Earlier this year, I visited Nashville for the first time with my dad. We had a blast taking in the sights, music and history of the city – I can’t wait to go back! Here’s a brief travel guide if you’re thinking about planning a visit:
Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant (Yelp) – Classic southern food located right in the downtown area. We went twice for breakfast, and both times were good. On the weekends they have a breakfast buffet if you want, which we got once. I liked ordering off the menu better. Have live music at dinner most nights I think. Can get crowded.
Merchants (Yelp) –Nice lunch or dinner spot right by the honky tonks. New American food in a nice, classic setting. We went here for a late dinner on our first night, and then for lunch on our last day. Some places on Broadway seemed too touristy/kind of dumpy, but this place definitely stood out in a good way.
Husk (Yelp) – Well known, fancy farm-to-table, southern restaurant by chef Sean Brock. It’s in an old restored house a few minutes outside of downtown, and the food was really, really good. Menu changes daily. My parents had been to the other Husk in Charleston, so we knew we wanted to go here. Definitely a memorable dining experience for a nice night out – need to book reservations in advance.
Nashville is famous for its honky tonks – you can’t miss them. Most of them are several stories with several bars and bands on each level. We went into four or five of them, and they were all fun. They can get really crowded at night, but we also went during the day. Most have one band right by the front door so the streets are flooded with music. We would go to one, stay a while/have a couple drinks, then try another. Of the ones we went to, the one that stuck out the most was Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (Yelp).
Ryman Auditorium (Yelp) – Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” this is a cool concert hall to tour, right around the corner from the honky tonks. It’s the original home of the Grand Ole Opry show and hosted Elvis, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash etc. Today, the biggest names in country (and some other genres) continue to play here because they love the acoustics. We took the self-guided tour and also did the guided backstage tour, which was fun. Touring the Ryman gave a good overview for the history/dominance of country music in Nashville.
Grand Ole Opry House (Yelp) – Current home of the Grand Ole Opry show, the famous weekly radio variety country music show that features all different bands. It’s about 20 minutes outside of the downtown area. We bought tickets in advance for a show- at the time, they hadn’t announced who was playing yet, but really it’s more about the atmosphere and the different acts. Old Crow Medicine Show was one of the bands we saw, which was fun. We got tickets in the upper deck, and they were good.
Nash Trash comedy tour (Yelp) – Hands down one of our favorite parts of the trip. Hilarious bus tour around the city with The Jugg Sisters- a vulgar duo that are really funny. You ride on an old school bus while they take you around the city. It’s not really an informative tour of the city, but it’s really funny and you do get to see some different parts of the city. They mix stories about country stars while bantering and interacting with (or really, making fun of) the crowd. You can bring alcohol on tour, which we did. Need to book far in advance!