Nashville aka Music City. We all know it. Home of Country Music and Honky Tonk, so I was super excited when I found out the Hotel Data Conference hosted by STR is held every summer in Nashville. Nashville is now one of the most popular destinations for bachelorette parties. Trust me you will see them everywhere wearing their matching outfits and dancing on one of the party trucks that drive around the city blasting music. But outside of bachelorette parties, Nashville is becoming increasingly party for business trips, conferences and large events. While at the Hotel Data Conference, they shared the number of new hotels being built in Nashville. Basically, no matter what direction you stay you look you will see some sort of construction and it was primarily hotels. Rumor has it Nashville isn’t building all of these hotel rooms for the bachelorette parties, but that they might be making a bid on the Superbowl. Anyway, enough of my boring hotel stats. Let’s get to the good stuff.
So, we all know when at a conference the time you have away from the conference is limited, that is partially the reason why I chose to extend my stay through the weekend, so I could see more of Nashville, but I didn’t manage some exploring mid-week. In this blog I will cover the basics – where to stay, where to eat and what to do. Plus, some tips and tricks I picked up on while there. Ready y’all?!
Where to Stay
The moment you arrive in Nashville you’ll see that the city is under some serious construction, and most of that construction is hotels. I stayed at the brand new JW Marriott. If you don’t mind the hefty price tag then this hotel is the place to be. The rooms are massive, very modern yet classic. The bathroom is large, well-lit and the robe is a nice added touch. This was my first time using my phone as a hotel key, and it’s pretty game-changing. My phone case has a magnet in it, so I’m always having to keep my hotel keys far away from my phone, but with the latest technology, my phone is my hotel key. The restaurant/bar on the top floor is a must. I went up for Happy Hour where the drinks were around $8 instead of their normal $12+, but really you’re paying for the view. As one of the tallest buildings in Nashville, you get a pretty expansive view of the area. Which means you can really see how much construction is going on in the area.
I did extend my stay through the weekend, but my personal wallet didn’t want to foot the bill and continuing staying at the JW Marriott, so I packed my bags and moved away from Broadway and onto Music Row into a cute lil Airbnb. The place was perfect for me. I had a bed, a bath, a tiny kitchen and a huge epic patio. It wasn’t really near by any food places, but Nashville is full of scooters (more on that later) and Rideshare drivers are a plenty. I was within walking distance of Vanderbilt University, and liked the feeling of living like the locals do.
Where to Eat
You’re in Nashville – this is important. Lucky for me, the conference I was at had provided all attendees with a one sheet that listed all their favorite places to eat, drink and be merry. So between that and Yelp, I don’t think I had a single bad meal in Nashville.
Hot Chicken is a Nashville staple. There is the original Hattie B’s, but it was a little far away for what I was up to, so I decided to check out Music City Chicken Company just off Broadway. It was delish! And yes, it was hot.
Rolf and Daughters
I had read a lot about Germantown before making the trip to Nashville. It was a cool, hip place with great food and a way to escape Broadway. While my journey there is a story on its own, it lead me to Rolf’s Daughters where again, the food was delicious. It is a tapas style restaurant and my bill at the end of the night was about double what I spent on Hot Chicken, but it was totally worth it. I’m still dreaming of the creamed corn pasta.
Milk & Honey
The Gulch is another trendy part of town in Nashville. Lots of cute instagramable shops and murals. I was meeting a group here and showed up early to get breakfast at Milk and Honey. This place is popular. Since I was on my own, I was able to snag a bar seat without waiting. The food was dang good too, so I can see why it’s popular. If you’re coming here with a group (like a bachelorette party – I saw a ton of those at breakfast) then you might have to wait for a bit.
On the one sheet the conference folks had given me, they listed Bakersfield as some of the best tacos in the city. As a fan of tacos, I decided to check it out. Yes, this place has some pretty good tacos and quite a variety too. Coming from the West Coast I’m always surprised (but thrilled) when I’m able to find good tacos away from home.
What to Do
Gosh, there is a lot to do in Nashville. I didn’t make it to the Grand Ole’ Oprey, or Andrew Jackson’s Estate, or the Jack Daniels Distillery. Instead, I attended Music on the Green, went to a preseason Titans game, and went on a couple of self guided mural tours as well as just walking around exploring the city. Saturday was my only true free day to explore, so I packed in what I could (the pros and cons of a bleisure trip).
Music on the Green was fantastic. It’s a free weekly event that takes place every THURSDAY evening in Nashville. I happened to be there opening night and the opener was Gary Davis Jr. They don’t call this place the Music City for nothin’.
As I was making my way to Germantown via scooter (not recommened), I passed by their AAA baseball stadium. I thought it would be fun to catch a game and they were playing on Saturday. But so were the Titans. I made the executive decision to attend my first NFL game (even if it was pre-season). Nashville also has a local hockey team, and I definitely recommend checking out a local sporting event while in town.
I also participated in an Airbnb experience. It was a photo based Gulch tour. The guide/photographer Abbey was great. She took us to some fun spots in the Gulch, gave us a brief history, some tips for the area, and we got some fun photos out of it. The tour is called Photo Walk Gulch on Airbnb and Instagram.
If you like live music you can’t go wrong in Nashville. Everywhere you go there is music playing. It’s pretty crazy on Broadway because you’ll have these giant 4 story bars and there will be a different band on each level. Also, this place is crawling with bachelorette parties. They like to rent the party buses and drive around the city playing their music, dancing and just having a good time.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Nashville. It was a fun place for a solo female traveler on a bleisure trip, but I would definitely like to go with a friend or two next time around.
Until next time….