Just before the holiday, I packed my bags and headed down south for a little Southern Hospitality courtesy of…Nashville! This was my third time exploring the tiny little Country-music filled town, but this time was a little different. It was the first time that I had really explored outside the downtown area, and let me tell you…I’m SO glad I did.
Upon landing in Nashville, we headed straight to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge…in the airport. Time for a screwdriver! We were celebrating a birthday, and waiting for our 3rd person to arrive, what do you expect!? 🤷😊
After that, it was time to explore! We spent three days in Nashville and saw some pretty cool things, sipped on some great drinks and ate some incredible food. I pulled together my top picks: “see, sip & snack guide” – a list of must-do/see places in Nashville. Hope ya’ll enjoy! 🤠
One of the most unique ways to see the city (you have a couple different “routes” to choose from) is via pedal tavern. If you’ve ever been to Nashville, you’ve probably seen these driving through the streets. It’s a bar on wheels! There are a few companies that do it; the one we chose was called Nashville Pedal Tavern.The concept is simple: you pedal while you drink! It’s BYO, and there’s a cooler on board – you just bring your drinks, toss them in cooler and you’re ready to ride. The tour is about two hours in total, and you have the opportunity to stop and go into some local bars along the way. The downside of this particular pedal tavern? THE SEATS. Ouch! Ever gone to a spin class? Yeah, it’s THAT type of ouch. The seats are literally bike seats, so pedaling for two hours on a hard bike seat = one sore butt! The next day we were all dying – every time we sat down, it had to be slow, haha! That aside, definitely a fun way to see the city!
The city of Nashville is all about the arts. It’s filled with some of the country’s most talented musicians, producers, and artists. In addition to hearing some of the best country music, at almost any bar, at almost any time of the day, the city is also filled with vibrant, colorful pieces of art that splash the sides of buildings from one end to the other. Some of the best street art can be found on 12South Ave. Every other block has a new and unique piece of street art that’s made to be Instagrammed.
On our last day, we decided to take a self-guided tour of the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of Country music. It’s where all the greats got their start, and where the Grand Ole Opry was born. The auditorium itself was definitely a sight to see, and learning about the history behind the building was fascinating (it used to be a church!), but the tour itself was very short. If you have 30-40 minutes and want to see some history, its perfect. But if you’re looking for a more in-depth experience, there are probably better options.
Ready for a drink? I mean, you’re in Nashville, so I HOPE so. Go hit up happy hour at Tenn Sixteen. This East Nashville bar serves up the best happy hour specials I’ve seen in a LONG time. Granted, here in Boston, we don’t have the traditional happy hour (its against the law to discount liquor – whyyy), but still! It’s 2 for 1 beers (including craft!), and large mixed drinks for the price of a small. The large by the way…is literally the biggest glass I’ve ever seen. Cheers to that!
Now that you’re feeling good, head downtown. “Honky Tonk Row” is a must. Is it touristy? Sure. But it’s something you’ve got to experience at least once. Honky Tonk Row, or Honky Tonk Highway as some call it, is the strip of bars, boutiques and eats that are all along Broadway in downtown Nashville. One of my favorite spots on Broadway is Honky Tonk Central. It’s a three-in-one corner bar that has a great view of overlooking “the Row”. Each level has a different live band/musician, so it’s really like having three bars in one. It has a relaxed vibe, almost dive-like, so you don’t have to dress up – come as you are! Just how I like it.
Looking to grab some local brew to sip on-the-go, or take home? Check out The Filling Station on 12South. The amount of craft beer they pack into that tiny little store is crazy!
Hot Chicken is a staple in Nashville. It’s essentially chicken that’s been dredged in a variety of spices, fried and finished with a sauce, or paste, that consists of cayenne pepper being a key ingredient (hence the “hot”). Sandwich that between two slices of bread, add a slice of cheese, top with pickles and voila! Hot Chicken.
We went to Acme Feed and Seed, a popular spot downtown for brunch one day, and I snagged myself some of that Nashville-style Hot Chicken – soooo good! I will say, my sandwich though, could have been hotter. I like heat! And when you call something, “HOT” – it should be hot. Just my opinion. That aside though, highly recommend Acme. It’s a really cool joint that has three levels, including a cute rooftop bar that overlooks the Cumberland River and part of Broadway.
Another staple in the south…Barbecue. So for our next “must-have meal”, we chose Edley’s Bar-B-Que. Honestly, part of me has no words for how I feel about Edley’s, and the other part can write a NOVEL about it. The food was just that good.
I’m not the biggest BBQ-girl myself, so I opted for Catfish tacos, with a side of potato salad and mac & cheese. I almost ate every single bite. If I could have fit it into my stomach, I would have. Everything was just absolutely amazing. My friends got the brisket and pulled pork – I tried both, and both…just incredible. Fall-off-the-bone, juicy and ridiculously flavorful. TEN thumbs up!
Edley’s has a couple different locations in and around Nashville, but if you’re looking to check out 12South (the strip of street art stops mentioned above), then check out the 12South location. The vibe is awesome, and it’s little more laidback and “quiet” compared to the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Lastly, though we didn’t get to experience this in its entirety, it’s something that I won’t forget. One night, while we were walking to find our next spot, we stumbled upon the cutest little food truck. Filled with hilarious weenie-driven puns, I Dream of Weenie was seriously the coolest Nashville find. It was just so unique and funny – wished we would have had the opportunity to eat one of those delicious weenies. 😄 Next time!