The other day I accidentally said ‘y’all’ instead of ‘you guys’ and realized it’s been almost two years since I moved to Nashville! I’ll always be a Canadian girl at heart, but the ol’ South has really grown on me. How could it not? Nashville’s got such an energetic vibe. There’s live music everywhere you go, a happening restaurant scene, and the night life—well, let’s just say there’s a reason they call it Nash Vegas…
Because I travel so much, it’s always a treat to stop and smell the roses (the fried chicken?) here in Nashville and spend time exploring the city. These are a few of the best places I’ve been to so far.
Honky Tonk Central
When in Nashville, you go Honky Tonkin’ (it’s basically a law) and Lower Broadway is packed with watering holes to hit for a drink and a good time. My personal fav? Honky Tonk Central. With three floors, three bars, and three dancefloors—it’s the place to let loose. There’s a live band on every floor, so bring dancing shoes and get ready to HOLLER AND SWALLER!
Photo Credit: Instagram @honkey_tonk_central
Next level Southern cuisine? Check. Steller service? Check. Cocktails so nice you’ll want to drink them twice (I did)? Double check. I’ve never been a huge food snob, but this place takes the whole ‘fine-dining’ thing to the next level. All of their dishes are fresh takes on Southern classics, and every ingredient is locally sourced. The décor is simple and elegant (the building itself is 147 years old!!) and the servers will make you feel like a real Southern belle.
Photo Credit: Husk Nashville
Country Music Hall of Fame
Is it a tourist trap? Probably. It is still worth a visit? HECK YEAH! The first time I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, I fan-girled HARD. Was it the life-sized replica of Taylor Swift’s tour bus? Elvis Presley’s gold Cadillac? RCA Studio B where Dolly Frickin’ Parton recorded the vocals for “Jolene?!” I don’t know, but I was star-struck the entire time. Even if you’re not a huge fan of country, this is a must-see. There’s a 52 ft. guitar that doubles as a slide (it’s not just for kids you guys…) and enough interactive exhibits to keep you entertained for hours.
Photo Credit: Country Music Hall of Fame
It may not be as old and prestigious as the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium, but when it comes to outdoor concerts, Ascend Amphitheater is where it’s at. Every seat in the house has a great view (even the lawn seats), and the beer gardens keep the fun flowing. If you catch a concert at sunset, not only do you get a great show, but you get a preemo view of the sun going down over the Nashville skyline (date night anyone???)
Photo Credit: youvisit.com
Belle Meade Plantation
I’ve never been a huge history buff, but when I heard the tour of this plantation ended with a wine tasting, I was there faster than you could say Greek-Revival architecture. Back in 1807 the plantation was just one tiny log cabin. Now, it’s a 34-acre property with a Victorian mansion, carriage house, horse farm, Boxwood Garden and more. Started from the bottom now we here. Apparently, lots of people have weddings here, and I can see why. The property is breathtaking, and did I already mention they have a winery?!
Photo Credit: Instagram @bellemeadewinery
When I want my wine without the pre-happy hour history lesson, I head to Arrington Vineyards. Rolling hills, a private wine loft, some great-tasting grapes—the only thing that could make this vineyard even more amazing would be live music. Oh wait, they have that too (cue angels singing.) Yup, every weekend jazz and bluegrass bands bring the tunes to Arrington Vineyards for ‘Music in the Vines,’ so pack a picnic, grab a bottle of their Antebellum red wine (trust me on this one), get cozy on the lawn in front of the jazz tent and voila! You’ve got yourself a preemo date night.
Photo Credit: Arrington Vineyards (Facebook)
If you’ve never been to Nashville, Pedal Tavern’s tours are by far the best way to see the city. I mean, a 15 seat bar-on-wheels manned by a hilarious guide beats a walking tour any day of the week. All Pedal Tavern tours are BYOB so stock up on your go-to beverages, grab a few friends, and get ready to hit the open road. The best part? With 15 people, no one notices if you don’t pedal.
Photo Credit: Pedal Tavern
There’s so much left to explore, and I’m always looking for new suggestions. Any places I need to check out?