Music city! I LOVED my trip to Nashville—lively, upbeat culture, huge music and art scene, amazing food, friendly people and so much fun to be had!
Me and some of my friends from college (who I often refer to as my “Lax Ladies”) decided to spend a long weekend with our friend Jenna, who had been living there over a year. We saw a lot of different areas in Nashville and did quite a bit in just three days with the help of Jenna as our tour guide (having someone who knew their way around the city was a huge bonus and saved us a lot of time and planning!).
It was about a 12 hour drive from Madison (plus another 3.5 for me up in Northern Wisconsin)—much more bearable than the 19-21 hour trips to Florida/Texas. We arrived at our adorable Airbnb (just outside the big city of Nashville) late that afternoon.
Once we were settled we quickly got dressed and headed to dinner at The Tavern in Midtown Nashville. Midtown was very busy and the streets were full of people. This was one area I was glad someone knew their way around.
The Tavern had amazing food! We split some of the Tavern Fries, tried some of their specialty cocktails (not my favorite—little strong for my taste, but still fun to try!) and each got our own entree (I got The Tavern burger, and it was awesome). Very lively atmosphere—would definitely go again!
The Patterson House
After dinner we went to a speakeasy called The Patterson House. This was one of my favorite places we visited. It is a 1920’s Prohibition-themed upscale bar, known for their craft cocktails and unique, cozy and laid back atmosphere. The waiting area is curtained off from the serving area with some historic photos to look at and comfy couches to sit on while you wait. We did have to wait almost an hour to get a table, but I think it was worth the wait.
There was dim lighting with candles, paper menus with fancy text all strung together, and a very knowledgable staff. I believe the drinks change seasonally, and there was so much to choose from. Taking photos is discouraged, so I only walked away with a blurry photo of my vodka, raspberry lemon something (the flash went off on accident when I tried to sneak a photo of my drink…oops!).
If I went again I would ask for the waiter’s recommendation. A few of the girls did this and he asked a series of preference questions (tequila or rum, fruity or dry, etc) and then brought them something he thought they would like—kind of a fun game to play;) Drinks were a little pricey, but I thought the unique atmosphere made up for it.
Percy Warner Park
On Friday we started the day with a hike in Percy Warner Park. I love hikes:) The path to the top of the hill, before the actual hike, was a huge stone staircase. I took one of my favorite photos there! It was a great place to catch up, get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. On our way back to the Airbnb, we drove past some of the rich neighborhoods in the area and gazed at the beautiful, expensive houses.
We spent most of the day in Franklin that day, starting with lunch at Gray’s—again, fantastic food and great service. The restaurant used to be an old pharmacy, which some of their decor of bottles and apothecary-like tools allude to.
We all split an appetizer of friend green tomatoes (which I guess is a southern thing). I had the margarehita pizza, which was delicious. But I would recommend the grilled pear pizza, something I was too scared to try and regretted once I sampled a friend’s. I also tried the soup of the day, a sweet potato lobster bisque which was sooooo yummy.
Shopping in Franklin
The few hours following lunch, we shopped around Franklin. Most of the prices I saw were out of my budget, but it was still fun to look around.
The Frothy Monkey
This was one of the places on my Nashville bucket list! Reminded me of a college coffee shop atmosphere. Yummy coffee and a nice pick-me-up for the afternoon.
In the evening we headed to Arrington Wineries (another place on my list!), which was about a twenty minute drive from Franklin. The grounds were beautiful! White lights everywhere, wood and stone buildings, picnic tables everywhere, a red barn—it’d be a beautiful place to have an outdoor wedding. On our way into the building we past two live bands, each playing a different style of music.
We all decided to do a tasting inside—only $10 to try six wines. We each individually got to pick which wines we wanted to try. I am more of a semi-sweet white wine drinker, and they seemed to have a wider variety of dry reds, but the experience was still fun, and who doesn’t love a wine tasting!
After the tasting we all split a bottle, ventured out onto the grounds and settled at a picnic table under a large tree lit up with white lanterns! We could hear the music from where we sat, had some good life talks and enjoyed the night air:)
Broadway Bar Scene
Our nightly entertainment was the famous Broadway and Honkey Tonk Row. The bars were very crowded and filled with people of all ages, and several bachelor/bachelorette parties.
I had so much fun at a place called “The Stage” where a live band (as one would expect in Nashville) was performing and singing covers. We danced and sang our hearts out all night long.
On our final day in Nashville we started at Centennial Park. This was the warmest day with lots of sunshine. There was live music here too and lots of vendors and people walking their dogs. And of course The Parthenon , a full-scale replica of the original structure from Athens, Greece.
Before lunch, Jenna took me to an amazing book store called Bookman and Bookwoman. It’s full of used books and looks like a huge library! AKA heaven (insert heart eyes emoji #booknerd)! I accidentally walked out of there with $75 worth of books…but how can I feel bad about buying books…
For lunch we went to Bartaco (apparently Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins favorite restaurant). This was the day it was in the 80’s and we sat out in the sun in a lounge-like area with benches and tables. The tacos were delicious! They handed us cards with all the options, and then you check what kind and how many tacos you want.
For dessert we went to an ice cream parlor called Jeni’s. Yum! (PS if you try the whiskey flavored ice cream, expect it to taste a little potent).
Country Music Hall of Fame
We didn’t actually make it on time for a tour, but we still got to walk around and look through the gift shop, which had some unique books and souvenirs.
Tennessee Brew Works
Tennessee Brew Works was awesome. To be honest, when we first drove down there it looked kind of sketchy, but the place itself was very nice and had a friendly, welcoming bartenders. I tried my first flight of beer on their second level outdoor seating area.
For dinner we went to the pharmacy—famous Nashville burger place. Maybe it was the long wait, or the fact that I was extremely hangry by this point in the day and they don’t serve appetizers, but I was not as impressed with the burgers as I thought I would be. I would pick my Tavern Burger over that one any day. But the atmosphere was nice—picnic tables outside under white lights.
All in all—wonderful trip! We saw so much in a short amount of time. Thanks for being such a great tour guide Jenna! <3
See also, A Long Weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.