Six Must Do Things in Nashville, TN

Monday, August 8, 2016

Location: Biscuit Love
About a month ago, my friend, Abigail, and I took a long weekend trip to Nashville. It was something  we had planned for a while, so there was lots of prep involved. And by "prep", what I really mean is some extensive Pinterest research. We found tons of blogs and websites on "25 things to do in Nashville" or "How to do Nashville in a Weekend", and gathered a few ideas of restaurants or coffee shops we would be interested in checking out. Yet, the majority of these sites were focused around tourist activities or cliche spots that only allowed you to see the city from one perspective. I am no local, but here is my attempt to tell you how to do Nashville, and do it right in just a few days.

*First things first: Before you read the rest of this post, log onto Spotify and let yourself listen to "Nashville" by Kel as you scroll. You're welcome.*

01 | The Frist. On our first night in town, we spent the evening at the Frist Art Museum. It was one of their "Frist Friday's" nights, accompanied by a Beatles cover band and free admission for 18 and  younger. This experience was not only super fun, but allowed us to truly get a local feel for Nashville on just day one. Also, I would highly recommend visiting the Frist in general - great art, great space. If you plan on visiting in the heart of summer, this stop would be perfect to beat the afternoon heat. 

02 | Picnic at the Parthenon / Centennial Park. Except for the extreme June temperatures in the South, our picnic on the grounds by the Parthenon was one of my favorite parts of our trip. We picked up some sandwiches in the Hillsboro neighborhood, and enjoyed some great people-watching while on my newly purchased picnic blanket. (Note: I've decided this blanket is a must for my summer plans. Because, who knows when a picnic will arise?) Yet, what I think is even better than a summertime picnic over salads and subs, is a crisp fall picnic with soup and tea. I may be biased, but truly everything is better in autumn. 

Location: 12th South next to Edleys
Location: Five Daughters Bakery
Location: Sprinkles Cupcakes

03 | 12 South District. Since I am not one for the country music scene in central downtown Nashville, hitting up lively neighborhoods was top on my list. And, the 12 South district did not disappoint! Just a short drive from Belmont and Vanderbilt, this strip of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores would definitely be considered the "hip" part of town. (Did I just put that in quotation marks? Yikes.) My favorite stops were Five Daughters Bakery, Frothy Monkey, Bar Taco (Note: Good limeaids, great tacos, friendly service. Big fan.), and of course - the famous "I Believe in Nashville" mural*. 

*Tip when visiting the mural: Take the photo then leave. We hung around after our quick snap to decide our next plans, and ended up taking the photos of the next 10+ visitors. It is all fun and games until the subjects ask "can we try a different pose, now?" about seven times. 

04 | See the City from a New Perspective. We decided on a bike ride along the greenway and John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge downtown, and from personal experience, I would not recommend this. But, what I would suggest is to get outside of the hustle of the city and see it from new heights. Whether it is a bike ride along the river (Tip: Rent closest to where you want to start riding) or a walk throughout a neighborhood, exploring through being active allows you to take a mental rest during a planned-down-to-the-minute trip. 

Location: Local Honey
05 | Belmont / Hillsboro Neighborhoods. If you love admiring homes and picturing your future life as stare at large front porches and ivy on brick, then the Belmont and Hillsboro area is for you. After walking around the Belmont University ground and ooo-ing and aah-ing too many times, we walked along Belmont Avenue and popped in a few shops. My favorite was a vintage and thrift store, Local Honey. I picked up the perfect pair of vintage jean shorts, so I declared it a success. Another place to stop in while near Belmont -- Proper Bagel. 

Hillsboro is a neighborhood just a short drive or walk from Belmont / Vanderbilt, as well. For a meal, a quick and delicious spot would be Fida. I would also recommend walking along the main strip to aimlessly explore the various shops. As book nerds, our favorite stop was Bookman/Bookwoman. Wall to wall, ceiling to ceiling books -- this place was to die for. If I had more time, I would of curled up with a good book in one of their many reading alcoves throughout the store. 

06 | Stay in an Airbnb. For the first part of our trip we stayed with family who live outside of Nashville in Murfreesboro. It was an easy commute, and most importantly - free! (Just kidding. Spending some extra time in the summer with my sweet aunt & uncle was the best thing about our accomadations. Very thankful.) However, on our last night we stayed in the cutest Airbnb just five minutes from downtown. We were seeing a concert at Bridgestone that night, making it a short Uber ride to and from the venue. I think the best thing about our set-up in our Airbnb was how easy it was; communication with our host was simple and mostly done by text, and though we shared the space with her, our room & bathroom were in the back of the home making it very secluded. 

Personally, I think that Airbnb is changing the game in travel. Rather than a hotel, you are able to truly experience living like a local in a city.

Location: Nashville Farmers Market
Location: Barista Parlor Golden Sound
Location: Biscuit Love
Other highlights of the trip include: Brunch at Biscuit Love (the "bonuts" are amazing & you can get the perfect snap of the light-up "Nashville" sign), Hatchshow Print (Simply Amazing. A typography lover's heaven), The Barista Parlour (We went to Golden Sound, due to its proximity to Urban Outfitters. Priorities.), and the Nashville Farmers Market.

There you have it! If you cannot tell, I would highly recommend exploring Nashville as a long weekend trip. I felt as if we did it all in just three and a half days. It was one of those places that I thought "I could live here" (I have only had those feelings a few other times -- once in D.C., and another in Kansas City), and I love those urges. So, I say -- plan a trip and GO.

Which of my top six places to visit interests you? And, if you are a Nashville local (or feel like it if you visit often), what are your have-to stop spots? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on social media. 


  1. Oh my goodness, this looks like such a fun place to visit! I'd love to go to Nashville sometime.

  2. So sentimental tonight <3 10/10 would not recommend the bike ride though.


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