Updated: Aug 26, 2018
Have you ever wanted to know what recovering for two weeks post weekend feels like? Maybe have a song written about you by an aspiring country music artist (true story)? Or maybe just wanted to taste a biscuit that doesn't taste like the cardboard we eat in California? Nashville is the place for you.
For my birthday this year, I rounded up my best gals to enjoy a weekend of debauchery across the USA. Although this destination is not the cheapest for those reading on the west coast, Nashville is home to country's greatest country music artists, live music everywhere you turn and southern charm unlike any other. "But Kathryn I don't like country music." First of all, who are you? Second, Nashville's charms do not just lie within the musical genre it represents. I have broken down my weekend and highlighted some of what Nashville has to offer.
When Should I Visit?
My first piece of advice is to book during a time that is not the CMA's. Both times I have gone to Nashville fell during CMA fest and/or the actual CMA's. Although this provides more people & more enticing events, if you are looking for affordability with lodging you won't find it these weeks. Avoid June or November and visit during September or May (highly recommend for warmer temperatures, see baby Kathryn in June above).
Where Should I Stay?
As you all know, I'm an avid friend to Airbnb, Nashville is broken up into several different neighborhoods that span 5-30 minutes from the main downtown area on Broadway street where the nightlife is located. I would make this your focal point if you plan to go out each night as it is pretty central to most other attractions. STICK TO THIS LOCATION MANTRA. As we stayed in Nashville during a busy weekend, we essentially stayed in an area equivalent to Detroit. When every lyft driver is concerned for your safety, you know something is wrong.
Booking a hotel?
What Should I Do?
Nashville has a variation of activities during the day that are light after your night out on Broadway. Visit 12 Avenue South (above) to see the famous Amelia's Flower Truck, which is essentially flowers on wheels. It's cute and you'll want to Instagram it. 12 Avenue South also has great shopping, including Draper James, personally one of my favorite southern staple clothing stores as well as White's Mercantile, home to homemade goods that will make you reconsider carrying on your luggage. !2 South is also home to the infamous "We Believe in Nashville" street art that you can find adjacent to Draper James. Take photos, its only touristy if you believe it is. And well..I guess locals. Do you.
Loveless Cafe was another favorite activity of mine, with corn hole, a store I literally had to be dragged out of, as well as a restaurant just off the highway. A timeless stop to make on your trip with food no less.
So you're at Loveless Cafe and want to see a beautiful mansion where slaves once lived. Belle Meade is next door! History aside, this plantation is gorgeous and a beautiful stop to make on your drive back to town.
Even if you are not a fan of country music, the historic Grand Ole Opry is a must see. The rich history of music that has crossed the stage (and you will too!) is unbelievable to see in person. Want to stay closer to broadway? The Johnny Cash Museum and Country Music Hall of Fame are two others to see. The only setback? Admission costs can be a drag. I suggest picking one to save your wallet the stress.
Attending a concert in Nashville is like attending a country concert in California where as it is nothing like it at all. Most country musicians actually live in Nashville, creating concerts of multiple of your favorite artists. Make sure to check out some of the concerts going on in the area before you go! I recommend subscribing to the Bridgestone Arena email list, as lots of shows are held there. It is also located on downtown Broadway's street. Can you say after party?
Where Am I Drinking?
Ah my favorite topic if you are an avid reader of mine. Broadway street is going to have everything you need. There is literally live music in every bar you step into and they all line every corner of Broadway Street downtown.
Here are a few that led to me having a romantic night with a D list country music star:
I Like To Party: I Dain to Party:
Where Do I Eat?
What a loaded question, literally. Nashville is truly a food city and we could not get enough of it throughout our time here. There are a few southern staples you must get off the bat, including biscuits & hot chicken. Nashville is known for them. Nashville is also home to some pretty spectacular culinary experiences, as this city is a melting pot of people from all over the United States. Balance is key to a successful day of stuffing your face.
Brunch (because you aren't getting out of bed at a decent hour)
***Keep in mind most brunch spots in Nashville do not take reservations, go in your best hangover drab and put your name in as early as you can!
If You Saved Room
ARE YOU CONVINCED YET?! Nashville will always have a special place in my heart and I hope to contribute to your next visit.
More questions? Comment below!