Oh, my, gosh, Nashville you have STOLEN my heart. If ya’ll haven’t been to Nashville before, you need to start booking your trip! I went for three days with my friend Casey, and we did not want to leave! The people there are so friendly, and kind, the city is so clean and interesting and theres just so much good energy everywhere. If you love country music and good vibes, Nashville is the place to be.
I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to write this post; whether I’d break it up by each day or by category. So I decided to break down each day we were there, and at the end of this post I’ll put links to all the restaurants and attractions to make it easier for you guys! I hope you enjoy all my adventures in Nashville, I already can’t wait to go back.
Our flight landed early, around 10:30 am on Friday which gave us the whole day to explore. On the flight to Nashville, I wanted to be comfortable, but I also knew I wasn’t going to be able to change until later in the day. I wore these shorts from American Eagle, the black thermal is from Nordstroms (mentioned in my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post), as well as my loafers. My hat is from Macy’s, my bralette is from Express and my belt is from Lulu’s. We couldn’t check into our Airbnb until 4, which was in the 12South neighborhood of Nashville. So we rented a car (I HIGHLY recommend doing this), and drove to the 12South neighborhood to grab some lunch.
Our first stop was the Frothy Monkey which is a coffeehouse with good food and a cozy atmosphere. I recommend coming here if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, they offer really fresh sandwiches and salads, and of course great coffee!
While walking down 12 South we had our first encounter with Amelia’s Flower Truck. Guys! Is this not the cutest idea for a business?? I’m sure many of you have seen or heard of Amelia’s before, but basically it’s a flower shop on (adorable) wheels, and they change locations every day. Every time we passed by I was so sad I didn’t have a place to bring flowers back too!
After lunch we drove to the Parthenon which is in Centennial Park near Vanderbilt. The Parthenon is pretty cool because it is the only replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. We didn’t go inside, but there is a small museum inside that you can visit.
Besides just the Parthenon, Centennial park is gorgeous! We hung out on the pond, under a weeping willow tree for a little, while we waited for our Airbnb to be ready. We were so lucky to have such amazing weather while we were there!
Fast forward to after our much needed nap, we changed and went to explore Music Row in Downtown Nashville. Now, before hitting Music Row (Broadway), we were starting to feel like we weren’t too far from home. Then you come onto Music Row and that’s where you get your full dose of the Nashville energy. SO. MUCH. NEON. This is definitely the most touristy part of Nashville, as we would soon find out, but it was awesome. Live music everywhere, eclectic people, hat and boot shops, did I mention..neon?, we couldn’t stop smiling!
For dinner we went to Merchants which is right on Broadway. It’s a three level restaurant and bar, with the bottom level being a bistro. The food was amazing, I got a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and Casey got pulled pork mac and cheese. Also, I thought it was really cute and unique that instead of having chips or bread on the table, they had garlic popcorn! I don’t know if that’s a southern thing or what, but I thought it was really cute (and tasted delicious). For tonight I changed into this top from Hollister that I bought years ago, and my cowgirl boots from Target.
Friday night after dinner, we bar hopped to three different bars on Music Row. It turned out each of the bars were very different from each other, which was nice because we wanted to scope everything out the first night. We went to Benchmark, Acme Feed & Seed and The Stage. Acme Feed and Seed is a huge four level bar and restaurant, with a rooftop bar. The views from the roof we’re so cool, but they didn’t have any live music playing. So next we went to Benchmark which is on a side street of Broadway. Benchmark was really neat because it was much smaller, with a quieter atmosphere and really amazing live country music bands. Last we ended up at The Stage, which had a huge dance floor and a louder live band performing cover songs.
We couldn’t believe how much we had accomplished already during our first day in Nashville. Day one was all about exploring and seeing as much as we could take in. Today we wanted to dig a little deeper and check some more things off our list. First, we stopped and got brunch at Proper Bagel which is on Belmont Blvd, near our first Airbnb. We had read online that they are known for their New York style bagels. Being that we’re Jersey girls, we had to put that to the test. I will say, the bagels we’re really good, and besides that the food in general was awesome! I got an everything bagel with lavender and honey cream cheese (whaaat) and fresh fruit on the side.
After brunch we stopped back on 12South to see the I Believe in Nashville wall art and stop at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM machine. To wander around the city today I wore these high waisted shorts from Cotton On, this cold shoulder top from Express, my same Macy’s hat and my slides from JustFab.
One of the big items we needed to check off our list was the Country Music Hall of Fame! If you’re a Shania Twain fan like me, I freaked when I saw her exhibit. Totally fan-girled and I’m not ashamed. Is she not a complete legend?? Love her. I think she was the first country star to really bring out my love for country music. The Country Music Hall of Fame was really cool and if you take the time to read all of the exhibits, you will learn some very interesting things about your favorite artists.
After the Country Music Hall of Fame, we decided to head over to our second Airbnb which was located in East Nashville. Can we take a moment and talk about HOW CUTE our second Airbnb is??? I died and went to heaven, I want to live here. It was a cute little studio in this woman’s backyard and it was everything we could’ve ever wanted.
For dinner we went to Rosepepper, which is a Mexican restaurant in EastNash. We had heard it as a must-go restaurant if you like authentic Mexican food. After dinner we went back to Music Row and back to Acme Feed & Seed. We just couldn’t get enough of the rooftop views! To go out I wore my favorite high waisted jeans from TopShop, this top from Windsor and my go-to wedges from Bakers Shoes that I’ve had for years.
We started off our last full day with the sole purpose of taking photos with all the different wall art that we found. For this day I wore one of my favorite outfits of the trip, this white lace dress from American Eagle, my cowgirl boots from Target and this floral bandana from Target.
The two wings are located in The Gulch part of Downtown Nashville on 11th ave south. They are right next to each other so you can hit them both at the same time. TIP: there will be a line to take pictures with them. I recommend going earlier in the morning (we went at 10 am) because by noon there will be a line down the street to take photos.
The Draper James wall is located in the 12South neighborhood, across from the I Believe in Nashville wall art.
This cute flower wall is also in the 12South neighborhood, on the side of Green Pea Salon. Make Music Not War, is right across from the flower wall.
For lunch, we went back to East Nash and ate at Marché Artisan Foods. Marché is a breakfast and lunch spot that also doubles as a coffee shop (clearly we have a thing for coffee shops). I ordered a fresh grilled cheese with pesto, local tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on grain bread. They also had a little shop with local foods that you could buy and bring with you. I bought some local strawberry jam, which I had on a sandwich today of lunch and can vouch that it is ah-mazing. There really isn’t anything better than fresh, local food.
After lunch, we went to our Airbnb and changed because it was so hot outside, and decided to drive to Broadway – Music Row and do some shopping and grab a beer at Rock Bottom Brewery. My second outfit of the day features the same denim shorts from American Eagle, the same belt from Lulus and I paired it with this ribbed tank top from Free People. For dinner, we wanted something quick and cheap and we had heard a lot about Five Points Pizza in East Nashville. Now us being Jersey girls, self-proclaimed bagel and pizza snobs (don’t hate us cause you don’t get it), I will say Five Points Pizza is really really good. If you blind folded me and gave me a slice of Jersey pizza and a slice of Five Points pizza, I probably couldn’t tell the difference. So props to you Five Points pizza, giving the people what they deserve!
For our last night, we had heard about a local dive bar called The Station Inn, so we decided to start there and see where the night took us. The Station Inn has live, acoustic Bluegrass music every night! Now i’m not going to lie, we didn’t know what we were walking into, and what to expect. Bluegrass is not my go-to music type, but these musicians were truly incredible. Whether or not you like Bluegrass and roots music, you can appreciate their talent and know that this was where country music all started from. They weren’t there to perform for you, they were there to jam with the people around them, which was really cool to watch. I truly think this was my favorite part of this trip because we really immersed ourselves in old Nashville, and the people that live there. We made a lot of friends with the locals and it really made our trip. We ended the night at the rooftop bar of the Thompson Hotel, which had almost a panoramic view of Nashville which was breathtaking.
Nashville really has something for everybody. Great food, better music, and amazing people.
Tips & Tricks:
I would really say getting an Airbnb (or more than one) is the best way to get the most out of your trip. If we had gotten a hotel in downtown Nashville, we may not have gotten to see as much of Nashville and all of its subparts, as we did. We chose two Airbnb’s in opposite parts of Nashville so we could immerse ourselves in the different neighborhoods and meet some of the people that live there.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is also my biggest tip to get the most out of your trip. We named our rental car Linda (she was glorious) and with her we had total freedom to wander and explore and make up our schedule as we went along. We weighed the pros and cons of the cost of renting the car and having to pay for parking versus just ubering around, and renting the car just made the most sense to us. Ubers are inexpensive, but they add up, and we wouldn’t have had as much freedom to go back and forth, and make pit stops when we saw something on the side of the road that intrigued us.
Ask for the best LOCAL spots
Almost every place we went, whether it was a shop, a restaurant, a bar, what have you, we asked our cashier/waiter/etc. what they recommended we see/visit. It’s hard when you’re planning a trip to somewhere that you’ve never been, to find real reviews and recommendations on where to go. Asking locals where they love to go really shows you a new perspective on the culture and lifestyle of the city and the people that call it home.
Things To Do:
Parthenon – Centennial Park
Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry
Tailgate Brewery and Rock Bottom Brewery
The Station Inn
Broadway – Music Row
Where to Stay:
Five Points Pizza
Marche Artisan Foods