By Rachel Hoeing
If you are looking for a fun vacation with your spouse, other couples, or a girls’ trip, look no further than Nashville, Tennessee! It has become a hotspot for couple’s getaways as well as girls’ trips and bachelorette parties, and the entertainment does not disappoint! (Of course you can opt for Nashville as a family vacay as well, but those tips will have to be in another blog!)
Somehow I ended up in Nashville three times over the past couple of years: once with couples and twice for ladies’ getaways. All three trips were so much fun and memorable, and between the three I experienced many different activities. Today’s blog shares some of the most memorable experiences in hopes that you can plan an exciting getaway for your crew!
I hate flying, so I drove all three times. From Winston-Salem it takes about 6 1/2 hours which works out well for a three or four day trip. If you are going for a short weekend, I would suggest flying to give you more time in the city.
Once there, it’s fairly easy to find parking for shopping in some of the districts, but if you are going downtown or going out at night, you will save money using an Uber rather than paying for parking.
Where to Stay
Much of Nashville is “up and coming” which means that many areas can be a mix of a brand new three-story residence situated next to a rundown bungalow littered with trash. We have stayed in areas that from the outside didn’t look the safest, but felt 100% comfortable once we were in our building. We have rented from VRBO and Air B&B and stayed in the “Music Row” area as well as well as “The Gulch.” We also rented from Playlist Properties and they were great to work with.
Where to Eat
You will never run out of options for dining! And truth be told – we loved our casual meals just as much as the fine dining food! Any place that takes reservations … make them! Those that don’t, they are usually worth the wait!
My Favorite Casual Dining:
Bar Taco – bartaco.com
Biscuit Love – biscuitlove.com
Burger Republic – burgerrepublic.com
Butcher and Bee – butcherandbee.com/locations/nashville
Haddie B’s – hattieb.com
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – martinsbbqjoint.com
Pancake Pantry – thepancakepantry.com
Saint Anejo – mstreetnashville.com/saint-anejo
Sky Blue Cafe – skybluecoffee.com
Tavern Midtown – mstreetnashville.com/tavern
Whiskey Kitchen – mstreetnashville.com/whiskey-kitchen
My Favorite Upscale Dining:
Hemingway’s Bar and Hideaway – hemingwaysbarandhideaway.com
Pinewood Social – pinewoodsocial.com
Rolf and Daughters – rolfanddaughters.com
The Southern – thesouthernnashville.com
What to Do
The Golf Cart Bar Crawl is a fun way to spend the afternoon. You get to bar hop and sight-see all while your tour guide takes you around in a golf cart! There is a little bit of Putt-Putt involved as well. Drinks are not included, so it can get pricey, but it’s a unique experience!
The Nash Trash Tour is more of a comedy routine on a bus than an actual “tour,” but our group laughed the entire time. These tours book up very quickly, but you can buy your tickets three months in advance. If you specifically want to request The Jugg Sisters (which I highly recommend), you will need to book ASAP when that three month window opens. I can’t speak for any of the other tour guides, but the Jugg Sisters had us in stitches. (Heads up – plenty of crude comedy and cussing, so it may not be for everyone!)
Areas of interest that you can explore are Marathon Village, the East Nashville/Germantown area, The Gulch, 12th South, and Hillsboro Village neighborhoods. All of these are areas where you can do plenty of shopping and enjoy drinks and eats!
Historic Franklin is a quaint town about 20 miles outside of Nashville. If you have an extra afternoon and want to venture out of the city, this is a fun place to walk around, shop, and grab a bite to eat. (I would choose areas in the city over this though, personally.)
A few more “touristy” ideas
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is a tourist spot that is great for pictures with fabulous views of the skyline and the river. The Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Athens, Greece. The Frist Art Museum can be a great stop for art lovers. You will also want to be sure to seek out the fun wall murals throughout the city.
The Country Music Hall of Fame has a full calendar of events for all ages.
The Bluebird Café is supposed to be an amazing place to catch live music, but we could never seem to get our act in gear to get tickets in time. Check out their calendar to see who will be live during your visit!
The Grand Ole Orpy has fabulous live music, so you can plan ahead for tickets, or you can opt to do a backstage or “behind the curtain” tour. Even for the non-country music people in our group, it was a fun experience! We did not get to visit The Historic Ryman Auditorium, but this is a great option for group tours and live music as well.
If you want to get the full experience of late-night Nashville, you will need to head to Honky Tonk Row. This is located on lower Broadway and is basically a strip of bars and music venues that can keep you entertained for hours. The best part: no cover charge anywhere! Hop in and out as you please. Find music you like and stay awhile. Most venues have numerous floors, so you can catch laid-back live music and food on floor one, live country on floor two, and hip-hop dancing on floor three!
There are so many to choose from, but our favorites were Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar, Acme Feed and Seed, Tootsie’s, Dierk’s Bentley’s Whiskey Row, Honky Tonk Central, and Tequila Cowboy. On one trip, we were lucky enough to visit Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and guess who was live on stage that night? Jimmy himself! And remember – all for free!
If you want night life that is not in the midst of the Honky Tonk Highway hustle and bustle, just be sure to search for music venues away from lower Broadway.
Ready to plan your getaway? Feel free to comment below with questions, or with additional ideas that you have enjoyed in Nashville, Tennessee!