Country music aficionados, bachelorette parties, and aspiring musicians UNITE!!!!! I come to you reporting live the sounds, drinks, foods, and vibes of Nashville, Tennessee!
I’m going to be totally transparent and tell you guys that Nashville was never really on my radar. Despite growing up in the south, country music just really isn’t my thing. I know, I know. But C had a business trip planned in the music city, and I am one to ABSOLUTELY take any travel opportunity that comes my way. So after switching a few shifts at the hospital with some very sweet coworkers, I was free to tag along for the ride!
We arrived in Nashville on Sunday morning, at about 10:30 AM. I had this assumption that we would just spend the day chilling in the hotel, as most things in the south stay a little quiet on Sundays. LOL. That does not even REMOTELY apply to Nashville.
We walked down Broadway where the majority of the bars are to find musicians warming up, people already seated at the bar! Everyday, at 1 PM, you can here music beginning to blare from nearly every restaurant and bar around you, and it doesn’t stop until 2 AM. Needless to say, I was already impressed.
We walked on down to the end of the street and stopped in the very popular Acme Feed and Seed, a old family owned grocery established in the late 1800’s turned restaurant and bar. It came up time and time again when researching where to eat in Nashville, and we were starving. It absolutely did not disappoint!
Good food, good drinks, and live bluegrass music for Sunday brunch in Nashville had me feeling some type of way. And by some type of way I mean totally in love with Nashville.
The Acme utilizes its spacey three floors with a sushi bar on the second floor and a rooftop terrace overlooking the riverfront on the third! Seriously an absolute must!
As far as places to stay, I CERTAINLY wouldn’t recommend the Omni. I mean look at this gigantic fluffy bed? Isn’t it just TOO perfect? 🙂
And the view is just a little TOO nice, right? Slightly TOO photogenic? Yeah, totally wouldn’t recommend. I also wouldn’t tell you that the hotel’s bar, Barlines, is on par with all of the Nashville nightlife and I wouldn’t stop there for a craft brew before dinner. Because we definitely didn’t do that either. 🙂
Moving on to The Southern for dinner, which offers exactly what you’d think–southern staples with a slight upscale twist. These oysters we had as an appetizer were TO. DIE. FOR. And we had to totally be an annoying couple and get the same thing-the (unfortunately not pictured) Chicken Fried Chicken absolutely rocked my world and the thought of it makes me emotional.
So after dinner, it was time to venture back onto Broadway to experience Nashville nightlife. Again, keeping in mind that I’m not a huge country music fan I was excited to go out but not expecting much as far as music. But I was so wrong. So, SOOOO WRONG. Because every bar had musicians that played everything from classic country to 90’s covers to today’s hits. Pair this musical concoction with admittedly more than a few well drinks and life was GRAND.
Because we can never seem to get away from that college girl who took her cute shoes off at the end night of the when they got uncomfortable….wait is that just me? Oh. Awkward.
Day two started off a little later than planned because of night one (lol…) but once things got up and going, all we really wanted was some good barbecue, and found that the Peg Leg Porker was about a fifteen minute walk from us! Off we went!
From the minute I walked in, I knew this would be good barbecue. Why? Because you ordered at a counter that had the menu displayed on those old light up boards with the plastic letters. You know the kind I’m talking about.
A rack of ribs, a BBQ sandwich, and a trip to heaven and back over this macaroni later and we were ready to do a little exploring. And I was ready to find some Nashville Murals!
I think that whenever you pass interactive murals, your basic white girl emerges and you just….gravitate. The need to beef up the Instagram feed is insatiable. In all seriousness, What Lifts You in The Gulch neighborhood of Nashville is worth tracking down. These pieces are beautiful and I just love the idea of art that you can become a part of. The social media element at play here where you can see how others have interpreted and incorporated these murals into their own photos is fascinating. Deep stuff, guys.
While I did a horrific job of covering it for the blog, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is beautiful, informative, and fascinating. You can find info and artifacts on stars from Elvis to Bob Dylan to George Jones to Brad Paisley to Taylor Swift.
Day 3 was left up to me–C was in his business conference from sun up to sun down, so I was on my own to explore! I didn’t really have a specific plan or direction for the day, I just knew I wanted to get some pictures on top of the pedestrian bridge and eat something delicious, not necessarily in that order.
Unfortunately, I woke up to a DISGUSTING day to be outside.
Pouring down rain didn’t stop me! The bridge has a beautiful view of the river and skyline, and it’s a very easy walk! But my light jacket absolutely didn’t stop me from being quickly drenched in the downpour, either.
I also made a point to check out the Ryman Auditorium. Built in the 1890s originally as a tabernacle, this building housed the Grand Ole Opry from the 40’s-70’s.
At this point I was SUFFICIENTLY soaked, and it was time to wait out the rain somewhere with food. And let’s throw a drink in there too. Thankfully my bartender wasn’t above serving a wet rat. While there are PLENTY of options, I found myself wandering back to Acme because of a certain plate of BBQ tacos that caught my eye when we went the first day we were in the city. And while I try to have as many different experiences as possible, I am SO glad I went back, for two reasons.
First of all, the BBQ tacos are AMAZING. Like really, really good. And they’re served with mexican street corn, which is really reminiscent of the recipe in my queen’s book. SOOOO GOOD. I really don’t even know what to say.
Oh, the second reason I’m glad I went back to Acme? I sat at the bar to eat because I felt SUPER AWK taking up a table by myself. The bartender was a traveler herself and we talked for two hours trading stories and tips, and she gave me a lot of good Euro info I can’t wait to put to use ;). In that time, she talked me into trying the Mule Kicker, Acme’s signature drink. I originally glazed over it the first time on the menu because it has moonshine in it, and I was immediately like LOL NOPE. But seriously, give it a chance. This thing tastes like frozen lemonade and does not have the awful kick I expected. More than one may prove to be a bit dangerous 😉
Next up in my solo Music City tour, I was feeling a little more optimistic about going outside. The rain had slowed a little bit and I went back to my hotel to put on some drier clothes. I hopped in an Uber and chatted with my driver for a short 10 minute drive about his time as a dancer on a large American cruise line ported mainly in Asia (seriously, travelers are EVERYWHERE!!! :D), and then I found myself at Centennial Park!
Nashville’s replica of The Parthenon of Athens
We had dinner with a friend from college who now lives in Nashville in the 12th South neighborhood, which reminded me a lot of Raleigh’s Glennwood South. One road with tons of delicious food, drinks, and coffee! It was so fun to catch up, and on an after dinner walk down 12th South to discover more….MURALS!!!
The next morning, I caught a flight out at 9 AM to be back in NC so I could catch a nap before work….the life of a noc shift nurse!
If Nashville hasn’t been a thought to you before, or if you’ve been dying to go, I invite you to do so! I was really pleasantly surprised by all this city has to offer. You don’t have to be the ultimate southern stereotype to fall in love with Nashville, you just need to have a curiosity for music, good food, cold drinks, and country culture!