Travel: Nashville, Tennessee {Part 1}

Here’s the thing about Nashville – you don’t need to like country music to appreciate it.  Nashville has been on my “To Visit” list for a long time.  I have been all over the state of Tennessee, but never to Nashville.

When I was working the ACM Awards in Las Vegas last spring, I was in a bar called Losers at the MGM with my friends Pawntra and Tarrah.  Losers is originally a Nashville bar, so we started talking about the city and I mentioned that I always wanted to go to there.  That was that, we decided we were going.

Nashville, Tennessee

We all work in events and schedules can be tight, but October seemed to be the best month for all of us.  The weekend we chose happened to be the weekend before Halloween, so we researched Halloween events in the city and brought our costumes.  Halloween is probably my favorite holiday and you’re never too old to dress up, right?

Here’s the other thing about Nashville – flights and hotels are expensive, but food and drinks are cheap.  We basically ate and drank our way through the city.

Where We Stayed

Courtyard Marriott Vanderbilt/West End – This was one of the cheapest places to stay, in a decent area that had availability.  It was a quick Lyft drive anywhere we wanted to go, and it was half the cost of the other hotels we looked at.  It had recently been remodeled and it worked well for the three of us.

What We Did

Like I said, we basically ate and drank our way through town, but we did get in a little history and a little shopping.

12 South – This is a hip area with shops and restaurants.  When here, visit Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James store.  You also need to take lots of Instagram photos in front of all the murals, because Nashville’s in the Instagram game to win it.

Draper James

Broadway – Aka Honky Tonk Highway. There’s live music day and night, and lots and lots of beer.  The live music isn’t all country, they’ll play pretty much anything you ask them to as long as you leave a tip.  The bands played Pearl Jam and Nirvana and all kinds of stuff that didn’t have a banjo in it.

Nashville, Tennessee

East Nashville – This is where all the hipsters live and hang out.  When we researched Halloween activities, most of them were in East Nashville so that’s where we went.  We got dropped off at one bar and were able to walk to the other two {the places we went to in East Nashville coming up next week in Part Two.}

Johnny Cash Museum – It didn’t take too long to walk through and they have a cool gift shop.

Johnny Cash Museum

Tennessee State Capitol – I have a thing for State Capitols.  I love to visit them.  Of the 50 states, I’ve been to 37 capitols.  Tennessee was one I needed to knock off the list.  Mission accomplished.

Tennessee State Capital

Tennessee State Military Branch Museum – Since it was raining and we didn’t have an umbrella, we ducked into this museum, which was free.  It was just Tarrah and I and we both enjoy a little history.  We got a lesson on Tennessee’s role in several wars, including both World Wars and of course, the Civil War.  It wasn’t busy at all, it was quick to walk through, and the nice gentlemen volunteering at the museum appreciate a couple of young{er} faces walking through the door.

Tennessee Military Branch Museum

Where We Ate

Biscuit Love – This place was amazing.  We ate brunch here on our way to 12 South on Sunday morning.  I had blueberry biscuit French toast and it was so good!  There was a line, but it seemed to go pretty quick, and we made friends, two moms from Baltimore also on a girls weekend, which made it go faster.

Biscuit Love, Nashville

Five Daughters Bakery – They’re famous for their donuts, so while none of us particularly wanted one at the time, we forced ourselves to eat it.  I mean, really, who can turn down a donut covered in whipped cream and powdered sugar?  We visited the 12 South location.

Five Daughters Bakery Nashville

Goo Goo’s – The Goo Goo is a famous and delicious candy made in Nashville.  Can’t go wrong with chocolate, peanuts, and some sort of goo.  The shop is across the street from the Johnny Cash Museum.

Hattie B’s – Pawntra and Tarrah wanted hot chicken and this is the place to get it.  I don’t like spicy, so I wanted fried chicken, but they had that, too.  This location was right across the street from our hotel, and we watched people line up day and night for their hot chicken.  We called in our order and walked across the street to pick it up.  Some people threw shade, but hey, work smarter, not harder.

ML Rose – Tarrah has a friend from college who owns a couple restaurants in Nashville.  This is one of them.  I ate the BLT which was yummy, and we laughed at the memorabilia on the walls.  It’s quite a collection.  We ate at the Capitol View location, and then we walked to the Capitol.

Von Elrod’s – This is another restaurant owned by Tarrah’s friend.  It’s a German beer garden and we ate brunch here on Saturday.  They have lots of sausage and Mimosa’s served in beer mugs.

Whiskey Kitchen – We had dinner here on Friday night.  It’s also where we started watching the Boston Red Sox vs. L.A. Dodgers World Series Game 3 because Tarrah’s from Boston and she’s a Red Sox fan.  That game went on for over six hours and followed us wherever we went that night.  Pawntra and I are really good friends…

I loved Nashville!  But, I kind of knew I would.  We packed a lot into our short weekend, and there’s still enough to do that it warrants another trip in the future.  I even had to write two blog posts because I couldn’t get all the bar hopping into this one.  Where we drank coming next week!

Nashville, I believe in you!

12 South Nashville Tennessee


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