TGIM, friends! I am so excited you stopped by today because I’m sharing all about our Nashville trip a couple of weeks ago! The initial reason we traveled to Nashville was for a family wedding. However, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to explore Nashville. Travis and I had been to Nashville once before, but it was for another wedding and we had a baby in tow. So, you can imagine we didn’t see too much. This time we were excited to take it all in over a long weekend in Nashville.
Thanks to some family members that live in Nashville and thanks to so many of you, we had a wonderful list of recommendations to work off of! Of course there are things we didn’t get around to seeing and there are most definitely fabulous restaurants we did not have time to try. But, what we did see and do and try was amazing and a great template for any of you that might be spending a long weekend in Nashville!
I am going to go through our recommendations by each day to make it easy to follow. There are quite a bit of restaurants, places to see, etc. that I did not include in this travel guide. So, if you want more info on a specific topic (coffee shops, restaurants, etc.), just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS – a lot of you asked me for kid-friendly places in Nashville, so I’ve put a “**” next to each restaurant or activity that’s kid-friendly
Thursday was a travel day for us. We took a morning flight to Nashville and landed by noon.
LUNCH: The Pharmacy **kid friendly**
By the time we got to Nashville, we were starving. We wanted a lunch spot that was casual, had good food (we were craving burgers), and good beer. So, The Pharmacy was an easy answer. It’s a great casual place with community style tables indoors and a wonderful patio area with seating outdoors. It is definitely kid friendly and also a great place to day drink if you don’t have kids with you.
They are known for their burgers, but their sides are so good, too! We loved the cole slaw (I’m a huge fan) and they do not disappoint when it comes to the amount of fries you get if that’s your side. I would say one side of fries is enough for two people. They also have a great beer menu and we all got to try some beer from local breweries.
DRINKS: L.A. Jackson
This is a must do if you go to Nashville. It’s relatively new too, I believe. What’s cool about L.A. Jackson is that it’s a rooftop cocktail bar located on the top of a very chic hotel. The bar/restaurant is half indoors and half outdoors. It is located just south of the city, so you get an amazing view of the city itself. Great photo opp! The outdoor seating isn’t fully shaded, but once the sun goes down it’s incredible. We had the privilege of sitting outdoors and loved the people watching and all the drinks! They are known for their cocktails and of course we had some Froze.
LA Jackson hotel also houses Killebrew coffee – a must stop if you’re a coffee buff!
EXPLORATION: The Gulch // wings mural
Once we left LA Jackson, we decided to stay and explore the area. This area of town is known as “The Gulch” – one of Nashville’s premier urban neighborhoods We stopped by a local market outdoors and took pictures in front of the infamous wings mural. It’s a neat little neighborhood with a good mix of local and chain shops.
DINNER: Butcher & Bee
This is a recommendation we got from multiple locals and every one of them strongly urged us to try it. They also told us to try the “whipped feta” and I’m so glad they did! This dinner is more of an adult place and it was wonderful. Some of their plates are small enough to be served family style, while others are large enough to be an entree. We did several small plates as appetizers and then the larger plates as individual entrees. Here is a sample of the menu of you’re interested.
So what do you order? Most definitely get the Whipped Feta as an appetizer. Y’all, it’s like a little slice of heaven. You’ll be dreaming about it for days. I had the gnocchi and loved it and most of the guys had the lamb. I honestly don’t think we ordered one thing that we didn’t like. It’s that good.
the only picture we got from LA Jackson // shop my $55 dress here
the cutest flower truck from a local market
the infamous “whipped feta” from Butcher & Bee
BREAKFAST: Frothy Monkey **kid friendly**
For breakfast we had Frothy Monkey. This is a major hot spot located right by both campuses. It’s really neat because you’ll see a mix of locals, students, and tourists. My advice is to get there real early because the line gets long quickly. I’m talking about a 45 minute wait. But, it’s worth every minute of waiting. We all ordered our favorite coffee beverages, but agreed the lattes were a must have. For food we ordered an assortment of scones and muffins and all shared. So. Good.
It’s also located in one of my favorite areas “12 South,” that’s full of shopping and good food. We only ate here for breakfast and afternoon coffee, but they serve wine, too, if you need a little break from shopping in the PM.
EXPLORATION: Lynchburg, Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Once we had some food in our bellies, we hopped in the car and drove to Lynchburg to tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Lynchburg is a really neat little town and has a cute town square to explore. Once we got to Lynchburg we popped in and out of shops for a while and I of course got some candy for the girls from an old fashioned-type candy store.
LUNCH: Barrel House BBQ **kid friendly**
We were craving good BBQ and lucky for us, Lynchburg has several great BBQ options. We decided on Barrel House and loved it. This is a great place for kids because it house a great outdoor area (a shaded part, too) and some fun outdoor games. Food-wise you really can’t go wrong. However, if you go, you HAVE to order the ribs. They’re ridiculously good!
EXPLORATION: Tour of Jack Daniel’s Distillery
I know not everyone is a whiskey person, but I’m telling you, every single person would enjoy this tour. The history behind the brand and the process of how it’s made is truly incredible! Did you know all of Jack Daniel’s whiskey is made in that one county? Kind of crazy!
If you like whiskey, I highly recommend taking the tour that has the tasting at the end. It was so neat to learn about how each type of whiskey was made and then get to sample it. NOTE: make your appointment ahead of time and then be sure to show up early to check in for your tour.
Before dinner, we stopped at Bakersfield for drinks (they have over 100 tequila options). We ordered a pitcher of margaritas (what they’re known for), and we were not disappointed. Y’all, their margarita rivals some of the margaritas I’ve had in Texas! And that’s saying something! I also highly recommend getting the queso, too. We got seconds… it was that good.
DINNER: Desano **kid friendly**
For dinner we were all craving something more casual so we opted for one of the most recommended pizza spots – Desano. Desano serves neapolitan pizza and it is oh-so-good. Do note that their website makes it look slightly more upscale than it is. It’s definitely super casual and I’m not sure we were expecting that initially. It’s one large room with picnic style community tables. Despite it being more casual than we anticipated, I still highly recommend the pizza. It’s fabulous and a great, casual, affordable dinner option.
EVENING: broadway/Honky Tonk Highway
After a casual dinner we headed down to broadway for some drinks and country music. I don’t have any specific recommendations here, but I think that’s the beauty of Broadway. I would advise just popping in and out of bars. We started at one end and made our way to the other going in and out of places. It was so fun to listen to all different styles of live music. I highly recommend doing this one night! We were joking that it feels like a tamer Bourbon Street, haha.
headed to Jack Daniel’s Distillery
our family in front of the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House
my most comfortable travel outfit
BREAKFAST: Frothy Monkey **kid friendly**
What can I say, we’re creatures of habit from time to time. We needed another quick-type breakfast this morning to we headed back to a quick favorite, the Frothy Monkey.
EXPLORATION: Centennial Park **kid friendly**
Trav insisted on us seeing Centennial Park as it’s one of Nashville’s best parks. I wasn’t that pumped initially, but quickly changed my tune once we got there. Y’all, it’s huge! Again, this is a great place to see a mix of locals, students, and tourists. There are kids playing on the playground, people playing frisbee in the large field, and people exploring the Parthenon. That’s right, I said Parthenon. The Parthenon is in the center of the park and an exact replica of the one in Athens, Greece. It seems odd, but it was build for the 1897 Centennial Exposition. It now serves an an art museum.
LUNCH: Taqueria del Sol **kid friendly**
For lunch we met some college friends at Taqueria del Sol for the best tacos! This is one of those places that you really can’t go wrong with any option. I will say, if you love enchiladas, definitely get the lemon cream sauce.
EXPLORATION: Nashville mural
After lunch we walked around a bit and took pictures in front of the famous “I believe in Nashville” mural on 12 South. It’s a must do!
DINNER: Mere Bulles **older kids**
We spent Saturday night at the rehearsal dinner for our cousin. Lucky for us, it was hosted at one of the best, most historic steak restaurants in Nashville. Opened in 1985, Mere Bulles is known for it’s steak and champagne. The restaurant is in The Mansion of Maryland Manor that was built in 1942. We had their infamous steak for dinner, but they’re also known for their lobster bisque. NOTE: if you want to eat here on your trip I recommend calling ahead for a reservation.
EVENING: Old Glory
After dinner we went to one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to – Old Glory. Believe it or not, the bar is located in the boiler room of one of the largest steam cleaning facilities in Nashville. Think exposed brick walls, 70+ foot ceiling, and 1920s decor with a modern twist.
BREAKFAST: Proper Bagel **kid friendly**
This was a cheat breakfast for all of us. This is also another one of those places that forms a 45+ minute line almost instantly, so get there as early as you can. Just like Frothy Monkey, Proper Bagel is the perfect mix of locals, students, and tourists. Oh, and the food? Oh my word.
The food is so dang good. The food options range from bagel sandwiches, bagels with homemade butter, or bagels with custom cream cheese. The neat thing about Proper Bagel is how it’s set up. All the cream cheeses are set up like ice cream in an ice cream parlor. There are large mounds of cream cheese behind a glass counter. It’s so neat!
If you’re not a bagel person, at least go for the decor. The black and white decor motif with gold accents is refreshingly modern. You’ll love it!
EXPLORATION: 12 South
Some of us spent the morning on 12 South. It’s a great little area full of fun shops and good food. The shops I would recommend checking out are White Mercantile, Draper James, Emerson | Grace, Imogene & Willie, and Summer Classics.
LUNCH: Butchertown Hall **could take kids here, but it wouldn’t be my top choice to bring my kids**
EXPLORATION: 12 South // Jeni’s ice cream
After lunch, we spent the afternoon shopping in 12 South again since part of our crew didn’t get to check it out in the morning. We also had the most delicious ice cream! Whenever we would ask people what their favorite thing to do in Nashville was, the first thing out of their mouth was almost always “Jeni’s Ice Cream.” Y’all, it’s so good! I had the froze ice cream, but you honestly can’t go wrong with any flavor. They have a lot of original flavors and unique ones as well! The line forms fast though, so try to go at an off hour!
DINNER: wedding festivities
Sunday evening my cousin got married, so we spent the evening celebrating him and his new wife. If we hadn’t gone to the wedding, some other dinner options to try would be Lockeland Table, Two Ten Jack, Rolf & Daughters, or Pinewood Social.
We spent our last morning packing up, so we just ate breakfast at home. One place I would recommend though based off of everyone’s recommendations is Biscuit Love. We weren’t able to make it there, but heard nothing but the very best.
EXPLORATION: mural hopping
Our last morning was spent mural hopping. We of course headed back to Draper James to take pictures by the famous Nashville mural and the blue and white wall on the side of Draper James. We then headed across town to take pictures in front of a pink and white wall (no shock, haha). For a complete guide to Nashville’s best and most picture-worthy murals, check out this blog post.
Of course we couldn’t leave Nashville without trying hot chicken. Because we were already in the Neighborhood, we had lunch at Tenn16. They (like several other places) are known for their hot chicken. We weren’t quite sure what to expect. I honestly thought it might be too hot and I love spicy food. We were pleasantly surprised though! It was so good and definitely tolerable! I highly recommend trying it!
If you’re not much of a spicy person, our runner-up restaurant was Burger Up.
After lunch our trip came to an end and we headed back to the airport to fly home! All in all, we had a fabulous trip. I kept telling my cousin who lives in Nashville that I wanted to move to Nashville. It’s the perfect size city and it’s so lush! There are trees everywhere and the quaintest little neighborhoods. We drove around neighborhoods quite a bit and I recommend doing that as well!
I hope you find this travel guide helpful for a long weekend in Nashville. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or email me!