A few years ago, it was Austin. Now, I beg to say that Nashville is America’s next up-and-coming city. They say that over 1,000 new residents are moving to Nashville every week. And the energy there is a apparent. Everywhere you look, hip shops & restaurants are popping up amidst warehouses and off-the-beaten-path locations. Trendy little neighborhoods lay tucked away in the city’s various pockets.
Unlike more established metropolises, you will need a car to get around. Public transportation is — for lack of a better word — non-existent. Let’s just liken Nashville to a big sprawling suburb, injected with businesses and restaurants that possess the coolness of a big city.
The best part, as you meander throughout your Nashville experience, the music is everywhere. With the new amphitheater downtown, you can sit on the water’s edge and get a listen to some of the world’s biggest acts any night of the week — or take a walk down Broadway and stop into a honky tonk for free music anytime of day.
Nashville is a living, breathing organism of culture and music, and it’s only getting better. For your next visit, here are some things to do.
12th South is a must-visit neighborhood on your trip to Nashville. The main drag on 12th Street is full of hip restaurants & shops. For the ultimate vintage shopping, check out Savant which has been covered by the likes of Vogue magazine. Continue your shopping escapades at Imogen & Willie where you’ll find a beautifully-curated boutique experience. Getting hungry or need a drink? Head down to the 12th South Taproom & Grill or stop into Flipside for old-school southern diner cuisine.
East Nashville is an up-and-coming neighborhood with more of a hipster vibe. Unlike 12th South, East Nashville is not very walkable, you’ll want a car to hop around this neighborhood.
Up and down Gallatin Ave, you’ll find some cool spots. One little plaza is home to Barista Parlor, Local Honey, and Moto Moda. Definitely make a stop here and visit all three. Grab your breakfast at Barista Parlor — the biscuits are out of this world and you’ll find the best pour-over coffee of your life. After you’ve gotten your morning fuel, meander over to Local Honey for some awesome vintage and handmade goods. Lastly, hit up Moto Moda, a cool little boutique with biker style. If all the shopping leaves you hungry, drive on over to Mas Tacos for the best tacos in the city.
One cannot do a review on Nashville without mentioning Husk. Husk, is a mainstay restaurant established by Sean Brock, one of America’s most exciting contemporary chefs. This will be your one balls-to-the-wall dinner in Nashville. Every vacation needs one, and this is one you can easily justify. Husk’s menu changes daily, but you can expect expertly-prepared food that celebrates the history of southern cuisine. They serve approachable, familiar dishes, with an inventive spin, revitalizing ingredients that somehow disappeared over time. Be ready to get blown away.
Following on the heels of East Nashville, Germantown will be the next neighborhood to blow up. It’s still not entirely there, but already there are some cool things popping up. If you have time, drive (don’t walk), over to Peter Nappi. It’s an awesome rehabbed warehouse space where literally everything — from the tables and sofas, to the handmade leather goods — is for sale. Nearby, you’ll find Rolf & Daughters, one of the restaurants upping Nashville’s foodie cred. If you have the money left over from Husk, try to grab dinner here.
Of course you’re going to catch some live music in this city. It’s inevitable. There is no way to bypass it. And why would you want to?
Broadway is the famous strip of honky tonks. You should definitely give it a visit to see what goes on, although I will warn you, it’s packed, touristy, and kind of crazy. The diamond in the rough here, is Roberts Western World. Upon walking in, you’ll notice that it’s full of locals, and older couples who have been coming for years. There is a reason for that. The musicians they get are the real thing. You’re not going to listen to current country music covers like some of the other honky tonks, rather you’ll get a great taste of old-time blue grass and true honky tonk music. On Broadway, you can also stop into Acme Feed and Seed, a three-story restaurant, bar and music venue with trendy vibes and a good time. The roof deck is a must if you can get up there.
Another great spot to catch the old-time blue grass is at The Station Inn. This little dive venue has been around for years, and is a historical spot to catch live music. True talented musicians take the stage here every weekend.
Sort of tucked away in its own little world, you’ll find Pinewood Social. Pinewood is a cafe spot, bunch destination, and bowling alley all rolled into one. It has a really cool retro-meets-Kinfolk Magazine vibe, and a solid southern-inspired brunch menu. Definitely hit it up on one of your mornings in Nashville.
And there you have it, way too much to fit into one visit. Nashville is just that cool. Have any of you visited Nashville recently? I’d love to hear if you have other cool spots to suggest!
This post is from our guest blogger Naomi. Follow her blog here for more posts like these!