I explored Nashville for the first time a few months ago for what turned out to be the best birthday trip ever! The situation started out a little stinky when, because of extenuating circumstances, I called my best friend stressed out and disappointed because I was going to have to cancel the trip. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: “Hi, yeah I’m going to have to cancel my Nashville trip.”
BFF: “F*** that s***, I’m looking up flights right now.”
If you don’t have a solid, always-got-your-back, potty-mouthed best friend like that you need to get ya one.
Our girls’ trip ended up being a total blast. Which was to be expected because we both needed some serious best friend time, and we could be sitting in line at DPS and have the best time together. Aside from the great company, Nashville blew me away. Coolest city ever. Well not ever. It reminded me of Austin, TX (my hometown and officially the coolest city ever) about 10 years ago. The sights, people, music scene, history, food, and ease of getting around were great. I have no complaints about this city. Well, maybe one but I’ll get to that. Aside from the extra touristy things that everyone, including us, does – Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Milk and Honey – amazing drinks and food; go for brunch, the Parthenon – nice walk and photo op, Lower Broadway – super fun but incredibly crowded; similar to 6th Street in Austin or a much cleaner Bourbon Street – here are my favorite things we did:
Our Airbnb was a couple blocks from Vanderbilt in Midtown and it was the PERFECT location (and a great price). We were no more than a 5-10 minute Uber ride or a quick walk to everywhere we wanted to go, and we were situated among many of Nashville’s recording studios. We spent a lot of time walking off booze and food calories on Vanderbilt’s campus, and it was beautiful. The historic buildings and huge magnolia trees make for a very picturesque walk, and if you’re anything like me and wish that you were still in college (seriously, pretty much everyday) it undoubtedly brings some nostalgia along with it.
As a born and bred Texan, I take BBQ pretty seriously, so when one of our Uber drivers told us that Edley’s was the best BBQ around I was very skeptical (c’mon guy, not only is everything bigger in Texas but everything is better too), but let me just say HOLY MOLY YOU CAN HAVE MY FIRST BORN CHILD IF I CAN HAVE MORE EDLEY’S BBQ. It was incredible. Easily the best BBQ I’ve ever tossed into this gullet. And I’ve tossed a lot of BBQ into this gullet. It’s on the east side of the river from Lower Broadway in an area not super inundated by tourists (unlike Hattie B’s Hot Chicken BUT it was also amazing and you must go).
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
So I realize this is about as touristy as it gets, but this place was awesome! It houses all sorts of memorabilia from country music artists new and old. If you are even the slightest fan of country music you should check this place out. There are several tour options to choose from depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.
The Patterson House
This upscale speakeasy type bar was about a quarter mile from our Airbnb so it seemed like a solid option for a little nightcap. It was the perfect place to sit and talk in a relaxed setting with awesome drinks. I had a couple Long Distance Relationship drinks that contained gin, allspice, some other yummy goodness, and lit on fire. We asked the bartender if that’s why it was called the long distance relationship – because it went up in flames. That’s not why, in case you were wondering too (seems pretty fitting to me though). The drinks weren’t cheap and the crowd was a little older so this is not the place to go if you’re looking for a rowdy time, but it is definitely worth stopping in. There’s even a convenience store across the street that unlocked it’s doors for us after closing so we could buy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (seriously, that’s customer service).
I will add that we had a very unsettling experience at a nice rooftop bar while in town. It seemed to be a textbook human trafficking situation (if not that, then something else we certainly didn’t want to be a part of). We were two females together in an upscale bar catering to high-end clientele, so this is just a PSA to be aware of your surroundings. All the time. Wherever you go, because there are serious weirdos and creeps in every city.
All in all, Nashville, also known as, Bachelorette Capital of the World, NashVegas, Nasty Nash, is an INCREDIBLE city definitely worth exploring if you get the chance. It’s not overly expensive and there are things to do and see for people of all ages and interests. I can’t wait to go back!