Your Guide to…Nashville

12 Nov

I am starting a new series on my blog today called Your Guide To…

Every couple months I will feature a city I have been to and the sights and places I recommend you check out. Whether you have been there, live there, or want to go there, maybe my little posts will inspire you!

My first edition is simple and oh so obvious. Nashville. Heaven on a earth for a country gal like me. My Las Vegas you could say.

I’ve been to Nashville twice now, and will most certainly be going again (probably next year…let’s be real). Both trips were girls’ getaways, and did not disappoint. Both times I went for 3-4 nights which was the perfect length of time if you ask me. Nashville is a top 5 most popular tourist destination in the USA so there is plenty to see and do!

Must-Do’s

opry

Grand Ole Opry show. You’ve all heard of the Grand Ole Opry, THE place for country music since the 1970’s (formerly the Ryman Auditorium located downtown Nashville). The Opry is a 15 minute drive outside the downtown of Nashville, but well worth the trip. You can simply do a tour, but squeeze in a live show if you can.

hallfame

Country Music Hall of Fame. Also known as a place I could spend 10 hours. The Hall of Fame houses the history of country music from the early 1940’s to present day. If you are looking to save on the price of admission, go late in the day about an hour before they close for 50% off. Even if you aren’t a museum-type, take an hour to zip through – it will be worth it.

believewall

“I Believe in Nashville” Wall. This wall is probably the most instagramed place in Nashville. If you are looking for that iconic photo spot, this is it. Located beside Draper James (fashionistas take note!) in a neighbourhood called 12 South, the wall is just s short cab ride away from downtown.

preds

Nashville Predators Game. I’m from Canada. Obviously I would go to a hockey game anywhere. What’s great about “Smashville” is the fans! They really love their hockey in country town USA. The arena is also on the main strip (called Broadway Ave.) so you are only a stones throw from post-game nightlife.

Paratrooper-Titans-game

Tennessee Titans Game and Tailgate. And you can’t take a trip to the south and not do the whole football thing. The Titans stadium is a short walk from Broadway Ave., which makes it prime for tailgating in the nearby parking lots or for pre-drinks downtown. Tip: The NFL has strict rules around the size of women’s bags and purses. Be sure to check online before the game to ensure yours is within the rules. It’s a long way back to the hotel.

Great Eats

waffles

Pucket’s Grocer. Located a stones throw from Broadway Ave. (the main strip), this is the spot to get that classic southern fried chicken, beef brisket sandwich, or – my personal favourite – chicken and waffles. They also have the best BBQ sauce going – which I always bring back to Canada.

Flipside-12-South-Nashville-20-682x1024

Flipside 12’s. A super cute diner that is perfect for brunch or lunch. Flipside is located in 12 South, and is a great pit stop if you are visiting Draper James or the I Believe In Nashville wall just down the street. They have the best chicken, made practically any way you like it.

palm

Palm. A classic steakhouse if you are looking for a nicer dinner (a.k.a. a $60 cut of meat). Right downtown and across the street from Bridgestone arena it’s the perfect spot for a steak, potatoes, and bottle of wine pre-game. I would know from personal experience.

miranda virago

Virago – The sushi spot the locals rave about. Also a favourite of local celebrities (I hear Taylor Swift is a regular when she is in town, and clearly Miranda Lambert too). If you are craving something a little healthier than fried chicken and deep fried vegetables, check it out.

rolfs

Rolf & Daughters. Rated the top restaurant in Nashville, and for a reason. One of the best plates of pasta I have ever had. They also have gluten-free pasta available, which my celiac friend told me was excellent. Be sure too plan ahead and make a reservation.

Best Bars

All the bars on Broadway Ave. downtown are great for a tourist, and you are guaranteed a fun time no matter where you go. But here are a few of my faves on the strip, as well as a few the locals recommended that we loved.

stage

The Stage. Located on the strip, The Stage is a classic favourite I’m told. I never had a bad night here. If you are looking for great music, both live and DJ, dancing and good beer, stop by here.

honkytonk

Honky Tonk Central. I like to say this bar is three floors of fun. Because it is. I’m not kidding. Honky Tonk Central is packed all day every day, and offers different live music on all three floors.

acme

Acme. A new-ish bar on the end of the strip near the river, Acme is a favourite of both the locals and tourists with a kick-ass rooftop patio. It’s a great spot to start your night at, but beware – the line is ridiculous past 10pm.

whiskey kitchen

Whiskey Kitchen. A great little spot locals like to go. It’s a little farther from downtown in an area known as the Gulch, but if you want to get away from the spots that cater to tourists, Whiskey Kitchen is a great choice.

tinroof

Tin Roof. There are a couple Tin Roofs around Nashville but my personal favourite is on Demumbreum, a block south of Broadway. There is a Tin Roof on the strip as well if you want to keep things close to home. Tin Roof is similar to The Stage – great live music, a dance floor, and flowing beer.

For the Shopaholics

Opry-Mills-Valet1280x630

Opry Mills. The Mills is an outlet mall beside The Grand Ole Opry, about a 15-min. drive from downtown Nashville. There aren’t any department stores here, but you have your classic factory stores (think Banana Republic, J. Crew, Aldo) as well as a very large H&M and Forever 21.

draper

Draper James. My personal favourite store. Draper James is an online store founded by Reese Witherspoon that just recently opened it’s flagship store in Nashville. Think southern and classy – printed pants and silk tops, striped and classic home accessories, blouses, and flowy skirts. You can check out their website here.

bettysboots

Betty’s Boots. If you are anything like me you are probably looking for a great pair of shitkickers. Well look no further than Betty’s Boots, located on Broadway Ave. There are many “buy 2 get 1 free” boot shops in the area, which is great if you are with a few friends, but if you are looking for a good quality, classic pair of boots I would recommend Betty’s. They stock all the major brands – Justin, Ariat, Old Gringo, Durango.

Best Live Music

bluebird

Bluebird. You can’t go to Nashville without taking in some of it’s authentic country music scene. The Bluebird Café has always been a mainstay in Nashville known for discovering talent, but it’s more recently been made famous by the TV show Nashville. Nevertheless, Bluebird is a must-do….if you can get in. It’s a very small café, sort of in the middle of nowehere, sandwiched between a Laundromat and hairdresser. If this tickles your fancy you will have to reserve your spot online on their website well in advance of your visit. Good luck!!

listening room

The Listening Room. This place was my backup to not being able to go to the Bluebird on my last trip, but let me tell you – it was fantastic! The show we saw featured a panel of amateur singer/songwriters who were fabulous personalities and very talented. The Listening Room also had great food and is located 2 blocks from Broadway Ave. right near the COuntry Music Hall of Fame. I recommend going to their early evening show on your first night in Nashville if you figure you will be a bit jet lagged and are looking for an early night. Free reservations can also be made on their website.

So there you have it y’all. My personal take on Your Guide To…Nashville. If you don’t have a good time (which is impossible)…don’t come crying to me. Probably just means you never read my guide!

ecard

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