With the frigid temps sweeping across the country, many are dreaming of a warmer spring getaway. As you start to think about your upcoming vacations, I have an ideal city for you to consider. Nashville was one of my 5 Southern Cities Perfect for a Weekend Trip and today I’m giving a detailed rundown on the perfect getaway to music city.
Where to Stay
Downtown Nashville is pretty concentrated around its main honky-tonk strip, lower Broadway Street. On my first trip, we stayed at the Hilton Nashville Downtown, which was an excellent location, close to Broadway. On the second trip, accommodations were harder to come by due to the Nashville Rock n Roll Marathon happening that weekend. After some searching, we ended up in an AirBnB condo on Church Street which worked out perfectly. We had more space, a small kitchen and were still walking distance to all things downtown.
What to See and Do
Nashville is rightfully referred to as Music City. While the live music is a big draw to Nashville, the city certainly has much more to offer visitors. For an easy way to see the sights outside of downtown Nashville, consider a trolley tour. We also used Uber and Lyft for minimal fees to get around town. Due to its pretty compact size, I would not recommend needing a rental car for your visit if you fly.
Nashville is known as Music City and is best known for its outstanding talent and roots in country music. You can stumble upon great musicians in nearly every honky-tonk along Broadway and even in most spots around town. Spend a day or afternoon hopping from place to place along Broadway enjoying the live music. Nashville is the only place I’ve been in a 3 story building that had a different artist playing on every level.
Located about 30 miles outside of downtown Nashville, Arrington Vineyards is a beautiful winery perfect for a relaxing afternoon activity. They have a few different tastings for a small fee. My friends packed a picnic lunch to bring that we enjoyed on the patio with our wine. It was chilly in February during our visit, but the grounds would be even more beautiful to enjoy in spring, summer or fall!
Centennial Park – The Parthenon
West of Nashville near Vanderbilt campus and worth a visit is Centennial Park. It is a beautiful outdoor oasis with walking paths and a huge full scale replica of The Parthenon from ancient Greece.
Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 and is home to nearly 12,500 students. We enjoyed exploring its 330 acre campus, checking out the architecture and sports stadiums after visiting Centennial Park. Vanderbilt is part of the SEC conference, so if timed correctly, you can catch a baseball, football or other sporting event. Belmont University is also located in Nashville, a little further south from Vanderbilt.
Tennessee State Capital – Bicentennial Capitol Mall
Commemorating Tennessee’s 200 year anniversary of entering the Union, Bicentennial Capitol Mall is inspired by the National Mall in Washington DC. Just adjacent to the park are the buildings of the Tennessee State Capital as well as a number of war monuments and commemorative signs.
Centered on 16th and 17th Avenues South, Music row is home to recording studios, like historic RCA Studio B and many record label offices are centered in this area. We saw these sites and many more on our trolley tour of Nashville.
The Gulch & Breweries
If you are into beer or shopping, venture southwest to The Gulch, an up and coming industrial redevelopment that houses some of the cities newest boutiques and restaurants. We spent an afternoon here checking out the breweries of Yazoo, Jackalope and Tennessee Brew Works.
The iconic Ryman Auditorium was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974 and is still an active auditorium featuring nightly shows. It is known for its excellent acoustics and recent renovations resulted in a reopening to the public for daily self guided tours. Also check to the schedule to see if you can catch a show while in town.
George Jones Museum Roof Deck
One of our favorite spots to get a drink and listen to the live music with a view was on the George Jones Museum 3rd floor. It has a view over the Cumberland River toward the Titans Stadium. We ended up returning to this rooftop multiple days in a row, as the talent was good and the space open air and relatively uncrowded.
While I cannot guarantee a celebrity spotting, keep your eyes peeled! On my first trip, we were lucky enough to run into Charles Estes of Nashville (the tv show) fame during the height of that show’s popularity. He was very nice and willing to take a picture with us!
Attend a Sports Game
The Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, Vanderbilt Commodores and more call Nashville home. There was huge Predator spirit and energy during their 2016 playoff run on our last visit and it would be fun to check out a game while visiting.
Check out the Food Scene in Nashville
While primarily known for music, Nashville’s quickly becoming known for its food scene as well. The restaurants scene is ever evolving and worth doing some research. We enjoyed an excellent breakfast and lunch at 417 Union Street and Puckett’s. For any of the more popular spots, make sure to make reservations for dinner. We did not plan ahead on our last trip and ended up eating quick takeaway to avoid very long waits.
Nashville is a unique and truly fun city that definitely deserves a spot on your must visit list. It is perfect for a girls trip or weekend getaway with your spouse or friends! If you’ve been, I’d love to hear what your highlight were from Nashville!