Time flies when you are having fun… it seemed like my Nashville trip was a long time away, but it came and went and now I am left reminiscing about the fun times. As promised, I wanted to do a post of my list of top things to do in Nashville, Tennessee. Paul and I booked our trip to Nashville around May so that left us plenty of time to plan our trip and decide what we wanted to conquer during our 3 night 4 day trip to Music City.
Top things to do in Nashville, Tennessee
Booking your trip:
Paul and I booked our tickets about two months in advance when Southwest was having one of their many great sales. Shout out to you Southwest, you never disappoint. I had recently opened a Rapid Rewards card and spent the necessary amount to get a ton of free flights. My trip was covered and then I picked up one of Paul’s flights as he was covering the Airbnb. As you can tell, we went to Nashville in mid-July so we expected it to be hot. However, I completely forgot that Tennessee is in the south, which means it was going to be humid as heck and it definitely was. The heat and humidity did not get in the way of our fun, but if you are traveling with someone who may not do the best in those conditions, opt for planning your trip during non-summer months.
Where to stay…
I used Airbnb for the first time this trip and it turned out pretty good. The reason I say only pretty good was our Airbnb place did not meet my cleanliness standards. I am a neat freak and I am not ashamed to admit it. The linens were thankfully very clean and after a typical bed check for any creepy crawlers (I do that at pretty much any place I stay) I made do. The host had a ton of cleaning supplies so I tidied up a bit for the first 30 minutes. Overall, our place was close to everything and was only a $6 uber ride downtown to Broadway street. If Airbnb is not your thing, there are plenty of hotels in downtown Nashville close to everything.
A perk to staying in an Airbnb is you can save money on food. We picked up some groceries at the Kroger down the street and had Lean Cuisine pizzas one night for dinner and Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for breakfast one of the mornings. We also picked up some bottle water to keep in our fridge. Definitely beats the $3.99 bottle water from a hotel.
How to get around:
At first Paul and I were planning on just ubering everywhere and thank goodness we didn’t. After we began planning our trip and realizing some of the places we wanted to go would be an expensive Uber ride and those trips would add up fast, we decided to look at car rentals. On Kayak I found a 4 day rental from Hertz for only $96! Split between two people, that is dirt cheap plus you have the opportunity to see more and do more than if you were relying on ride share. When we arrived in Nashville we had a couple hours to kill before checking into our Airbnb so we decided to spontaneously drive 30 minutes to Kentucky. Neither Paul nor I had been to Kentucky so now we can say we did!
What to eat!
The food was definitely one of my favorite parts of Nashville! I am generally a pretty healthy and active gal, but when you’re in the south on vacation you have to splurge. I also noticed that Nashville food prices seem a tad bit cheaper than what I am used to in Colorado as well as the west coast! Below is a list of the restaurants we ate at:
Center Point Pit Barbecue: This is a hole in the wall BBQ joint located on 212 W Main St, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Definitely a drive so another reason we were happy we got a rental car. It was so yummy and filled us up that I wasn’t hungry until 9pm at night! As for pricing, my full plate of BBQ was only $8! And of course we had to get some sweet tea!
Frothy Monkey: We went to the original location at 2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204. The brunch menu is small but the food has great flavor. You can tell everything is so fresh and both Paul and I were happy campers when we finished our brunch. Also, the food prices here are very reasonable for brunch!
Smiling Elephant Thai: We weren’t planning on getting Thai food in the south, but our Airbnb host left a food guide and raved about this place. It was super close to our place at 2213 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204. We got Pad Thai and Fried Rice to share. Side note, the Pad Thai is authentic Thai, so very different than Americanized Pad Thai you are probably used to!
Martin’s BBQ Joint: Paul wanted more BBQ so we went to the Martin’s on 3108 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212. I got the fried chicken sandwich with a side of mac and cheese was was very content… and full. My meal was only $8 and of course Paul had to get the sampler so his was around $15-16.
Biscuit Love: This place is a Nashville favorite so the line can be crazy long. It is located in the Gultch neighborhood at 316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203. Luckily, we got there just before 9 and had no problem ordering and finding a table. This was our last meal Nashville and my body was desperate for some greens. However, it was my birthday and despite not even being remotely hungry, I ordered a hash. Overall it was good, but I really only ate the fried eggs on top and then ate the kale salad off of Paul’s plate. He got biscuits and sausage gravy with a kale salad side. Everything was good, but the prices are a tad bit more expensive and I have to say, I liked Forthy Monkey more!
What to do!
Between eating, exploring, and listening to live music Paul and I managed to stay very busy. Below is a recap of some of the things we did:
Sumner Crest Winery: We spontaneously ventured here on our way back from our quick little drive to Kentucky. Located at 5306 S Old Hwy 52, Portland, TN 37148 we noticed the billboards on the side of the road and decided to stop by for a tasting. Sumner Crest Winery is located in Portland, Tennessee. We did the wine tasting and were the only other people in the place until another couple ventured in as we were leaving. The tasting is FREE, which is amazing, but Paul also bought a bottle of the wine we liked best from the tasting.
Broadway Street: Paul and I ended up on Broadway all three nights we were in Nashville to listen to some music. The street is lined with honky tonks and bars filled with great music. Ironically, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville had some of the best live music. And as I mentioned before, it was only a $6 uber ride from our place. Being the big partiers we are, we were back at our Airbnb by 10:30pm or earlier every night!
Funny story, the first night on Broadway I was having a good ole time and managed to walk out of the bathroom with toilet paper on my shoe (a nice stranger informed me of the embarrassment) and then proceeded to sit down and spill my drink all over my lap. It actually looked as if I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time.
Side note: the tap water in Nashville isn’t the best. I guess I’m spoiled by the water in the Mile High City.
Music City Hop on Hop Off Tour: On our last full day Paul and I decided to do the bus tour offered by Music City Hop. It is a little pricey for what it is worth, but we saw a lot of cool sights and enjoyed the double decker roof top bus. The downside was it was so hot and sticky that we desperately needed a shower afterwards.
Bluebird Cafe: We tried to go to the infamous Bluebird Cafe featured in the show Nashville, but when we pulled up 45 minutes before the door opened the line was sooooooooo long and they only allow 90 people in the place. I wasn’t too bummed, but if this is high on your bucket list get there early!
Centennial Park and The Parthenon: Centennial Park is so pretty and home to the Nashville Parthenon. Paul and I explored the area our second day in town and had a blast as seen by our pictures. There was also a guy selling sno-cones, which were a life savior during the hot afternoon.
Grand Ole Opry: Attending a show here was such an amazing experience. We went to the show our last night in Nashville and were able to see LOCASH and Michael Ray. It was a blast! I definitely recommend trying to see a show if you are in Nashville.
Draper James: Draper James is Reese Witherspoon’s designer brand and there is a storefront at 2608 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204. Everything in the store is adorable and has a southern charm to it… but so dang expensive. We browsed the store after brunch at Frothy Monkey… I also wanted to be basic and take a picture at the “I Believe in Nashville” mural located next to the store. It was amusing how many girls were lined up to take a picture.. no shame as I was one of them.
Welp! That is all folks! I am bummed because I had a lot more pictures of the food we ate and things we did on Snapchat and was a dummy and never downloaded them. You live and you learn! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and comment down below if you have been to Nashville before.