Hi everyone! This Spring we have been busy with a lot of different adventures so it’s time we catch you all up. Back in March, my Mom and I took a girls trip to Nashville for a long weekend and had the best time celebrating her birthday! Neither of us had been before but we discovered that this city isn’t just associated with good music – it also has an incredible food scene, kind people and even some unique historical sites.
Nashville has a lot of neighborhoods you can stay in, depending on the type of trip you’re looking for. We reserved the cutest Airbnb in 12 South, a more residential and quiet part of the city. We were able to walk to a lot of restaurants and bars, and then Uber to some more downtown sites. If you’re looking to stay in a more party-scene area, I would recommend Downtown. For more information on which neighborhood would be best for you, check out this helpful link here.
Nashville is country music’s mecca and many of the things we did on this trip revolved around that. However, even if you are not a big fan of country music, this city has a lot to offer a curious (and hungry) traveler. Here are some can’t miss activities while visiting:
GRAND OLE OPRY
The Grand Ole Opry is the birthplace of country music and a must see while in Nashville. Although I am a fan of country music, I didn’t know any of the performers the night we went to see the show but it was still a great experience. The Opry is a small venue and the energy is electric. Even though we were towards the back, I still felt like we had a great view of the stage. All the hosts would tell stories or make jokes while introducing the next round of performers, so the music was always changing! If you still don’t think seeing a show is a good fit, you could still tour the Opry for a backstage look at its history in shaping country music. To view tickets and times for shows and tours, check out this link here. (Keep in mind the Opry is about a 20 minute drive outside the city center so you will have to Uber or drive there. If you’re looking to tour something closer, check out the Ryman Auditorium tours instead).
COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME
While on the topic of country music, if you are a fan, I would recommend visiting the Hall of Fame! From the folk origins all the way to the stars we recognize today, this museum takes you through a timeline of country music. (Not to mention some cool exhibits like Elvis’s car & a wall of records). It’s best to buy your tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in line. Check out their entrance times and ticket prices here.
LOWER BROADWAY BARS
The part of Nashville that is probably most famous are the few streets lined with Neon signs and honkytonks along Lower Broadway. Some famous musicians even have restaurants and bars there (i.e. Kid Rock, Jason Aldean & Florida Georgia Line). The best part about this region is that there is no cover charge to see a live band. You walk into a bar and if you don’t like the vibe, you walk right next door. We only visited a few bars but really enjoyed the band playing at Florida Georgia Line’s bar on the top floor. They were playing a mix of country music and rock classics. Although we only did this part of town for one night – it felt like enough!
One of my personal favorite parts of this trip was visiting the Parthenon replica in Nashville. (Yes, you read that right). Nashville is home to a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was originally only going to be a temporarily exhibit built for the 1897 Centennial Exposition but in 1902 it became the centerpiece for Centennial Park. (All the other buildings for the fair were taken down). Nowadays, it is a beautiful spot to have a picnic or take a walk!
For a small fee ($6) you can go inside the Parthenon to see the 42-foot tall statue of Athena. Although the statue of Athena does not exist in modern day Athens, it was based off what the statue would have looked like originally. In the basement of the Parthenon is an art museum you can visit (included in your entrance fee). The exhibits rotate but we really loved checking out the variety of paintings and modern art.
Sort of last minute, we decided to tour Belmont Mansion while in the area. The ticket includes entrance and a guided tour through the rooms. Our guide was knowledgable and passionate about telling the story of the original owner, a wealthy woman named Adelicia. Honestly, this was one of the best guided tours I had ever had so I highly recommend it if you’re interested in history. Nowadays, Belmont Mansion is a historical site at the heart of Belmont University. Most of the rooms are well preserved or modeled after the way it looked when originally finished in 1857. For more information on entrance times & ticket prices, click here. o
SHOPPING IN HILLSBORO
Before visiting Belmont Mansion, we spent a few hours shopping in Hillsboro (a neighborhood right next door). One street in particular, 21st Ave, was lined with locally owned boutique shops. If you have enough time, make sure to check out this part of the city for a chance to shop local!
While in Nashville we were able to have some amazing meals! If you’re looking for the foodie spot, make sure to spend some time in the Gulch (however, most restaurants require reservations or be prepared for a long wait). A few places I would recommend that we enjoyed / was recommended to us:
- Five Daughter’s Bakery (doughnuts)
- Frothy Monkey (breakfast)
- The Cafe at Thistle Farms (afternoon tea or light lunch)
- Burger Up (casual spot for lunch / dinner)
- The Flipside 12 (casual spot for lunch / dinner)
- Butcher & Bee (nicer spot for lunch / dinner)
- Pinewood Social (best for brunch & bowling)
Lastly, Nashville is a city of murals. You’ll probably catch some on your own just by walking around but a few are more popular than others! (Example: the angel wings mural in the Gulch normally has a long line of people waiting to take their picture with it). However, right across the street there is a massive colorful wall that we chose to check out instead (see below)! There are also two in 12 South that are less crowded but still as photogenic.
Overall, we were both impressed with Nashville and are hoping to go back again someday. Special thanks to my Mom for joining me on this adventure – love you lots!
Stay tuned for some upcoming posts on our week-long adventure in Peru!