It’s always exciting to be able to choose a seat on a flight instead of having one assigned to you. (Use the amazing Skyscanner app or website to find great deals!) But it’s also hard to know who is going to make the flight fun and who is going to start yelling at the flight attendant 10 minutes after departure (that has happened before). As soon as I chose my seat on the plane from LAX and the two people around me started talking to me, I had a feeling that I was going to love Nashville. There were only middle seats left, so I picked a seat between two guys who looked like they had showered recently and wouldn’t make the next 4 hours of my life miserable. They turned out to be such nice guys and it was great to talk and laugh with them during my flight. They were from Nashville of course, and talking to them made me so excited to land and start exploring!
Luckily I have a friend, Tori, who I have known since 4th grade that lives in Nashville. I took this trip to go visit her. Tori goes to Belmont University, and it’s her 4th year living there so I knew I would be in good hands. She is always posting pictures of the free country concerts she is front row at and all of the other fun things that she does in Nashville. Free and country concerts are two of my favorite things; I knew I would love it there! I’ve been wanting to visit her since she moved, and I knew I had to make sure to go before we graduated college and everyone moved back home!
I was lucky enough to have a place to stay in Nashville, but if I wasn’t there visiting a friend, I definitely would have stayed at an Airbnb– my favorite way to feel at home in a new city and meet the locals!
When I landed in Nashville, Tennessee, as I was walking through the airport, there was a woman singing and playing guitar in one of the restaurants. I thought that was so cool. It made me happy and excited for what was to come during my weekend in Music City!
Here are some Nashville nightlife, historic, outdoors, and shopping must sees:
Downtown Nashville- Downtown Nashville is the #1 stop that everyone needs to make. Although this is the tourist part of town, it is so much fun. The street is lined with neon lights, bars, restaurants, fun people, and statues of giant cowboy boots. We spent almost everyday on my trip there at some point!
Wildhorse Saloon– If you have read my other posts, you would know that line dancing is my thing. When I’m home, it’s my #1 source of entertainment. With that being said, I was really excited to go dancing in downtown Nashville! There was a $6 cover on a Friday night. It’s a pretty big place, but there weren’t a ton of people and no one there knows how to dance. Besides the instructor, there were 4 other people dancing. Also, they only line dance and they don’t two step. The band that night played almost only pop music. The line dances that they did do were very easy for anyone who knows how to line dance. They had one line dance lesson while we were there. I’m glad I can now say that I have been line dancing in Nashville, but I would never go back.
Acme- It was all of our first time at Acme. We were excited because my friends who live in Nashville had heard a lot of good things about it. It is more of a locals spot in downtown Nashville. There was no cover on a Friday night. They have 3 stories in the building. The bottom floor had a live band playing and people dancing. We had fun talking and drinking down there. Then we went to the next floor that was more of a lounge. This was our favorite level. The top level is the roof which had a gorgeous view of the city. That level was packed with people squished together and dancing. We didn’t stay at the top long at all. This was one of my favorite bars in Nashville.
Sutler- Since I was visiting on Halloween, we had to find somewhere fun to spend our night! We didn’t want to go downtown because it gets crazy busy and apparently it’s not cool for the locals to go there. We almost went to Demonbreun Street which is very popular amongst the Vanderbilt University students. There are a bunch of bars all along the street. It gets so packed there that everyone can’t even fit into the bars, so we decided against that craziness and decided to go to the Sutler. There was a mixed crowd of young and older people. They had a band in the earlier part of the night, and awesome 90s DJs later. Drinks were $5 each, and the cover on Halloween night was $15. We met a lot of fun people there and had a great time! The only bad thing about Sutler is that they didn’t choose us to be a part of the Halloween costume contest! Still think we should have had a chance!
Dierks Bentley’s Miles and Music Concert- I got lucky that the weekend I was in town, Dierks Bentley held his 10th annual Miles and Music concert fundraiser. He does a motorcyle ride followed by a concert to raise money for the local children’s hospital! This year through ticket sales and auctions, they raised over $60,000! The concert was held at the Ascend Amphitheater which was much smaller than I expected it to be! We got lawn seats for $40 off of StubHub. The tickets sold out in 7 minutes! The concert also included Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, and Florida Georgia Line. I loved the concert, and it’s for a great cause! We also got to meet some of the cast of the Bachelorette there which was so exciting for me!
There are so many concerts that go on in Nashville, so make sure you go to one! I missed the free concerts, but there was one the day before I got to Nashville, and the night that I left. They’re everywhere.
Country Music Hall of Fame– Another place that is supposed to be cool. We actually didn’t go in the actual museum, but we were outside and we walked through the lobby and gift shop. The day we went was Halloween, and it would have been difficult to walk through with our costumes on! It takes about 2 hours to walk through, so we decided to skip it that day. I have heard good things about it though, and I plan on visiting next time I am in Nashville! Adult admission is $25.
Ryman Auditorium– The Ryman was built in 1892 as a place for community events, political rallies, and entertainment. The Ryman served as the premier stage for the Opry’s live radio shows for 31 years. I only go to see the outside of the Ryman, but if you are interested in going in, make sure to take a tour or see a concert there!
The Parthenon– Nashville has a recreation of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. It is a full scale replica of the one in Athens, Greece. It is a beautiful building in the park that also serves as an art museum. Although we didn’t go inside, we got to take pictures out front and take a nice walk around the park.
Grand Ole Opry- “The home of American music.” It is Tennessee’s #1 attraction! In 1974, the Opry left the Ryman Auditorium and moved to the Grand Ole Opry House. It is a historic place that made country music famous, and is a must see when in Nashville! Make sure to book a ticket online in advance!!! We did not do this, and when we got there, tickets were sold out for the rest of the day so I didn’t get to take the tour. Sounds like a good excuse to go back to Nashville to me!
Radnor Lake- A very close and secluded lake with a trail about 2 miles around. It is all flat, and is a nice easy stroll. This time of year it was so beautiful because of the leaves changing colors. It is also very common to see deer, turkey, and squirrels walking around the area.
Natchez Trace Parkway- Natchez Trace is a 444 mile drive through of beautiful scenery.
This is where we went to find the beautiful fall trees. There is a huge bridge right outside of Nashville that we went to which has beautiful trees and a great view. I would definitely recommend going there in autumn!
Love Circle- Love Circle is one of the best places to see the Nashville skyline. It is basically a hill in a neighborhood with a bench at the top, but it is supposed to have a great view of the skyline, especially at sunrise. We went there for sunrise, but it was so foggy we couldn’t see much! Next time I visit, I plan to go back for a better view!
12th South Street- There are a bunch of cute shops and restaurants along the street. There is a brand new clothing store, Draper James, that just opened up this week owned by Reece Witherspoon. Of course we had to check that out. This is also where the “I Believe in Nashville” painting is!
21st Avenue- This is where I went to go shopping for clothes and souvenirs. There are some cute boutiques and restaurants along the street. Some of the shops are pretty expensive, but there are also some reasonably priced ones! There is also gift shop right around the corner, The Spirit of Nashville. They have cool posters, shirts, and magnets. This is where I got my touristy Nashville stuff. To shop at the gift shop online, use code “PromoCardShop” for 10% off!
Also the food in Nashville was amazing. Check out my post about where to eat in Nashville here!
Overall, I had the best time visiting Nashville, Tennessee. I was surprised that it wasn’t as country as I thought it would be. It is actually a very hip city. There is also a lot of college students who live there. The city is rapidly growing in population and developments. Make sure to add Nashville on your list of places to go next!