We only had one night in Nashville unfortunately but we were determined to see as much of the city as we could. If you only have a short time in this city here is our guide to 12 hours in Nashville to get the most out of your stay.
We have to say that Airbnb was a total winner for Nashville. We stayed with John, who is awesome, in his apartment located just minutes outside of downtown. It was a great apartment, centrally located and had PARKING! (Parking is a big deal when you have a rental car in a city). John was an absolute fantastic host and we had a great time at his place; we just wish we had more time. If you are thinking about where to stay in Nashville, I would highly recommend his place. But either way I would look for a reasonable Airbnb place just outside downtown. We were technically in Germantown (I believe…) and there was a lot around the neighborhood as well without going downtown which we wish we had more time to explore.
Drinks, Dancing and Country Music
The Wild Horse Saloon is famous in Nashville, I remember going when I was little, but if you are looking for a real great time here are some places on Broadway which are open until 2:30am even on a Monday night.
With 3 levels and the top level with an open balcony, Tootsies is the perfect place to catch a wide variety of music and different crowds. When we arrived, downstairs had a live band performing traditional country and was absolutely packed. They were clearly the favorite band that night. Upstairs we experienced a little Journey and then we headed to the rooftop bar, which has a great view of downtown. They also have food as well although we did not try any. After a beer there (which was pretty pricey, the most we paid for PBR) we decided to expand our experiences and head out to a few other music joints.
We hit up Tin Roof on Broadway and then veered slightly off to go to the Swinging Door Saloon on 4th Avenue. We basically choose places based on the type of music we were interested in so I just suggest wandering the street, listening to what you like and picking a place that way!
If you need something to eat after all the bar hopping, like we did as we did not arrive until 11pm, you can always head to Paradise Park Trailer Resort on Broadway which is open until 4am if you need something to soak up all that beer. It was perfect to fill up on burgers and tater tots. (Freaking love tater tots; people should make them more often) We also were suggested by one of the bartenders to head to The Hermitage Cafe, which is where she said industry people go after work as it is open late. It is located off Broadway on Hermitage Avenue and although we wanted to go we were exhausted by this point and decided to grab something to eat that didn’t require a cab or walking too far.
The next morning we decided to check out a local spot suggested to us by John called Big Al’s Deli. This is a super small casual joint where you can get an unbelievable breakfast (or lunch judging by the burgers being served around us). Al runs the kitchen of the cafe and is the nicest guy; he and Alex ended up talking about the Eagle Scouts as both Alex and his son are Eagle Scouts. So not only is the atmosphere great but the food is top notch. Alex had a huge breakfast plate of scrambled eggs, bacon (which was cooked just the way I like it, crispy but not burnt), homemade biscuit and gravy and homefries. I had the daily pancake special of blueberry pancakes. I am not normally a pancake person but I just had to get them. There were 5 pancakes on my plate and they were so good I did not need butter or syrup. Also since it was a ridiculous amount of pancakes we actually took them to go and they were a perfect mid-driving snack 🙂 Thanks Al for the wonderful hospitality and thanks John for the recommendation!
Another Drink and Lunch
We headed to Midtown, which is just north of Broadway, to visit the original Broadway Brewhouse to get the Bushwacker, as they invented it. The Bushwacker is basically an alcoholic frosty and it is DELICIOUS! And most likely dangerous to have more than one or two…. There are other places you can get a Bushwacker, sometimes called the Bootwacker (like it was at The Swinging Doors) but Broadway Brewhouse is the original and definitely worth the stop.
After filling up on Bushwackers we crossed the street and headed to Hattie B’s. As it was lunch time it was PACKED! I take that as a good sign though especially it was dominated by business people grabbing their lunch before heading to back to work. If the locals are eating it all the time for lunch then it must be good. And it was. We decided to split a meal which was more than enough food. We ordered the Large White Hot Chicken for $11.50 and it came with two breasts and wings and two sides as well as bread and pickles. For our sides we choose potato salad and coleslaw and they were seriously some of the best I have ever had. For the chicken you can choose your heat level as well. We went with the medium because I am a baby but if you like it hot you can choose from either the Hot, Damn Hot or Shut the Cluck Up! (The exclamation point is part of the name of the sauce). Unfortunately we got it to go but as it would have taken some serious table stalking to get a table it was probably for the best. Although it is not the easiest to eat while driving. I had to feed Alex 😉
And that sadly was the end of our 12 hours in Nashville. We absolutely loved the vibe of the city and would like to return but I feel like we got a good feel for the city. If you are staying in Nashville for longer than 12 hours (which you should!) I would head over to A Southern Gypsy’s blog as Ashley is born and bred in Nashville and clearly knows the city better than us!
Have you been to Nashville? Any suggestions for us to check out for when we eventually head back?
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