weather and accommodations
I really couldn't have asked for better weather! It felt so nice to be outside and walk around to get some Nashville sun (although it did get cold when you stayed in the shade).
Accommodations in Nashville are expensive... Not sure if it's a normal thing but it was also an eventful weekend for Nashville... but then again, all of my Lyft drivers said it's always packed in Nashville so maybe it's always expensive?
We ended up booking a private room at a lovely lady's place in North Nashville. It definitely felt far from Downtown but the cost to get to and fro wasn't actually all that bad.
We started with a slow morning, having brunch/lunch at Monell's. I don't have any photos because I was too busy eating, but here's how it works:
Once I had the courage and energy to stand up from all that food, we walked about a mile to Frothy Monkey for some caffeine. They have really unique and interesting drinks so worth trying.
We explored downtown starting with Broadway first, which was crazy even at 1pm! All the honky tonks and bars were filled up already. We explored the streets, visited all the touristy spots like Ryman Auditorium, Johnny Cash Museum, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
We made our way to Third Man Records, which was super cool. The entrance leads to a storefront for visitors to listen and buy records, and then a recording studio in the back. They also have a recording booth for anyone to record for $20. We also ran into Jack White, no big deal.
My friend found this gem: Carter Vintage Guitars. Heaven for any guitar player; ironically, neither of us play decent guitar HAHA, but we can't go to Nashville without playing some music, right? They have acoustic, electric, banjos, new and used pedals, amps... They also have a few small amp rooms to plug in and play, which was really fun! Highly recommended for guitar players visiting.
Channeling our basic selves, we took photos at the Nashville #WhatLiftsYou mural. Having walked all day, we ordered a scooter and made our way back Downtown where we got drinks at Layla's. Let's get it out of the way right now: It's safe to assume that every bar/honky tonk we went to had live music. We also stopped by Luke Bryan's Honky Tonk for dinner. I love the multi-tiered honky tonks because every floor is different: casual bar + live music, dance floor + live music, bar + seating, rooftop bar + dining.
The most awkward part about me not knowing the words to sing along. It's more people watching for me than it is for my own enjoyment. I so appreciate the musicality and honestly, how they remember to play all these songs on command, but it was hard to sit through half an hour of this.
We ended the night at a restaurant called Sambuca, after The Station Inn was sold out. There was a soul/jazz band performing and I had the most fun! They were super good and playing all the songs I loved. We probably spent over 2 hours there watching them.
We started the day having Sunday service at Fellowship Bible Church where their services are held at an elementary school & celebrated afterwards with some decadent 100-layered donuts from Five Daughters Bakery.
Afterwards, we explored 12 South. The area is quite small but it's still super fun to check out for an hour or two.
We made reservations at the Belle Meade Mansion. The tour was really interesting; only one-hour and you get a wine tastings included at the end, which I thought was worth it. The mansion is kept to its original form or items that imitate the original look as best as they were able to, so it's really impressive the lengths they went to keep the integrity of the plantation. No photography inside so I don't have any photos to share.
By the end, we were hungry and ready for food. We went to Edley's BBQ, which was my favourite meal of the trip! My friend and I split a full rib plate with collard greens + grits casserole as our side, and an added side of fries. The collard greens were spicy and really salty so I wasn't a huge fan of that, but the ribs and fries were amazinggggggg!! They do have waves of long lines, and the food takes a while to come out, but I think it's still worth it.
We ended the night at a lowkey bar, borderline speakeasy called Attaboy. The interior is really retro, has summer night in the 60s vibes. There's no menu: you tell the bartender you choice of liqueur + taste preferences and they concoct you a drink so all the cocktails are priced the same. A really cool bar that I'd definitely want to visit again!
Our last day in Nashville. We decided to explore East Nashville. They have a great deal of thrift stores, including a second hand bookstore where Charlotte the cat resides.
We made our way to Hattie B's to try their famous fried chicken. I know it's not their star dish, but I got a sandwich, which was still delicious! I got their medium heat because I'm too chicken (ha) to try their 'damn hot.'
Lastly, we went to Cafe at Thistle Farm, which was attached to a storefront where they sell goods like essential oils, jewelry, bath salts, etc, all made by women survivors. They're actually an incredible brand that happens to be a social enterprise (and not a social enterprise with mediocre products). Please please check them out here and support them. Their cafe was also delicious and delightful! Highly recommended.
the bottom line...
There are, surprisingly, hipster parts of Nashville that you would have never found if you went for a bachelorette party. I enjoyed my time there. I wished I knew more country music to I could follow along (jk I don't really wish that). I'd probably come again for a special occasion (bachelorette, birthday, etc.) but probably not on my own accord.