Nashville is a lot more than just the home of country music. As a hotspot for bachelor and bachelorette parties, Nashville knows how to have a little fun. With great nightlife, greater food, quality shopping and the chance of finding yourself as an extra on a set or running into a star at a gas station, Nashville is a southern city with spunk. As a local, I can show you all the ins-and-outs to fulfill your honky-tonk desires or your 12th South needs.
Eat Like a Local
Calling all foodies! The quality and variety of Nashville's food scene is a bit astonishing. With so many award-winning restaurants and features on Food Network, Nashville is home to more than hot chicken and BBQ. Now, of course, you are welcome to stand in line for two hours to get into the Pancake Pantry or burn your lips with Hattie B's Hot Chicken, but I highly recommend finding the best little cafes and holes in the walls of the city!
Start your day with some breakfast at Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes, Pfunky Griddle or Germantown Café. For some equally delicious cafes specializing in coffee but serving up amazing food, head to Frothy Monkey, Fido or Bongo Java for any meal. For lunch, stop by Burger Up, Burger Republic or The Grilled Cheeserie for some out-of-this-world grilled cheeses that were featured on Food Network.
If there’s warm weather, there’s Tennessee humidity. To cool yourself off, stop by Bobby’s Dairy Dip, Retro Snow Food Truck or Jeni’s Ice Cream, where lavender and sweet potato are turned into creamy cold treats. If you came down south to get some “smack yo momma” southern cookin’, Edley's BBQ and Arnold’s Country Kitchen won’t disappoint. Not a meat eater? Try the Wild Cow and sister restaurant Graze or Avo, a raw vegan restaurant. Feeling a little ethnic? Try Mas Tacos Por Favor, Sitar Indian, Anatolia Turkish Restaurant, Epice or Thai Phooket. For a unique experience, enjoy both fine dining and bowling at Pinewood Social.
Nashville will fix your munchies without any questions — no matter the time of day. If you got wrapped up in the world of Honky Tonks and Broadway and you find yourself hungry at a time later than you'd like to admit, visit San Antonio Taco Company and Two Boots Pizza Nashville.
Experience Music City, USA
Nashville is the music city — no doubt about it. Every day, every minute, everywhere, someone is singing and plucking a guitar. Step back into history and see a show or tour The Ryman or the Grand Ole’ Opry. Then pay your respects to country music, past and present, at The Johnny Cash Museum, The Country Music Hall of Fame and The Musicians Hall of Fame. You can even become a Nashville star yourself at Lonnie's Western Room and Karaoke Bar. Before you leave, make sure to take a bit of Nashville home with you with Grimey’s, a record shop which often has in-store performances or stop by Jack White’s Third Man Records.
Be Both a Tourist and a Local
Nashville can be seen from above with the Pedestrian Walking Bridge or, maybe a bit too personally, by stopping by The Hermitage Hotel and checking out the world famous men’s bathroom. If the weather is nice, take a walk through the botanical gardens of Cheekwood or Centennial Park. While there, stop and tour the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The replica now functions as an art museum with an Athena statue standing 42 feet tall. Check out the latest art exhibits at The Frist Center for Visual Arts or walk gallery to gallery at the First Saturday art crawl. Grab some popcorn (or their hummus) at The Belcourt, a nonprofit theater showing independent, documentary, world, repertory and classic cinema.
Familiarize yourself with the areas known as "12 South," "The Gulch" and "Hillsboro Village" for some great shopping. Stop by Two Old Hippies, Savant, Local Honey and Starstruck for some vintage style known to adorn music and Hollywood stars alike. During the fourth weekend of every month, head to the Nashville Fairgrounds and shop the Nashville Flea Market. If looking for some local, homemade goods and fresh produce, stop by the Nashville Farmers Market. To add to your new addition of cowboy boots, don't forget to stop by Project 615 and pick up a Nashville-inspired shirt. Project 615 is a philanthropic t-shirt and apparel company with the objectives to help restore those who are on the path of recovery from homelessness, addiction and mental illness.
Just because you're not going to the beach for spring break does not mean you can't have a little fun! Nashville is overflowing with life and things to do. Although we love our roots, Nashville is a bit more than country music and cowboy boots and I challenge you to discover why I love my home so much.
But I don't think it'll be that hard.
Lead Image Credit: Joshua Ness via Unsplash