Nashville Guide // 2020
Updated: Jul 3, 2021
So if you've been following along with my Instagram stories you know that I spent the long weekend in the great city of Nashville as a surprise trip for my mom's birthday!
A little background:
I wanted to give my mom a REAL gift this year for Christmas and her birthday since I finally have what we call a "big girl job" and can afford more than a candle or mug this year. :) So I booked us both flights to Nashville, coordinated a weekend my sister could drive up and got us an airbnb. Then I thought "how could I make this trip even more special?" and thought DUH- have her very best girlfriends surprise her.
For Christmas I wrote her a card to let her know about the trip, but the catch was that she couldn't know ANY details. 1) Because I was so terrified if she asked questions or wanted to know details I would slip up and 2) This way she wouldn't have to worry about planning or have ANY stress about the trip- she could sit back and relax. This meant A LOT of planning and so I wanted to share what we did, some of our favorites and some other recommendations we were told about.
Where to Stay
Normally I would've stayed at a hotel, probably somewhere near Broadway but because there was 5 of us and we are a group that likes to just hang out and catch up I figured it made the most sense to get an airbnb. This way we could have our own rooms, a common area to hang out and have drinks to entertain some of my local friends that came over while we were in town. Because Nashville has turned so touristy and into Bachelorette central that there are SO many options when it comes to airbnbs. I recommend getting an airbnb through a company (so instead of having it be someone's home, it is strictly just a rental home) These always seem to be cleaner and better suited for guests.
We stayed off of 8th South but honestly anywhere near downtown, west of the city within the loops are great locations that are easy to get to! We were never more than a 10 minute drive from anywhere and the convenience makes ALL the difference. If you can find a place near the gulch, or 12 South I think those would be the best- lots of areas to eat, walkable to things and still a short uber to Broadway.
Where to Eat
First off- MAKE RESERVATIONS. Seriously, we couldn't eat at so many places because the waits were INSANE. A lot of places don't do reservations but get them where you can!
Biscuit Love-the line is always SO long so we didn't make it there but it's definitely on my list to try!
Loveless Cafe- I've also wanted to try this place but it is not near downtown and quite the drive so maybe next time!
Milk and Honey- Another one I'm dying to try!
Five Daughters Bakery- another classic on 12 South. Not only is it super cute but the donuts are DELISH.
Franklin Juice Company- A cute spot on 12 South for Acai bowls and smoothies
Frothy Monkey- coffee shop on 12 South that normally has a line out the door so make sure to go early!
Downtown Sporting Club- Bottomless Mimosas on Broadway downstairs. Super cool place with every floor being a different "theme" also have axe throwing and a rooftop!
Pancake Pantry- I have heard this place is great but I haven't heard it is worth the wait- normally the line is wrapped around the building!
Some More I haven't tried but were recommended:
Acme Food and Seed
Caviar and Bananas
Bar Taco- Our favorite place! A must go while in Nashville and located on 12 South.
Superica- When we went the wait was over 2 hours, so it must be good-but we were starving and bounced!
The Pharmacy- they are the most incredible burgers in East Nashville.
Hattie Bs- A Nashville classic! If you don't want to wait in line there are other locations (8th South) as long as you don't need the ambiance of the original-they are just as good!
Mockingbird- Great location to Broadway, back in October Alec and I walked from the Gulch to dinner here (they take reservations!!) I have heard great things but neither of us were impressed-maybe it is what we ordered. They did have cool drinks served Capri-Sun style :)
Puckett's Grocery: This a good southern spot blocks from Broadway! They normally have live music too. We highly recommend the fried Pimento cheese balls.
Grilled Cheeserie- Not the greatest place but definitely good back up when the wait at EVERY restaurant you try is over 2 hours (yes this really happened to us)
Monells- Oh my goodness one of the best restaurants EVER. It is true southern cooking. You sit at a large dining room table with strangers and get served a pre-determined menu and pass the plate family style. It is the BEST food in Nashville and it is such a unique experience to meet new people!
Pinewood Social- This place is as insta-worthy as it gets! You've probably seen this place with a neon sign and small bowling alley in the back. While bowling is super expensive you can still grab lunch or drinks here. Grab a reservation for sure cause it is always poppin! Another Nashville classic for sure.
Hampton Social- This JUST opened on Broadway, and okay.. THIS place is all about the gram. They have a New England inspired vibe, neon signs, flower wall and it's just blocks from Broadway. You may recognize the "Rose All Day" sign- they have other locations and the original is in Chicago. They also have huge seashell drinks (basically a "fishbowl") that you can share with the table (so fun to go with all your girlfriends-the tequila one was delish)
Restoration Hardware- The famous "furniture store" with a rooftop restaurant. We have one in West Palm so I didn't feel the need to go but it is SO gorgeous and the food is pretty good too!
Barcelonas: I have heard this is an AMAZING tapas place and they take reservations!
Some others I haven't tried butt were recommended:
Butcher and Bee
Two Ten Jack
Barcelona- my friend swears this is the best food ever
Five Points Pizza
Baked on 8th- We had mixed reviews on this place but it is so cute, if anything else! We went here to pick out some birthday desserts for my mom. They have a neon sign and a mural so you already know I had to check it out. :)
Jenis Ice Cream- MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM PLACE! They make homemade waffle cones right in the store and the smell alone will sell you on how yummy this place is.
Some others I haven't tried butt were recommended:
Sweet Things Bakery
Donut + Dog
Where to Drink
I don't think you can really go wrong drinking anywhere on Broadway but thought I would share some that we went to and loved. The rooftops were some of our faves and also make for great photo ops!haring some of the rooftops I’ve been to and some that I haven’t for y’all to check out on your next trip!
Jason Aldean's Bar- 3 stories and all have different vibes, head to the rooftop though for sure- it’s HUGE and connects to...
Luke Bryan's bar- (Also a sushi restaurant downstairs) but you’re can walk from one rooftop to the next here so def check one out and explore both at one time
Tootsies- I’m pretty sure it’s the oldest bar on Broadway and you can’t miss the iconic purple building! Always so fun.. A smaller rooftop but looks right at Bridgestone arena which is super cool- especially after a Preds game!
Kid Rocks bar- (right next to Luke & Jason’s but not connected) The rooftop had great band when we went but I will say majority of the people there were dudes. Not sure if it was just when we went but we were def the minority! Lol.. the bottom floor has a huge stage and was super fun but seating is limited and that’s how we ended on the rooftop. I will say this place had the SMALLEST cocktails I’ve ever seen. If it weren’t for the rockin’ band I’m not sure we would’ve stayed tooooo long...
Downtown Sporting Club- (helllllo bottomless mimosas on the first floor) this place is huge! They have so many bars, a restaurant, axe throwing, super cute and fun cocktails and MORE.
Tin Roof: although not a roof top we had a blast here!! Such great live music Here are some more I know of but haven’t been to be able to give a full review! Blake Sheltons bar (Ole Red) Famous Saloon
Rock Bottom Brewery Acme Feed & Seed f Nashville Underground Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row The Stage
Some Rooftop Bars in Nashville NOT on Broadway
LA Jackson: Located in the gulch and has a beautiful skyline view of Nashville
L27 Rooftop: I haven't been but it looks amazing!
Where to Shop
If you're flying to Nashville make sure to bring a bag for all the goodies you'll . find while you're there! There are so many cute shops and boutiques I had to share some of our faves! (Their instagrams are linked on my instagram page if you want to check them out)
Finnelys: there are several locations but we went to the one on 12 South (also where the "Hello Gorgeous" sign is!)
Draper James: on 12th South and this is actually Reese Witherspoons store! Very southern style and a must see while roaming 12 South
Blush Boutiques: there are also several locations to go but we went to the one off Broadway
Man in a Van: Okay....This sounds crazy but there is a guy selling Nashville apparel out of his van in front of Ski Lodge in 12 South with some really good quality cute stuff
Pre to Post Modern: A very vintage store located off 8th Ave but they have the COOLEST earrings so I had to include them.
Vici Dolls: As seen by every fashion blogger ever! Located by some other boutiques in Capitol View . across from DryBar
Kittenish: We didn't make it here but I have heard they have some great stuff and the store is very "insta Worthy" itself
NASH: Located on Broadway on the second story and has the classic NASH labeled gear
Jondie: located downtown Franklin
Tin Cottage: also downtown Franklin
Sharing the walls I've been to and the addresses I have for the ones I haven't made it to yet. Would love to hear about ones y'all have found that maybe didn't make this list. ..
"I Believe in Nashville": 12 South next to Draper James
Blue and White Walls: Draper James
Donuts and Umbrellas: Five Daughters Bakery
The Wings: The Gulch (Warning that there is ALWAYS a line!!)
(enjoy some throwback pictures from a few years ago lol..)
Dripping Lips: 1814 21st Ave S
Nashville Balloons: Boombozz Craft Pizza
"Hey Gorgeous": Side of Finnelys on 12 South
The Walking Bridge: Best Skyline view of Nashville! You can see both the skyline and the Titan's Stadium (some rough pictures and more throwbacks but y'all get the idea)
Flower Wall and "Rose all day" sign: Hampton Social
Light Alley: in the Gulch.. not sure how to describe where it is but you can't miss
Franklin Theater: If you make it to downtown Franklin (a SUPER cute mural outside of the city then the historic downtown makes the perfect backdrop.
Tin Cottage: if you make it to Downtown Franklin then stop in for a cute photo wall in the back!
Instagram "Like": Barista Parlor at Germantown
"Nashville Looks Good on You": 2511 12 Ave S
"It's Gonna Be Okay": Off the Wall Nashville
"Love Yall": Loading Dock
"Life Can Be Sweet": Baked on 8th
Where to Go/What to Do
Now to tell you where to go and what to do while in Nashville when you aren't eating, drinking, shopping or Mural Hunting...
The Nashville Tractor-This was by far the BEST part of our whole trip🤩 I initially wanted to do the Peddler bar but when I saw it was about $50 a person and BYOB I was OUT- like why would I pay for just a workout? Plus bringing your own alcohol and having to worry about finishing it or carrying it around after just seemed like too much work. I saw the hot tub party bus, but figured it would be way too cold (and not sure my mom would’ve liked that one as much) 🙃 and I saw some other party tours that took you around town but here’s why I chose the tractor: -It is the CHEAPEST- we scored BOGO tickets and ended up paying $18 a ticket with tax! (I think they normally go for $30 a ticket- which is still very cheap!) -they have 2 bars! Hello EASY! We didn’t have to make a run to the store to get our drinks and could pay for our beer on board -it’s always covered and if it rains they have sides they put down -when it’s cold they have heat lamps inside to keep you warm (this totally saved us this weekend!) -you can book a private or public tour- since there was only 8 of us we did the public tour and loved getting to meet everyone else on board! -they have a live DJ on board who also gets the party started with fun activities (aka funneling a beer and dance competitions) -they make a stop at @olesmoky and oh my gosh we had so much fun during our 25 minute stop (goes by faster than you think) that we had to go back the next day! We sampled 10 moonshines and got a beer for only $10 (and let me tell you.. it does the trick ) -they have 2 saddles you can jump on during your ride- you can imagine that gets rowdy pretty quick lol If you really wanna know how much fun we had, my mom actually cried happy tears on the tractor cause she was having so much fun. She then asked if we could go again (sadly the next time slot was taken or we would’ve stayed on all night....)
Ole Smokey Distillery- We went here on our tractor tour but loved it so much we had to go back. Turns out they have a whole backyard with bars, yummy cocktails, a big screen . tv and food trucks. This is totally worth stopping by! We had the best time and the best drinks!
Pinewood Social: I mentioned it before but it is a bowling alley and restuarant, get reservations if you can!
Downtown Franklin: if you want to escape the tourist head to the little downtown to see some historical sites, boutiques and some yummy restaurants!
Some others that I haven't tried but were recommended:
The Grand Ole Opry
Gaylord Hotel: beautiful during Christmas!
Pins Mechanical Co- BRAND NEW so we didn't get to make it but this is also a bar and bowling alley in the gulch. It was poppin when we walked by, don't forget it turns into 21+ at night!
I hope this guide was helpful and if you have any suggestions please send them my . way for me to add! I absolutely loved Nashville, but the best part was giving my mom the best gift I've ever given her! We had so much fun and I can't wait to go again. It truly is the best girls trip or weekend getaway and I can't recommend it enough!