Updated: Feb 23
Nashville, TN is known as the country music capital. We took a trip in late September for a 23rd birthday trip and simultaneous girls' weekend. Here are all of the details.
Phew, my travel posts are always long overdue. So, my sister's birthday is at the end of September. Ever since I can remember, she's talked about going to Nashville for her 21st birthday. However, she played collegiate soccer and because their season is in the fall, it wasn't feasible. I told her that I would take her for her 23rd birthday (the first birthday she had free), and we made it happen!
Trip Details and Tips/Tidbits (I also consistently review on Yelp)
Marriott Nashville Airport, 4/5. We're a Marriott family. I chose this location because it had good reviews, it was close to the airport (we flew in late Friday evening). The LSU team was staying there that weekend, but it was so far from what we wanted to do that we had to take so many ride-shares to get where we wanted to go. Next time, I'd stay closer to our events. If you do choose to stay, they have a free shuttle to and from the airport! Use this, 'cause we paid for an Uber out of the airport that apparently wasn't necessary!
Eat: Full thoughts on Yelp; leaving my overall score below.
Champions, 5/5. We ate here a few times because it was at the bottom of the hotel.
Milk and Honey, 4/5
Nectar Urban Cantina, 2/5
Oak Steakhouse, 5/5. A must for a fancy evening dinner!
Explore the Gulch, and visit "The Wings"
Wildhorse Saloon - They have free line dance lessons! Go! And, it's very touristy!
Go out on lower Broad
Country Music Hall of Fame
Grand Ole Opry/Ryman Auditorium (we didn't do this, but I was told this is a must)
Order food that's "Nashville Hot"
My favorite part: The weather, all of the people outside and exploring, and getting to hang out with my sister. Nashville is a cool city and we told our mom and aunts that we needed to come back here sometime, all together!
My least favorite part: There wasn't a big music event (other than live music) going on. We're big country music fans, so that would have been fun to enjoy while we were there! That was the one thing we both agreed that we would change if we came again.
- Make sure you call Broadway "Lower Broad". One of our Uber drivers who was a local was very adamant about making sure that I accurately talked about that street. Ha!
We got into Nashville about 5:30pm on Friday evening, so we went straight to our hotel to check in and figure out what we were going to do that night. Morgan (my sister) really wanted to be there on a Friday and Saturday to see what the city offered for nightlife, and since it was her birthday trip, I obliged with our plane reservations!
We decided on hitting up the infamous lower Broad. Before we went into the city, we relaxed and decided to stop in Champions at the bottom of the hotel for drinks...
I laughed at this picture because I'm not a red wine person, but somehow found myself ordering it! So random. We were responsible ;) and made sure to get some food. Y'all, if I had to pick one thing to live off of, it'd be some kind of dip appetizer. I love salsa and Morg loves guac, so together we make a great pair!
After sitting at the bar chatting for a few hours, we went upstairs and changed our clothes...
...and hit the city! We ended up at a rooftop bar and walking through some of the shops. It was more "New Orleans" feeling than I thought it was going to be. Meaning: it was dirtier than I was expecting.
She totally won the cutest picture here. We then found our way to some live bands and some ice cream.
The next morning, we hit The Gulch (a recommendation) for brunch at Milk and Honey. This place was a perfect touristy brunch spot. Full review on Yelp!
As we were walking out, we decided we would go around the shops in the Gulch. On our way there, we saw this huge line down the street from Milk and Honey. We walked by and saw a huge line by some wings, and shortly realized that this is a touristy spot. Morgan is all about this kind of thing, so we waited in line and took some pictures in front of the wings.
We made our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame because that just has to be a must. I wish I was more of a museum type person, but I get so antsy. Like, okay, I saw it, moving on, whereas most people can sit and stare for hours. I really liked it, though; it was great watching some of the videos about the history and learning more about some of the stars that I know and somewhat keep up with.
After walking through some of the streets, we made our way to Wildhorse Saloon because my boss (who's lived in Nashville) said it's super touristy and a must-visit.
It totally exceeded our expectations! There was a cool vibe to it.
We took in the atmosphere while eating their famous fried pickles. We got 1/2 Nashville hot and 1/2 regular.
And this is where Morgan deemed that she wanted to officially turn 23.
So, after staying a few hours, we headed back to the hotel to relax and shower/change. Obligatory mirror selfie, check!
We grabbed dinner downstairs at Champions again. Salmon Cobb Salad and a bottle of wine with her birthday dessert.
This was another one of those weekends where everything I took in was making me sick, so by the time we got there, I was feeling horrible. We got to Wildhorse around 9pm and grabbed Morgan some drinks.
We jumped into some free line dancing lessons. Also, there was no cover. And then we just sat enjoying the music. Check my Instagram highlight for more videos and details!
By this point in the night, I was struggling real hard, but refused to leave early on her birthday. I was determined to stick it out!
Morgan really wanted me to take a birthday shot with her, but I had to stick with water. She took one though!
The next morning, we woke up and it was her birthday! After sleeping in pretty late (my favorite thing about hotels!), we made it a relatively slow morning. Y'all, look, the hotel had "brain booster" shots...like, hangover shots that you could grab. I just went for my coffee, though.
We made it to Nectar for her birthday brunch. Our Uber driver this morning had us bursting at the seams from laughing so hard. She was hilarious and telling us a story about someone she had as a rider earlier that morning. We didn't love this place after going in with high hopes. We ordered the most random things. Chips and salsa (told you I love!), avocado fries, shishito peppers, and a breakfast scramble bowl.
This food made me EXTREMELY sick and I had to stay in the hotel room for multiple hours because I was hurting so bad. Morgan napped and I felt so bad that's how her actual day turned out. Eventually, we made our way over to the Opry Mills outlet mall. We walked around and Morg bought herself a gift.
After an early brunch, we had an early dinner at Oak Steakhouse and loved, loved, loved it. Rolls (gluten free for me), veggie risotto, parmesan truffle fries (my favorite), bacon mac with sauteed mushrooms and onions, steak, and cheesecake for dessert. Our tummies were happy!
After dinner we walked back down to lower Broad to see if there was any mischief that we wanted to get into, and eventually made our way back because I still wasn't feeling great.
We had the whole day there Monday, so we slept in before making our way to the zoo. We stopped into a nail salon and got manicures together. Apparently my motto is never go a day without chips and salsa. :)
Then, since we hadn't eaten yet, we thought we'd hit a Mexican restaurant next door, that apparently Obama had eaten in, or something like that. It was okay after messing up our order.
We walked over to the zoo and spent some time in there, talking to animals and seeing the exhibits.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel to pack our things and make our way to the airport. I grabbed myself a cold brew and we went our separate ways. Me back to Austin, and Morg back to Dallas. I have a feeling that won't be my last time to Nashville!