Music City, the home of country music, the home of some of the greatest songwriters on the planet, and the home of Yazoo beer and Goo Goo Clusters. When I started law school, I decided to take my career to Nashville, and so I did. Since then, Nashville has become another home to me. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who does not like Nashville. For a city girl, it’s a quaint town that is buzzing with music, and enough to keep you entertained. For a small town girl, it’s a big city that’s buzzing with thrill around every corner. The people are all very friendly, and I can count on less than one hand the number of people I know who are actually from Nashville—most everyone else is a drifter chasing a dream.
If you plan on making a trip out there, here are a few tips and places for you to visit:
Lower Broadway: Broadway is what gives Nashville its nickname “Nashvegas.” It somewhat resembles a miniature version of the Vegas strip, only, instead of large casino hotels lining the street, you have honky tonks. I’ll tell you my go to places on Broadway, but basically once you get to 5th and Broadway, you can walk down either side of the street and pop into any old place that catches your ear. A few recommendations though: Roberts—always has good music no matter what time of day, and the best fried pickles ever; Crossroads—it’s like home to me, love the staff there; The Wheel—if you’re ever there on a Saturday, do say hi to my dear friend, good ol’ Randall; Silver Dollar—this place is new and it’s quite spacious and nicely set up…with comfy chairs too!
Ryman Auditorium: The birthplace of bluegrass still smells like a church—it’s haunting in a most beautiful and spiritual way. I promise you, any show you watch there will be a magical experience.
Opry & MCBG: You must go to the Opry, and if you can, go backstage. The Opry is a very special place to me, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been there and just hung out backstage, but never has it gotten old to me. It’s just as exciting every time I’m there. After the Opry, you should head over to Music City Bar & Grill, across the street from Opryland Hotel, for some more music. You can catch my friends the Music City Playboys on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and sometimes Saturday nights there. They are some of the finest musicians in town and will make sure you get a good dose of traditional country music. And Blake, the owner of MCBG is a sweetheart, and they serve food until 2A.M. Plus, you never know who’ll show up there ;).
The Hermitage: The Hermitage is Andrew Jackson’s home. It’s a darling place, and great for holding events too. On the grounds you can find a donkey, a turkey, a big ol' cow, and a small cornfield.
Manuel’s: Manuel has become a dear friend of mine, and he is famous for making suits for Elvis, Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones, you name it! You must check out his shop on Broadway, in the Music Row/Vandy area. His store is a piece of history and a whole lot of magic. The stories this man can tell! Manuel is a complete darling and a joy to be around.
Jeni’s: Jeni’s is an ice cream shop in East Nashville, and it is absolutely divine! They have macaron ice cream sandwiches, which will destroy your waistline, but take you to heaven. Their ice cream flavors are somewhat exotic, but you’ll be surprised how lovely they taste. My favorite and go-to flavor is Brambleberry Crisp. I have no idea what a brambleberry is, but it’s muy delicioso! (After looking it up, I discovered brambleberry is basically like a blackberry.)
3rd & Lindsley: Every Monday, you can catch The Time Jumpers, an award winning western swing band. Fantastic doesn’t even begin to describe them. Not to mention, my most favorite man on the planet, Mr. Vince Gill, plays with them. Not in Nashville on a Monday, just go to their site and look at their calendar to see what's going on (http://www.3rdandlindsley.com).
Station Inn: Two things you must do here, catch some bluegrass, and catch the Doyle & Debbie show. It’s a quaint little venue, almost hidden within the new age Nashville that is The Gulch.
Any Songwriter Round: When you’re in the town that breeds songwriters, you should go revel in their magic. Bluebird Café is a standard place to visit, but you can find a number of writers nights in various places.
Pedestrian Bridge: Down by the river, downtown, there is an old railroad that was transformed into a pedestrian bridge. It connects downtown Nashville, to the other side where LP field is. It’s a great spot for pictures.
Puckett’s: I put this on the list, solely for the Elvis French Toast—it is so wonderful, and it just melts in your mouth. Well, actually this is also a good place if you’re looking to eat and be entertained in the evening. Puckett’s tends to have good bands playing every night, and it’s also downtown on 5th and Church.
There are of course, loads more to do in this little town, but this list should keep you pretty busy if you’re there for a short visit. Otherwise, stay tuned for more Nashville wonders :).
BIG LOVE & HUGS