It’s no secret that lately Nashville has become almost as hot as Las Vegas for a weekend destination. From bachelorettes to bandwagon Predators fans, the city is constantly teeming with travelers from all over the world, eager to get a taste of Music City.
A weekend in Nashville can seem somewhat intimidating, (so many bars, so little time) so I took the guess work out of planning for you. Here’s a definitive guide to visiting Nashville in a weekend. We’ve got everything from where to stay, to where to eat, and what to see- it’s all here. You’ll get a little taste of each part of the city- without breaking the bank.
Where to Stay:
If cute AirBnb’s are your thing, you’re in luck- Nashville is the queen of them. As someone who prefers to stay in whole houses or apartments rather than a hotel room, finding the perfect spot in the perfect location is essential. This adorable carriage house is in the heart of 12 South, one of Nashville’s trendiest neighborhoods (think Reese Witherspoon’s clothing store, plenty of hip patios to grab a bite to eat, even a flower truck that sells fresh cut bouquets). About an 8-minute drive from downtown, this AirBnb is your ideal home base while you explore the city. Bigger group? Try this gem!
Glow Tip: Make sure to visit Five Daughter’s Bakery, a doughnut shop within walking distance from the AirBnb. They make 100-layer croissant doughnuts that are to die for.
Where to Eat:
With so many incredible restaurants in Nashville, (and new ones popping up every day) you have to choose carefully when picking places to eat. Here are a few of my favorites:
If you’re looking to have a boozy brunch with your girlfriends before exploring the city, Mockingbird is the place to go. With entrees like the “Flock Yes” (fried chicken, salsa verde, chorizo gravy, fried egg, and a biscuit) that are as Instagrammable as they are delicious, Mockingbird is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The aesthetic is hip and the drinks are phenomenal- make sure to order the Church Punch!
Glow Tip: Uber, don’t drive! Parking in that area can be a pain.
If a more low-key breakfast is on your agenda, be sure to check out Fido in Hillsboro Village. A Nashville staple for over 20 years, Fido serves up incredible egg scrambles, chilaquiles, pancakes, and bagels (the Fishy, their lox bagel, is my favorite). If the line at the counter seems impossibly long, don’t be discouraged! It moves faster than you would think, and it really is worth the wait.
Glow Tip: Order the Local Latte. Honey, cinnamon, espresso- yum!
With locations both on 12 South and in East Nashville, Burger Up is a great pick for lunch. It has a cool industrial vibe and an emphasis on local, sustainable options. It also has menu options for everyone, from true carnivores to vegetarians, and the sweet potato fries are world class. My favorite is the Troyathlon, their quinoa veggie burger, topped with jalapeño and avocado.
Glow Tip: It can be busy around lunch, and they don’t take reservations, so get on the waitlist ahead of time using the NoWait app and peruse 12 South (or grab a margarita at Bar Taco) while you’re waiting for your table.
Luckily, Nashville has a wide range of dinner options at different price points- everything from order-at-the-counter pizza spots to white table cloth dining. Here are two of my faves!
DeSano’s is in the heart of Midtown, which is near Vanderbilt and filled with fun (although college-y) bars. Tucked away on an off-street, this pizza joint is the perfect spot for a girls’ night. The pizzas are delicious, the salads can easily be split between 2-3 people, and the atmosphere is fun and loud. The restaurant is divided into two rooms- the dining area and the bar area. The dining area is more family-oriented, and you can watch them make the pizzas from long, picnic style tables. The bar area has a bar (duh) and is packed with long, high-top tables. On a Friday night around dinnertime, this place feels like a packed bar- it’s a blast!
Glow Tip: In case you didn’t already want to go, I’m about to seal the deal: you can bring your own wine, and there’s no corkage fee.
Also located in Midtown and easily spotted for its exterior glass wall lined with jewel colored liquor bottles, Nada is the go-to for a fun Mexican dinner. The tacos are small but affordable, and they have unique options, like caramelized cauliflower. The sweet chili-glazed cracked potatoes are addictive, and their margaritas are served in funky, eclectic glasses.
Glow Tip: Get more bang for your buck with the margarita pitcher. Nashville is overrun with pricey margarita’s, but Nada’s pitcher is the exception- it easily serves four and is a great deal.
Things to Do:
Nashville really has become famous for its bar scene, and don’t get me wrong, if you’re in town for the weekend, you have to make it down to Broadway at least once. With several multi-level bars (each floor has a different live band or a DJ) and more rooftops than you could ever ask for, it’s like a theme park for adults. However, there are a few gems off the beaten path that are also worth a visit.
Go see a Predator’s game! The games have an unbeatable atmosphere. Everyone chants and yells at the other team, and the whole arena gets unbelievably into it. Last minute tickets can be found pretty cheap, and even if you’re not a huge hockey fan, I guarantee by the end of the game, you’ll be shouting “It’s all your fault!” with the rest of the crowd.
Check out the Bluebird Café. Made famous from the show, “Nashville”, the Bluebird Café is a legendary Nashville spot and not nearly as much of a tourist trap as you would expect. It’s inconspicuously tucked away in a strip center, and if you weren’t looking for it, you’d probably miss it. On the weekends, they do an early show and a late show, and both are incredible. You’ll see some of Nashville’s top talent in a super small, intimate setting, and stars like Garth Brooks have been known to just pop in.
Take a yoga class at Inner Light Yoga. If you’re feeling the need to sweat before brunch one day, check out Nashville’s first music-based yoga studio. Everyone’s super welcoming, mat rental is complimentary, and their music choices are so on-point, you won’t even notice that you’re working out.
Go for a hike at Warner Parks. Again, if you’re feeling the need to move after last night’s tacos and vodka sodas, go for a hike at Warner Parks. Located about 15 minutes outside the city, the Parks have several trails, ranging from relatively easy 2 milers to pretty strenuous 6 mile hikes. The trails are peaceful and the parks provided some much-needed greenery close to the city.
Last, but not least, grab a cocktail at Rare Bird. At the top of the Noelle, a boutique hotel downtown, Rare Bird provides a pretty amazing view of the downtown skyline and gets you up-close and personal with the Batman Building, Nashville’s signature skyline marker. They keep craft cocktails on tap and regularly switch up the menu, so it stays fresh. It’s the perfect spot to start a night out or just watch the sunset on your last night in town and reminisce on all the fun moments you had with your girls while in Nashville.
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