Have you ever been to Nashville, TN? It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the US, it’s *the* destination for any and all bachelorette parties, it’s a haven for foodies, and of course, the music…so much music!
Last month, one of my best girlfriends and I took a trip to Nashville! It had been a bucket list city for both of us and I’m not sure why up until this point we never booked it. Over Bloody Marys one Sunday morning in May, we decided we had to make this happen. We booked our flights for mid-July, eventually secured an Airbnb, and decided the rest was going to play out however it was meant to be!
I haven’t been blogging much this Summer, but I have a ton of posts coming up and I really wanted to recap our trip with some of my favorite photos! With that said, this post isn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be (IG worthy shots, matching filters, etc.) but my new moto is “done is better than perfect” …and before this trip seems like a distant memory, I wanted to get it live!
While we honestly had the best time and quite a bit of luck traveling with a blank itinerary, we did pick up some helpful tips along the way. I know everyone is jetting off to Nashville these days, so I wanted to share a quick recap of our visit, and some feedback for those who may be planning to go!
- Visit mid-week!
We stayed Wednesday-Sunday and while it was pretty busy… come Friday night, things were getting pretty crazy around the city!
- Consider booking an Airbnb
We went back and forth between staying at a hotel or an Airbnb. We ultimately settled on an Airbnb apartment a very short walk from downtown (about 2 blocks). It was reasonably priced and the accommodations were excellent. We stayed at the Niido which is a home-sharing apartment community. The clean and eclectic units are purchased with intent to rent and we found that 98% of the people we came into contact with were visitors. There are a ton of Niido units on Airbnb. Highly recommend!
If you plan to visit during any of the warmer months, stay somewhere that has a pool. It wasn’t an initial thought of ours, but thank goodness our complex had one. I’m really not sure what we would have done all day. With 90+ temps, and fairly low alcohol tolerances, there was only so much day drinking we could do! The pool was a lifesaver.
- Most things are pretty walkable. Prepare for that!
We spent the majority of our trip in the downtown area bouncing back and forth between Broadway/The Gulch. It’s about a 10-12 minute walk between each and if the heat wasn’t so intense, we would have probably done more of that. Midtown was a bit further, but certainly doable if you’re up for it! It was nice to walk when we could, but we definitely took advantage of the (very) accessible Ubers, cabs, and golf carts.
- EAT ALL THE THINGS!
We went into this trip planning to totally pig out! Between the heat and the walking, I think we actually lost a couple of pounds. Restaurant suggestions were given to us left and right so we did our best to indulge as much as we could. Below are the spots we hit, but if you’ve been to Nashville, please leave your faves in the comments!
– Bongo Java (grabbed coffee here in the mornings and a quick lunch one afternoon. Everything was delish and the staff was super friendly)
– Tavern (we stopped here for happy hour for 1/2 price pitchers — dangerous, but delish)
– Hattie B’s (hot chicken and mac & cheese are a must)
– Martins BBQ (fried catfish was our fave!)
– L27 (rooftop bar at the Westin, a girlfriend recommended we have a cocktail & enjoy the view. I recommend you do the same!)
– Butchertown Hall (thank you Allegre for the rec via IG! May have been my favorite dinner — get the queso!)
– Gino’s East (perfect spot if you want a break from BBQ & are in the mood for some Chicago deep dish!)
– The Melting Pot (we searched high & low for an espresso martini and TMP may be the only restaurant in Nashville that serves them. Happy to have done the leg work for ya!)
– Potbelly Sandwich Shop (DO NOT GO HERE. It’s basically Subway…we meant to go to PORK BELLY CAFE but I confused the two – PBC looks AMAZING!)
– The Jucie Bar (they were closing soon & out of almost everything, but they gave us each a 1/2 of a to-go cup for free!)
– Margaritaville (stopped here for the Sirius XM happy hour & enjoyed nachos and the yummiest frozen drinks!)
– Stock & Barrel (we had a really tasty burger & the best spicy crab dip here!)
– Kitchen Notes (this was in the Omni hotel – they had the most delicious breakfast/brunch. I’m still dreaming about the biscuit bar!)
These places were also on our list to try, we just never made it:
– Frothy Monkey
– Grilled Cheeserie (food truck)
– Gigis (cupcakes)
– Legendairy Milkshake Bar (may go back just for these)
– The Southern
– Arnold’s Country Kitchen
– Pinewood Social (they have bowling alleys!?)
– Biscuit Love
– 5th and Taylor
Of course we had to visit Uncommon James and Kittenish — I actually scored some adorable & affordable pieces there (see red dress above!) But there are so many unique stores in the city. We stumbled upon a small parking-lot pop up and found our NSH crop tops there!
- Enjoy the music!
All of the bars were great and most had multiple floors. Every bar had a band – or two, or three, or four! We would walk down broadway, hear a song we liked and pop in to listen. Nobody charged a cover so we just bounced around every night. We were both shocked by the lack of country music. There were a ton of cover bands, a lot of 90’s music, and renditions of today’s hits, but we were hoping to hear more country than we did. Not sure if thats the norm, but that was our experience.
- Party Bike tour! This is a MUST. The pedal taverns were actually all booked, so we went on a Sprocket Rocket (basically the same thing). Since we weren’t traveling with a group of people, we purchased two seats on an open ride Saturday night (our last night) and had the best time. It was BYOB, there was a bartender who kept our drinks cold cups full, the driver was DJ-ing, and we just rode through the streets! There are people, pedal taverns, busses, and trailers full of people partying everywhere so it made for such a fun ride! Highly recommend, we had a blast.
There was SO MUCH MORE to be explored in the city and I’m surly missing a million details/photos but all in all, we had the best time! It came and went so quickly, but traveling with one of your best friends is a must. If you haven’t spent some quality time with a girlfriend recently…I say bite the bullet, book a flight, and go make some memories!