I have always been instinctively drawn to the south. (Could be that my dad is a Texan and a part of my mother’s family resided in parts of Tennessee.) And Nashville has always been on the top of my bucket list.
I flew in on a Wednesday night with my sister. We decided to do airbnb so we would have more room for less and get a southern feel. (Great choice) The house was SO cute; absolutely amazing and only 12 minutes from downtown Nashville. It was called the honky-tonk hide away and the owner (Lindsey) was on top of things. I truly felt at home while there and part of the time I didn’t want to hit the town because it was so cozy and inviting.
It was late when we got there and we were hungry. The owner had left us a list of places to go for dinner. We jumped in our car and headed toward the North side of Nashville. The place was called Urban Grub it was open late (until 2 am) and it was super yummy! The bartender/waiter was SO sweet and very helpful about recommending places to see while we were in town. He also directed us to a store close by the restaurant if we needed anything for morning. We were really happy we listened to him because we ran into Marinade Lambert. (One of the biggest country music star’s in the business today.)
We had a plan to make our way to downtown Nashville and check out the sights. I loved going there in the day time. We toured part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and for lunch feasted on some of the best bbq ribs I’ve ever had (aside from my husband’s of course) at a place called Peg Leg Porker. Later we checked out the Grand Ole Opry. (Some people don’t realize that the Ryman Auditorium was formerly the Grand Ole Opry House) The new Grand Ole Opry is not in the downtown area. So you need a car to get there.
Later that night we decided to stand in line for a show at the Blue Bird Café (A Nashville staple) Reservations are always recommended so we really didn’t think we would get in but we did! What a great time with Kathy Mattea singer of one of my favorite songs from back in the day (Where’ve You Been?). Also playing were Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and so many more. It was the Freedom Sings Presents Night. We also ran into the mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry, while there. I really enjoyed meeting her. Over the next couple days I spoke with many locals who dittoed their admiration for her. I kept hearing she’s the nicest, she’s the coolest, and she’s done so much for Nashville. (Totally great energy)
Our Friday morning went like this:
Hats on and out the door to get to downtown biscuit Love! The wait was almost an hour long out the door and it was cold out. We liked it but not sure it was quite worth the wait for the biscuits. However, it was fun meeting and talking with people in line and the door guy was entertaining.
Later that day:
In comes Becky by way of Germany who had already been in Memphis hitting up Elvis’s place and loving it there. We decided to go to The Pub (British Pub) in an area called The Gulch. (This area was a really cleaned up area of downtown) I know it’s not really Southern food but we needed a little brake and felt like a good green salads. And their take on a French dip is to DIE for!! (Fun place to hang out)
There are so many amazing place to see in and around Nashville. We started by driving to The Loveless Café for breakfast. It’s so charming but a pretty LONG wait. Like over 2 hours on any given day. So I asked how long for take-out? 15 mins? DONE! We saw a couple of picnic tables nearby and had ourselves an mid-morning picnic; so happy we did it. We met two great people next to us who gave us more info of places to go and see while in that area. And the FOOD you ask? Oh my! The chicken fried steak was out of this world and the Biscuits?? (Well Finally I got me some biscuits that made me want to take more with me for the road.) YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE LOVELESS CAFE WHILE IN NASHVILLE!
Not far from the cafe was a cute town called Franklin and I really wanted to check out the Civil war battlefields that were nearby. The Carter and Lotz House Museums are right there as well near the downtown area. Taking the locals recommendations we checked out the area and glad we did.
We had to run to get ready for the Grand Ole Opry. We decided to get tickets for that nights show. Marie Osmand was there for the first time. Hard to believe it was her first time at the Opry. (You all might know that I love the Osmand family. My dad use to work with them when I was a kid.) Also, Clare Bowen, from the show Nashville, performed and was wonderful. The Grand ole opry is a must if you make it to Nashville. So were all so happy that we went. It took me back to all the times I watched “Coal Miner’s Daughter” as a kid.
Had to get up early and go to church in Nashville. There are SO many beautiful and diverse churches in and around Nashville that I just had to go to one of them. I Loved it and it really made me feel like I was in the south with all of the different church choices.
We had to make it to The Cracker Barrel for breakfast. It hit the spot. We moved on to all the different thrift stores in the nearby areas of Nashville. We all picked up some amazing deals on vintage outfits. (Thanks to Becky for talking us into this fun.)
A friend from my younger years back in Utah that now lives in Arrington , TN about 25 miles from Nashville, invited us to stop by her place. Loved seeing her and her cute family. They recommended that we visit “Arrington vineyards” a winery near their house that is owned by Kix Brooks (From the band Brooks and Dunn). Such a cool chill place and the girls enjoyed the tasting. Worth the drive!
Also, on a friend of Becky’s recommendation, we visited the world famous Station Inn where you can go to hear some of the best bluegrass played anywhere. And on any given day someone as well known as Vince Gill could just show up and join in with the band.
So what’s my take on Nashville? It was remarkable and well worth the flight from the bay area. I plan on doing it again sooner than later. But the next time will be with my husband. Can’t wait to show him all around Nashville!