There’s more to Nashville than lower Broadway and honky tonks. Believe it or not I spent a week in Nashville and I spent the least amount of time on the trip on Broadway street. Nashville is an amazing city thriving with beautiful nature, talented musicians of all genres, incredible schools like Belmont and and Vanderbilt, and an eclectic food scene.
I went to Nashville visiting a close friend who has gone to Belmont and lived in Nashville for the last three years. Tagging along with him gave me a unique experience as a visitor to be able to be immersed in the local music scene and spend a week like I lived in Nashville myself, rather than just experiencing the well known tourist side of the city. Don’t get me wrong, there is little in the world I love more than country music, and I still want to go back to experience the Grand Ole Opry, but I was very fortunate to have the experience as a visitor that I did.
Nashville is cool because it’s like a big city that consists of a bunch of unique, small, neighborhoods. I spent time exploring 12 South, Five Points, and Hillsboro Village, and each of them were different, but together, they make Nashville a whole.
12 South is where you can find the iconic “I Believe in Nashville” mural next to Edly’s BBQ and Draper James, Edly’s has been voted Best BBQ in Nashville by the Nashville Scene Readers Poll for four years and counting!
Try the pulled pork or the Hot Chicken Sandwich! Also in 12 South you will find the cupcake ATM (seriously), a craft beer bar called the filling station, Corner Music, and the Frothy Monkey. Filling Station is cool because it looks like an old convenience store, but it’s really a craft beer bar with a rotating selection of craft beer ranging from local Nashville breweries and from breweries all around the country. Corner Music is a great music store where you can find any kind of guitar you could even begin to imagine. Frothy Monkey is a coffee shop that is loved by locals and visitors alike. There are multiple locations, the one in 12 South has a sweet winding staircase inside and a big patio space to hang out at.
Five Points is where I went my first night in Nashville. There are lots of restaurants and bars in Five Points, Lady Gaga had a show at one of them the week before I got there! I spent time at 3 Crow which kind of had a fun, dive bar feel to it with a large inside and also a large outside area which is where I hung out. They have great food and good drink specials, so be sure you check those out before you go and save a few bucks. I also went to The Crying Wolf where they had a back room with bands playing the whole night, and it was a Tuesday! In Nashville you can ALWAYS find live music, no matter what day of the week it is. Have lunch at Mad Donna's, they have an entire portion of their menu dedicated to mac and cheese, and I'm all about doing what you're supposed to do where you're supposed to do it, so I took it upon myself to order the hot chicken mac and cheese.
Hillsboro Village is about a 15 minute walk from Belmont and it’s full of eye catching boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. There is a shop there called Pangea that I absolutely loved, it was affordably priced, and had such unique things there! I can’t remember the last time I went shopping on a trip, but I left Pangea with a new turquoise ring and a new pair of earrings! Also, Pancake Pantry is one of the more well known restaurants I had read about prior to my visit and, and let me tell you, if you want to have the best pancakes of your life, this is the place to go. Hillsboro Village is also where you will find Fido Coffee which wins the award in my book for most outlandish, yet still delicious, coffee I have ever had in my life. It was called “Danksgiving” and had sweet potato puree, black walnut extract, and rosemary simple syrup. Seriously. It was awesome!
Parks in Nashville
While in Nashville I visited two parks, Centennial Park and Percy Warner Park. Centennial Park is near Vanderbilt and is where you can find a life-size replica of the Greek Colosseum and sculpture of Athena inside. The Colosseum is remarkably huge and really cool to see. I went on Halloween so it was closed and I couldn’t go inside, but I was still able to walk around the outside of it. Percy Warner Park is huge, and beautiful. There were a ton of dogs there (my fav) and people riding bikes, there was someone sitting on a bench playing music, there were people hanging out, working out, and spending time outside. It was a beautiful place to be and very much worth the visit.
Nashville is a city that no matter how big, or how popular it gets it always feels like home. It’s a place where there is constant innovation in all genres of music and where talented people from all over the world come to work together. Between, the music, the food, and the outdoors, Nashville has something for everyone.