After arriving in Nashville, we immediately sought out mozzarella sticks and rosè to stock our Airbnb for the long weekend. It was bound to be one hell of a weekend. The Predators had just made it to the Stanley Cup Finals and one of my best friends was getting ready to be married. What could go wrong? Once we checked in to our gorgeous home for the weekend, we decided to explore our neighborhood.
Lucky for us, at the bottom of our street was Centennial Park. The park is beautiful and filled with history. From the exact replica of the Parthenon (built for the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Tennessee) to the children feeding ducks by the flower canopied ponds to the Sno-Kone carts, there is something interesting around every bend.
Our night took us to the now incredibly popular Bluebird Cafe. I wrote a whole post on our night previously, you can find it here.
The nightlife in Nashville is amazing! There is incredible country music on every floor of every bar. We had wanted to go to the famous Tootsies and tried to get in through the less popular Tootsies Alley which is located around back, but we had to stand on the side of the garbage in the sweltering heat and decided to move along.
We headed just down the alley way to The Stage which also has a back alley entrance and 3 floors of live music. The first floor is the main bar and it’s your pretty typical place with a stage, live band and long bar for easy service. The second floor was my favorite. It is a much smaller bar with a small stage and at the time I was there they were singing all of the country sing along songs you can imagine (including Deanna Carter’s “Strawberry Wine”) to which the whole bar linked arms and swayed. The third floor is a gorgeous rooftop bar over looking the Staples Center and Broadway with a huge rocking band and multiple bars. We ended up spending the night up here because it was much cooler and the music was fun, maybe a little too much fun. Also, after partying all night I had earned my very first Butter Jack from Jack in the Box. It was worth it.
We headed to 12 South to do some shopping and mural hunting. Nashville is known for its musically inclined artists but you should see the paintings as well. We headed for the “I Believe In Nashville” mural which is now conveniently located right next door to Reese Witherspoon’s darling store Draper James.
The Draper James store also has blue and white stripes on the outside of the building which make for another great photo op. When you enter the store you learn what true southern hospitality is. I swear you have to be the epitome of a southern belle to work there. Upon entrance we were each offered an adorable glass of sweet tea and the store offers comfy seating arranged like the southern living room of your dreams.
From here we headed to Bar Taco for some midday drinks. The tequila bar boasts fresh squeezed citrus for margs and a make your own taco order form at the bar. I had the classic margarita and had the pleasure of watching the lovely bartender fresh squeeze the limes before shaking with tequila and passing it all to me in a salt rimmed glass. So refreshing!
We popped across the street to S’more Love Bakery which makes fresh baked graham crackers and homemade marshmallows for their gourmet s’mores. Check out my write up on them here.
We headed back to the house to change before one more mural and catching the sunset from the rooftop bar at The Thompson called L.A. Jackson (which just so happens to be one of country star Brett Eldridge’s favorite spots in the city as well). This hotel is amazing, guys, and we are already planning our return trip which would definitely involve staying here. We found the famous “What Lifts You” mural before enjoying some bubbly on the rooftop. Both are within a block of one another.
We had dinner plans at an amazing steakhouse called Kayne Prime. Our food was amazing! I think we sampled everything on the menu from the duck tacos to the black kale salad and it was all perfect. I didn’t have any steak but the ladies who did loved the portions and plating of their meals. We also shared risotto tater tots and macaroni grantineé because YOLO. It didn’t hurt either that our waiter looked exactly like Brett Eldridge. Are you sensing a theme?
From Kayne we headed back to the house and some of us ventured out to see where the locals drink. We found a bar with a large front porch outside drinking area and of course more live music inside. We got some great recommendations for the next day by being friendly with some neighborhood people and I learned to play a new game. I’m still not sure why throwing a hook on a string at a painting of a bull is a big deal but I did it successfully once so I’m satisfied. Oh and my wedge broke about half way to the bar so I’d call it a very successful night 2 in Smash City.
Sunday morning brunch is always a must so we headed to a place recommended by the locals called Saint Anejo. I had the huevos rancheros but everything on the menu looked absolutely delicious. Everyone was completely satisfied with their choices including the chicken and waffles and chorizo scramble. I need to go back for the dark chocolate waffles and house-infused syrups! We also go to rub elbows (and secret selfies) with the Ryan brothers of NFL fame who were having drinks at the bar.
We hiked up the hill from Saint Anejo to our Nashville Peddle Tavern excursion. To be honest, I was not excited when I heard we had to peddle through town but once I got on the bike seat I was already having fun. Our “leader”, Dan, was so much fun and gave us tons of info about the places we stopped at along the way. He also kept the jams going and our cups full which is really all anyone can ask for while peddling a giant wagon around Nashville.
Our first stop was at Somewhere SOS Beach Bar which is a Tiki bar in the middle of the city. They had beer pong and an amazing area for misting off which we took advantage of. It is also rumored that Jake Owen just shot a new video here. I’m curious to see if it’s true! We had all of 10 minutes to chug a beer before heading back to more peddling.
Next we stopped out front of Winners and Losers and had the moral dilemma of choosing which to spend our 30 minutes in. We headed for Losers since it is rumored to be a Miranda Lambert favorite and also had 2 for 1 draft beers.
From here we stopped in the center of Midtown and our peddling was done but our day drinking sure wasn’t. We caught a ride down to Broadway to visit Honky Tonk Central and danced our butts off to some live music yet again. It was very hard to get service at any of the three bars on the various floors here but the music was fun and the location is really prime for people watching if you can get a foot out on the balcony.
Side note: On our way to Tootsies (it’s famous, we had to try one more time), we stopped to buy some boots and had the most amazing Nashville moment. We stopped in to Big Time Boots and I found the most amazing pair that fit my feet like glove. But that’s not the best part. We got to talking to the people helping us find the perfect pair and one of them ended up being an aspiring songwriter. We jokingly asked him to play us a song, and he did. Just like that. He pulled out a guitar from behind the cash register and got right to an original. Wade Sapp was the cherry on top of my Nashville weekend.
Tootsies was amazing and is definitely a must go on anyone’s Nashville bucket list. The energy inside is just a good time and the music is catchy. They also have an outside bar overlooking Broadway and it’s all just a damn good time. A bit crowded and tough to get to the bartenders just like any other good bar, but it is the epitome of everything you could hope for in a Nashville night out.
We also went to Paradise Park for some late night hot chicken sandwiches. Hot chicken is a Nashville staple and next time I’m totally stopping at the famous Hattie B’s. The food at this trailer park themed late night food haven was cheap, fast and served hot which was what we wanted. They are open until 3 am most nights.
We are already planning another trip to Nashville we loved it so much. It’s a great city with a ton to do and eat. There is something new and completely different around every corner and the people are the friendliest I’ve ever met. So do we regret our weekend in Nashville? “We sure don’t!”