Happy Monday friends!! What a week AND weekend!! We had an absolute blast in Nashville and I'm excited to share a little travel guide with you! When I first started researching a quick getaway for us, the location needed to tick off just one box - direct and short flight from Boston! Gary and I didn't really have a set plan of what we needed to do and sort of just went with the flow, but through a lot of recommendations and a little luck we had a stellar time in Nashville! Settle in because this is going to be a long one!
Where to Stay & Get Around ||
Hotels were pretty expensive for the days that we were looking at so we researched a lot of Airbnb options and decided on a cute little one bedroom in the West End area of Nashville. In researching a city that neither one of us had ever been to, figuring out what part of the city to stay in was especially hard. It came down to the West End & downtown and here's why the West End won out! .
- 15 minutes to / from the airport
- 10 minutes to Broadway / downtown Nashville
- 10-15 minutes to 12 South (where Draper James is)
- 5 minutes from Vanderbilt
- centrally located
Since this was the first time either one of us have used Airbnb I had no idea what to expect but our host was extremely helpful and communicated quickly and efficiently. We were getting in a bit earlier than her usual check in time, but she was incredibly accommodating! It was nice feeling like we were at home rather than a hotel and still had all the amenities that you would with a hotel. Free wifi, an incredibly comfortable bed, all the toiletries you'd expect at a hotel & coffee! With a full kitchen we could cook if we wanted to, BUT when you're in a foodie city like Nashville it wont get much use!! Unlike staying at a hotel, we didn't have to pay for parking a car which was an added bonus!! Another bonus was that our host owns 2 yoga studios in the city so we were able to take a class one morning which was such a treat!
We were going to use Uber as our main method of transportation and did for the first day we were there, but quickly realized that $5-$10 per trip would add up so we got a great deal on a rental car that we used for the rest of our trip!
Where to Eat ||
When I started to ask for recommendations for things to do in Nashville the only thing people kept referring me to were places to eat!! What a foodie city! I think we'd need a few trips back just to experience all the great places, but in our few short days we managed to eat at some of Nashville's best spots! Huge thank you to Chesson for sharing all of her favorite eats!
Fido || Our first stop was Fido for breakfast. For a Wednesday late morning it was pretty packed and that's probably due to the fact that it's close to a college campus and the breakfast is pretty phenomenal. I had the salmon scramble and a specialty latte. Off to a great start food wise!
Sinema || I only made one reservation for our entire time in Nashville and it was to Sinema - an old movie theater converted to give you an upscale dining and lounge experience - both of which were stellar! If you follow me on snapchat (@blovedboston) you saw what a fun vibe this place had - including the dressing room type bathroom that I may or may not have done a few twirls in!! Gary and I split the truffle aranicni, filet and not one but two orders of the brussel sprouts with bacon because after one bite we decided each of us needed our own!! Our waitress was so sweet and even though we weren't celebrating anything special she treated us to mini cupcakes and caramel popcorn!!
The Perch || After our Yoga class in Green Hills on Thursday we were in need of breakfast and quick! The Perch was in the same plaza so we decided to check it out. It was a small cafe with hands down one of the best latte's I've ever had! Gary and I both decided on savory crepes - I went with the egg, cheese and ham - you know to completely undo any type of exercise that was just completed!! They actually have 4 locations and 2 that we saw in Nashville. It was really tasty and I'd go back for the latte alone!
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden|| I was really looking forward to trying the burger's at Pharmacy since it had been dubbed one of the best in Nashville and possibly the best you'd ever eat! That's a pretty high bar to live up to! So the question is did it?! I had the standard pharmacy burger and Gary opted for the messy but equally delicious chili burger - both with tots! It's hard to pin down what made these burgers so tasty, but there must be some secret sauce that they add on the inside of the bun - it was crazy good and we both devoured them! They also have these fun soda's that are completely free of corn syrup, caffeine and artificial flavors that are made to order.
Acme Feed & Seed || Located on lower Broadway, Acme gave us a really interested food experience. You basically order like you would at a fast food restaurant then proceed to the community seating section to find a spot. The runners find your table number and bring your food over. Once you get your food you can go to the second level or even the roof deck to eat - on the second level they have sushi as well. We stayed on the lower level because we nabbed a prime spot right in front of the stage for the live band. Gary and I split the Red Neck Lo Mein (amazing) with black beans and Mexican street corn! We weren't starving so this was perfect for sharing - actually I'd say a lot of their food would be good for sharing and if you're looking for more of a relaxing eating experience.
The Southern || Apparently The Southern is quite popular with the celebrities in Nashville and it probably has a little to do with the atmosphere and a lot to do with the food! Of course I had serious food envy after Gary's Shrimp BLT came out - not to say my fish tacos weren't good, but his sandwich was mouthwatering good! You are probably in for a wait here if you haven't made reservations or come during peak hours, but we lucked out and spotted two seats at the bar so no need to wait!
What to Do ||
Centennial Park & the Parthenon || Nashville is known / was known as the Athen's of the South due in large part to all the academic institutions they have in the city. So for the 100th anniversary of the city they built a recreation of the Parthenon and a 42 foot statue of Athena sits inside. It's a pretty impressive building, but we weren't really looking forward to paying $24 to go inside. Luckily we stopped by the museum about 15 minutes before closing time and were allowed to just go in for free to look around! So that would be my tip, if you're not into museums but would like to see the statue of Athena then try heading there right before closing time to see if you could go for free!
12 South || The 12th South neighborhood is super trendy with really nice boutiques and great restaurants. I was pretty excited to do some shopping there and then I picked up a hat for $300 and just as quickly put it back! Draper James, Reese Witherspoon's store, is located in the neighborhood and I couldn't go to Nashville without stopping in. Unfortunately everything is pretty pricey in the store even though it's super cute! They do give you a complimentary sweet tea while browsing which was a nice treat! If you're looking for a fun instagrammable (not a word but we'll go with it) wall - this is a great place for that!! There's also a cupcake ATM - yes that's right - Sprinkles Cupcakes dispenses cupcakes!! Check out my instagram for a photo!
Segway Tour || Nashville has a ton of history and while we usually opt for a hop on and off tour Gary really wanted to do a Segway Tour so he quickly booked us with iRide for Friday morning. For 3 hours we rode around Broadway and Downtown Nashville and took in a TON of sites that we honestly wouldn't have gotten to if we were on foot / on our own!
We were in a small group (5 of us total) and were able to stop and take photos whenever we wanted. As someone that has zero balance I was really nervous to ride a Segway, but it feels completely natural and even though I felt a little silly - it's a great way to see a city without having to log all those miles on your feet! They keep you away from super busy streets & you get to feel like you're in the Jetson's flying through the city!
The Escape Game || One of Gary's fraternity brother's lives in Nashville and suggested that we do something a little different so we tested out our skills with the escape game! If you've never heard of this, you basically go with a group (up to 12 people) and are given a mission. Your goal is to escape the room in an hour. You're given clues to solve puzzles and you have to work together to get out of the room! Sadly we were close to escaping, but fell short, so the competitive person in me is ready to try this in Boston!! It's great for team building but also really good if you're looking for a fun group date idea!
Broadway || Obviously Nashville is known as the Music City for a reason! You can't go anywhere on Broadway without hearing a musician or live band playing! I was really nervous that this was going to be reminiscent of the craziness that is Bourbon Street, but it was so much more tame - wild in it's own fun way! We saw a great funk band at Acme, our friend's brother play his part in the dueling piano bar The Big Bang and a super fun band at The Tin Roof.
The Sutler Saloon || Before dinner at the Sinema we stopped into The Sutler Saloon for a few drinks during happy hour and the cucumber cooler was de-li-cious!! They have a really cool downstairs bar area where you can get cozy and pretend that you're back in time at an old time saloon...or you can hop onto saddle for a photo op!
We had an incredible time in Nashville and after 3 days we headed home - happy, full & already planning our next trip! Have you ever been to Nashville? What's your favorite way to explore a city?
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