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Nashville, Tennessee is known primarily for its country music scene, which gives it the nickname Music City. Whether you are a big country music fan or not, Nashville is still an outstanding place to visit with great food, live music, and nightlife.
Where to Stay in Nashville:
We stayed at an Airbnb in East Nashville, just a few blocks from 5 Points. It was cheaper than staying in Nashville’s slightly more central neighborhoods: the Gulch, Downtown, or Music Row. However, we didn’t find staying in 5 Points inconvenient at all. In fact, there were a ton of places in East Nashville that we might not have seen had we not stayed there.
Our Airbnb was amazing too, and we recommend it for anyone looking for a wonderful place to stay in Nashville.
If you’ve never used Airbnb before we highly recommend it! Here’s a code for first-time users where you can get $30 in travel credit when you book a place.
What to Do in Nashville:
Broadway Bars – Nashville has always been famous for its country music scene and more recently has become known for bachelorette parties. The epicenter of country music and bachelorette tourism is Broadway in downtown Nashville.
This stretch of about 6 blocks is packed with country bars playing live music and most of the city’s tourists. If you’re in Nashville, you’ll want to check out the various bars on Broadway, even if country music isn’t exactly your thing. It’s not our’s, but we still had fun.
Printer’s Alley – Right near Broadway in downtown Nashville, there’s Printer’s Alley which used to be home to the city’s publishing industry. Nowadays, it’s full of bars with lots of live music. Check out this area if you’re really into printing history or looking for fun bars to go to in Nashville that aren’t on Broadway.
John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge – One of the most unique things in Nashville is the pedestrian bridge near downtown. First off, it’s very picturesque and has beautiful views of downtown Nashville. Plus, it really helps making crossing the river more comfortable as a pedestrian and brings a sense of connectivity to the city. It also makes for great photos…
East Nashville – While most of the bachelorette parties stick to Broadway and downtown Nashville, make sure to leave them behind and check out East Nashville. There are a ton of great local restaurants and shops in this chill neighborhood that’s not too far from downtown Nashville. It’s also cheaper to stay here if you’re looking to save money in Nashville.
Ryman Auditorium – The Ryman Auditorium is most famous for being the birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry, a country music radio program that’s still around today. It is famous for being the Birthplace of Bluegrass, amongst other things. You can tour the Ryman Auditorium, and there are still live shows here.
Where to Eat in Nashville:
Pinewood Social – Pinewood Social, featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, is a great place to drink, eat, hangout, and go bowling in Nashville. It’s a very popular place just south of downtown Nashville. If you’re going there to bowl make sure to make a reservation, and if you’re just looking for a great brunch in Nashville, get there early because tables fill up at quickly.
The Southern V – Heading to Nashville, we were a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to try the hot chicken they are famous for. However, we heard about The Southern V, which is an entirely vegan restaurant that specializes in southern food in North Nashville.
Here, we ordered their Nashville Hot Fried Chick’n and BBQ Jackfruit Sliders. The food absolutely blew us away, and we were left wanting to order seconds and thirds. The Southern V is a must for vegans, and non-vegans alike, in Nashville. Their Hot Chick’n made from seitan tasted like some of the best fried chicken we’ve ever had. This place would definitely break our budget if we lived in Nashville as The Southern V is one of the best vegan restaurants we have ever been to.
Five Points Pizza – Recently listed in USA Today’s and Trip Advisor’s list of Best Pizza in Every State, Five Points Pizza did not disappoint, and we even ate here before the list came out! This is a pizza-by-the-slice joint and made for a great late night stop after the bars.
Graze – Another highly recommended vegan restaurant in Nashville is Graze. Graze is located a little further out in East Nashville. It’s a smaller restaurant, but their menu packs a punch.
The Hot Tempeh Biscuits were mouth-watering and paired well for brunch with the turmeric kombucha. It’s definitely a place we’d go back to next time we are in Nashville.
Five Daughter’s Bakery – Located in the same complex as Graze is Five Daughter’s Bakery. They are known for their 100 layer donuts, which what we would describe as a cross between a croissant and a donut. It’s unlike any donut we’ve had before and made for a great dessert after our yummy brunch at Graze. Five Daughter’s Bakery has a great selection of flavors, so there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Bongo East and Game Point Café – Coffee? Board games? Beer? What more could you want?
Bongo East Coffee in East Nashville has it all. It’s a café that has more board games than you probably knew existed. You can play any of them while you sip your latte or beer. It would probably take you more than a year to play every game there!
Where to Drink in Nashville (off Broadway):
Patterson House – If you are looking for an upscale, hidden bar with probably the best cocktail in Nashville, head to the Patterson House. The unassuming house near Music Row transforms into a grand bar once you get inside and past the host. The Patterson House is a must-visit in Nashville if you want an amazing, handcrafted cocktail in a sophisticated setting.
Nelson Green Brier Distillery – Nationwide, Jack Daniel’s is likely the most well-known whiskey from Tennessee, but its Lynchburg distillery is inaccessible from Nashville if you don’t have a rental car. Luckily for whiskey and bourbon lovers, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery is right in Nashville and has a great tour, rich history, and, most importantly, tons of samples! This is the place to buy Belle Meade Bourbon in Nashville, their most famous liquor.
Skull’s Rainbow Room – In Nashville’s Printer’s Alley, Skull’s Rainbow Room serves up wonderful, and strong, cocktails with live piano and burlesque shows. It’s a quieter and classy getaway from the boot-stomping party on Broadway.
Rudy’s Jazz Room – Sick of all the country in Nashville? Rudy’s Jazz Room offers an escape from all the honky tonk in the form of smooth jazz. There are different performers every night, and you can even sign up to play if you’re up for it. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the jazz ensembles whilst sipping your cocktail.
Hidden Bar – Hidden Bar is a secret and well…hidden…bar in Nashville’s Noelle Hotel. It’s a little difficult to find and took us a while to find. Go to the elevator and down a floor. Once you arrive on the lower floor, there’s a bar, but look for a door labeled ‘Storage’ and open it. In there, you’ll find Nashville’s Hidden Bar.
Although Nashville is best-known for being the home of country music, it is also a great place to travel for people who do not like it.
I loved your article! You hit many of the wonderful sights to see in Nashville. I don’t know about you, but when I was there I swear that the Broadway Bars were filled with Brides to Be and their hoard of Bridemaids. It made for a wonderful and entertaining couple of nights. In addition to your recommendations, I would also suggest visiting Opryland Resort Gardens or one of the wineries if you are willing to go a little outside of town! You have fabulous writing and I can’t wait to read more!
Thank you! We’ve heard great things about the Opryland Resort Gardens but didn’t end up making it there because we didn’t rent a car. It sounds like a lot of fun though, especially the wineries!