Being a Nashville native, this is one of the most daunting posts I've ever written. As a traveler, having a handful of positive experiences about a destination is enough to equip you with confidence about the recommendations you provide. But as a native to one of the most popular destinations in the country right now? I feel immense pressure to carefully curate the most ideal list given my knowledge about the area. So let me start by caveating that this doesn't include everything to do in this wonderful city (it's a blog post not a book, people) but I did my best to provide crowd pleasers in every neighborhood as a starting point. So over the last few weeks, I played tourist in my own town, arranged a few staycations, and pulled together this guide of some of my favorite places for you to visit in Music City.
506 Lofts is a five-unit boutique hotel in downtown Nashville. The 130 year old building has been a department store, a mensware store, and an Asian restaurant. During construction, maintaining as much original work as possible was a top priority in an effort to restore the building while preserving its history. I went for a staycation with my friend Sarah, and we loved everything about our unit. But my favorite part of 506 Lofts is what they stand for. They belive strongly in Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." To that end; the owner created a program called Rooms for Rooms which ensures no stay at 506 Lofts happens without helping someone in need. For every stay, they donate 5% to the surrounding Nashville homeless shelters (Room in the Inn and Nashville Rescue Mission). Therefore, those without a home are able to find a places to stay due to your stay at 506 lofts. The pictures speak for themselves, but it truly is a beautiful property and in a killer location if you want to be in the heart of downtown.
Pinewood is a great place no matter what you're looking for at any time of the day. I often come for coffee and breakfast to work during the day or to grab cocktails at night. It goes far beyond your average restaurant, offering bowling, bocce ball, a swimming pool and private karaoke room.
Being a local from Nashville, I'm guilty of having turned my nose up to Broadway because it's crawling with tourists (and if you are a tourist, you definitely should experience it- it's iconic). But Acme Feed & Seed is a bar on Broadway that anyone can genuinely enjoy. This 3 story bar offers a different option at every level, and each one is tons of fun. For killer views of the city, head all the way to top and have a drink on the roof.
East Nashville is an up and coming area with tons happening, but hotel options are extremely limited. There are tons of Airbnb listings to choose from, but I recently stayed at a friend's guest house that they list and I highly recommend it. The decor is insane and it's conveniently located to tons of great places on the East Side.
Easily my favorite spot to grab brunch in town. The elegantly rustic setting creates a perfect ambiance for any occasion. Not only do they serve amazing food, but with a unique selection of goods from artisan producers. The menu utilizes local and seasonal products and changes seasonally, but everything I've ever ordered has been out of this world.
Rosepepper has one of the best patios in town and their margarita has been voted best in town for 11 years in a row now (you've also likely seen someone Instagram of their tounge-in-cheek marquee quotes). Go for lunch, dinner, or simply guacamole and margs on a pretty day and you'll be a happy camper.
If you're looking for a more classic hotel experience, check out Loews Vanderbilt on West End. Every detail has been carefully thought through, so that when you check in your mind can check out. The time I spent there during one of my staycations was some of the most relaxing I've had in a long time.
A Nashville staple for a walk in the park (and epic views of our Parthenon). If you're lucky enough to be in town on a Saturday in the moderate seasons, be sure to check out Musicians Corner for a showcase of Nashville's finest independent singer songwriters.
Also a fantastic place to stay, but limited on hotels so check out Airbnb to find a spot that's right for your group.
This place is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I like to avoid gender stereotypes, but it's been my personal experience that ladies love the beautiful esthetic of this restored church-now-restaurant, and guys love the wide variety of (delicious) meat options. They also have one of my personal favorite margaritas in town.
Probably my favorite restaurant in town right now. The atmosphere is sure knock your socks off, the food is delicious, and the cocktails are always on point (try the cucumber gimlet and you'll see what I mean).
I have lots of wonderful things I could say about Silo, but I will save my breath and simply say this. Do not leave without getting the mac and cheese. I repeat: do NOT leave, without trying the mac and cheese. It will change your life.
Tempered Cafe & Chocolate, is a sweet and savory destination specializing in small batch artisan chocolates, light cafe fare, and fine wine & cheese pairings. Go on Thursday (8p-1a), Friday & Saturday (8p-3a) for Green Hour, when they serve signature cocktails and traditional absinthe drips (only when the green light in the window is lit.)
Another fantastic place to stay, but limited on hotels so check out Airbnb to find a spot that's right for your group.
There are lots of great burgers in town (which I'm just now discovering because I recently quit being a vegetarian- best decision ever). Burger Up has been one of my favorites so far. The entire menu is moderately priced, farm to table, has great portion sizes, and is sure to please no matter what you order (I love both the burger and the kale salad).
Channeling my inner cali-girl, I love the vibe at bartaco. I went during a staycation with my friend Brenna a couple weeks ago, and echo her sentiments exactly (read her entire blog about our squad getaway here)
I love a spot where I can get something healthy or splurge and this place offers all of those options. The chopped salad, guacamole, and cauliflower, ribeye, and duck tacos are my favorite menu items and the sanguina cocktail might literally be my favorite cocktail of all time.
White's is one of my favorite boutiques in town. If I buy you a birthday card or gift, there is a 99% chance I got it here, because I'm a sucker for every item available for sale. They pride's themselves in being a general store for the modern-day tastemaker, and offer a wide variety of products. My friend Mille (aka Amelia Styles) and I recently teamed up to share some of our Nashville favorites each month on Instagram, and our outfits in the photos above and below all came from their store.
Sevier is my favorite park in Nashville (I'm slightly biased because I live just up the road). It's filled with the local community doing life together every single day. You'll find families gathered around the swingsets while the kids play, couples laying on blankets together, runners with their dogs, and groups of friends playing games or hanging out (like my friends do every Sunday after church if the weather is right). When Nashville had our snow-pocalypse, everyone in the neighborhood seemed to flock to Sevier for massive sledding and snowball fights. It's truly one of those idyllic atmospheres that seems to come straight out of a movie and tug at your heartstrings.
The list above is hardly putting a dent in all Nashville has to offer, and I can assure this won't be the last time I post about the great city that I call home. But no matter what you do during your stay, I'm confident you'll fall in love with Nashville and will find yourself back again soon. I'll have more recommendations to share with you when you do.