Taking a trip to Nashville has been on my to-do list since I was a little girl listening to country music radio, riding shot gun in my mom’s car. I used to roll my eyes as my mom would play the slow twang love songs that I didn’t understand yet, and sing my heart out when Trisha Yearwood’s ‘she’s in love with the boy’ would blast through our speakers. Country music has been the soundtrack of my life and I finally made it Nashville last week. Even Better I got to go with my Husband and my sister. The trip was one of THOSE trips. Everything went right, it was easy, and most importantly FUN. Bridge and I brought along our BLFT and had a blast dressing contemporary-western while still being comfortable in the warm humid weather. During the day we kept it casual with flowy shorts, denim skirts, double lined tanks or printed band tee’s. At night we dressed it up a bit with silk skirts, rompers, blouses, heels, and western styled hats. Here’s a little breakdown of the places we think you should hit when in Nashville:
1. The Grand Ole Opry
THIS. IS. NASHVILLE. Nashville is called Music City, and the Grand Ole Opry is the place where all of the rising country music artists debut soon to be chart toppers, sing oldies, and some of them even become legends that are asked to be a member of the Opry (A very high honor in the country music world). Artists are honored each and every time they are asked to play at The Opry. The history of the stage is so rich and the future is equally as bright. We happened to have an amazing lineup when we went, including Country Music Hall of Famers Vince Gill and Connie Smith, along with Lee Brice (who performed the #1 song in country music at the time ‘Rumor’), Joe Nichols, Carly Pearce and more. It was truly a night to remember. If you go to Nashville a show at the Opry is a MUST.
- Also pro tip: Eat at the food truck/bus outside. We had just landed and after a quick outfit change at our hotel we were off to the Opry. We were starving and got ourselves a grilled cheese on Texas toast, creamy onion dip with homecooked kettle chips, and a couple of coors lights. Man did it deliver.
2. Country Music Hall of Fame
They have done an amazing job at portraying the history, the fashion, the stars, and the impact of country music. I found myself getting lost in all the different rabbit holes of the museum. Including Elvis’s white Cadillac limousine, Nudies famous fashion designs, Hank Williams boots, Johnny’s guitar, and Taylor’s handwritten “Tim McGraw lyrics’—soooo cool. We lucked out because not only did they have an entire exhibit dedicated to Outlaw Country (Waylon Jennings is my favorite) they also had a special temporary exhibit dedicated to Kacey Musgraves Fashion Choices over the years. She is a true country artist who sticks to her roots when it comes to fashion. She pays tribute to the women and men that came before here while still embracing a modern touch—insert Moshino barbi pink dress complete with a hairdryer purse, a look she wore to the MET Gala this year. The fringe, the embroidery, the mustangs, the rhinestones, guns, leather, boots, buckles, and hats. I WAS IN HEAVEN. I could’ve spent all 5 days of our trip dissecting the fashion of country music artists, but unfortunately I had to leave the HOF, but only after I was equipped with enough inspiration to last a lifetime.
Broadway is honkey tonk heaven. This street is comparable to the strip in Vegas but BETTER. Lined with neon lights (listen to Jason Aldean’s song ‘Crazy Town’) every honkey tonk has live country music blaring from the open windows. They say everyone has a good voice in Nashville and I believe it, the live music musicians were top notch as everyone is trying to make it. There were old Honkey tonks where Elvis, Waylon & Willie and so many other artists used to take the stage. These famous places were Tootsie’s, Robert’s Western World, and Nudies, along with new and improved Honkey Tonks owned by superstars such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley. Some of our favorite times on Broadway were at Dierks’s Whiskey Row where we made our way to the very front and jammed with the band all night, the next day we had lunch at Blake’s Ole Red honkey tonk where a young girl played all our favorite Dixie Chicks, Faith, Taylor, and Shania. They were all equipped with roof top bars that would turn into a club at night with DJ’s spinning. Nashville is officially the bachelorette capital of the country and it shows. My favorite nights were Wed and Thurs because the take over of packs and packs of screaming girls in matching shirts hadn’t hit yet. If you want to hear quality old school country I would recommend the older bars listed above and Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar. If you’re ready to party I would recommend the more contemporary country artists’ bars. We had a blast bar hopping and taking it all in. Pro-tip Robert’s western world for late night eats is cheap and delish. You have to push yourself to the very back to get your order in-- get a grilled cheese and a beer for $4.50 and eat while listening to the band play.
4. 12th South Neighborhood
A relatively new trendy neighborhood with quaint and cute shops and eateries. This area definitely has the cool kid vibe. My favorite shop: Imogene and Willie- a denim store that is located in an old 1950’s gas station building. They are committed to creating the perfect pair of jeans and it shows and feels. I tried on a pair and had to make the purchase. They fit tight in all the right areas, they were thick but soft denim, they also have a seamstress hem the jeans in store- custom to your liking. There are so many other cute vintage boutiques, coffee shops, a flower van, and more, definitely worth a day/afternoon while your in Music City. Oh and Reese Whiterspoon’s store, Draper James is there. Not my style, but cute if that’s what you’re into.
5. The Gulch
An urban community with restaurants like Biscuit Love, and hip stores like Jessie James Decker’s kittenish, Kristin Cavalaries Uncommon James (near), and the famous butterfly wings that have taken over Instagram. Would recommend making a few stops in this area then Bird scooter over to Party Fowl for happy hour and hot chicken.
6. Andrew Jackson's Hermitage
We took an uber about 20 min out of downtown to President #7’s plantation. They have a museum in which they had his Presidential Carriage and a timeline of his life—(IMPRESSIVE he was an orphan by the age of 14, educated himself, was the winning general in the battle of New Orleans and then became America’s 7th president). Then, of course a tour of his beautiful house and compound. I’m into history and loved it but if presidents and history aren’t your thing then it’s quite a trek and it was hot. We were in need of a nap after the few hours we spent on Ole Hickory’s property.
7. Some other stops to make
The pedestrian bridge that connects Nissan Stadium to Downtown, Hattie B’s hot chicken, Yee Haw Brewing (prince’s hot chicken food truck is parked there—YUM), Music row, and Hillsboro Village.