Nashville, Tennessee – Music City, USA
Instagram hashtag: #TheOneWithTheCrossCountryRoadTrip
Nashville was our first official stop on our cross-country road trip this past summer. Our energy was still high and our excitement to discover Nashville meant we were racing all over this wonderful city. We stayed in an air bnb about 10 minutes outside of the city, which I don’t normally like to do. I’m a big fan of being right in the middle of all of the action, but we needed to budget.
We had 3 goals while visiting Nashville – find the best tacos, drinks and live music. We did a pretty good job if I say so myself. It’s hard truly getting to know a city in such a short amount of time, but Nashville stole my heart anyhow. I won’t forget looking out over the neon lit city on our last night wishing we didn’t have to leave.
This street full of neon lights & twangy music shares some similarities to many other main streets in a city that attracts tourists. But this one finds a way to stand on its own. The street is full of small bars and restaurants with music pouring out from their opened windows, allowing you to get a peek at the live music inside. Each place has its own unique neon sign attached to the side of the building. Similar to a cover of a book, a neon sign might draw you into one bar over another. Almost overwhelmingly bright and loud at times, the chaos made it hard to choose which bar we would set up camp at for the next hour or so. Good thing we had plenty of time to try a few.
Our first stop was at a bar that was offering a great happy hour deal (2 for 1, how can you say no) but I can’t remember what the name of it was. Must be a sign it’s not worth mentioning to visit! Once we had a few drinks, we made our way to the most touristy looking spot we could see, Honky Tonk Central. With 3 floors of live music and a great view of Broadway Street from the balconies on each floor, we didn’t regret visiting. Although a little pricey, it was worth stopping by just to stand on the balcony and watch bachelorette parties and drunk college students go by.
We filtered in and out of other bars for a little while, taking advantage of the many drink specials they were offering. At some point we called it a night. It wasn’t until the next day that we found our favorite spot on Broadway, Tin Roof of Broadway. With live music front and center and strings of colored lights hanging from the ceiling, I knew I would like it right away.
We spent a looong time here because we loved it so much. It wasn’t until after we left Nashville that we learned that if you are going to find locals at any of the bars on Broadway, this is one of them. They had good drinks, the live music was incredible (despite their denial of my request to play any Britney Spears – they played Taylor Swift!), and the patrons seemed to know how to have a good time.
Murals Around Nashville
Every major city has its well-known instagram worthy walls. Nashville has a bunch of them. When you visit any of these murals always prepare to wait at least a little while. Well known means there will be a bunch of other people trying to get the perfect shot and it might eat up more time than you imagined. We probably spent 15-20 minutes at the I Believe In Nashville mural! But it’s always worth it in the end.
Coffee and Southern Comfort Food
Being a vegetarian means I often miss out on most of the high praised southern comfort food. Sometimes it makes me wish I wasn’t a vegetarian just so I could know what everyone is talking about. But that doesn’t mean I missed out entirely on great food while we were in Nashville; and I certainly didn’t miss out on great coffee.
Right across the block from the I Believe In Nashville mural is a seriously great coffee shop called The Frothy Monkey. Not really sure what that means but I do know their iced coffee saved me from 95 degree Tennessee weather.
The best breakfast spot we went to during our visit was from Nashville favorite Pancake Pantry. The Pancake Pantry finds pride in the line that goes out the door. The fact that even locals will endure a long line to order a some flapjacks is a badge of honor. My recommendation? Order their sought after sweet potato pancakes – they’re incredible.
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos
Tacos deserve their own little sub-category, don’t you think? On our cross-country trip, I made a personal goal. I wanted to see how many days I could incorporate tacos into my diet. Nashville was day 1. I was told by a local that Mas Tacos was one of the best spots you can find in the city. Perfect way to kick off Taco Extravaganza (I didn’t call it that for real, don’t worry)
This no frills taco place makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a cantina somewhere in Mexico. Visit Mas Tacos expecting great food and nothing more and you won’t be disappointed.
Feeling the need to walk off the mass amount of food we had just eaten at Mas Tacos, we drove to Centennial Park. A seriously gorgeous recreational park with ample space, lakes, and a diverse range of trees and flowers. This park was a lot of fun to explore.
Wandering Around the City
Until next time, Nashville! Thanks for having us and showing us such a great time!