Everything you heard about Nashville, Tennessee is true. The food is yummy, the people are kind, the drinks are strong, the boys are cute and the music is next-level good. You’re bound to gain five pounds and lose your voice, because let’s be real, they don’t call it Nash-Vegas for nothin’.
My friends and I, we like to drink. Our whole entire trip revolved around live country music, fried food and cold beer (or vodka sweet tea lemonades), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We spent five days in Nashville and I still feel like we didn’t do or see enough, but I was obsessed with the city nonetheless. If you find yourself in Nashville in the near future, here are some things that made my list of noteworthy places, in no particular order.
Broadway — You’ve undoubtedly heard of Broadway. This is the “strip” of Nashville where everything comes to life. People frolic around with a solid day-buzz, singing their favorite songs at the top of their lungs, and it’s pure magic. Every single bar has a live band playing, so where you decide to park it is solely based on preference. Some of our favorites were Tootsies, Florida Georgia Line House, Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row, and Honky Tonk Central— we frequented these places every day of the trip (oops).
BBQ — Going to Nashville, Tennessee without getting BBQ is like going to Austin, Texas without getting queso. It’s a sin, don’t do it. Being that I’m a vegetarian, I can’t speak to the quality of the meat, but Peg Leg Porker and Edley’s Bar-B-Que came highly recommended and they did not disappoint our carnivores. The mac ‘n cheese and french fries ain’t bad either, incase you were wondering.
12 South — This was probably my favorite area in Nash. 12 South is way more my speed (The Ocean Minded approved, as my friends would say) with cute restaurants and bars, photogenic walls, Volkswagen bus flower trucks and mobile boutiques, plenty of shopping, and bottomless rosé. If I’m being completely honest, it’s a breath of fresh air from the honky tonk vibe of Broadway, so you should definitely plan to spend some time there.
Five Daughters Bakery — Five Daughters Bakery is off of 12 South, but it deserves it’s own little shoutout. If you’re in to doughnuts, go here. It’s the cutest bakery, with the most unique doughnuts and beverages. I personally prefer Sidecar (Southern California) to Five Daughters, but it’s worth a stop if you’re in the area.
Shopping — We didn’t do a ton of shopping, but I feel like we hit the two most important places: Uncommon James and Draper James. Uncommon James is Kristin Cavallari’s boutique that just had it’s grand opening in the Gulch and Draper James is Reese Witherspoon’s shop off of 12 South. Both of which are a must, for no other reason than to say you went.
Music Row — We hit Music Row on our last day, when we were burnt out, exhausted and avoiding alcohol at all costs. My only regret is that we didn’t come here sooner. We went to Winners and Losers (which is two separate bars, next door to each other ), and Two Bits. Two Bits has free video games, board games, card games and Nintendo 64 at every table— it’s every drunk ’90s kid’s dream. If you have time, swing by for a round of drinks and Mario Kart.
Boozy slushies — Boozy slushies are a thing in Nashville, and we were obsessed. From frosé, to alcohol-infused milkshakes, you really can’t go wrong. Try a bushwacker and thank me later.
Brunch — If you didn’t do brunch, did you even really do a weekend trip with your friends? No, the answer is no. I’m not going to lie, waking up after a night of drinking to go eat and drink again is pretty rough, but we tried to brunch as much as physically and mentally possible. Go to Biscuit Love or Milk & Honey in the Gulch. It’s a long line at both, but worth the wait.
Kayne Prime — Since we were there for a 30th birthday, we did one (really) nice steak dinner. Kayne Prime is definitely on the pricey side, but the food is phenomenal. I got the kale salad, risotto tater tots and baby brussel sprouts, but the meat was out of this world (from what I hear). If you’re in to coffee, order an espresso martini for your after dinner cocktail, it’s the best you’ll ever have (swear).
The Gulch — Our Airbnb was in the Gulch district, which is an up and coming, trendier spot about two miles off of the strip. This is where you can find the infamous angel wing wall, among other things. Two of my favorite spots in the area were the Barista Parlor coffee shop and Night Train Pizza. I could have eaten at Night Train every damn day, it was that good.
While we were there for a lengthy stay, we still didn’t get to do it all. On my list for next time (in the event that I ever make it back) is Fort Louise, Proper Bagel, Bluebird Cafe (Taylor Swift did a surprise performance here on Saturday, and I’m so sad we missed it), Adele’s, Chuy’s (I’ve been to the Austin, Texas location and they have the best queso and margaritas), Le Sel, and, of course, the Grand Ole Opry.