What to Eat, See, & Do In Nashville
Last week Matt and I had the chance to sneak away to Nashville for the first time ever! Thanks to the amazing recommendations from our readers, we were able to jam a lot of fun (and food!) into our short stay in this charming city. I figured others may find themselves planning a quick trip to Nashville someday too, which is why I’m sharing what we did, ate, and saw while we were there.
Unfortunately, we were only there for a few days! I feel like we got a great flavor of the city, but still had a lot of great recommendations we didn’t get to. So I decided to not only share what we loved from our trip, but all the recommendations we received from our readers in hopes that this information will help others planning their own Nashville vacay!
What We Did in Nashville
Cheers on Broadway
We grabbed a few drinks and explored the bars along Broadway and had such a blast! I loved the open-air bars paired with the live country music. My favorite bar was probably Honky Tonks. We sat on the third floor and watched Broadway from above while we enjoyed drinks and delicious apps.
Explore 12 South
This neighborhood right outside of downtown Nashville was adorable and definitely one of the highlights of the trip. This “main street” was sprinkled with adorable restaurants, ice-cream shops, bakeries and cute shopping…. including Reese Witherspoon’s famous Draper James. If you’re looking for the “I believe in Nashville” wall art, you can find that here too! You can’t miss it right next to the amazing blue and white striped wall art of Draper James.
Tour Grand Ole Opry
The tour at the Grand Ole Opry was $26 per person and totally worth the expense. As much as I really like country music, I didn’t know much about the Grand Ole Opry or the extensive history behind it before touring here. But after taking the tour, which includes standing on stage and seeing all of the dressing rooms, I was a lot more knowledgeable and appreciative of this “hall of fame” of sorts. If you take the 20-minute drive to see the Grand Ole Opry, I recommend investing in the 45-minute tour! Even Matt loved it.
Walk the Pedestrian Bridge
If you’re in downtown Nashville you can’t miss the pedestrian bridge that runs over the Cumberland River and provides a view of Nashville’s skyline. Plus it leads right to the Tennessee Titans stadium. If you have a sports fan with you like I did, this walk may give you some major brownie points!
Check out the Stadiums
Being from Chicago where all of the stadiums are so spread out, I loved seeing that Nashville’s hockey and football stadium were BLOCKS away from each other! We didn’t take a tour of either, but we did check them out while we were there. They’re both so conveniently located it’s hard not to.
Bowl, Swim or Enjoy Dinner at Pinewood Social
One of the places that we got lots of recommendations for is Pinewood Social. I’ve seen this trendy place on social media, and I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed when I visited it in person. Everything about it was SO CUTE!
We had drinks outside on the patio and enjoyed the views of the small pool, ping-pong/bocce ball games, and airstream outside. I didn’t snap a pic, but their frozen drinks looked amazing! Then we came in to enjoy our meal, which was delicious. And if you have a whole group, you have to check out the bowling alley inside the restaurant. There aren’t many lanes available, so I would definitely recommend calling for reservations.
Drive to Franklin, TN
This excursion took us outside of Nashville, but because it was one of our favorite parts of our trip I still wanted to include it here. We drove to eat breakfast at the famous Loveless Cafe and then took the historic Nachez Trace through the tiny town of Leaper’s Fork and then to Franklin, TN.
Franklin is the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, but now looks like the most adorable southern small town. It’s clean, has some fun shops/restaurants, and was beyond charming. If you love the small town feel, this 30+ minute drive is well worth checking out! Rumor has it that a lot of the country stars (even Justin Timberlake) have houses out in Leaper’s Fork and Franklin.
What We Ate
Breakfast – Biscuit Love
Biscuit Love received more recommendations than any other Nashville hotspot, so I knew I needed to check it out and it did not disappoint. If you LOVE biscuits, you need to check out this affordable and casual breakfast spot. You can get a homemade southern biscuit in just about any breakfast dish… even french toast!
Breakfast – Loveless Cafe
Loveless Cafe was about a 20-minute drive outside of downtown Nashville, but we had to check it out because it’s so iconic. This old-fashioned place reminded me of delicious southern cooking served up at grandma’s kitchen. It’s quaint, affordable, and was oozing with tradition. Plus they serve “supper!” if you want to check out that area later in the day instead.
Doughnuts – Five Daughters Bakery
This colorful doughnut shop was in the 12 south neighborhood and any bakery that has a to-go window for doughnuts is a must-see in my book. They’re known for their hundred layer doughnuts and there are lots of unique flavors to choose from.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
I’m not a fried chicken lover, but Matt is a connoisseur and he described this chicken as some of the best he has EVER had. This is on Broadway, but a few miles from the bars. It’s only about a block away from Vanderbilt so you can check out campus if you stop at Hattie B’s. But make sure you allow enough time because this hotspot can get pretty crowded!
There are a few Edley’s BBQs in Nashville, but we went to the one in 12 South. It was great food and we really enjoyed the casual atmosphere. Plus we saw Edley’s was ranked on many lists of “Nashville’s Best BBQ” so we had to try it.
Like I said before, we loved the atmosphere of Pinewood Social but we also really liked the food. I had a sandwich and Matt had Fish & Chips and both were delicious. Plus there are a lot of fun drinks to try. They have a different menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so definitely worth checking out any time of the day!
Where We Stayed
We stayed in this amazing AirBnB in East Nashville. If you’re looking for a place to stay, I HIGHLY recommend it. The host, Jason, is very welcoming and he has thought of everything you could ever need as a guest. He left out maps, Goo Goo chocolate, every flavor of coffee we would’ve ever wanted, and even had a stockpile of travel size essentials in case we forgot them. It was by far the best AirBnB I’ve ever stayed in, and probably the cheapest one too!
The place only sleeps two people, but it was the perfect size for the two of us. Not to mention the entire place is GORGEOUS! I mean, can you even with that oversized barn door and lamp #swoonworthy
What Our Readers Recommended
Here are the recommendations we received from our readers, which may come in handy when making your Nashville plan! I wish we had enough time to hit them all up!
- Cocktails at Public House
- Tacos at Mas Tacos or Bar Taco
- Holland House (eats)
- Lockland Table (eats)
- Jack’s BBQ (eats)
- Rippys (eats)
- Rolf & Daughters (great pasta)
- Fifth & Taylor (dinner & drinks on the patio)
- Pedal Tavern (drinks/something to do)
- Bar Crawl down Broadway (drinks/something to do)
- Check out the local bars just off Broadway (drinks)
If you’re headed to Nashville soon, hopefully, you can find some recommendations in today’s post to help you plan your own stay. And if we have fellow Nashville lovers (or locals!) tuning in, please feel free to add anything I missed in the comments below.
Before I sign off for the weekend I can’t help but stop and say THANK YOU one last time for sharing your advice with me! You guys are always willing to share your expertise with us and I’m so grateful for all of your support!
Your advice helped make our Nashville trip a huge success. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have all of you in our lives. Thank you for being YOU; your kindness, positivity, and willingness to always help is very much appreciated!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.