Instagram Worthy Spots In Nashville
So – you know I am the biggest sucker for a US road trip with my sweetie. For my birthday this year all I wanted to do was hit the road in our vintage Porsche and travel. Somewhere in one of my past lives I must have fallen in love en route because I know that is where my heart is happiest. Lin and I have been on countless US road trips ourselves over the years and we typically head west. So this trip I wanted to head east and see some places I had never been before. So I have so many places to share with you all but today I am going to start backwards (Tennessee was one of the last places we toured on this trek) and give you a little taste of Nash. It is such a music crazy culture happy city that reminds me a little bit of Atlanta and a lot of Austin. And Ooooh, I love Austin! It seems like everywhere you walk, there's great music coming out of every corner and Nashville is the same way! You can pretty much hear live music anytime of every day.
And that has such a special kind of magic for me making Nashville, Tennessee wild and invigorating. The energy you feel among other music lovers is electric, would you all agree?!
And of course if you're looking to add some eye candy to your social media profiles on your next trip to Nashville, I have got some fab drool worthy places for you to visit. And yes....don't roll your eyes at me--it's all about the gram these days and you know it!
So what happens when me and my beloved silver fox head to Nash for 48 hours?!
Well...lots of eating, lots of shopping, lots of music--and lots of pretty pics to throw on the gram!
The Hutton - Set in the city’s lively West End neighborhood and steps from the heart of Music Row, the Four-Star Four Diamond eco-friendly boutique hotel offers guests an immersive journey into Nashville’s creative culture including Analog a 5,000-square foot cocktail bar and entertainment venue in partnership with Red Light Management, WestEnd bar and restaurant offering an inventive take on traditional Southern cuisine.
The Thompson Nashville--This beautiful luxury boutique hotel in The Gulch is the place to be. Sharing the block with beloved bluegrass and roots music icon The Station Inn, Thompson Hotels celebrates this city’s creative spirit, with Nashville’s own Hastings Architecture Associates and Executive Chef Nathan Duensing weaving an energetic new neighborhood luxury hotel destination into the local fabric.
Sobro Guesthouse--Blending the services of an upscale boutique hotel with the comforts of home combined with the ease of uninterrupted mobile check-in... SoBro Guest House is in a class of its own. Located in the heart of Nashville, TN, they are just three blocks from the world-famous Lower Broad Entertainment District and within walking distance to downtown's many hot spots. Can we just talk about that tropical wall paper. They were sold out when I was there.
Urban Cowboy--They were sold out too and its probably for the best because I would have just wanted to stay there taking pictures the whole 48 hours! Holy WOW!
The Kimpton Aertson Hotel-- This is where we stayed!
It's located in the neighborhood of Midtown! Kimpton Aertson Hotel, the boutique hotel centerpiece of the much-anticipated Aertson Midtown mixed-use destination, is the perfect accompaniment to the creative spirit of this city. Be surrounded by open spaces and original artwork. Kick back with a Tennessee whiskey, neat. Taste inventive dishes at the chef’s private table. Dip your toes into our seasonal rooftop pool overlooking the beautiful Vanderbilt University campus. And of course Kimptons are the best when traveling with Fido. This was the most comfy bed of my whole trip!
If Air BNB is your thing...we found some great options like this 1938 East Nashville Craftsman Home. It's located in the hip East Nashville area, close to some of the best restaurants, nightlife & shops. I wish Lin was open to idea of more BNB's but I am working on it--slowly but surely. Next month we are actually staying in a super chic 1953 Spartanette in East Austin. Still pinching myself that Rodge agreed to this.
Cannot wait for that trip!
And then we have some other fun things on the books too!
But let's get back to the 48 hours in Nash travel guide!
(First three pics are from The Thompson. The last two are from The Kimpton)
Come to Nashville hungry and thirsty. LOL.
Butchertown Hall-- Utilizing a 36 square-foot open fire hearth as well as a custom-built high-capacity smoker, Terry Raley conceptualized a concept resting at the intersection of the Texas Hill Country barbecue culture in which he grew up, and the historic butcher shop culture of this very neighborhood. This menu borrows from the marriage of Spanish, Mexican and Eastern European influences. Expect delicately charred garden vegetables alongside the finest wood-fired premium cuts, craft tacos, Tex-Mex standards, and the finest brisket outside of Austin (just ask around). They have some amazing craft brews and delish margaritas and Nash's most extensive agave collection. Plus all that pretty light!!!
Etch-- Located in the Encore Tower downtown Nashville--and you must go here for afternoon desert and champagne. Order the Olive Oil Almond Cake which has lemon curd, blackberry sauce, buttermilk sherbet, almond streusel, citrus segments. OH EM GEEEE, we are still dreaming of it. Try the butterscotch ice cream too. The presentation alone is just ! Your Instagram friends will be drooling as soon as you post.
Chauhan Ale & Masala House-- This gem is devoted to creating a unique dining experience in Nashville, Tennessee’s bustling food scene. Co-owner and Executive Chef Maneet Chauhan’s Indian roots, zest for travel and affection for Southern cuisine have beautifully collided to offer a menu featuring globally influenced Indian cuisine that highlights aspects of the culinary scene not only in Mumbai or New Delhi, but Nashville as well, perfectly combining Indian fare with traditional Southern dishes. Chauhan Ale & Masala House also boasts an exceptional beverage program with a worldwide selection of wine and spirits, cocktails that excite the palate, and an array of beers including Mantra Artisan Ales, carefully crafted to pair seamlessly with the food offerings created by Chef Maneet. Everything is so delish! Highly recommend the tandoori chicken poutine, the chili paneer bhurjee relleno, the Brussel sprouts, and the chili cheese kulcha.
Little Octopus-Quite possibly the swankiest prettiest place in the whole world!
"Nowhere is the glossier side of Nashville more apparent than at the Little Octopus, a one-time pop-up restaurant that relocated last January to a permanent space in The Gulch. Designed by L.A. firm Design Bitches, its interiors feature a beachy palette of pink marble, blond wood, and crisp white, with brass fixtures and rattan chairs that call to mind the halcyon days of Art Deco Miami. It’s as stunningly chic as anything in Manhattan, and the modern sherbet decor is the perfect complement to chef Daniel Herget’s refined menu of Caribbean-tinged Southern fare."-from Vogue magazine.
Fresh clean vibrant FOOD + DESIGN • almost all vegetables • latin inspired. Founded in 2015 by Sarah & Brad Gavigan as a pop-up in East Nashville, Little Octopus set out to serve fresh, clean vegetable-driven food of her 20 years in Southern California with the playful and bright flavors of the Caribbean and Latin food. The Little Octopus, a name given to her at the age of 21 by her mentor while diving with The Cousteau Society in the British Virgin Islands because she “always had her tentacles in everybody’s business and was always changing colors.” Now residing in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville, the ethos remains the same. An ever-changing palate of flavors and cultures. I made my own bowl and Lin devoured the cauliflower sandwich. I could honestly eat here everyday.
Pinewood Social--A trendy restaurant, a comfortable coffee shop, a welcoming work space and a craft cocktail bar all in one, Pinewood is a place to be morning, noon or night. Plus bowl and cool off in the summer in the dipping pools--I mean!!! It's like a dream!!!
Le Sel ---Le Sel is an elegant and warm French brasserie located in midtown in the heart of Nashville. The menu, created by Chef Brian Lea, offers both traditional French dishes as well as modern twists on French classics. It's in walking distance from The Kimpton and it's just lovely. We had the most amazing happy hour here drinking French cocktails and eating our weight in Fritès. You can channel your inner Francophile here for sure. Oui! Oui!
Union Common--Also right across the street from The Kimpton. Hip steakhouse serving chops, seafood & craft cocktails in a lofty space with retro-modern decor. It's swanky! And perfect for a date night.
Caviar & Bananas -- Gourmet market & cafe offering a range of eats all day. Espresso & Tea Bar. Pastries, Cookies, and Sweets. Sandwiches & Salads Prepared Foods. Charcuterie & Cheese. Chocolates, Candies, Dried Fruits and Nuts. Craft Beer and Wine. Specialty Packaged Foods. Evening Wine Bar and Small Plates. Need I say more ! And all that light!!! And the gorgeous floor! Swoon.
Now if only I had more time or more room in my stomach. These were the places I also had on my list but sadly just couldn't fit it in.
Now for some sips and nightlife.
I grabbed a lot of suggestions from the lovely Karen Elson. She is one of my favorite dream girls.
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club--Imaginative, seasonal cocktails.
Patterson House— Order the gin and rosewater concoction called the Juliet & Romeo which is Karen's usual.
Tootsies Orchid Lounge-- It's so Nashville! Grab your boots and maybe keep your fingers crossed Willie Nelson somehow walks through the door. He's performed there several times.
Robert's Western World- I mean it's Nashville. You need some honky tonk in your life. Go here for some live country bands, cold beer & fried bologna sandwiches.
Grimey’s - score your hard-to-find vinyl here.
Hip Zipper Vintage Store- Located in the heart of East Nashville, Tennessee, The Hip Zipper is Nashville's oldest "All-Vintage" clothing shop. Owner Trisha Brantley, a Texas native, has been providing Nashvillians, Australians, and everyone in between the ability to dress in reasonably priced vintage threads since 1999.
Peter Nappi- Peter Nappi was born in Vietri di Potenza, Italia. His father was a shoemaker. His grandfather was a shoemaker. The passion was in his blood, and it is in theirs today. They have the most exquisite handcrafted Italian shoes & boots for men & women in an antique-accented industrial setting. They also have beautiful bags and gift items. I wanted every single thing I saw.
Savant- For 13 years Savant has been doing vintage right. Owner Beverly Chowning has worked with some of the biggest names in the biz. Loved chatting with her for a brief moment. When I told her I was from Oklahoma she said "oh yeah--been there once, it's nice. I think I could live there." And then seconds later she said "oh wait a minute never mind you have tolls there." I died laughing because man---what a point. Others notice that we live in a super unfunded state and it's a mega deal breaker. Anyway-Beverly has an amazing eye. I found so many awesome jackets and dresses! You can spend hours here so don't rush.
Draper James- So love Reese even though her clothing is so not me! But it was worth the trip for a possible Reese sighting and some sweet tea!
Plus there are some great Nashville murals all around Draper James so walk around and take advantage of all the photo opps.
Amelia's Flower Truck --Mattie always knew she wanted to open a business that reminded her of traveling and out of that, Amelia’s Flower Truck was born. Something she always loved about traveling to big cities like New York, London, Paris and Milan is the accessibility of Flowers. Buying flowers in these cities is as easy as walking home from work, and she's admired and envied that aspect of being there. Amelia’s Flower Trucks park in Nash neighborhoods and they make buying flowers beautiful, enjoyable and easy!
Third Man Records-- Third Man Records is an independent record label founded by Jack White in Detroit, Michigan, in 2001. Third Man established its first physical location—a combination record store, performance venue, and headquarters for the label—in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2009. The label opened a Detroit branch location in 2015, which added a pressing plant (Third Man Pressing) in 2017. (from Wikipedia) You just have to go!!! So cool.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art- Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and historic estate in Nashville, featuring art galleries, seasonal festivals and breathtaking wedding venues.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts--The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit art-exhibition center, with approximately 24,000 square feet of gallery space, dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions
Belcourt Theatre--A nonprofit art-house cinema which always boasts an impressive roster of newly released and classic indie films.
Grand Ole Opry--It’s been called the “home of American music” and “country’s most famous stage.” Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make pilgrimages across town or around the world to the Grand Ole Opry to see the show live. Millions more tune in to Opry broadcasts via a mobile app, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Nashville’s 650 AM WSM, and on opry.com and wsmonline.com.
Ryman Auditorium--"When you walk through the doors of the historic Ryman Auditorium, one thing becomes clear right away: this isn’t just another nightly music venue, and it’s so much more than a daytime tourist stop. This place is hallowed ground. This is the exact spot where bluegrass was born, where Johnny Cash met June Carter, where souls were saved and a slice of history was nearly lost. It was right here that country music found an audience beyond its own back porch, and countless careers took off as deals were signed on napkins and paper scraps backstage. This is a building where anything is possible: a soul can find redemption, a crumbling building can find salvation, and an unknown kid with a guitar can find their name in lights." -from the Ryman's website. Do take the self guided tour. It's worth every dang penny!! What I would give to see Ryan Adams here.
Hike the trails around nearby Radnor Lake if you have time too!
Have the best time in Nashville! Let me know your fave places in the comments!