Nashville is known as the Music City because of the important role it has played in music history, but it's so much more than just a music mecca. This city has something for everyone, whether you're a foodie, party animal, history buff or sports fanatic.
Nashville is absolutely brilliant, oozing with Southern hospitality, endless entertainment and is delicious in every way! Read on for my suggested guide to this fine city...
Where to Stay:
Dream Nashville is a sleek 168-room hotel located on 4th Avenue, in walking distance to just about everything that makes Nashville's heart beat: Printer's Alley, Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, Nissan Stadium as well as endless bars, rooftops and restaurants. It's also, conveniently, only a 15-minute drive from BNA International Airport.
The best way to explore Nashville is on foot, so hotel location is clutch. As far as I can tell, public transportation isn't really a thing in Nashville, apart from a few busses. It's also not a city where it's easy to raise your arm and hail a taxi, but ride share apps like Lyft and Uber are affordable and work rather well.
Where to Eat:
Unique and appetizing restaurants are plentiful and can be found in every Nashville neighborhood. Whether you’re seeking traditional Southern country cooking or want to indulge in Michelin-starred cuisine, Nashville's food scene is guaranteed to leave you fat and happy.
Fuel up for the day with breakfast at Biscuit Love or brunch at Church and Union.
For lunch, gorge on BBQ at Peg Leg Porker in the Gultch, enjoy Mexican at Mas Tacos Por Favor in East Nashville or overindulge with a basket of hot chicken at one of the four Hattie B’s locations.
If you have any space left in your tummy for dinner, I recommend Skull’s Rainbow Room. Go for the prime rib and stay for the live jazz/burlesque. You'll need to book in advance.
If you're celebrating a special occasion and you feel like splurging, dine at Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak on the 34th floor of the JW Marriott, with spectacular views of Nashville's city lights.
Broadway Honky Tonks:
Nashville is the home of country, the birthplace of bluegrass and a hotspot for nearly all other musical genres. Y'all best put on your faded blue jeans and cowboy hats, shine up them boots and head on down to Broadway (AKA Honky Tonk Highway), day or night, for world-class live music, 365 days a year. Visit any of the down-home bars along this neon-lit strip to hear legends and wannabe stars playing covers for tips and free booze.
Of all the honky tonks, my favorites were Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World, Lucky Bastard Saloon and The Stage. Be sure to have your ID on you (I got carded in most places).
Other Things to Do:
If you can tear yourself away from the music and alcohol for a few hours, take in a bit of music history at the Country Music Hall of Fame and/or the Johnny Cash museums. Both were great!
Attend a live radio show taping at one of America's most iconic venues: The Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman theater.
With three professional sports teams and a AAA baseball team, sports fans are spoiled for choice in Nashville. If schedules align, I highly recommend going to Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, for a fun-filled night of ice hockey.
Whatever you fancy, you're likely to find it in Tennessee's capital city. Nashville delivers a far more diverse experience than its music-centric reputation might have you believe.
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