The music scene in Nashville has always been one of its most defining and vital attractions, and 2019 is no stranger to that vibe. Music is Nashville’s bread & butter, it’s foundation and one of the main reasons so many people flock to this city every year. Upon first look, you may think Bridgestone Arena, Tootsies and The Bluebird Cafe are the main spots to hit on your trip to Music City… but we challenge you to look again. While all of those amazing venues have made a name for themselves respectively, the unsigned, raw talent that Nashville is known for plays stages you may not have on your “Nashville To-Do List”. Maybe we can change your mind and your weekend by letting you know how to get a truly local music experience here in Nashville.
First up is The Basement, this dark and moody venue has some of the best sound in the city. If you are looking to see some of Nashville’s top talent, this showcase driven spot is for you. You might have doubts as you walk up to the back entrance of this place located behind Grimey’s records, but believe us when we tell you that this hidden gem is worth the search. It also has a big brother venue on the Eastside with a larger stage and more beers on tap, both live up to the high standards of Music City.
We can’t talk about the local music scene without mentioning Exit/In – This place has had a variety of well known acts as well as up and comers gracing it’s stage. BB King, The Goo Goo Dolls and The Allman Brothers are just a drop in their musical bucket. The grunge rock feeling you get as you walk inside is one of it’s best attributes. When you go to a show here, more often than not you will run into the artists themselves selling merch. This is a great place to meet some of the talented musicians you admire and find new acts you never knew you’d love.
Last but not least is Analog at The Hutton Hotel. We can’t rave enough about this space and the talented writers who play here. This place looks like it just stepped out of a chic magazine, and is the perfect spot for anyone who truly appreciates the musical process. The intimate vibes that Analog has allows anyone in the lounge to feel like they are up front and center. Every artist who plays this beautiful venue has an understanding that people want to hear the songs, how they came to be and why they are so special. We think you will love this place so much you may come here two nights in a row.
A little known fact about Nashville, we are a foodie’s idea of a good time. When you start planning your trip to Music City you usually focus on the music, and that’s understandable. But everybody’s got to eat, so we are here to give you a quick rundown on the hotspots you can grab a quick delicious bite & the restaurants that will be stored in your memory bank forever.
Start your day off right at The Donut + Dog – this gourmet donut house is exactly that, a house. It’s easy to miss driving down Belcourt Avenue, but it’s filled with some of the most surprising and delightful donut flavors you’ve ever tasted. Not only that, but It’s a Nashville one-stop-shop. This means if you get there in the morning you can have a donut and coffee for breakfast, and when lunchtime rolls around you can grab a mouth watering hot dog and wash it down with a beer. The Donut + Dog makes it easy to transition from coffee to day drinking, we all know how difficult that can be. (If you’re having trouble deciding which donut you want, we recommend the Big Bad Wolf, it’s cinnamon apple goodness with house-made caramel drizzle, oh my.)
Nashville has recently gotten an intense amount of high scale dining restaurants and few are as finely priced as Butchertown Hall. Don’t get it twisted, this is no burger joint – but you get quality, fresh food and you won’t be paying an arm and a leg for it. Nestled in the hip neighborhood of Germantown, it’s a stones throw into the bustling city.. but it also has a relaxed “glass of wine and talk about life” kind of atmosphere. Grab some house pimento cheese, a woodfired pizza to share and sip on that mojito, you’ll want to stay awhile.
Just as you started your day of right, you gotta end it on a good note, this is where The Treehouse comes in. This place is great all day, but especially if you’ve been out late and suddenly have a hankering for oysters or twice fried chicken wings. At first glance this twinkly lit spot may have a pretentious feel, but it is where Nashville chefs eat and bartenders go to drink. We think the spiced chocolate souffle is to die for (but don’t take out word for it.. experience that heaven for yourself.) They serve food til 1AM and the friendly wait staff knows more about the dishes they serve than your grandmother knows about what is in that bundt cake she made you last week.
Nashville has more than just honky tonks and BBQ joints, if you’re anything like the locals – you’ll want to experience the hills, the winding roads and the amazing trails that Tennessee has to offer. We sure know how to have a good time, even if that doesn’t involve a guitar. Read below for some of the amazing outdoor adventures that our big town prides itself on.
There are two kinds of people out there, the ones that are into hiking and the ones that aren’t. Well, Nashville knows exactly how to battle this clash with Long Hunter State Park. Experienced and novice hikers alike love going to this Nashville gem, located just south of the city. You can find 26 miles worth of trails ranging in difficulty and length. This little retreat from city life is exactly what you need when you’re looking to hit the refresh button. It’s the perfect day trip to see some of Tennessee’s famed wildlife, or even just a picnic by the lake.
One of Nashville’s most talked about spots that people come from far and wide to see is the Natchez Trace Parkway. 444 miles of winding beautiful landscapes, walking trails that lead to waterfalls, incredible bridges and overviews of the hills – this is every cyclists dream. If you’re not into biking, no worries – people come down just to drive on the therapeutic roads. Be sure you open up a map and decide which places you want to hit on this journey as it’s easy to lose track of time and you might just end up in Mississippi. We recommend doing the Jackson Falls trail, it’s an easy ¼ mile hike down to the falls and just a ½ mile down the road there is a beautiful bluff overlook! Winter, Summer – it doesn’t matter… those falls are beautiful at any temperature.
Your Nashville trip will be 10x more fun if you add in a friendly game at TopGolf. This monster of a driving range is smack dab in the midst of the city. Even if you aren’t much of a golfer, we urge you to pick up that club and hit a few, you may surprise yourself. They have some of the best local beers on tap and multiple games you can play for all ranges of skill. Not only that, but this place has their own music venue downstairs called, “The Cowan at TopGolf” if you feel the need to get your groove going. It’s easy to spend an entire day there, and we say that’s ok!