The Perfect Long Weekend Getaway – Nashville, Tennessee
By Taylor Deer
Three Days of Fun in the Country Music Capital
Let’s go to the Honky Tonks, y’all! This past February, I traveled down to Nashville, TN to visit my friend Joe who had just moved there during Summer 2016. I had never been to Nashville prior to visiting this past winter, but was told several times to add it to my USA travel bucket list.
I arrived in Nashville on a Saturday afternoon and couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the liveliness that the country music city had to offer. After settling in at my friend’s apartment in East Nashville, I couldn’t wait to get amazing barbeque for dinner. We walked over to Edley’s Bar-B-Que in East Nashville where I had an amazing pulled chicken sandwich on a buttery bun with delicious homemade veggies and a craft beer on the side. Before coming to Nashville, I knew I wasn’t going to be eating the healthiest cuisines, but realized I needed to take advantage of all of the magnificent “foodie” options that I can’t find anywhere else. (Sometimes you have to live a little!)
After clearing my plate, we headed to Broadway in Downtown Nashville to experience Honky-Tonk Row. A Honky-tonk is a bar that provides live country music and entertainment. Lower Broadway offers numerous honky-tonks where you can experience the best live country music. There were people of all ages roaming the street, sharing laughs and good times with family and friends.
Honky Tonk Row in Downtown Nashville
All of the bars on Honky-Tonk Row had a long line to get in. We wanted our first stop to be at the world-famous Tootsie’s bar, but unfortunately the line to get in there was over an hour long. Even though I couldn’t experience Tootsie’s on Broadway, I was lucky enough to experience it at the airport on my way home. That is one of the cool things about Nashville International Airport is that you can enjoy live country music when you first arrive or when you are about to leave. It is a great welcome!
Not too far from Tootsie’s is The Stage on Broadway, a live country music bar that features both a Nashville and Texas ambiance. Even though I am not a fan of newer country music, I had such a great time at The Stage as they played all of the classics we all know! It is a very rowdy bar, but has the best cover country bands and singers. While I was there, we saw Shania Twain, Brooks and Dunn and Faith Hill covers, who were all awesome!
After having a good time at The Stage, we headed to the eclectic Tin Roof bar where we got to sing with 90’s cover bands and singers. As a 90’s baby, I was in my glory! There was a Backstreet Boy’s cover band, Britney Spear’s singer and a few others that we all used to listen to endlessly back in the day. While I was enjoying my time at Tin Roof, I was told to get the Tin Roof Runner – the signature drink. This delicious drink has two different types of rum, pineapple and a splash of grenadine.
Nashville has a lot of hidden gems to offer and I couldn’t wait to explore them all the next day. Our first stop of the day was brunch at Josephine in the 12 South District of the city. Josephine is a contemporary restaurant that features crafted, southern comfort dishes. Since I was in the South, I had to get the fried chicken and biscuit dish with a mimosa and coffee on the side. It was delicious!
One of the great things Nashville is known for are the cool street murals that are located around the city. One of the best ways to get to see every neighborhood in Nashville is to go on a scavenger hunt to find all of the street murals and take pictures in front of them. 12 South has two famous street murals that everyone has to see. The first one is the “I Believe in Nashville” mural and the second is the Draper James Stripes. The “I Believe in Nashville” mural can also be found in Marathon Music Works and Riverside Village.
The one mural I could not wait to see was the famous “What Lifts You” wings in The Gulch neighborhood. This beautiful 20-foot piece of art by Kelsey Montague was very inspiring for me as I am in a stage in my life where I am trying to surround myself with things that make me happy. To me, these amazing wings prove that anyone can follow their dreams and do what they love. Next to this mural are baby wings that are perfect for a small child. #WhatLiftsYou #NashvilleGulch
Right around the corner from the wings is Nashville’s staple, Biscuit Love. As much as I wanted to stop in and grab a Gertie biscuit and coffee, I was way too full from brunch and the line was wrapped around the block. Next time I am in Nashville, I will definitely make sure to stop at this awesome spot!
Feeling like I was back in Greece at Centennial Park!
After exploring The Gulch, we headed over to Nashville’s premier park – Centennial Park. One of the many reasons why I enjoyed my weekend in Nashville is because the weather was gorgeous. I was getting sick of the cold Northeastern weather, so it was nice to experience sunny, 70-degree days while I was in Tennessee. I wanted to take advantage of being outside, so we walked around Centennial Park that offers beautiful ponds, gardens and art. The iconic Parthenon stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park. This cool landmark is a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece and serves as Nashville’s art museum.
Before I went home, I wanted to make sure I got a real cowboy hat. After walking around Centennial Park, we headed back to Downtown Nashville to explore the local shops. I found a cute pink cowboy hat that I couldn’t help but purchase! We then headed over to the Country Music Walk of Fame and saw the famous country music star tiles. It was awesome to see the star tiles for Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, Jimi Hendrix, Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley to name a few.
The Grand Ole Opry
Another must-see while visiting Nashville is the Grand Ole Opry. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to visit it, but it is another item on my bucket list to see when I eventually make my way back to Nashville. In addition, I also would have loved to experience the Pedal Tavern – a BYOB bike that you peddle with friends around the city. You need a large group to participate in the Pedal Tavern so we were unable to do it, but I heard from friends that it is one of the most fun and memorable experiences in Nashville. If you are going to Nashville for a Bachelor or Bachelorette party, I definitely recommend doing this. I know I will be when I make my way back there!
After exploring the Downtown Nashville area, we headed over to Marathon Music Works – a creative music community that was built in the early 1900’s. What is cool about Marathon Music Works is that it has a winery, distillery, coffee company, candy shop and antique store. Before ending our day, we stopped over at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) and watched the sunset on the Cumberland River – overlooking the beautiful Nashville skyline.
The night took us over to Pinewood Social, a trendy social hub for anyone and everyone! Pinewood Social offers a coffee lounge area where you can study, do work or just relax; restaurant to eat breakfast lunch or dinner and a bar to enjoy a cocktail or beer. They even have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
I definitely recommend everyone who visits Nashville to head over to Pinewood Social. It is a great place to socialize and have fun. Besides food and drinks, Pinewood Social also has a cool 50’s retro-style bowling alley, small outdoor heated pools and a 30-foot Airstream that sells food and drinks along with an outdoor patio and bocce ball court. While you are hanging outside, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Nashville skyline.
The famous Jack Daniels distillery!
Since we explored all of the city’s hidden gems, I wanted to see something new on my last day. After we woke up and got ready, we had breakfast at Yeast Nashville – home of the kolaches. A kolache is a Bohemian pastry (similar to a Danish or donut) with a fruit, cheese or chocolate filling. I had a delicious Mexican hot chocolate kolache with a pretty latte on the side. This hidden gem is located in East Nashville and is the perfect spot to read and do work or grab and go!
After our fulfilling breakfast, we hit the road south to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. The drive to Jack Daniel’s is around an hour and half south from Nashville, close to the Alabama border. As we were driving down to the Distillery, we passed gorgeous southern farms that reminded me of the joy rides I used to take while I was a college student in rural Virginia.
The first thing we saw when we arrived at Jack Daniel’s was the famous logo that you find on their whiskey bottles! We signed up for an hour and a half-long tour that took us around the Distillery and introduced the Tennessee whiskey-making process to us. It was so cool walking through the Distillery and watching the fermentation process. We even got to take a picture with good ole Jack!
Our last stop on the tour was to the historical Barrel House, where we were able to taste five of Jack Daniel’s most popular whiskeys. Prior to this tour, the only time I ever drank whiskey was at parties in college. (I’m sure most of us can relate.) I never fully embraced the flavors of Jack Daniel’s whiskey that set them apart from other brands. During our tasting, we slowly sipped on each whiskey to taste the delicious honey and other ingredients that make Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey the highest quality.
After our whiskey tasting, we needed to eat! Right next to the Distillery is a cute little southern town that has a few souvenir shops, a hardware store, barbeque restaurant, café and sandwich shop. Since we already indulged in enough barbeque and southern comfort food that weekend, we opted for the sandwich shop called Southern Perks, which hit the spot!
When we finished our delicious lunch, we walked around the small town of Lynchburg and then headed back to Nashville so that I could catch my flight home. I had a great three days in this fun music city and I definitely recommend everyone to visit at some point!
If you have any questions about my long weekend in Nashville, please send me an email at Taylor@sitinmyseats.com.
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