Today we’re going to chat Nashville. I visited back in August and it’s taken me so long to finally sit down and write a post about it. When I told anybody I was visiting Nashville, I was typically met with one of two responses: 1) “Oh I want to go there!” or 2) “Oh my sister’s boyfriend’s (fill in the blank) cousin just had her bachelorette party there!” What I didn’t realize was that Nashville, Tennessee must be on it’s way to the official bachelorette party capital of the world, if it’s not there already.
Alas, I was not there for a bachelorette party, but a big friends weekend. But how did the bachelorette party capital stack up for me?
I think I’m going to be unpopular here, but looking back on my trip to Nashville I feel very “meh” about my experience. (Friends, an alternate title for this blog was “It Wasn’t You Guys, It Was Me” - I swear you were all great.)
I’ve been going back and forth with how to format this post and what I’m going to do is tell you what I’d skip and what I’d do instead if I were to go back. Let me be perfectly frank - I am a giant advocate for exploring a place for yourself. Don’t take everything I say here to heart, especially the “Skips.” Because they tend to be quite popular spots, I included how I’d do them differently to make the trip more “me."
Nashville Trip Do-Over
Skip: Biscuit Love. This is probably going to get me the most flack so I’m just going to get it out of the way right now. I would not go back to Biscuit Love. And I LOVE biscuits and gravy. I think I might be spoiled, because I definitely thought my grandma’s Christmas morning biscuits and gravy were better. If you are still going to go, I’d suggest a dessert biscuit!
Pick: Flipside. This spot was down in the 12 South neighborhood, near where our AirBnB was. It is bright and airy AND they have tater tots as a breakfast option. While the wait did seem to be a little on the long side, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t even notice it. They have Trivial Pursuit cards set out on the table and I was perfectly content with quizzing my table mates. They’ve got an INSANE bloody mary that you’ve got to at least see.
Lunch or Dinner
Skip: Hattie B’s. Hot chicken was on my mind from the second our plane landed at BNA. I went medium because my Uber driver scared me off of anything hotter. I definitely could have done hotter, but the chicken overall was just a smidge of a dud. It also definitely disagreed with my stomach, as I had to beg the nearby Marriott to let me in and use the bathroom in the lobby. You all are the real MVPs.
While I’m making the whole world hate me, I might as well just say it: none of the BBQ in Nashville really blew me away. Am I Austin spoiled? Possibly. But that’s just that.
Pick:The Little Octopus. This place was honestly one of the highlights of my trip and I’m not afraid to say it. It’s tapas style and pretty veggie based, although they’ve got some delicious seafood and meat dishes too. I loved everything. Definitely go with an adventurous group of eaters if you want the full experience! My favorite dishes were the charred eggplant and the farro. Oy, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Late Night Spots
Let’s get one thing straight, there is going to be music absolutely anywhere you go. You’ll be able to find it, so don’t worry about planning specific spots into your itinerary. It isn’t called The Music City for no reason!
Skip: Broadway. I know. I’m a party pooper. But I actually preferred going to the bars and honkytonks on Broadway during the day. Trust me, there will be live music by lunch time. But at night it just turned into too many people and just wasn’t my scene. I am a self-proclaimed grandma. During the day I loved Crazytown on Broadway! Essentially, I'm just encouraging you to day drink.
Pick: I’d rather spend my nights at the honkytonks and bars over in East Nashville. There are still plenty to choose from! They were significantly less crowded and seemed more like a local crowd. For some comparison, at the bars on Broadway seeing 20 bachelorette parties per hour is a totally normal rate. We didn’t see one in East Nashville! To be fair - this could be because of the days we went to each, but our Uber driver didn’t seem to think so.
Other Nashville Tweaks
I’m not leaving you high and dry, here. Here are four things I would definitely add to my agenda should I go to Nashville again.
1) More Beer. If I were to go back I’d toss another couple of breweries on my agenda. We visited two and I thought they both had some pretty solid beers in rotation. Tennessee Brew Works (hard to get to if there's a train in the way...) and Jackalope Brewing Company. We walked by Yazoo, but it is closed on Mondays. I did get the chance to try their beer at almost every single bar we went to, though.
2) More Street Art. It is not hard to stumble across street art in Nashville. In fact, the street art in Nashville was one of my favorite parts! I think I’d take a chunk of a day and use Nashville’s bike share (a FABULOUS deal, by the way) to pop around to some of the really cool ones. I was armed with Studio DIY’s street art map on my phone, but I didn’t really use it.
3) More Jeni’s. This ice cream is SO GOOD. I got it twice while we were there, once at their 12 South location and then once at the farmer’s market. I was one more punch away on my punch card from a free ice cream, and I should have just gone for it. Some super interesting and delicious flavors here, including one that tastes like popcorn!
4) More Biking, less Uber. Does this surprise you at all with my travel style? Nashville actually has a pretty solid bikeshare system, although I wouldn’t say any of the stations were populated enough with bicycles to bike in large groups. Uber (and Lyft) just makes sense for big groups! But if I went back I’d try to get on the bikes more. I think it was $10 for a 7-day pass so it’s a cheap option too.
So there! I got it all out. In conclusion, I had a fun time in Nashville but it just wasn’t really for me. I’d much rather go to a city like Austin, Texas. But heck, if I were part of a bachelorette party en route to Nashville, I wouldn’t say no! I would just make sure the group had something to really stand out. Bachelorette parties - if you’re planning on getting free drinks, you are going to have to work HARD to stand out!
Kudos to the group in tu-tus and denim button downs with flower crowns. Y’all looked adorable.
- Have you been to Nashville? What did you think?
- If you could pick anywhere in the world, where would you (or did you!) have your bachelorette party?