Yesterday I returned from a super fun Nashville trip with my besties Meagan and Sarah. It was our first time in Music City and it was such a great weekend to explore. With the Labor Day holiday, everyone was out and about. I'm excited to share some hot-spots we recommend if you're visiting Nashville for your first time because I'm sure all the locals avoid the tourist traps.
My friends and I arrived on Saturday and stayed through Wednesday. We managed to squeeze in quite a bit of city, food, and attractions in that time (and even made it to bed by 10PM most nights)! We joked all weekend about being Nana's, but really our days were so packed full that we crashed every night. Don't worry - we squeezed in drinks during the day as to not miss out on those 2 for 1 deals! Let's get this travel ball rollin'!
Our Air BNB was by 12 South Street and it was one of our favorite streets to visit. There were great restaurants, bars, shops, and even a farmer's market. Also, we were only about a $5 Uber ride away from downtown. Helloooooo!
Our Air BNB had this super cute vintage look and a pool that the girls took advantage of. It was small but centralized, and a quick 3 minute walk to the liquor store and 10 minute walk to 12 South Street. It was perfect for 3 people and I would definitely consider staying there again. It was a safe and quiet neighborhood (with the exception of the train outside our window.)
On 12 South Street you'll find 1 of my favorite shops, Imogene + Willie. Their perfectly curated shop is beautiful and rustic. Though they're a bit out of my price range, I've heard nothing but good things about their jean's longevity and comfort. I picked up a great hat for Brandon as a souvenir and resisted every urge to buy myself something fun. On the same street you'll also find White's Mercantile, Serendipity, and a few other random and small boutiques...all of which are worth checking out!
We ate at 12 South Taproom, Edley's BBQ, and The Flipside. We had our eyes on a few other places on the same street and heard great things about Burger Up! Oh - and I highly recommend stopping at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and getting a salted ice cream. Just trust me there!
One of my favorite things about our walk from the BNB to 12 South was the neighborhood we walked through. The houses were beautiful! I wish I snapped pics of more, but some of the new construction builds were absolutely on-par for my dream home. Not to mention the lovely old homes! It was totally swoon-worthy.
(click through for more nashville fun)
I used the term "downtown" pretty loosely here. It describes real downtown (like broadway, honky tonk highway, etc), midtown, and the area by the Cumberland River (south of broadway). We spent a decent amount of time in these areas, but it was pretty overwhelming and honestly a little dirty. If you want good music and cheap drinks it's worth holding your breathe to visit. Also, we felt like it was a real "must see" at night and it didn't disappoint.
We started our trip by booking a Nashville Pedal Tavern tour through Midtown. It was a cool way to see a whole new area of the city in such a funny way. We were booked along with a bachelorette party who kept the energy up during our 11 AM bike-ride. Before the ride we grabbed an absolutely delicious breakfast at Just Love. SO YUMMY! The tavern brought us to a bunch of bars and the bars give you deals for being part of the tour. We got day drunk and crashed pretty early that day.
The Broadway area of downtown was full of amazing bright walls and signs. I was obsessed with the buildings and neon lights! We popped in all of the shops along Broadway and up 2nd Ave and grabbed a drink and fried pickles at Robert's Western World. There was live music everywhhhhere!
Just to reiterate - Nashville has the coolest walls! I snapped so many pics of Sarah and Meagan.
Pinewood Social was another favorite place of mine! It's this beautiful place with a pool, bowling alley, bar, restaurant, and lounge -"a place to meet". It was beautifully decorated, delicious, and reasonably priced for the setting. It's located by the river to the south of Broadway. Next time I'm in in Nashville, I'll for sure hang around Pinewood to bowl or eat. We popped in for a drink and appetizers and it didn't disappoint one bit. YUM!
We were only around to spend a little bit of time in the gulch and east Nashville, but I had to share because of how amazing the few places we did check out were! We heard from a few Uber drivers that the gulch is really up and coming, so it's worth looking into if you're visiting the city.
The only place we ate in the gulch neighborhood was Biscuit Love. We waited for almost 40 minutes to eat, but OMG!! The line does move super quickly and the food is worth the wait. I promise. There's also a really great Nashville light (see below) in there.
East Nashville was pretty hip! There was an area called 5 Points that had a bunch of restaurants and bars and some cute little shops. We caught them on Labor Day, so most shops were closed but we stumbled upon one vintage clothing/music shop that was open. Such a cute hybrid. Also, Meagan ran into I Dream of Weenie (a place she was searching for)! So so so funny. We also got lots of recommendations for Five Points Pizza if you end up in East Nashville.
My favorite meal was at The Pharmacy in East Nashville (just outside the 5 Points area)! I got a pesto chicken sandwich and a local beer and I'm still dreaming about it. If you go, I suggest choosing the sweet potato fries as a side but my friends both got the tots and devoured them too. Really, this was the best meal of the trip. Hands down. So good!
We only trekked out to the marathon motor works village for a distillery tour, but we ended up spending an entire afternoon in there! The marathon village is full of shops and warehouses with storefronts. Not to mention, Antique Archaeology (from the show American Pickers) was next door!
I was so excited to visit Antique Archaeology. So. Excited. It was - MEH. Beautifully curated and designed, but mostly T-Shirts and merch from the TV show. I wanted to find something really cool, but maybe they save that all for the Iowa shop. If you're a huge fan of American Picker's this shop would be extra fun because they tell you which episode most of the merchandise is featured on.
We took a distillery tour at Corsair Distillery. It was a small batch distillery and a pretty short tour, but they give you a good amount of whiskey at the end. It was really interesting learning the whole process of how whiskey is made as well. You can order fancy drinks at the end of the tour in their tasting room and (when they're in stock) you get a tasting glass with the tour.
Our last trip of the vacation was just outside of downtown Nashville at the Loveless Cafe. We wanted some good southern cookin' (though I think we were actually craving salads) and had Loveless on our "to visit" list.
Loveless was a little out of the way but it's adorable, full of local history, and surrounded by Loveless gift-shops. They have homemade hot sauce, preserves, and branded T-shirts and whatnot. I fell into the tourist trap and got a cute little dish-towel. It's worth the trip for the biscuits alone.
Our trip was AMAZING! It was so great getting away with the girls. We shared some photos over on Instagram using the hashtag #girlyfunnashvilletrip. Do you have any recommendations for fun places to check out next time I'm down in Music City? We're thinking a vacation Colorado next year!