When traveling to Nashville, there are many activities that come to mind. As someone who travels a lot and has spent 3 weeks there, I have tried most activities and created a comprehensive list of my favorites. When I travel, I pride myself in experiencing what the locals experience and the best of the best. This list is mostly of hidden gems, and things that you wont find on mainstream media. Enjoy!
BEST FOODS | Guide here.
BEST NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCE | The Back Corner, Greenhouse, HQ, Kung Fu, No. 308, Old Glory, Patterson House, Pinewood Social, Rosemary.
BEST PLACES TO EXPERIENCE BELOW |
12 SOUTH |
12 South is a busy street with a strip of well known restaurants, luxury boutiques and murals.
You know you're in for a treat when you see the decorative deer skull above the front door and taxidermy animals in the window. The mid western-antique aesthetic stands out against the modern buildings around it. Stop in to check out the unique decoration and vintage pieces, don't forget the attic upstairs too!
BELLE MEADE |
Drive around in awe of this fairytale-like town. Belle Meade is known for housing one of the oldest plantations, but it also has some of the most beautiful homes.
Streets filled with tourists and bars blaring country music is usually what comes to mind when you hear Nashville but, this is only the case on Broadway Street. Downtown has much more to offer than just honky tonk jams.
A long street of lit up bars that run through downtown with live music at each. It's common to see party buses, Pedal Taverns and wedding parties running rampant on this street. If you want to party and hear live music, you are at the right spot.
HQ is Alice in Wonderland meets a Beercade, so essentially everything you could want and more. My sister brought me here to try the PB&J shots, which are life changing, but I fell in love with the atmosphere. Come to hang with friends, dance or play the video games that line the bar.
Off the beaten path, a little ways from Broadway is this super cool hangout. Their purpose is to "create a thoughtful social gathering place to accommodate various needs throughout the day." And by this they mean, enjoying craft cocktails while hanging out, using their bowling alley, or sunbathing by their dipping pools in the back. This has potential to be an all day affair, but I went later in the evening for a cocktail and to enjoy the ambiance.
EAST NASHVILLE |
Known as a hipster spot, East Nash is off the beaten path with tons going on. There are so many unique shops, restaurants and bars. This is the Brooklyn of Nashville.
Probably one of the coolest places I've ever been to. The interior is made to look like a root cellar with plants hanging from the ceiling and tinctures and teas lining the walls. Check it out for kombucha or tea flights, or for a holistic approach to medicine. Go in with ailments or symptoms and leave with a tincture or tea to help.
In another area of East Nash, there are local clothing boutiques that range from edgy to sweet and everything in between. I checked out The Trunk and got an adorable tee for $25. I recommend starting at the S 10th side of Fatherland Street and making your way to Shops on Fatherland. It's a quick walk because all of the shops are located next to each other on the street.
This bar is located inside of an unassuming house in East Nashville. It's hard to find because it is a yellow house without a sign, but the security guard out front helps. The experience is like no other, with a cool interior, great DJ and major house party vibes. It's an experience unlike other bars, so definitely check it out.
No. 308 |
With a similar music vibe to Rosemary's, No. 308 is another hidden gem in East Nashville. This bar has been featured in GQ, Southern Living and the New York Times. Mostly noted for their cocktails and shots, this place is a must for drinks. I had a cocktail (I forget the name, I'm the worst) and was blown away by how delicious it was. It had vodka, coconut milk, lime and turmeric in it.
EDGEHILL VILLAGE |
A low key strip of shops with restaurants and home to the speakeasy Old Glory.
Located in a back alley through an unassuming black door is this intimate speakeasy. This old boiler room boasts industrial vibes with exposed brick, a large smokestack and extremely high ceilings. They're known for their unique atmosphere and fresh craft cocktails. Definitely one of the best kept secrets of the city.
This up and coming neighborhood has beautiful homes with quaint cafes and shops. This is a spot you can easily get lost walking around and enjoying the neighborhood. Germantown is also home to Butchertown Hall a delicious restaurant.
This low key club is hidden in the Taylor Flats grounds and the Tbc sign is the only indicator that there is something inside. I was intrigued when I saw a Snapchat of a DJ with Planet Earth playing in the background and knew I had to check it out. This small club plays EDM/hip hop on the weekends and hosts low key live performances on other days. Sometimes big names like Rascal Flatts have a soft listening party there. I loved the atmosphere here and definitely recommend checking it out.
GREEN HILLS |
Located ten minutes outside of the city is this upscale suburb. Nestled in between the commercial shops is a hidden lounge.
This bar is deceptive (are you noticing a trend), it looks like a traditional greenhouse from the outside. Don't let that fool you, head inside past the outdoor patio and you'll see the bar in the center. This spot is a lounge reminiscent of a backyard patio and garden. The space is lined with palms and patio furniture and is very inviting. Head here with friends for a cocktail after a day of shopping at the Green Hills Mall.
THE GULCH |
The higher end area of the city with shops and restaurants.
M Street |
M Street is essentially a row of aesthetically pleasing and delicious restaurants. All of the restaurants are right next to each other and cover all types of cuisines. One restaurant, Kayne Prime is a go to spot for celebs like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. You can read my my favorite spots here.
The Thompson is a beautiful hotel that is #decorgoals. I heard about the Thompson long before I visited, my sister raved about how beautiful it was and told me that I had to check it out. The rooftop is a super hip area that boasts a dreamy atmosphere and beautiful view of the city. It is rumored that Carrie Underwood and other celebs enjoy this spot too.
Another row of bars is in Midtown on Demonbreun street. Typically occupied by college students, these bars are known to be a good time. And with the bars being next to each other, you can easily check them all out.
Kung Fu |
My favorite Demonbreun Street bar is Kung Fu because of it's adult playground vibe. The seesaw outside may be part of why I'm saying that, but it also has ski ball, Jenga and other fun games to play. With all the fun games and a selection of hip hop and rap for music, I'm sold.
This is a speakeasy is located in a low key house off of the main road and tucked away behind a velvet curtain. The decor has a masculine 1920's flare with an aluminum ceiling, chandeliers with tassels and intimate booths lining the bar in the center. The cocktails are some of the best I've ever had and made with lots of TLC. Our server not only described the cocktails to us, but educated us on the process and ingredients too. Try to go at an off key time so that you can get the full experience.
OUTSIDE THE CITY |
This zoo is not only beautiful, but has a great set of attractions; a unique set of animals. zip lines, and a section where you can play with kangaroos. Are you sold yet? They also have two other petting zoos with farm animals, turtles, and a bird cage so you can pet all the animals. But all 3 petting sections aside, they also have rhinos, giraffes (a baby one too) and tigers.
This resort is massive, we're talking 9 acres of indoor gardens and almost 3,000 rooms. If you're in the area, definitely check it out because it is a sight in itself. It's open to the public, so get lost in the different worlds located inside of the atriums. Each section has it's own style and restaurants; one even has a waterfall.
Grab all of your friends and a boat and head to Percy Priest Lake. Aside from being a great spot to cool down in the southern heat, it has a lot of great party alcoves too. The two to know are Party Cove and Two Foot, they're easy to spot with boats congregated together and music blaring. If you go to Two Foot bring shoes, the mucky bottom is littered with broken glass bottles.