What would you do if you only had one day to explore Nashville, Tennessee? I found myself facing this dilemma back in September when I was in town just briefly while visiting some relatives. Of course, I wanted to see as much of the city as possible, and I had awesome local guides to help me along the way. Here’s what I ended up doing:
We started off the day just having a quick breakfast at the house. This was convenient for everybody involved and left us maximum time to spend exploring the city. If you’re going to be in town and you won’t have a kitchen at your disposal, you could always grab a quick yogurt and a banana from a nearby grocery or convenience store and be on your way. Of course, if you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely brunch, I suggest checking out this list of the best brunches in Nashville. It’s mouthwatering goodness makes me want to book another plane ticket and go on a brunch tour of the city.
That being said, we managed to visit a lot of really cool spots during our brief time in Nashville. Here were some of my favorite spots:
Let’s cut to the chase…when I’m visiting a new town, I want to eat. There’s nothing I love more than discovering a new place that I can try some tasty local specialties.
Pied Piper Creamery
The Pied Piper Creamery is an ice cream shop, and a good one at that. If you’re looking for delicious, homemade ice cream on a hot day, you can’t go wrong with this place. They have original flavors with “punny” names that they make themselves. Stop in, get yourself a Banana Fanna Fo Fudding, and enjoy it on the front porch, as ice cream should be enjoyed.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
Nashville is famous for their “hot chicken”, which is sort of like fried chicken and buffalo wings had a love affair and gave birth to the most amazingly delicious thing you’ve ever tried in all your life. Hattie B’s is an awesome place to try out this regional specialty. The chicken comes in your choice of several levels of heat: Southern (no heat), Mild, Medium, Touch of Burn, Hot, Feel the Heat, Damn Hot, Fire Starter, and Shut the Cluck Up!!! I’m somebody who appreciates a good spicy meal and I normally like to challenge myself when it comes to these sorts of things, but I was warned that the Shut the Cluck Up level of heat is absurdly hot. For this reason, I decided on the Damn Hot. Let me tell you, it was damn hot! I like spice, so it was ok for me, but I do warn you that this place isn’t kidding when they describe their heat levels, so definitely order accordingly.
We didn’t have a lot of time to explore the city, but I can tell you that the downtown area isn’t huge and if you’re reasonably fit, you can spend a day hoofing it and really cover a lot of ground. There is quite a lot to see, from the fun, kitschy signs all around town advertising things like cowboy boots and country music bars, to the awesome little shops and restaurants scattered throughout the city. Make sure to take a stroll down Broadway and stop into one of the many bars featuring live local bands.
The Arts District
“5th Avenue of the Arts” is an awesome place to stroll around and check out some local art galleries and is definitely worth checking out. If you’re there on the first Saturday of the month, don’t miss their wildly popular “First Saturday Art Crawl“, an art walk event that always draws a crowd.
The Johnny Cash Museum
As a huge Johnny Cash fan, this was high on my list of things to do in Nashville. The Johnny Cash Museum is a whole space dedicated to the life and museum of the legendary Johnny Cash. It’s got a lot of great memorabilia and tells the story of his life. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s a captivating museum and a really interesting piece of music history. It’s not a huge museum so it doesn’t take a very long time to get through, so I highly suggest you add this to your itinerary while in town.
The Ryman Auditorium
The Grand Ole Opry is one of the most famous landmarks in Nashville where so much country music history was made, so of course we had to check it out. I would like to point out that my husband is not much of a country music fan, so he wasn’t too excited about visiting the Ryman, but he was a good sport about the whole thing. This is a must-do if you’re visiting Nashville and want to get a taste of what the town is all about. The Ryman is where so much Country music history was made. Every big name in the business has played in those halls. You can take a tour of the building and check out the memorabilia they have on display. Don’t miss it!
This place is awesome! If you’re looking for something cool to do in Nashville, the Pinewood Social is the place to go. This place is a truly unique and cool hangout spot that everybody should experience. I’ve never been anywhere quite like it before. They designed it as a social gathering place that covers so many entertainment options. There is a really cool bar and restaurant, a hip bowling alley and bocce ball area, and even a swimming pool! The food and drinks were delicious, and we had a great time at the bowling alley. I would recommend a reservation at this place for whatever activities you would like to do, however, because space can be limited. Don’t leave Nashville without checking this place out!
All in all, I would say we managed to fit quite a bit of fun into our short stay in Nashville. I would love to go back and try out more of the food and some of the cool areas around the city, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame, despite protests from my husband, I’m sure. Have you ever been to Nashville? What was your favorite thing to do there? Any tips on what I should make sure to check out next time I’m in town.