I recently spent my birthday weekend in a city I had never visited before – Nashville, Tennessee! I was only in town for about 72 hours, but I was amazed at how much I was able to do, and yet never felt rushed or stressed.
Nashville’s a friendly town with friendly people who are eager to welcome you with a smile. Here’s some of my favorite moments and first impressions of a town that left me already planning my next visit:
1. Come as you are!
One thing that immediately struck me about Nashville is that there’s no dress code – whatever you like to fill your suitcase with will blend right in with the folks around you. As I was singing along to “Wagon Wheel” at Crazy Town, one of many great bars on Broadway, I realized I was standing between a woman dressed in a very chic little black dress and pearls, and a man wearing gym shorts and a flannel shirt. Both looked right at home!
2. It really is Music City!
Nearly every bar or restaurant will have a stage, and you’re likely to catch a performance just by popping in. And that’s not even mentioning the singers, guitar-players, and banjo-pickers lining the streets.
A recommendation from a friend – one that I also now highly recommended – is The Listening Room Café; the evening I spent there was one of the highlights of my trip! Four songwriters were on stage, taking turns performing songs they had written. I didn’t recognize the names of the songwriters at first, but I found myself saying, “Oooh, I know this one!” for more than one song. There’s a full menu to dine while you listen, and they ask patrons to keep conversations to a minimum – this isn’t background music, the music is the star of the show.
3. Bring an appetite – the food is great!
If not for its predominant reputation as a music town, Nashville could definitely stand as one of America’s top “foodie” towns, too! For a memorable dinner or special celebration, like I had for my birthday, be sure to go to Puckett’s! And for a more casual fare, try a tasty lunch at Noshville – I didn’t see country legend Vince Gill there, but the staff told me he’s a regular.
Southern Fare is definitely #1 in Nashville, but you’ll find plenty of other influences around town as well. I was so excited to snatch a sweet praline from Savannah Candy Kitchen on Broadway! It’s 100% worth the quick pit-stop.
Have you been to Nashville before? Tweet me @HiltonSuggests with your recommendations for my next trip, or let me know if you’d like more details about my favorite spots in Music City thus far!