Okay guys, normally I like to go against the grain in the worst possible way.. as in “if everyone else is doing it, I want to be different, so even if I wanted to do it before now I don’t” type of way.
BUT, let me say that I have jumped happily on the Nashville bandwagon and I’m not getting off. This summer I planned a spontaneous girls trip to the music city and it did not disappoint. From museums, to rooftops, to shopping, to wineries, to live music, to real life cowboys (I mean y’all - the cute, “yes ma’am” saying, boot wearing kind of cowboys), this city has got it all!
Below are my top 5 (it was so hard to narrow it down) things to do in Nashville for your next weekend getaway:
1. The Gulch: shopping, food, & Insta-worthy pictures
The Gulch is the best one stop shop for you and your girlfriends. It was one of my favorite places because there is so much to do in one totally 'grammable area. For example, it’s home to the famous “What Lifts You” mural aka the angel wings, and has some of the best food I ate my entire trip. I highly recommend Milk & Honey for a healthy post-shopping lunch, and be sure to stop at Juice Bar next door because not only is it trendy, but some of the best fresh squeezed juice I’ve had. Finally, the best part - the shopping! I’m not exaggerating when I say I went back to the boutique Blush 3 times in one day because like they say "nothing haunts you like the clothes you didn’t buy". And, of course, you can’t pass up the chance to possibly meet Laguna Beach turned boss babe Kristin Cavallari at Uncommon James. Overall, 10/10 experience at The Gulch, and if I were to move to Nashville this would be the ideal spot to live.
2. Arrington Vineyards: wine, picturesque landscapes, & more wine
If you like to wine down on the weekends, there’s no better spot. Although located a bit outside of the city, it’s worth the trip to the countryside. While you don’t have to do a tour to taste the wines and explore the grounds, I highly recommend the AV Signature Experience. In this tasting, we sat inside the vineyard house overlooking the beautiful landscape. We each got to choose a flight of 5 wines, and received a complimentary cheese plate, plus we got to keep our AV wine glass to take home as the perfect souvenir!
3. Broadway: live music, rooftops, & nightlife
This is the heart of the action for tourists and music city first timers. It’s home to famously owned bars such as The Dierks Bentley bar, Honkey Tonk Central, Tootsies, etc. (Warning: it’s also home to every bachelorette party ever, so I’d recommend forgoing the matching T-shirt’s if you have the option.) But, I can say that for someone who rarely enjoys going out to bars, I had the time of my life on Broadway. It’s true that every single bar has a live band, and not just the “we play on the weekend at dive bars” type, but amazing, talented musicians who all deserve a record deal. The energy is amazing and everyone who steps inside better be ready to dance. Ps. Wear proper footwear because what people don’t tell you is that they don’t believe in elevators so in order to get to the rooftops you’ll be walking up 10+ flights of stairs.
4. Country Music Hall of Fame: music, history, & Taylor Swift
Even if you aren’t a country music fan, this museum is so rich in American music history & culture you’ll be glad that you went. Not only do they chronicle the evolution of the genre, but they also share the rise to fame of some of our era's most influential artists (yes, like Taylor Swift, but also other greats like Shania Twain and George Strait). I also personally enjoyed the fashion portion which showcased memorable outfits from music videos and Grammy Award ceremonies. Like guys, I was within arms reach of a shirt straight off Sam Hunt’s body like a back road. There’s also some great photo ops here, like the famous record wall pictured below.
5. 12th South: coffee shops, flower trucks, & Reese Witherspoon
This area is the most eclectic that we visited in the sense that it gave me major hipster vibes meets southern belle? My first stop here was a one of a kind coffee shop called Frothy Monkey. I tried one of their house specialties (I wish I remembered the name oops), but it was a fantastic take on my usually basic iced coffee. A few blocks down from that, they have the cutest VW converted into a trendy flower truck, and nearby you can make a pit stop for the 'gram at the “I Believe in Nashville” mural. Finally, you can’t leave 12th South without getting your fix of sweet tea and southern charm at Reese Witherspoon’s boutique, Draper James. If you know me, you know how important this experience was for my life just for the simple fact that Legally Blonde will forever be my favorite movie, and I still want to be Elle Woods when I grow up.
I could write about so many other fun things to do, but I’ll let you see for yourself! And, I forgot to mention that if you’re looking for a place to stay that’s less mainstream and more music city - stay at the Bobby Hotel. It was by far the best service and stay I’ve ever experienced in all my years of travel, not to mention within walking distance to Broadway and tons of food. I hope you all love Nashville as much as I do!
Until next time,