A weekend guide to Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee has been on my travel list since I was 10-years-old and chose Tennessee as my state of choice to do a report on. I'm not sure what enticed me so much about Tennessee then but I think the music scene definitely had an influence. It wasn't until this last year when my cousin Alex got placed on an Amazon rotation in Kentucky (only a couple hours away from Nashville by car) that we decided to make a weekend girls trip happen! It took little convincing to book my ticket but I think what sold me was the fact I could fly direct on Alaska Airlines out of Seattle to Nashville roundtrip for less than $300! Oh, also maybe I should mention a little fact about the 'random' weekend we chose for our girls trip...
As I began exploring hotel and bnb options, I was outraged by the prices! It wasn't until I discovered that our randomly chosen weekend just so happened to be that of the CMA's taking place in downtown Nashville! (Clearly I'm not up to date with country music!) My cousin and I decided to still go for the weekend because the people watching alone would be half of the entertainment. We scored an adorable airbnb guesthouse in East Nashville that was an inexpensive Uber drive away from the airport and to the various districts we wanted to explore! I think the most expensive Uber ride I paid for was from the airport to the airbnb and it was $19...which is a steal.
It's amazing to think how much I was able to solo-explore and do with Alex during our Friday-Sunday afternoon stay! I've decided to compile a weekend guide of Nashville, one of the most vibrant and fun cities I've ever visited. The people were kind, the food options were endless and the shopping was dangerous to say the least. We went in early June and the weather was bearable - mid 80's and not very humid, but that will change as we approach mid-summer.
WHERE TO EAT / DRINK:
Adele's - Highly recommended spot in Nashville. We ate at this fancier open loft style restaurant for our first dinner. The vibe and food were awesome! It's also walking distance to all of the CMA/downtown bar shenanigans.
Le Sel - A breakfast MUST when you're visiting Nashville. French cuisine and the cutest/most Instagram-worthy interior. We indulged in mimosas and crepes for our last brunch out on Sunday.
Little Octopus - I was so excited to visit this bar purely based on the fact I had been Pinterest-stalking it for months! The interior is filled with gold accents, pink booths and mid-century modern lighting fixtures. More of an exotic menu with lots of seafood options (Nashville has a huge food variety to suit all your needs!) We visited for drinks and light bites during a break from shopping.
Josephine - Despite our horrifying hangovers from our first night out in Nashville, we stopped into Josephine for a recovery brunch. The peach waffles most definitely did the trick! It's located right on 12th Ave South where all the good shopping is.
Five Daughters Bakery - We visited the 12th Ave South location in the middle of shopping and loaded up on a box full of donuts. You can't visit Nashville without stopping in to indulge in their variety of flavors.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams - Despite being Ohio-based, Jeni's Ice Cream is well-known throughout Nashville, in fact, it was recommended to me by several different people. I went twice during my trip and couldn't get enough! Talk about the perfect way to beat humidity. I loved their ice cream so much I ended up shipping a variety box of ice creams to my dad for father's day.
WHAT TO DO:
Shop along 12th Ave South: So many fun shops are along this strip! Alex and I definitely did some damage purchasing souvenirs - it's a miracle I could fit everything into my carry-on!
Take photos in front of the amazing murals: Nashville is renowned for its creative scene especially the artistic murals around town! I did a few Pinterest and Google searches for the best ones to visit during our stay. Some of my recommendations: East Nashville mural, I Believe in Nashville mural and the Draper + James (Reece Witherspoon's store) striped wall. Practically every corner you turn you're bound to find more!
Go out downtown (Definitely visit Honky Tonk and Pinewood Social): Because it was the CMA's while we were there, the bar scene was definitely more packed than usual but I've heard Nashville always has a pretty happening night life. It's also an extremely popular destination for bachelorette parties we discovered. Each bar on the strip where Honky Tonk is located has its own vibe and music scene playing inside but its all part of the fun for you to explore and find what you like!
Go shopping: Nashville has AMAZING shopping! If you're on the hunt for denim and leather in particular, this is the place. A few of my shopping highlights were: Scout & Molly's, Blush Boutique, The Impeccable Pig, Serendipity, Imogene + Willie, Draper + James, Emma's Flower Shop and Lucaya Clothing Company.
Be a tourist: We didn't have enough time to visit all of the historical tourist spots during our trip and because of the CMA's, we wanted to avoid those areas. But, if you have the time, definitely add the Grand Ole Opry, the historic library and the Music Hall to your list!
I highly recommend booking a trip to Nashville! If you're a music lover, creative, foodie and pro shopper, this city is for you!