Nashville has so many different areas, and they all have their own vibe or character. If you’re visiting with girlfriends, I’d recommend renting an Airbnb in the 12 South neighborhood. It’s only 10 minutes to Broadway and the nightlife, and it’s super cute and walkable. The area is lined with restaurants and shops like White’s Mercantile, owned by Holly Williams (Hank Williams Jr.’s daughter). White’s is perfect for gifts and unique items you won’t find anywhere else.
If you want to be closer to the action of downtown, I suggest the Graduate Nashville just off of West End. It has an amazing rooftop restaurant/bar that is Dolly Parton-themed. It’s called White Limozeen after her album.
For a romantic weekend, check out the Omni Nashville Hotel where you and your partner can enjoy a relaxing spa treatment. Or book a room in the historic Hermitage Hotel downtown. Be sure to enjoy a drink in the famous Oak Bar and check out the infamous green men’s bathroom.
Nashville loves a good rooftop scene. Almost every bar on Lower Broadway offers a rooftop where you can have a drink, hear amazing local live music, and take in the sights. If you are looking for a sophisticated atmosphere, try the rooftop of the Thompson Hotel in The Gulch. It’s not the highest rooftop in Nashville, but I think it has the most character and the best views of the city’s skyline. The Virgin Hotel and the JW Marriott also have great views.
To experience classic Nashville, stop in at the Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village. It has been around forever and has delicious food. Their sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon syrup are incredible. Be prepared to stand in line if it’s a busy time of year.
For a champagne brunch, head over to Geist in Germantown. It’s in an old blacksmith’s building with exposed brick and great décor. And the food will not disappoint. On my last visit, I enjoyed the breakfast corn dogs and bourbon-caramel cinnamon rolls.
I have fallen in love with a great restaurant in 12South called Epice.
It’s small and quaint and has a menu full of amazing food. Their hummus is incredible! I usually get the Epice Salad that features goat cheese and toasted almond slivers.
Nashville has become a foodie town, and the dining choices are endless. Here are a few of my favorites: City House in Germantown—Get the belly ham pizza! Josephine in 12South—Don’t miss their brussels sprouts. Sperry’s in Belle Meade—It’s cozy, old school Nashville and has an amazing salad bar, as well as a tableside bananas flambé. Husk is just south of downtown—You can’t go wrong with anything.
My good friend and former stylist Claudia Fowler owns three amazing boutiques, each with their own vibe.
Haven is in Edgehill Village, Hero is in 12South, and Parish (her newest store) is in the Thompson Hotel. Claudia offers great, one-of-a-kind items. I also love H. Audrey in Green Hills, another venture by Holly Williams.
There actually isn’t much live music on music row. Instead, the area houses all of the offices, recording studios, etc. If you want to hear great live music, you definitely need to head to Lower Broadway. That’s where all of the honky-tonks are, and most of them offer live music pretty much all day and night with no cover. Just be sure to tip the band! My favorite is Robert’s Western World. It’s one of the older, more established spots. If you want to hear great bluegrass, go to the Station Inn located in The Gulch.
Filled with great restaurants and funky shops, East Nashville is eclectic and a little grittier than the rest of the city. Check out the lifesize replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
There is a great walking path that circles the park. If you’re into hiking, you only need to drive 15 minutes from downtown to Radnor Lake. It has easy to medium hikes and makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.
My latest album called Copy That came out last year. It’s all cover songs that I love, including ones like “She’s Got You” by Patsy Cline that you would expect me to cover. It also includes some surprises like “My Sharona” and “Come on Eileen.” And I sing a cover of Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with Old Crow Medicine Show, as well as a cover of the Stevie Nicks/Kenny Loggins hit “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Phillip Sweet from Little Big Town. I’ll also be back out on the road as soon as possible!
More Of Our Favorite Places
The Country Music Hall of Fame
The history of country music comes to life through an impressive collection of exhibits and artifacts, including costumes, cars, and guitars. Be sure to visit the museum’s gift shops and the Hatch Show Print Shop, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America. Hatch Show Print designs and prints 500 to 600 posters per year for entertainers on tour as well as for venues around the world.
Grand Ole Opry
You never know who is going to be on stage during this two-hour live radio and television broadcast show. For the past 95 years, the Opry has brought together rising talent, superstars, and country legends.
The original location of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman is still home to live shows. Be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events.
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Built in 1929, Cheekwood is a private residence-turned-museum and botanical gardens. Events, exhibits, and happenings change with the seasons. Don’t miss Cheekwood in Bloom March 6-April 11 when you can see more than 150,000 blooming bulbs.
This article was produced by Cathy McGowin.