Nashville was a bit of a wildcard when we planned our big american trip. It was my boyfriend’s suggestion, and he picked it for its country music heritage. We didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived. I definitely did not expect to fall head over heels in love with the place. Seriously, we’re planning to retire here. There is such a great art and music scene, they do great coffee and craft beer and the people are the nicest you will ever meet.
What we did
On out first day we headed out to East Nashville. Unlike other hipster enclaves East Nashville has a really lovely village feel to it. It’s full of little art galleries, vintage shops, cafes and restaurants. The two main places to visit in East Nashville are Five Points and Fatherland, where you will find most shops and restaurants. It’s also worth walking up Gallatin Avenue to visit Local Honey, a really well curated vintage shop and hair salon. We also found some bargains in Goodwill on Gallatin Avenue. One of my favourite things I did in Nashville was meet up with internet pal and Nashville local Zie, of Zie Darling. We ate pizza and chatted for hours.
Over the river you will find the main hub of the city, which includes downtown and most of the tourist attractions. Broadway is the main thoroughfare through downtown and it is lined with honky tonk bars, record stores and shops selling cowboy boots and Stetsons. Live music plays here all day every day. There are lots of museums like the Country Music Hall of Fame, which we didn’t bother with because I prefer to experience music live, not in a museum. Next to the Country Music Hall of Fame is Hatch Show Print, America’s longest running print shop. Perfect for fans of both country music and fans of letterpress! It has been open since 1879 and is definitely worth checking out.
Further out of town there are some great little shops that are definitely worth making the effort to see. Grimey’s, a great record and bookshop with a cafe next door. If you carry on up this road you will find lots of great vintage and antique shops. Pre to Post Modern was one of our favourites. I would recommend going on a Sunday as many of the shops put on a free Sunday brunch, which means complimentary coffees and cake while you’re browsing.
Of course you can’t go to Nashville without experiencing some live music. On Sunday night we went to the free bluegrass jam at the The Station Inn with was excellent and we also heard the fine John Shepherd playing old school country music at Robert’s Western World on Broadway. Incredibly, the 79 year old singer has been performing at Robert’s every day for 40 years!
When we were planning this trip we knew from the beginning we would be staying in Airbnb properties. Our Airbnb in Nashville was just beyond gorgeous. Every room was just Pinterest perfect. It was also very comfy, well equipped, and conveniently located for both East Nashville and downtown. It was lovely to be able to chill out in the evenings, cook dinner, then head out to a bar for some live music. I can’t recommend this place enough, we’s definitely stay here again.
What we ate
The food in Nashville was great. Folks in Nashville take their food and drink very seriously. We loved The Local Taco, Burger Republic and Five Points Pizza.
We also enjoyed some really great coffee in Nashville. Frothy Monkey, Bongo Java and Barista Parlor were some of our favourite places for brunch. Nashville produces some fantastic craft beers, which are definitely worth checking out. I wasn’t even a beer drinker until I came to Nashville!
Nashville is one of America’s least walkable cities, and neither my boyfriend or I drive. Whoops. But we weren’t going to let this ruin our trip. From our Airbnb you could walk to both downtown and east Nashville, you just needed to plan the route carefully to avoid major highways. Not surprisingly Uber was also a bit of a life saver. We’d never used it before but we found it so cheap and easy to get around. We also had so many great conversations with our Uber drivers and picked up lots of great tips for places to visit. Actually one of our favourite things about Nashville was the people. When people say ‘have a wonderful day’ they mean it. Every day people complimented my clothes, asked me where I was from and what brought me to Nashville and asked if I need directions. It’s a pretty amazing place.
To Try Airbnb for the first time follow this link for £16 off
To try Uber for the first time follow this link for a free first ride.
I received my accommodation with Airbnb at a discounted rate but all thought and words are my own.