TIME TO BOOT, SCOOT & BOOGIE ON DOWN TO NASHVILLE!
Nashville was our 2014 4th of July destination after we heard they hosted one of the best fire work shows in the nation. We drove the 6 hours from Chicago and spent our 3 day weekend in the country music hotspot. I was a little worried I have to admit, My boyfriend is not a fan of country music. To my surprise, Nashville has SO much more to offer than just country bars and country music. We ended up having such a fun weekend and loving the famous Tenneese city. We stayed at the Hermitage (a hotel created to mimic Andrew Jackson’s plantation- not a budget hotel, but I liked the history behind it).
As soon as we arrived, we headed to Pucketts…and went back to Pucketts multiple times. We loved the southern comfort vibe, the staff were super friendly and the food was tasty. (And the drinks served in mason jars added a great touch). We went into a few shops on Brosdway, although it was extremely crowded because of the 4th of July Festival, watched a spectacular fire work show and then called it a night as we were beat from the drive.
The next day we had breakfast at Pucketts and then drove about 10 minutes to visit the replica of the Parthenon at Centennial Park. It is interesting to see the full scale replica and Athena is the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western Hemisphere, but I would not say this was a “must” of the trip. We headed to East Nashville, hit a few shops, ate at this awesome hot dog stand called “I dream of Weenie” and had amazing ice cream at Pied Piper Creamery. We headed back downtown and paid a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and walked around that area (we did not pay to go through any buildings, but they are all in the same general vicinity for those interested). We took a walk around the beautiful State Capitol Building (definitely worth checking out at least the outside) and headed to our hotel to freshen up.
That night we started at Tootsies Orchid Lounge, which had live music (primarily country) and a great outdoor/roof style bar with an awesome view of the city. This bar was very convenient for us to meet people. Then we headed to Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar– which we loved. This was my first time at a blues bar, and the singers were amazing. The Cajun food was tasty as well (This bar does charge a $10 cover after a certain time, even if you are eating). We had some brats outside of the boogie bar afterward, along with doughnuts from a random little shop we stumbled upon (clearly this was not my healthiest of trips).
So the famous Big and Rich song “Save a horse, ride a cowboy” finally made sense to me. “Riding up & down Broadway on my old stud Leroy”…..Broadway is the Main Street (aka “Music Row”) with all of the bars, listening cafes, & restaurants…basically where you will find all the action. (The Bourbon St of New Orleans)
We woke up on our last morning and grabbed ice cream at Mike’s Ice Cream and then drove to the Nashville Farmers Market. I picked up some bananas, beef steak tomatoes and natural argan oil for my hair. To our surprise, we were not able to get fresh cooked food like we were expecting – they have a food court but this food did not have any connection to the food at the farmers market (it was separated by indoor and outdoor space). We hopped in our car and headed back to Chicago. While the 6 hour drive was not pleasant, the Tenneesee half sure is beautiful!
The parking next to the state Capitol building is free on Friday after business hours and on weekends; it is slightly challenging to explain where it is via text, but you can easily find it on a map or call the capitol’s guest services and they can explain where it is. This will save the $40 parking charged by some hotels) There are also parking garages all over which will be much cheaper and maybe more convenient depending on where you stay.
Don’t forget your boots!