Visiting Nashville a few weeks ago was a first for us even though we’re only 5 hours away from Music City. We had a long weekend free and decided to take the opportunity to explore the city we’ve heard so much about.

This is far from a travel guide because we only spent part of Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday exploring the city, but I wanted to share in case anyone else is planning a trip soon.

We didn’t have time to visit a few of the “must visit” areas but instead stayed primarily in downtown, The Gulch, and 12 South. It was 95+ degree the entire time we were there so much of the exploring was done after sundown and during the days we hid out in coffee shops with books.

Nashville 6
Nashville 5

And speaking of coffee shops, we visited:

  • Three Brothers – cute ambiance. It’s close to Vanderbilt University so a popular place for college students.
  • Crema – in the downtown area and home to the best latte I’ve ever had. Frothy to the last drop, I ordered a Cuban made with sweetened condensed milk and it was perfect.
  • 8th and Roast – A small street-side shop with confusing parking for first-timers but really great pastries and breakfast sandwiches.

Nashville is definitely a food lover’s paradise. We had some really amazing meals that might just have been the highlight of the trip.

  • Bar Taco in 12 South is the perfect lunch place. Order the pineapple with your meal and eat it in between the tacos for a delicious palette cleanser.
  • Burger Republic in The Gulch is a fun, hip place with great prices on amazing burgers
  • Pemrose was our Sunday brunch spot and we spent a good 2 hours in the lovely space eating our fill of fresh, regional foods like chicken and waffles.
  • Husk Restaurant was the best meal of the trip and our special anniversary dinner. We sat for 2+ hours savoring the fresh, local faire like it was our last meal.
Nashville 1

We were keen to visit a few stores while in the 12 South district and we ended up going back twice because Saturday mid-afternoon was a nightmare on 12th Avenue.

But it is worth going into:

  • White Mercantile – we bought a local, Nashville print but wanted to buy just about everything in the store. Perfect if you’re looking for unique gifts or beautiful home wares.
  • Goop – I didn’t know the brand had a store front, but it was one of the loveliest stores I’ve been in. Everything is PRICEY but if you’re looking for natural, beautiful home or beauty products it’d be worth taking a look.
  • Draper James – don’t try to enter on a weekend. It’s not my style of a store but still very Southern and vey cute.
  • Imogene and Willie – purveyors of American-made denim, this store is one of a kind with a really good vibe.
  • Marine Layer – I’ve only been on the website a few times but after visiting the store in person I’m now stalking a few pieces to see if they go on sale.
Nashville 4

What to See

  • Downtown/Broadway – even if honky tonk bars aren’t your scene (they’re not mine) it’s fun to get a sensory overload and walk the main stretch of street for a bit.
  • The Parthenon in Centennial Park – it’s a full-scale replica of the one in Athens and a beautiful building. They’re doing a lot of construction in the park right now but the building itself is still very photogenic.
  • John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge – we walked about halfway at night and was able to get a great view of the downtown skyline.