NASHVILLE WEEKEND TRAVEL GUIDE | LIVING IN NASH
Whether you're coming to Nashville for a romantic getaway or you've just got to have your fix of our fabulous music and food, you're going to have a great time in this city that's truly becoming the hot spot of the south. Nashville is truly becoming an international destination and has become one of the most popular places to visit. I'm so proud to call it my home! After starting my blog, and naming my blog Living In Nash, I quickly became overwhelmed with people asking me all kinds of questions about Nashville. I realized it would be a really fun idea to share some of my favorite spots and put myself in the shoes of a traveler if they were to come to the city.
In this post, I've created a weekend guide for anyone visiting Nashville, whether or not they've been here before or not. These are all the places I would go if I had never been to Nashville before and wanted to experience both the tourist side of things as well as the city from a local perspective.
One thing that people don't always realize about Nashville is that there are little neighborhoods and boroughs to the city. Each little area has its own vibe. Below are each of the little areas around Nashville and the "vibe" of each area!
- East Nashville
- The Gulch
- Green Hills
- 12 South
- The Nations
- Hillsboro Village
When coming here for the weekend, there are several of these you have to see! Depending on what you want to do and how local you want to be will determine which of these areas are more important for you to visit! You can see each of my neighborhood posts to determine which of these you would like! Just click on the neighborhood to be taken to additional information about that neighborhood.
Nashville is a city that is constantly packed with things to do. If you're coming just for the weekend there is still plenty to do without getting overwhelmed.
As far as places to stay, I would highly recommend staying somewhere that is relatively close to everything. Although I haven't stayed that many places in Nashville since I do live in Nashville. However, The Thompson Hotel is by far one of the most gorgeous hotels I've been in. It is in the area of the Gulch which is very convenient and close to everything. It's a really easy Uber ride into downtown if you decide to go out on Broadway and its also really close to the Midtown area. If you stay in the Gulch, you'll also be really close to the best breakfast place in Nashville, Biscuit Love (we'll get to that in a bit).
Below are some accommodation options if you're looking to stay in downtown Nashville.
This hotel is so gorgeous. If you're looking for a really nice hotel that has a vintage vibe, this hotel is for you. It's still very high end but is simplistic enough that it's not overwhelming. One of my favorite hotels in Nashville is the Hermitage Hotel because it's one of the oldest and nicest hotels. Fun fact: the mens bathroom won an award for the best bathroom in the country - and yes, I've been inside and definitely took a picture in there! The Thompson is not so old so in my opinion its better for a younger crowd and I would definitely classify it as a luxurious experience.
This hotel actually has some really cool history. Built in 1930, Noelle came of age at a time when downtown Nashville was experiencing a boom of new hotels, department stores and local characters aplenty. Now in its second act, this famed hotel has risen once again to take on its role in Nashville’s rich narrative. Today, Noelle serves as a spot for some of the city’s most interesting voices and makers as it continues to contribute to the spirit that makes this place so unique. The hotel was an office building for the later half of the 2oth century and has recently been converted back to a hotel and was renamed from the Noel to the Noelle. This hotel has some gorgeous vintage character and is a more authentic vintage spirit than a lot of the newer hotels that have been made to look like this hotel. There's a super cute little shop inside as well as a barista parlour and two different spots to eat dinner and hang out. You definitely feel like you're in an episode of MadMen or something because the vibe is just so unique and authentic!
This hotel is situated a little outside of the main area of downtown. Although I haven't seen any of the rooms it definitely falls in line with the mod vibe most of the hotels around Nashville have. This hotel is a lot quieter and definitely somewhere I would suggest if you want to be a little more removed from the Nashville hustle and bustle. I believe there is also a cool rooftop here but I have yet to explore it.
This hotel has gotten so much press recently because of the giant bus on top of the roof! There's a giant Airstream bus on top of The Bobby which always seems to draw quite the crowd to the rooftop bar. The Bobby has a really nice restaurant and cute and quaint little cafe in side. The vibe is very Miami as I like to describe it. It's a place businessmen stay during the week and out of town crowds frequent on the weekends. There is also a dog that stays on the property so make sure you say hello to him if you stop by!
The Stay Alfred property at 505 is never quite on the weekends! The 505 is a gorgeous new condo/apartment building with a select few hotel rooms actually built into the property. I would recommend this hotel if you are visiting Nashville when it's not pool season because it can get extremely crowded. The hotel operates kind of like an Airbnb and has fully furnished apartments available for short term stay. There aren't many of these rooms and they tend to go rather quickly so make sure you act now and make those reservations!
Below are some options if you're looking to stay in a more walkable area to different restaurants.
The Westin definitely has a more corporate vibe and feel to it. If you're looking to stay in a more boutique environment, then I would say some of the hotels mentioned above are probably a better fit. Most of them are very new and are extremely unique to the Nashville vibe. The Westin does have a really cool rooftop bar called L27 that is discussed a little further down. I absolutely love this rooftop bar and if you plan on spending a lot of time at a rooftop and want a fun vibe, the Westin is a great option!
I've not yet been to the JW Marriott because it has been under construction for quite some time. It's finally finished and I cannot wait to check it out. It has a really cool observation deck which I think makes this hotel much more unique than the others. Although they're really cool, it can get repetitive when everything is a rooftop or decorated in the same way. I think the fact that we have a really unique observation deck now in the city will make this hotel a popular destination!
Once you check in, I'm sure you'll be starving. You're in luck because Nashville has really stepped up its game to create some awesome restaurants for dinner. Depending on what you want to eat, we have pretty much everything so the choice should be fairly easy for you to make because everything is good. For dinner, there are so many amazing new restaurants in Nashville that is is so incredibly hard to narrow it down!
I would recommend doing dinner in the Gulch for your first night. It's still downtown and a great way to ease into the city scene without it being so overwhelming. Actual downtown Nashville still has a ways to go as far as creating good restaurants. There are a few good restaurants downtown but again, downtown can get a little overwhelming on the weekends so its a really good idea to go into it with a plan to make sure you don't get super overwhelmed.
You can click on each heading below to view their menu options.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Nashville. If you're traveling with women or a big group of girls, you must go here because it creates the most perfect Instagram aesthetic. Everything is very gold and feminine. Not to mention, the food is incredible. For those of you who don't know, I spent some time in Peru and absolutely fell in love with the culture, primarily because of the cuisine. Peruvian food is so good and I'm glad Nashville has finally added Peruvian to our already overwhelming list of options.
If you're wanting to try the hottest Asian restaurant in town, you must go to Sunda. Especially if you are staying in the Gulch, Sunda is extremely walk able. The food is amazing, but be prepared to spend a pretty penny for the full experience!
Tansuo is by far my favorite Asian restaurant in Nashville. Most people prefer Sunda, I think solely due to the location of the restaurant. However, in my opinion, Tansuo offers a much more intimate vibe and feel. The booths in the restaurant and authentic decor really make for quite the experience. If you have ever been to Buddakan in New York City, the vibe is incredibly similar to that restaurant.
I have only been to Mockingbird once and it was incredibly good. The restaurant itself was quite small so if you want to be in a larger space, I would recommend one of the other options. If you care more about the food you're eating that the vibe around you then I would suggest definitely considering giving Mockingbird a try! It's more southern food and it's impossible to go wrong with a menu like theirs!
An intimate vibe with an open deck, the food is more american with a twist and has a gorgeous view of the skyline. I love Adeles because it has the ability to be a fancy restaurant where you might go for a special occasion while maintaining a casual vibe. The food is absolutely incredible and I would highly recommend the gnocchi or the jw chicken.
The M Street restaurants are such great food. I'm not going to go into each one in detail because I don't want to overwhelm anyone with restaurant options. I've linked the menus to each of these and tried to give a little blurb about each one. These are also in the Gulch so if you stay at The Thompson you can easily walk to these restaurants.
- Virago - an amazing sushi restaurant with a very wide variety of options
- Moto - a new spin on Italian, they used to have blueberry lasagna and I'm still salty they look it off the menu - they have interesting menu options
- San Anejo - a really good Mexican restaurant - would be fun to grab a margarita here and hang out at the bar
- Kayne Prime - if you love steak you will love this restaurant - must get the cotton candy bacon
There are two main areas in Nashville to go out in. There's the actual downtown area where all the honky tonks are and touristy activities take place. I would suggest doing a touristy night on Friday and hitting Broadway to really experience the honky tonk scene one night. Saturday would be a great day to do more of the local activities at night.
This is another multi story bar with different themes on each level.
The name says it all, this bar was designed by Florida Georgia Line and definitely allows for a good time! There's a floor at the very bottom that turns into a nightclub, so beware!
I have not yet been to this bar but I've heard it is a lot of fun and quite similar to FGL House
If you want a New Orleans kind of feel, take a little stroll into Printer's Alley. This historic part of Nashville is one of the only places you can see a burlesque show and karaoke all in the same alley.
This is a little hidden gem and a place where many locals attend. You want to get there pretty early if you plan on getting in because the wait can tend to be hours long! It's a super cool speak easy vibe and really reminds me of several spots in New York City. It has a very exclusive feel to it and the drink menu is like a book with so many different options.
If you want something a little more low key, the rooftop bars are really fun - to be honest, that is definitely more of my vibe anyway. However, there's nothing to say you can't do both!
Breakfast is always a bit of a struggle in Nashville. We really have a shortage of good places to go that aren't completely overcrowded.
My favorite restaurant for breakfast is Biscuit Love. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to get into this venue for breakfast. There's normally a line wrapped around the block for Biscuit Love so unless you're extremely dedicated to getting up and being first in line, I would stray away from here. However, if you're a foodie and really want to experience it, I would say it is worth the wait, or getting up super early.
The Pancake Pantry is well known for being the best breakfast in Nashville. It's been around since 1961 and its rare to drive by and not see a line out the door that wraps about a block. I would have to say that Biscuit Love rivals the Pancake Pantry, but I've been told I'm completely crazy for saying so!
Milk and Honey is usually a good bet if you don't want to wait in a ridiculous line outside! Its definitely my favorite place when I don't want to wait in line because the food is so good and the space is large enough to where you feel like you're not on top of each other. It's just a short walk down from Biscuit Love in the Gulch.
Afternoon and Evening
I've only been to Top Golf once and I have to say, it was such a fun experience! If you're coming to Nashville with family or co-workers, Top Golf is such a fun experience. I went with a group of people from work on a Fall day and although I was pretty awful at golf it was so much fun!
Pinewood Social is a must see place if you come to Nashville. It is one of the older places in Nashville (older meaning like 8 years old) but it's one of my favorite spots. I recently took my dad there and we had so much fun eating food while watching people bowl. Fun fact: I saw Kings of Leon in there in college and ever since then I keep going back hoping I'll run into them! Stupid, I know. In all seriousness, it is a super cool place to unwind and relax while maybe bowling a game or two.
This is a brand new place in Nashville and I'm so lucky I got in to try it when I did! It is a very "secret" venue where dressing up is an absolute must. The guys are required to wear a jacket (no jeans allowed) and the women have to wear cocktail attire. The food was ok but it really didn't matter because the drinks and atmosphere were incredible! If you go, you must see a magic show. I was super bummed I didn't get to see the show when we went, so I'll have to go back soon.
This place is so good and definitely a good spot to try if you've been out super late the night before. If you want an overwhelming abundance of biscuits and brunch food topped with mimosas, you need to try The Row! They also have an amazing Bloody Mary bar if you are a Blood Mary fan!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend and enjoyed this blog post with all things Nashville. If you can't tell, Nashville is definitely one of my favorite cities. I have traveled quite a bit and there's a reason why I love to call this place home. There's also a reason why so many people are moving here every day! It's one of the greatest cities in the world and has a hospitality and southern charm you just won't find anywhere else.
If you want to learn more about the music scene in Nashville, make sure you check out Connor's blog to learn all about music in Nashville!