David and I first visited Nashville in August 2017, after two years of planning our trip. For whatever reason, every time we’d have dates set and flights booked, we’d have to postpone. For our first trip, we were a bit more intentional in planning our trip and ensuring that we had time to visit and see some of the places on our list. We recently made a return trip over Memorial Day weekend this year (2022) and had a much more casual time. We arrived late on a Friday night without any real plans other than taking some time to wander around the city and take in some music and scenes. Here is our Nashville Travel Guide featuring some of our favorite things to do, places to eat, and places to stay while visiting the Music City!
Nashville Travel Guide
What to Do in Nashville – Nashville Travel Guide
Pick up Fresh Flowers from Amelia’s Flower Truck
Grab some fresh flowers or just take a moment to admire at Amelia’s Flower Truck! Both times we’ve been, we have lucked up on finding it and it is always a fun surprise and a perfect backdrop for a picture! Check out the schedule here.
Head to 12 South for Shopping & Mural Sightings
12 South is where Draper James and the Frothy Monkey are located. You can also find the “I Believe in Nashville” mural located in this neighborhood and also some super cute restaurants and shops.
Catch Live Music on Broadway
No trip to Nashville is complete without spending at least a little bit of your time on Broadway. We like to spend some time there in the afternoon and grab dinner before things get a little too crazy for us. We like popping into Nudie’s Honky Tonk, Johnny Cash’s Bar & BBQ, and any that we find while we are wandering around!
Take in Some Rooftop Scenes
Nashville has some great rooftop bars, especially on Broadway, if you’re like us and need a little break and fresh air. Some of the ones we like to check out are Famous Saloon Nashville and Acme Seed & Feed. Another favorite that we checked out on this trip is White Limozeen on the rooftop of the Graduate.
Stroll the Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River
If you’re downtown on Broadway, take a little time to stroll the pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River. It serves up some beautiful views of Nashville and you just might catch some sound checks if an artist is performing in Nissan Stadium! The bridge connects downtown to East Nashville.
Listen to Karaoke at Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole
David and I got in later on Friday night when we went in 2022, and after checking in and dropping our stuff up, we headed down to the karaoke bar in our hotel, Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole. Honestly, we had the best time and you’ll be surprised with some great singers! We enjoyed it so much, we stopped by the second night we were there, too!
Explore the Johnny Cash Museum
David is a big Johnny Cash fan, so he had a great time exploring the Johnny Cash Museum. Admittedly, I did not know too much about him prior to our trip, and I found it enjoyable and learned a lot. The museum seems like it usually pretty crowded, so we recommend giving yourself a little time to get through it.
Join the Fun at Whiskey Jam at Winners Bar & Grill
On our first trip to Nashville, our Air BnB host recommended heading to Winners Bar & Grill for live music. We just so happened to be there on a night they were hosting Whiskey Jam and it was so fun! This year, we missed Whiskey Jam (shows are on Mondays and Thursdays) and even without Whiskey Jam, it’s a fun spot to hear some great musicians.
Learn More about the History of Country Music at the Country Music Hall of Fame
David and I spent some time at the Country Music Hall of Fame to check out some of the exhibits. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music. Even if you are not necessarily a country music fan, it is a great place to see the impacts of country music on culture and the history of country music, dating to the African Diaspora.
Where to Eat in Nashville – Nashville Travel Guide
Grab a BBQ Sandwich at Peg Leg Porker
If you’re looking for a good BBQ joint, Peg Leg Porker is a delicious spot located in the Gulch. David and I found this spot when planning our intentional trip via Twitter and we were pleasantly pleased with how delicious it was! Don’t skip on the mac & cheese either!
Enjoy a Leisurely Brunch at the Southern
Head to the Southern for a delicious brunch! They make their own Bloody Mary mix and their hot chicken & waffles are a must-order!
Take Your Pick at Acme Seed and Feed
For both of our trips, we had supper at Acme Seed & Feed. Acme has three levels of service; the first has eclectic Southern food and is a bit more laid back with live music. You order at the register, grab a number, and wait for your food before taking a seat. The second floor offers sushi and a bit more of an upscale menu and is where we have dined both times. The rooftop bar has an amazing view of the Cumberland River & Broadway and is a casual spot to enjoy a drink.
Enjoy a Fresh Take on Comfort Food at Sky Blue Cafe
Sky Blue Cafe is a great spot for comfort food! It’s a fresh take with a colorful interior and delicious baked goods. This breakfast sandwich with cheesy potatoes hit the spot.
Start Your Day with Coffee and a Sammie at Poindexter Coffee
Located in the lobby of the Graduate hotel, Poindexter Coffee is a delicious option to get your day started. I ordered a lavender latte and a S.P.A. sandwich, which is with sprouts, parmesan, avocado, cucumber, chipotle aioli on sourdough.
Order the Cobb Salad at the Ainsworth
One of my go-to orders while traveling is a Cobb salad and this one at the Ainsworth was perfect! You may want to consider making a reservation unless you’re like us and prefer sitting at the bar.
Snack on a Slice at Two Boots Pizza
David and I enjoyed a Sunday afternoon snack of a slice of pizza for each of us. David got a slice of pizza and I had a slice of white pizza at this cool spot!
Try a Doughnut from Parlor Doughnut
Stop in Parlor Doughnuts for a beautiful interior and an incredible doughnut. David tried the French toast doughnut, while I ordered avocado toast, which was outstanding!
Enjoy Live Music with your Meal at The Row Kitchen & Pub
We grabbed a table at the Row to catch some live music and ordered the Cowboy Burger except with a fried chicken breast and fried okra. We really loved it here both for the food and the environment!
Where to Stay in Nashville – Nashville Travel Guide
Air BnB in East Nashville
The first time we visited, we stayed in East Nashville at this Air BnB, which was absolutely incredible. Jason is an excellent host who is personable and gives great recommendations on what’s going on around town, especially off the beaten path.
The Graduate – Nashville
We stayed at the Graduate Hotel, which was a great home base for our trip in 2022. Our goal for this trip was to be in a location where we could walk a bit more. We took lots of ride shares in 2017 and only took them to and from the airport this time. The Graduate features the Poindexter Coffee, Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole, and White Limozeen, in addition to local pop-ups in the lobby. The Graduate does an exceptional job of theming their hotels, and this one is just so lovely!
Have you been to Nashville? What were some of your favorite things to do and places to eat?
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This post was originally published in 2017 and has since been updated and recirculated in 2022. Please be sure to check business hours and for additional information on their website prior to planning a visit for the most up-to-date information.
Gentel McKenney says
Ooh this is perfect! We are in Nashville right now, we got in last night. Thanks for these tips!
Nashville is at the top of my list of places to visit and these pictures make me want to go RIGHT NOW. Love the pic in front of Draper James, you are the quintessential Southern Belle and I love it.
Owen Davis says
What a fun trip! I will definitely come back to this post for restaurant recs if we visit Nashville again!