We had so much fun on our last trip that we made a point to go back again this year. Last year we planned out almost the entire trip, but this go around we took a much more relaxed approach. Other than plans to see the Titans/Jaguars game, we decided to just make up as we went. To make this trip even more fun, another of my friends had recently moved to Nashville over the summer. I connected Sarah and Aline through email, and they had already met up on multiple occasions and hit it off! So it was even more fun that all of us could hang out together for the weekend.
Instead of forcing you through a day to day recap of our trip, I thought I would break the post up into categories of things that are a must for Nashville: food, music, and sights. I consider most of these as "can't miss" if you're ever planning a trip here.
I wouldn't call Nashville a culinary hub, but it does have it's share of delicious restaurants. We had lunch at the adorable Adele in the Gulch neighborhood. It was raining, so we stayed inside. On a nice night, it would be an awesome spot to eat on the patio. It's location is in a former tire store with big garage doors that open from the bar to the patio, and they did a beautiful job with the space. From the long bar with light blue chairs, to the recycled wood tables and mid-century chairs, I think they paid a stylish homage to its former life. The menu consisted of a lot of local ingredients, and everything was fantastic.
We also enjoyed a good ole' comfort food (with a twist) meal at Acme Feed & Seed on Lower Broadway. This is a good spot for kicking off a night out, and there was definitely some great people watching. The restaurant consists of three levels: restaurant on the bottom, a bar/lounge area on the second floor, and a rooftop bar on the third. The cocktail menu looked fantastic, and I was impressed with the extensive beer selection too. The food was amazing! I was impressed with the variety, and loved that there were plenty of vegetarian options, even though I chose the Rule the Roost chicken sandwich. There was a band playing downstairs, so it was a little loud and hard to talk to friends, but overall I really loved the atmosphere.
Our last favorite food stop was Burger Republic, again- in the Gulch neighborhood (we really loved this area!) It was the last day of the trip, and of course we wanted to go out in style. The restaurant is locally owned, the service was fantastic, and I don't think you could go wrong with anything on the menu. They really pride themselves on quality ingredients, and it made a difference in taste for sure. Whatever you do though, do NOT skip the milkshakes! I had the Nutella shake, and Hank had the spiked Reese's Malt shake. They were both to die for.
You can't go to Nashville without listening to Live Music. It's really similar to Austin in that you can pretty much go anywhere and hear someone playing. That doesn't always mean they are good, but you never know what you might stumble upon. We tossed around the idea of pressing our luck in line at the Bluebird, but we didn't really feel like wasting an hour or two literally just standing around. So after some Google searching, we stumbled across 2 options. We decided on a show at High Watt, a small lounge within a larger music complex called The Cannery Ballroom. After being subjected to two questionably talented opening acts, the band Matrimony took the stage. They played a great show, and I loved stumbling across a fun new band.
There are so many things to do in Nashville, that it's nearly impossible to fit it all in one long weekend. At the top of our list was heading back to LP Field to watch the Titans beat the Jaguars. The weather was pretty crummy for most of our trip, but we lucked out with really nice weather for the game. Funny story- Steve (Aline's husband and a coach for the Titans) left his playbook at home, so Hank got to carry it into the stadium. He jokes that he made an adjustment to the final play- the one that resulted in the Titans pulling off a much needed win.
|Sideline Shenanigans (including the hottest player on the team- George Wilson, and Michael Oher from the movie "Blind Side")|
We also made the short trip to Arrington Vineyards, a winery owned by one half of the Brooks and Dunn country duo. I wish the weather had been nicer so that we could have taken advantage of the gorgeous outdoor area, but that didn't stop us from doing a fun tasting and snacking on cheese and crackers on their large covered balcony. They also have live music on the weekends, and availability for hosting special events. It's not Napa wine, but that didn't stop us from shipping home a couple of bottles.
|Me, Sarah and Aline|
I mentioned eating at two restaurants in the Gulch neighborhood, and it ended up being one of our favorite spots to walk around. There were several shops, Yazoo Brewing Company, and even a cute little chocolate shop called Colt's Chocolates. If you are planning a trip to Nashville and can find a Home Away/vacation rental in this area, I think it would be such a prime spot. It's so close to music row, and there is plenty to do within walking distance.