With over 32 bars/honky tonks within ¼ mile stretch of road known as Honky Tonk Highway, countless party buses/tractors/trailers/boats and pedal taverns, as well has being home to 2 major league sports teams (NHL Predators and NFL Titans), it’s easy to see why over 16 million people choose Nashville as their vacation destination each year. And in recent years, the city has also dethroned Las Vegas as “The Bachelorette Party Capital Of The US”! Needless to say, Nashville is a good time just waiting to happen! And while there is a whole lot more to Nashville than neon lights, country music, and bachelorette parties, we also know that most people are drawn to the city for those exact things. Since we live in Nashville, we wanted to put together what we think is a good balance of tourist activities and local spots to make the perfect itinerary for your first time in Music City!
*Check out our "Tennessee: 1 Day in Nashville" travel vlog for a closer look at our time in this amazing city!
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6:30 pm: Dinner at Hattie B’s (112 19th Ave S)
You can’t come to Nashville without having the city's most famous dish… Hot Chicken! And if you’re going to try it, you may as well try the best! You can’t go wrong with any of the 4 Nashville locations, but if you want to have your first Nashville Hot Chicken experience in the original location, you’ll have to head to the Midtown location.
8:30 pm: Writer’s Round at The Listening Room Cafe (618 4th Ave. S)
There are a lot of places to listen to live music in Nashville, but if you’re wanting a one of a kind experience, The Listening Room is a must! They host writer’s rounds, which is when 3-4 of the writers of the hit songs that you’ve heard your favorite artists perform get on stage and tell the stories behind the songs and perform them in an intimate, stripped down setting. It is by far one of our favorite things to do in Nashville and we always recommend it to anyone when they come to town! Especially country music lovers! Be sure to buy your tickets in advance as shows tend to sell out!
8:30 am: Coffee/Breakfast at Barista Parlor (610 Magazine St)
You’ll learn that there are only a few things that Nashville loves as much as country music… hot chicken, tacos, and coffee! And for coffee, there are an abundance of great shops, but the one that tends to get the most attention is Barista Parlor. They have excellent coffee and specialty drinks (i.e. the Bourbon Vanilla Latte) as well as a delicious selection of pastries from Nashville’s Brightside Bakeshop. There are 4 locations around Nashville, each with their own special charm and decor, but since our next suggestion is to explore The Gulch, we suggest going to the Golden Sound location!
9:30 am: Explore The Gulch
Kittenish (Jessie James Decker’s store)
Uncommon James (Kristen Cavalari’s store)
Two Old Hippies
The Gulch is an upscale neighborhood known for its chic hotels, high-end fashion boutiques, and trendsetting restaurants. If shopping is your thing, then this might be the highlight of the trip for you, but even if you’re not into shopping, it’s still worth a visit. Bonus tip for shoppers: After The Gulch, you should head to the Green Hills Mall. It’s got all of the designer fashion shops you’re looking for!
11:00 am: Explore 12 South
“I Believe in Nashville” mural
Amelia's Flower Truck
Draper James (Reese Witherspoon’s store)
The original Frothy Monkey (coffee shop)
12 South is similar to The Gulch if you replaced the Wings Mural with the “I Believe in Nashville” Mural, the shiny, high-rise buildings with charming bungalow style homes, and add in a few quirky vintage boutiques and music stores. There are lots of restaurants and coffee shops as well that are worth a visit!
1:00 pm: Centennial Park (2500 West End Ave)
Located on West End and 25th Avenue North, the 132 acre Centennial Park is one of Nashville's premier parks. It features the iconic Parthenon, a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, a band shell, an events shelter, sand volleyball courts, dog park, and an exercise trail. Thousands of people visit the park each year to visit the museum, see exhibits, attend festivals, and just enjoy the beauty of the park. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon!
If you find yourself in Nashville on a rainy day or the weather just isn’t ideal for outdoor activities, another option during this time would be to go to the Country Music Hall of Fame (222 Rep. John Lewis Way S). We’ve done it numerous times and have enjoyed it every time! You can check ticket prices and availability HERE.
3:00 pm: Late Lunch at Slim & Husky’s (5056 Broadway Pl)
Slim & Husky’s is one of our favorite pizza places here in town. It’s a “build your own pizza” style place (think Subway/Chipotle) with locally sourced ingredients! They offer two sizes of pizza… slim and husky! If you don’t want to build your own, they have menu items that you can choose from! The entire menu is hip-hop themed featuring pizzas like the “Cee No Green”, “Got 5 On It”, “California Love”, and “Nothing But A “V” Thang”! They even have an in-house cinnamon roll bakery with rolls like the “Halle Berry”, “Cookie Monsta”, and “Ninja Tartle”! There are 3 locations around Nashville, with the original one at 911 Buchanan St, but for the sake of this itinerary and trying not to have you running all over town, we recommend going to the 5056 Broadway Pl location.
The Nash Collection
State & Liberty
Cotton & Snow
Whisk Crepes Cafe
Any time we visit a new city, we love to find a good food hall or market and try everything that we can! 5th & Broadway/Assembly Food Hall has an excellent selection of Nashville local spots where you can get a taste of what this city is all about! Plus, after you’ve indulged in some delicious desserts (or savory treats) 5th & Broadway offers tons of great shopping for the entire family!
If shopping and dessert aren’t necessarily your thing, you can always head right across the street and take a tour of the legendary Ryman Auditorium (116 5th Ave N)! Just be sure to buy your tickets in advance as they can sell out quickly!
6:00 pm: Honkey Tonkin’/Explore Broadway
Robert’s Western World
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
Acme Feed & Seed
Casa Rosa (Miranda Lambert)
FGL House (Florida Georgia Line)
Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar
Ole Red (Blake Shelton)
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
Luke’s 32 Bridge (Luke Bryan)
AJ’s Good Time Bar (Alan Jackson)
Redneck Riviera (John Rich)
Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk & Steakhouse
The moment you’ve all waited for… HONKY TONKS!! It’s no secret that most people that visit Nashville spend 90% of their time here on the Honky Tonk Highway. With over 32 bars/honky tonks packed into a ¼ mile stretch of Broadway Street, it can be overwhelming! Our best suggestion? Bar hop! There’s no way to figure out which one is your favorite if you don’t try them all, right?! Lol… But seriously, if you’re not loving the music, ambience, or vibe at one spot… head to the next! There is an abundance of options, so there’s no excuse for not finding at least one place that you love! Our favorite honky tonk on Broadway is Robert’s Western World. They have the best music, the cheapest beer, and they serve great food from the grill including their famous “Recession Special” — a fried bologna sandwich, chips, a PBR, AND a Moon Pie for just $6! As we say around here... You can’t beat that with a stick!
11:00 pm: Late Night Dinner at Dino’s Bar (411 Gallatin Ave)
Assuming you didn’t fill up Recession Special’s at Robert’s Western World, you’re probably gonna be pretty hungry after a night of honky tonkin’, and there’s no better place to replenish those calories that you danced off than Dino’s Bar! As East Nashville’s oldest dive bar, Dino’s stays true to its roots. Serving classic burgers and fries and has become known across the country for the “Dino’s Cheeseburger”! Voted Top 3 Burgers in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine and visited by the one and only, Anthony Bourdain for his “Parts Unknown” show in 2016, Dino’s is a must visit place when in Nashville!
9:00 am: Coffee/Breakfast
Crema, Coffee Roasters
8th & Roast
Where you’re staying in town will determine the most convenient option for breakfast/ coffee on your last morning in Music City, but you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. If you’re waking up and having to head straight to the airport to catch a flight home, Barista Parlor and 8th & Roast both have airport locations in concourse C (Barista Parlor) and D (8th & Roast).
10:30 am: Head Home!
And that’s how you make the most of your time here in Nashville! We hope that this itinerary helps you plan your next visit to our Music City! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have and tag us in your Nashville adventures on Instagram @AdventuresofMattandNat!
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