Now that we don’t have tiny babies, Bart and I try to do one trip a year with just the two of us.
This year, we picked Nashville, a city I’ve been dying to visit for years, and we had the BEST time!
My parents came up to stay with our girls for five days while we were gone.
We stayed in the Virgin Hotel and it was a fantastic place – it had lots of great indoor and outdoor spaces, a nice gym, a great room, and the location was convenient to downtown without being right in the middle of the craziness.
We also rented a car, which basically felt like a necessity, since the things to do in Nashville are fairly spread out (we used Turo for the first time, which was fun!).
Here are some of our favorite things we did in Nashville (and if you want many more recommendations, check on my Instagram post where I asked for suggestions – the comments are PACKED with good advice).
Fun THINGS TO DO IN nashville
- Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. About a million people suggested we visit here and it was the perfect place to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. We toured the house as well as the gardens and the weather was absolutely perfect. We only saw a fraction of the grounds even though we were there for a couple of hours.
- Nashville Food Tour. We did a food tour on our Miami trip last year for the first time and it was so fun that we knew we wanted to do another one. We were with a really small group (just six people total, including the guide) and we hit five different places for both sweet and savory and it was delicious! (I booked it through AirBnB.)
- Grand Ole Opry. We bought tickets to the Saturday night show which is taped live as a radio program (the longest running radio program around!) and it was SO fun. It was definitely a highlight.
- Country Music Hall of Fame. We planned to go to The Hermitage on our last morning, but didn’t pay close enough attention and it was closed, so we made a quick change of plans and went to the Country Music Hall of Fame instead which was very cool (and also made me realize how LITTLE I know about country music!).
- 3rd and Lindsley. We went to a lunchtime performance here where different songwriters tell about writing various songs – it’s pretty fun because some of the songs you know well from being picked up by major artists!
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. This gorgeous bridge was perfect for a quick walk across at sunset as the city was lighting up. We parked by the Nissan Stadium, which was much less crowded than the downtown side of the bridge.
- Downtown Franklin. So many people told us how charming Franklin was and we loved wandering through downtown and popping into some of the shops.
- Parnassus Books. This looks like nothing from the outside – it’s in a little strip mall – but it was a delight to browse around inside this charming independent bookstore.
- Nashville Public Library. I was so glad we made time to stop by the downtown library – it’s a stunning building and the children’s section is top-notch!
- The Parthenon. This was our last stop before we headed to the airport and it was pretty amazing to see a full size Parthenon right in the middle of a (incredibly lovely) park. Definitely worth stopping for!
The best places we ate in Nashville
There is NO shortage of good food in Nashville and we could have done another dozen meals with all the good recommendations!
- Five Daughters Bakery. This bakery is famous for their 100 layer doughnuts (cronuts, basically) and they have so many good flavors (plus most of them have a cream filling that makes them extra rich). Bart’s favorite was the maple and mine was the lemon blueberry.
- Butcher and Bee. One of my friends texted me while we were in Nashville and said “if you can fit it in, the tasting menu is fantastic.” Bart and I had never done a tasting menu together, so it was a fun experience and every dish was terrific, aside from the oyster mushrooms which neither of us loved.
- The Southern. We met up with my blogging BFF Jessica Turner here for dinner – she suggested it – and it was really really good. The fried brussels sprouts were a big win and the biscuits were some of the best I’ve ever had.
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. I’ve been waiting to go here for YEARS and after dinner, we walked down with Jessica. I had more samples than an adult should admit to and the Gooey Butter Cake was my favorite flavor. (I couldn’t resist trying the Everything Bagel ice cream too – I loved trying a sample but wouldn’t have wanted a whole scoop of it!).
- Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Everyone said you couldn’t go to Nashville without having hot chicken and Hattie B’s was the most recommended spot – we stopped by for a late dinner after the Grand Ole Opry and it was indeed delicious!
- The Grilled Cheeserie. We had lunch here in Franklin and the strawberry bacon grilled cheese was fab. Also the peanut butter milkshake which was super rich and very delicious.
There were so many things we didn’t get to – I guess we’ll just have to go back to Nashville again!