What’s not to be missed when visiting Nashville, TN?
Looking to spend time in thee Music City? The birthplace of country music and home of the Country music hall of fame? If so, you’re in the right place to find out all things to do, eat & see in Nashville (keep in mind that most places were either closed or running in reduced capacity due to covid)! And if you aren’t, keep reading…you just may reconsider.
I didn’t have many expectations for Nashville, outside of wanting good barbecue. The south is known for its summer humidity, hospitality, and for churches on just about every corner- Tennessee was no exception.
Getting there! I flew to Nashville from my “home base” via American (I came back via Delta- whom is handling Covid really well!) The Nashville International airport code is BNA and its located Southeast of the city. We caught a taxi at the airport to our hotel and used Lyft when departing, less than a 20 minute ride , both rides were $27 USD.
For those who may not know, Tennessee is located in the Southeast of the United States, just north of Alabama, south of Kentucky and next to Arkansas (see map below).
Wondering where to stay? The best neighborhoods to stay in when visiting Nashville: Downtown (Close to Broadway & all of the action), Midtown (for nightlife), The Gulch (trendy neighborhood with cute eateries), Music Valley (family friendly area), or SoBro (tons of activities and accessibility).
We stayed at the Cambria Hotel in Downton Nashville. Check out my video HERE for a tour of the hotel including lobby, bar, pool area & our room! The rooms and hotel were really well decorated and pretty spacious. The restaurant downstairs (Southern Spoon Nashhouse) was my fav part of the entire stay! The hotel was in a great location within easy walking distance of the popular downtown strip!
The hotel had a restaurant, live music, bar, and a pool! I would have loved our stay more if the staff was a bit more friendly, we dealt with a bit of rudeness from some of the front desk & bar staff, but overall enjoyed our stay. Book online or head to Cambria.com!
Covid Specific Info: They did require you to wear masks throughout the common areas but did not reinforce it. They were limiting pool capacity and required you to reserve a spot starting at 10am Friday-Sunday, it was semi hard to reserve a spot Saturday and you can only do it in person.
What to do?
Liquor Lab Class: Bourbon & BBQ (legit so much fun!!! they also have a location in NYC)
Take a stroll down Broadway for shops, restaurants, bars & more
Immerse yourself in Music culture & history and walk down 5th Avenue of the Arts
Stop in to the Country Music Hall of Fame
Head to “Printer’s Alley” filled with street art & bars
Kayak with Cumberland Kayaks and ride along the Cumberland River
Head to the World Famous “Tootsies”
Grab a pair of cowboy boots at the Boot Country on Broadway
Head to the City Winery for Wine Tasting
Visit the “Batman Building” (The tallest building in Nashville-AT&T building)
Head to Centennial Park
Go Hiking @ Cummin’s Falls or Radnor State Park
Rent a scooter and do a self guided tour of the city, in style!
How to get around? We did not rent a car during our stay and I honestly didn’t feel like we needed it. Our hotel was located within walking distance of the Gulch (neighborhood we visited often), to Broadway (most popular strip) and tons of other sites. Uber and Lyft (ride sharing services) are also easily accessible in the city! If you do drive/rent a car, parking seemed to be extremely reasonably priced! We also rented these scooters, we downloaded the BIRD app and for about $10 USD, road around the city and got to act like kids again! (I did not notice many-if any- public transportation).
Good Eats! You know why I’m here!! BBQ & Soul Food!! So if you’re new here, you may not know that I gave up pork & beef as a part of my weight loss journey, so I had to skip the ribs and pulled pork, but I was still met with many options.
Nashville Hot Chicken: Maybe one of the most famous things that comes up when you search “Nashville”. It did not disappoint, like I kind of wanted to eat this meal the entire trip- but alas, there was more good food to be had. We ate at Southern Spoon Nashhouse, the restaurant located at the bottom of our hotel, and I highly recommend. We all ordered the hot chicken as our main dish, but we also ordered a side of sautéed veggies and fried green tomatoes, all so good!
Soul Food: We went to BB King’s Blue’s Club for breakfast and to our delight, were the only ones in the restaurant. For my meal, I ordered the Shrimp & Grits entree (sans the pork) and it hit every spot! I washed it down (as most of my other meals) with a Honey Jack & Lemonade! Everyone really enjoyed their food, it was reasonably priced and the staff was great. In a post-Covid world, it seems like this would be a great place to also check out some live music!
BB King’s was located right downtown off of Broadway, walking distance from our hotel.
BBQ: There are legit so many good barbecue spots to check out but we decided to visit the infamous Peg Leg Porker located in The Gulch neighborhood. It’s a no frills eatery, where you order your food cafeteria style and grab a seat once your food is done! Reasonably priced and well prepared, this place is a must visit! If you are not a pork or beef eater (like me) there may be less options to choose from but the chicken wings were great and the 1/2 chicken also looked good!
Other food options: Jack’s BBQ, Slim & Husky’s (Black Owned Pizza Shop), Prince’s (Hot Chicken), Peach Cobbler Factory (Dessert), Garden Brunch Cafe (Black Owned),Biscuit Love (popular breakfast spot in The Gulch- go early , Pancake Pantry , Acme Feed & Seed, The Southern (Brunch) and Nada (Mexican).
Looking for coffee? We went to the Stompin Grounds Cafe inside of the J.P. Marriott hotel (located downtown across the street from the Cambria) about 3-4 times during our visit for coffee, macaroons, gelato and other snacks! A little pricey but worth it! We also visited Killebrew in The Gulch neighborhood for lattes and mochas, again, a bit pricey but good!
In my quest to visit all 50 U.S. States, I am glad to have Tennessee as my 30th on this trip to Nashville. Music quite literally filled the streets of this extremely hospitable and easy to explore city! For more videos and footage from our Nashville adventures, check out my Instagram saved highlights, Reels& IGTV for fun and informative recaps! Check it out HERE. Would you visit Nashville, TN?