Explore the Athens of the South with this guide on what to do and eat in Nashville.
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Last weekend, I ventured over to Nashville, Tennessee for a friend’s bachelorette party. It was a whirlwind of a weekend (I was in Nashville for about 48 hours), but it was such a blast. While most of our activities involved beverages of the alcoholic persuasion, we did manage to see a lot of what Nashville had to offer in terms of things to do and places to eat, so I thought I’d share my whirlwind guide of What to Do & Eat In Nashville with you!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Aloft Hotel in the West End. It was a lovely hotel, and I think it ended up being in the perfect location. It’s walking distance to a few bars and restaurants and about a mile from Vanderbilt University. It’s also a short cab ride from Broadway (the main drag). I’m very happy we didn’t stay on Broadway as it gets very loud and crowded at night.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
We didn’t do a lot of sight-seeing, but one of the bachelorette activities involved a scavenger hunt which allowed us to see a good chunk of the city’s sights, albeit quickly. I also ran by a few things during a quick 4-mile run right after I landed. Here’s the lowdown on landmarks in the downtown Nashville area:
- The Country Music Hall of Fame
- Walk of Fame Stars
- Schermerhorn Symphony Center
- Ryman Auditorium
- Centennial Park & the Parthenon (a full-scale replica of the Greek landmark)
- Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park + The Tennessee Capitol
- Heritage Hotel
- Ernest Tubb Record Shop
- Broadway drag
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
- Nissan Stadium (home of the Titans)
We also heard about a number of people taking line-dancing classes, which would have been fun. Next time!
WHERE TO EAT
Our first stop for food was lunch after everyone landed. We found The Row around the corner from the hotel that had good reviews, and it didn’t disappoint. We all got Spirit Beers, which are exactly as they sound: beer mixed with spirits. I got a dark beer mixed with bourbon. It was actually pretty tasty. I also got a scrumptious bunless burger.
That night, we walked down the street to Amerigo, a tasty Italian restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised by all the gluten-free options they offered.
The next morning, we woke up early and took a nice, mile-long walk up to the Vanderbilt University area to get breakfast at the famous Pancake Pantry. This place is known for long lines. We got there around 8:30am and waited about 40 minutes. Fortunately, it was a beautiful morning, so we didn’t mind the wait at all. They also offer free coffee to linees (totally making that a word, btw). The place is known for their pancakes, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any gluten free options. Instead, I got their famous hash browns topped with two eggs over medium with bacon and cheese. Healthy? Not quite. Tasty? VERY!
Pancake Pantry is in a really nice area, so we walked around there a bit and hopped in some of the local shops. If you have the time, take a nice stroll around there. As I mentioned, Vanderbilt is nearby, so you could also explore the campus.
For lunch, we hit up The Pharmacy, a burger parlor and beer garden. It’s a little further away from downtown, but a cab can get you there in about 10 minutes. There was quite a wait, but we were able to get in line ahead of time using the Nowait app. We grabbed some beers from the knowledgeable bar tenders and were seated within half and hour. A friend and I split three brats with tater tots. It was SO MUCH FOOD. Go hungry!
We went to Mason’s in the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on Saturday night. It was a lovely restaurant but definitely on the pricey side. If you’re looking for a more-expensive date night, the cocktails are delicious and, this might sound silly, but their kale was the most delicious kale I’ve ever tasted. They were also very accommodating with all my food allergies.
If you’re looking for a Nashville night out on the town, Broadway is the place to be at night. There’s a ton of live music, dancing, and shenanigans. The first bar we went to had an artist offering up face and body paint for free! She gave one dude the coolest unicorn back “tattoo,” my friend got her whole leg painted, and I got a cute llama on my arm (long story, but I wanted a llama).
After your night out on the town, you might be craving some typical “drunk food.” If that’s the case, all my friends raved about Cook-Out, a fast food place that started in North Carolina. You can get a huge tray of food (chicken wings, fries, corn dog, burger) for basically nothing. I had a few fries, but that was about all I could enjoy off the menu with my allergies. Again, not the healthiest choice, but it got rave reviews from all the girls I was with.
That’s a wrap on my weekend in Nashville. I’m sure there is a lot more to do, see and eat around the city, but I think we did pretty well for 48 hours!
Have you ever been to Nashville? What would you add to the list?