I have wanted to visit Nashville, forever. Visiting Nashville, Tennessee with my son, the musician was super exciting. Allow me to share this itinerary with you. First, I have to tell you, I’m a little embarrassed. Other than passing through Nashville a few times to head to the airport, I hadn’t REALLY visited this great city. As a result, the embarrassment comes from living in north Alabama for ten years. I mean, like really north Alabama, just two hours away. No real excuse, other than I’m not a real BIG CITY girl.
SMALL TOWN ~ BIG CITY
However, I will tell you Nashville may be a big city but also has a small-town feel. My son is a musician and he is uber-talented. You know, I’m his Momma so he thinks I gotta say that, but he is, so there. He’s about to go out into the BIG WORLD, so before he does I said, let’s go visit Nashville! Consequently, he knows this city pretty well, so here is our itinerary from the heart of a musician who loves ALL kinds of music including Country.
When I travel with family I prefer to stay in AirBnb’s, mostly because we get our own space and it’s a bit more comfortable. Oh, and I should mention when we travel with Chris, a guitar is always in tow so we want to minimize neighbor disturbances as much as possible.
Our apartment in the heart of the city was within walking distance to everything we wanted to see in two days. Our apartment was neat and clean, had a kitchen, a pull-out futon bed for Chris, a great shower and felt secure. Working with Allison at the Unique and Stylish Studio in Nashville was super easy and she answered all my pre-questions with ease. Parking is off-site and we walked to the apartment a little less than a mile and it was about $30/day and was an indoor parking garage. Totally worth it and about average for major cities around the world.
WHERE TO VISIT
You might think Nashville is ONLY about Country Music and YES! there is a lot there but there is a LOT more too. You’ll be surprised at everything there is to see and do in this country pride city. Nashville is also home to the State’s Capitol. The old buildings and historical significance can be seen as you walk around the city. Be sure to look for historical markers throughout the old town.
Recently, thanks to a professor at Tennessee State University and some students along the with cooperation and approval from the Tennessee Historical Commission a recently approved historical marker was erected to show Nashville’s largest slave market in Tennessee. It reminded me of the pain, loss and history of those who suffered and our country that is continually changing.
Country Music Hall of Fame & Walk
The Country Music Hall of Fame was fantastic. I loved how it began with the history and origins of how this music began and ending with “where it is today.” We bought the combo ticket for the headset and all three levels. It was definitely the way to go ~ On the top floor it had the Taylor Swift Educational Center and the beginning origins of the Country Music. As you make your way to the second floor you’ll see how over time it changed and all the faces and melodies we all know from this truly American sound.
Next, we made our way upstairs to see all the cool costumes and outfits from classic southern favorites and Elvis’s car was super WOW! In total, we ended up spending about $60 on tickets and almost two and a half hour tour. Without a doubt, we could have spent longer here but we were getting a bit hungry.
Hunk of burnin’ love
Don’t forget to take a walk on the Country Music Walk of Fame too in the park adjacent from the museum, that is super cool too. I imagine the park is super busy during the summer months.
Patsy Cline & Johnny Cash Museums
Two of my favorite Country singers, I really liked these museums. Both are located in the same building but they have separate tickets. I think both are really well done and the presentations are very professional giving us the feel like we know them even better by the time we left. If you like these singers for sure, put it on the list.
Nashville at Night
Nashville’s downtown seems to going through a bit of a revival. It is totally a different city at night and here are a few of our favorite areas to check out. As always check out a town at night. Just so cool!
John Seigenthaler Bridge – this bridge was named after John Seigenthaler, an award-winning journalist and civil rights activist who saved a man here in 1954. Enjoy walking over this bridge for incredible photos of the city.
Broadway ~ is the famous “Honky Tonk” strip in Nashville, where countless numbers of singers, song writers and musicians got their start. We loved hopping in and out of the bars listening to all kinds of talent. It is not ALL country music although you may request some for sure.
Wednesday is “LOCAL” talent night at the Tin Roof, so Chris and I made our way to get a seat up front. We lucked out, our first band we listened to was from Huntsville, AL. No kidding! HA! We really enjoyed listening to the Beasley Brothers whose harmony and melodies were catchy and really cool, honestly. Plus, they did a Fleetwood Mac song, you know this 80’s chic. Here’s just a small clip ~ I’ll be watching these guys too ~ up and coming! They are also on Facebook too ~
Based on a suggestion we were given from a very helpful bartender we headed to the Printer’s Alley section of Nashville. During the day this lively, lit bright alley looks like it is hopping at night. So on our last evening in “NASH” we decided to try it out. It does… look really cool, but it turns out there is a “burlesque” bar interesting too. However, you may want to visit if you are on romantic weekend for two, but hanging with your 50 yr old Mom is so not cool. We got a giggle out of it and decided to call it a night.
How to get around
If you are staying in the heart of Nashville you’ll only need to UBER/TAXI to other places outside of city center. Specifically, if you want to go to the Blue Bird Cafe (the famous songbird cafe) but everything else you can reach by foot. We walked about 14-16,000 steps a day working off lots of GREAT eats. See below ~ Nashville is a SUPER CLEAN town! I was thrilled we could walk everywhere and this super clean, street swept and cleaned downtown area is going through a bit of a revival.
Take the FREE BUS!
If you would like to go to the Parthenon or travel around the city loop check out the FREE RIDE Bus in Nashville. This ALL ELECTRIC bus is FREE and takes you all around Music City! Indeed, we saw several people just hopping on but eventually we decided to just walk the city.
Additionally, we felt very safe everywhere we walked, even at night. Furthermore, we stuck together, practicing situational awareness is key like any other major city around the world. Taxis are available at all the major sites as well.
There is not a shortage of GREAT restaurants in Nashville, so your biggest challenge is going to be choosing from them. Here are a few we tried out and I thought they were all AWESOME. We were really glad we were walking everywhere.
Dunn Brothers Coffee – if you are in need of some great coffee, which I was by our second day. Stop by Dunn Brothers Coffee and try the Lavender Latte. You’ll thank me later. The pastries looked super yummy too, but we just needed the caffeine. Their cool chill place in oversized chairs and conversation nooks make it a totally hip place.
Wild Eggs – possibly one of the BEST breakfast places I’ve been to in the States, Wild Eggs is now a franchise. We were so overwhelmed by their super BIG menu which to me means you’ll just have to return over and over to try it all.
Chris tried the Chicken and Waffles, while I tried the Surfer Girl Omelette with avocado and pico de gallo. Yea, I’m trying to watch my weight. Hahaha ~ They also have fresh orange juice and fresh toast.
Merchants – recommended by a local friend to try Merchants because they have “Duck Fat Taters” it is right on Broadway, so of course we just had to. They also have wonderful salads and sandwiches too. This bar and restaurant has great servers, a full bar and a complete menu. It looks like you’ll need reservations if you are there in the summer or on weekends, as it is popular too.
Puckett’s – this famous BBQ joint is an absolute MUST! Don’t go to Nashville without getting BBQ. My pulled pork sandwich was served Memphis-style with some Texas sauce.
Our quick 48 hours in Nashville was not nearly enough and literally just “wet my whistle!” Nashville is definitely a must-visit city for the weekend or to add to your southern state itinerary. Just don’t take ten years to discover it.
It’s always an adventure when you ©Travel with Wendy!
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