Travel

Nashville Travel Diary (And Recommendations)

Last week for the long weekend, Ryan and I chose to visit Nashville, Tennessee. Neither of us had ever been there, and we were so excited to experience the city together. We asked many friends for recommendations before we went, and we’re so glad we did because that helped us a LOT in our planning. However, we still discovered a lot of places on our own and we can’t wait to share them with you! Below is a quick diary post of everything we did, and at the end I’m including a bit of a recommendation guide 🙂

FRIDAY NIGHT

We landed around 5:30pm, picked up our pre-paid for rental car and hit the road to our hotel. We chose to stay at the Moxy Vanderbilt, and we loved it! The Moxy is a fun vibe and we enjoyed the location more than we expected. We originally chose the hotel due to it being more budget-friendly than most of the hotels downtown, but if you have a car when you’re in Nash, then we recommend staying in the Vanderbilt area. It was SO nice, much quieter, easy to travel around/walk around, lots of dining and we still felt very close to any and everywhere we wanted to visit. 10/10 in our opinion!

After we checked in at the hotel, we freshened up for about five minutes and then immediately headed out for dinner at the LISTENING ROOM CAFE. It was SO special. I could truly talk for hours about this, so I’m going to try to keep it short. But three singer-songwriters in Nashville were the performers that night and it was incredible. First of all, Ryan and I were spoiled by being seated in the very front row! So that already kicked us off to a great start, but then the music started and we were so impressed. It was unbelievably cool to hear these songwriters tell the story behind the songs they’ve written, the inspiration, etc. I took many videos and honestly lots of notes, haha. There was a lot to take in and remember – such as songs that will be coming out in the future that I don’t want to forget. The food was also fabulous, the service throughout the show was great, and the drinks were delicious. They also had a really fun bar and free valet. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend The Listening Room Cafe.

After the show, we drove to a “speakeasy” called THE PATTERSON HOUSE that wasn’t really hidden, but it was a fancy cocktail bar that was old time library themed. The drinks were very intricate and detailed, featuring very unique and fun ingredients. We had one drink each and then drove back to hotel, but stopped at Cookout on the way lol. (I had missed Cookout so much since college!) We ate that in bed while we watched Friends. 

SATURDAY

The next morning we took our time getting ready for the day and then realized we were very close to many breakfast options. Both Biscuit Love and Pancake Pantry had been recommended to us, and we had Biscuit Love planned on our itinerary for Monday so we figured we should try Pancake Pantry but as we looked out our hotel window we could see a large line forming outside the restaurant. Haha, we were so naive I guess! However, luckily, as I mentioned the Vandy area was quite walkable and had lots of restaurants, so we ended up having breakfast at FIDO, which was perfect for what we needed! It was so charming, had delicious food and wonderful coffee. The vibes were so cute, I was loving it.

After we ate, we got back in our car and just drove. We headed toward Brentwood, took in the beautiful houses, and then continued on to Franklin. This was another area recommended to us and we had so much fun exploring the fun shops there. I bought a pair of sneakers and we got lunch at fun southern restaurant, MERRIDEE’S BREADBASKET.

While there, we saw a poster for a nearby Vineyard that offers tastings and such so we looked it up and decided to go! The weather was quite chilly, but they had heaters and the views were very pretty. *cute wide open spaces* lol. We each chose a “flight” to taste and they came with notes and descriptions so that was really fun. One of Ryan’s wines was a unique coconut banana white wine so we ended up buying a bottle.

After finishing our flights, we drove back to the hotel and changed clothes, because we still had a whole ~night in front of us. We knew we would be drinking a decent amount that night and didn’t want to feel limited so we Ubered to our comedy show instead of driving. The show was improv, and reminded us very much of the SAK in Orlando (for my FL peeps!) They were great and the venue also had a really fun bar with again, unique drinks! I was loving. The show ended RIGHT on time for us to leave and meet our pre-scheduled Uber to make it the CATBIRD SEAT with a few minutes to spare. Now this is what’s hilarious – Catbird Seat is literally connected to The Patterson House, where we had gotten drinks the night before and we didn’t even realize. Also the door does not have a logo, it was more of a speakeasy than the speakeasy. SO funny, we were cracking up. Anyway… dinner —

The Catbird Seat was quite possibly the most incredible experience of my life. I would not consider it a “restaurant” or a “meal.” The truly only way to refer to it is an experience. Ryan and I checked in with the host outside who was wearing an earpiece and she said “Horan, party of 2 has arrived” to her microphone. She let each couple in individually, and we were led up an elevator and down a hallway to wear the seating was. 22 seats sat around a bar, that was shaped like a U and in the middle were all the chef’s tables with six chefs hard at work. We were given fresh tea to warm us up from outside while we looked at the beverage menu, but we ended up choosing to do the beverage pairing option. Each course came with a new set of silverware, each set different and unique in its own way. For the next 2.5 hours, Ryan and I enjoyed courses of oyster, raw beef, salmon, lobster with truffle, and so much more. I think my favorite course was the “sweet potato with white chocolate and matcha.” Each course also came with a corresponding wine (champagne, white or red) and a sommelier told us about each pairing in exquisite detail. As I mentioned, it was an EXPERIENCE. Afterwards, we were honestly speechless and just soaking it all in, as well as extremely full. We Ubered home and immediately went to sleep.

SUNDAY

The next morning, we had wanted to do a big brunch but we unfortunately did not make reservations in time. The two we were really hoping to try were HAMPTON SOCIAL and STATESIDE KITCHEN. However, it worked out since we honestly weren’t that hungry or looking for a “bottomless” brunch after the meal we had the night before. So instead, we got brunch at FLATIRON, a cute restaurant in Midtown that was not too crowded and had a great vibe. We had coffee and juice, two great sandwiches and then we headed out to Downtown.

After finding parking, we walked around for quite some time! We grabbed coffee, took in the sights, etc. Then it was time for the tour at a downtown apartment called The PLACE. It was…unbelievable. It ended up being out of our budget, but we are so glad we got to tour it. It was located at Fifth and Broadway which was a really cute area too.

After the tour, we walked down Broadway and got drinks at Jason Aldean’s/Luke Bryan’s and then Florida Georgia Line House. The weather was phenomenal, the live music was flawless, and everything was just perfect. I honestly felt like I was back in college and at a darty, it was so much fun. After really enjoying our time, we drove to Germantown to explore since our friend Taylor lives there and we wanted to check it out! It was definitely a CUTE area. She gave us some lunch recs, so Ryan and I each had a drink and split some apps at a really fun place called SONNY’S. The music there was a DJ playing pop songs and remixes, so that helped a lot after Ryan was feeling country music-ed out, haha. Everyone dining their was young and many of them had dogs with them, they had an outdoor area with corn hole, darts, etc. We could definitely see why it’s a popular area. Then we raced back to the hotel to grab my phone charger and change my shoes (lol the new sneakers are rough) and then drove right back to Germantown to meet Taylor and her husband for a drink at a fun beer place called VON ELROD’S. It was so great to catch up and hear more about Nashville from locals. Then, we drove a few minutes back to Midtown for dinner at THE POOL CLUB, which is the rooftop restaurant on top of the Virgin Hotel. It was definitely a fun vibe, with great views and LOUD music, haha. After this we were just feeling exhausted, so we went back to the hotel, cashed in our free drink tokens (everyone gets one at check-in, thank u Moxy) and played some shuffleboard and other fun games in the lobby.

MONDAY

As mentioned earlier, we had breakfast at BISCUIT LOVE on our schedule for the last day, and at the time I had planned on going to the one at The Gulch, but since there was one right outside of our hotel, we chose to eat there. While the line was nowhere near as long as it was on Saturday, it was still long. We knew the food was going to be good, and it was. I had a vanilla latte and the Southern Benny, Ry had FRESH squeezed OJ (literally made to order, that’s how fresh) and the Biscuit with Sausage Gravy.

With our full bellies we checked out of the hotel, put our bags in our car and drove to the The Parthenon. Unfortunately it was closed on Mondays but we still got to see the outside which was really cool!

After this we drove to The Gulch, another area that had been recommended to us. We found parking and walked around. We noticed a “candle bar” and looked it up and saw we could create our own candles. We booked a spot online and did that, which was so much fun! I’ve never done anything like it and Ry and I were so excited to bring our own homemade candles back to NY with us. We then got a drink at the pub next door and then headed to the outskirts of town for the last thing on our list – a tour of the Grand Ole Opry.

It was AMAZING — I honestly got chills just typing this haha. You can ask Ryan, I almost cried while watching the video they play in the beginning. I love country music so much and this place has so much dang history. It was truly incredible to learn so much and see backstage, the dressing rooms, the stage and the pews. We even got to “stand in the circle” which is a moment we’ll never forget. There’s so much more I could say but honestly, you just have to experience it for yourself. If you’re a fan of country music, this is a must-do.

After the tour we drove back to the Gulch to pick up our candles and then got lunch at a BBQ place downtown, called MARTIN’S BBQ JOINT. Ryan had been CRAVING authentic BBQ and it did not disappoint. We both indulged and enjoyed and soaked up our last few minutes of Tennessee.  

Honestly, we had such a jam-packed weekend, and we still didn’t do it all! Below are some recommendations from others that we received, as well as places we found ourselves that we didn’t have time to check out —

Pancake Pantry

Hampton Social

Stateside Kitchen

Butchertown Hall

White Limozeen – Dolly Parton themed rooftop bar

Proper Bagel

The Sutler

Hattie’s B

Frothy Monkey – For brunch! I did get a to-go coffee from here and it was delish.

Diskin Cider

Whiskey Row

Blue Stripes Cacao Shop

Elegy Coffee – Wanted to try so bad but didn’t have time

Did I miss anything?? Comment your fave spots in Nashville down below!

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