I’ve lived in Nashville, Tennessee for about two years now, so I like to think I know what the “must see” and “must eat” places are. Plus, it’s still really fun to live like a tourist occasionally! If you’re just passing through for the day, I share a list of places you cannot miss when in the gorgeous and lush Music City.
Address: 8400 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN
It’s a haul out of town, to be sure, but the biscuits are worth it. Start your day here with breakfast, and take Natchez Trace out of town to enjoy some nice scenery on the windy drive down to Franklin. Do some shopping here as well—many of the old motel buildings have been turned into shops, from items from local artists, to biscuit mix and jam you can take home to fill those cravings you’re sure to have!
Address: 1160 Otter Creek Rd., Nashville, TN
Nashvillians have a different definition of “hiking” than the rest of the world—here, hiking tends to refer to heading out into nature with your running shoes and taking a nice long stroll. The Greenways for Nashville project has installed a lot of great trails throughout the city, but my favorite is south of Nashville at Radnor Lake. It’s a quick hour-long loop, and since I’m from the Michigan, it’s nice to be near the water in this land-locked state.
Address: 33 Peabody St., Nashville, TN
Part bar, part social club, part restaurant, and part living room, this is one of my favorite spots in Nashville, and perfect for any time of day. Head in early morning to join other freelancers at the community table with coffee from local roastery Crema and brunch, a pool-side cocktail in the afternoon, or stop by at night for cocktails and a round of bowling.
Broadway is really best done in the afternoon. Fewer people on the streets means cheap drinks, and the musicians are just as good as those playing for the rowdy crowds at night. Paradise Park has long been my favorite bar on the strip with its trailer park theme (and great carnival-inspired snacks, should you find yourself with the munchies) and Tootsie’s can’t be missed either. Stop by Robert’s Western World next door as well—their Brazilbilly house band is one of the best!
Even if you’re in town for just one day, you’ll have your pick of hundreds of concerts to choose from that evening, and what better to do in Music City? The brand new Ascend Amphitheater is set right downtown against the river backdrop for a nice outdoor show, or check out one of the smaller venues in town. City Winery features table seating and a large wine list (perfect for me, since I long ago lost the desire to stand through 2-3 hour shows,) or head across the river to the Basement East, featuring the best local and national artists around. Or take a look at Cause A Scene, which throws “secret” shows—you buy a ticket to see an artist and on the day of the show, they send you the location. I actually saw my favorite artist at a Cause a Scene show in a barbershop, of all places!
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Do you live in Nashville or visit often? What are some of your favorite sights in and around the city? Let us know in the comments below. To plan your trip to Nashville, TN this summer, check out Visit Music City!
All photographs were taken by Desi Rottman unless otherwise stated.