I’m back from another Friendcation, this time a long weekend get-away in Nashville, TN.  As a country music aficionado and lover of all things southern, I feel like Nashville was made for me!  We hit a bunch of the touristy spots, but took some suggestions from local friends and got off the beaten path again.  Scroll down below and follow along as I try and sum up our adventures in 500ish words.  [disclaimer: I failed, its more like a thousand words]

EatEat:

  1. Whiskey Kitchen – Be sure to try the fried green tomatoes and get bourbon in your cocktail.  Or if you’re feeling brave, just order a 1 or 2 oz pour from their super extensive whiskey list.  Apparently they have one of the top lists in the country featuring some rare finds.
  2. Loveless Cafe – Biscuits and southern comfort food are calling your name at this road side stop about ten miles south of the city.  You can definitely expect a wait, but you can also expect the wait to be worth it.
  3. City House – An old factory in the up and coming Germantown neighborhood is now one of the hippest places to eat in the city.  The ingredients are all local, they cure their own meats on site, and have a wood fire oven for pizzas.  Plan on making a reservation because this place was packed.
  4. Edley’s BBQ – When asking where to get the best BBQ in town, pretty much everyone directed us to Edley’s .  Its about two miles south of downtown, but worth the trip.  The portions were huge, the meat was tender, the sides were amazing, and the price point was right on.
  5. Mike’s Ice Cream – Right on Broadway, this ice cream shop scoops up sweet treats to tourists and celebrities alike.

drink

Drink:

  1. Holland House – This rustic little spot off the tourist track in East Nashville is a total hipster paradise, but if there are two things hipsters do well, its food and cocktails.  The appetizers were incredible, but what really blew us away was their $6 classic cocktail list.  Never before in my life have I only dropped six bucks on an old fashioned, pimm’s cup, or sazerac.  You’ll definitely need a car to get out there if you’re staying downtown.
  2. The local beers – We tried a few which were available on tap all around the city.  My favorite find though was a little spot called the Filling Station in the 12 South neighborhood.  They had tons on tap to fill growlers as well as six packs to go.

Stay:

  1. The Embassy Suites at Vanderbilt – The hotel was a fantastic value offering 2 bedroom suites, a complimentary breakfast and happy hour each day, as well as free shuttles to downtown.

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Try:

  1. The Lyft Service – This ride sharing service, all run through an app on your phone is now available in Nashville and was our primary means of transportation.  Since we were new users, we were able to claim a free $25 credit on each of our accounts which means we didn’t pay for a cab ride out of pocket the entire trip.
  2. The Cigars at The Wheel Cigar Bar – In a strange vacation tradition, we have taken to splitting a cigar on the last night of our trip every year.  When Broadway got a little too crazy for us on Saturday night, we made our way to a second story cigar bar and wound down the evening splitting our once-a-year-vacation-cigar.
  3. Game Day Predators tickets for $15 bucks – The Predators offer 100 tickets [even to sold out games] via a lottery the morning of home games.  We weren’t able to snag any, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you don’t mind getting to the stadium at 10AM.  [we ended up buying ours from a scalper on the street minutes after the game started].

See

See:

  1. The Parthenon at Centennial Park – As strange as it may sound, there is a true-to-size replica of the Greek Parthenon at Centennial Park near the Vanderbilt campus.  Weird, but true, and worth checking out.
  2. The Grand Ole Opry – This is a country music fan’s dream and the back stage tour is totally worth the money.  They guide takes you behind the scenes to the artists’ entrance, the dressing rooms, and even up on stage.  Surely one of the highlights of the trip for me.
  3. Country Music Hall Of Fame – You can’t visit Nashville and not check out the hall of fame!
  4. The Bluebird Cafe – Good luck scoring tickets to a show [we didn't] but be sure to stop by and take a peak to see if Deacon or Gunnar are inside ; )
  5. Belle Meade Plantation – A short drive outside the city you’ll find a preserved horse plantation where you can explore the grounds and go on an incredible guided tour of the estate’s mansion.  They even throw in a free wine tasting at the end.

listen

Listen:

  1. Bluegrass music at the Station Inn – If you’re looking for authentic, real deal bluegrass, then you absolutely can’t miss the Station Inn.
  2. Country music at Tootsies Orchid Lounge – Legend [or truth] has it this is where all the out-laws used to play, and although the crowd  is probably tamer these days, the music sure hasn’t gone down hill.  There’s no cover, but expect to drop  twenty bucks if you want to get a request played.
  3. Live music at the honky tonks on Broadway – Tootsies is great but I  promise you’ll have fun at any of the honky tonks!

do

Do:

  1. Buy the Total Access Pass – The $60 tourist pass pays for itself  if you plan on checking out a few of the tourist attractions.  The visitors center is located at 5th and Broadway next to the Bridgestone Arena.
  2. Rent a car – The city is amazing, but so is getting out of town and checking out the surrounding areas.  We rented a car for a dirt cheap $22, and had a blast driving past the gigantic homes that rest just outside the city and visiting a few sites we would have otherwise missed.
  3. Ride the Pedal Tavern – Whatever you do, DO NOT miss the Pedal Tavern.  I mean, really… where else can you join a random bachelorette party [hi Gina from Long Island!] and ride around the city sipping beers on a huge mobile bar?

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Until we meet again, Nashville, until we meet again…

XOXO,

MJ

PS: Check out my city reviews of DC, New Orleans, and Chicago!

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