meal or a low key night out. The menu is on the small and pricey side, but it truly was an experience. It had some of the most delicious cocktails, and it was in a beautiful old estate home.
What To Do
If you can’t tell already by this post, most of what we did in Nashville involved eating copious amounts of food and drinking. However, there are definitely other things worth checking out and if we had more time, we certainly would have!
This is a bit outside the city and it’s famous for hosting legendary songwriters and performers (if you watched Nashville, you know this already). It’s devoted to the art of the songwriting and listening experience, and has as many as three to four performers in a night. This is another location where reservations are necessary, or you’ll just have to get up early and be ready to wait for the show.
The Patterson House
This is an upscale speakeasy that serves craft cocktails in a quiet and low key setting. It’s also a place where you need to prepare to wait upwards of an hour or longer because who knows how long people will sip on their beverages. In other words, it’s a place we missed out on. Sigh.
Hatch Show Print
This historic letterpress shop has been in operation since 1879. It offers tours, customer posters, and an adorable shop where you can pick up souvenirs. We went into the museum and were able to see the room with the iconic letterpress, but unfortunately we missed the tour – I think it’s probably something worth planning ahead for!
The slogan of this place is “where bad decisions are made,” so you do the math. It’s a wild watering hole with a lively scene mixed of both locals and visitors. It has a cool outdoor area and serves basic pub food and bushwackers, aka delicious adult milkshakes.
Overall, Music City is an amazing place worth checking out. Make sure you eat plenty of biscuits, and enjoy all of the budding musicians. After all, it is the city where Taylor Swift began making her magic!