Music City, USA has been on a growth spurt, and there’s so much do, buy and see.
Every single day, an average of a hundred people stream into the city of Nashville, and they stay for good. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in America, and we totally get it. What other city has such an abundance of hot chicken? Or such a wealth of live music? Not to mention their wildly proliferating craft beer industry, world class hospitals, and 32 institutes of higher learning. We’re not going to meddle in your relocation considerations, but we definitely recommend visiting Nashville for a long weekend, especially if you haven’t been there lately. One of the things we love about Music City, USA it that it celebrates the old, while embracing the new. Here are our favorite places to stay, eat, get caffeinated, shop, drink, and see live music.
The Hutton is a charming boutique hotel located steps away from Music Row in Nashville’s West End, and has become a home away from home for creatives visiting from out of town. In addition to a sumptuous lounge and the more-than-adequate WestEnd Kitchen & Bar which serves local fare, the hotel offers writers’ rooms and creative spaces with state-of-the-art equipment and recording facilities.
It was a train depot in a former life, but Union Station has been reincarnated into a stylish, resplendent hub in the center of downtown Nashville. Forget about boring uniform hotel decor: each guest room at Union Station is uniquely decorated with art and furnishings, and has nothing in common with the room next door except a decidedly upscale feel.
Superstar chef Deb Paquette has lived and worked in Nashville for 30 years, and was the first woman in Tennessee to quality as a certified executive chef. In 2012, she opened Etch in downtown Nashville, which has become known for its exquisite menu inspired by Paquette’s world travels, including venison wrapped in filo, scallops with forbidden rice, and duck confit tart.
Owned by a trio of hospitality partners who are transforming Nashville into a world-class food city, Adele’s was named in homage to the late mother of the restaurant’s chef/partner, Jonathan Waxman. The menu is centered on locally-sourced comfort food with an innovative twist, and the Sunday brunch buffet is an absolute must.
Locally roasted coffee, delectable pastries and baked goods, and a surprisingly elegant dinner menu make the Frothy Monkey a local treasure. If you’re in the market for a pick-me-up that steers clear of coffee, the Green Tea Lemonade never disappoints. And since we all tend to sleep in on vacation, it’s important to mention that they serve brunch every day until 5:00 pm.
Sam & Zoe’s
Donuts, scones, hearty soup and a frothy brew. Sam & Zoe’s has all the sustenance you need for a lazy day in a chill environment. If your get-up-and-go got up and went, the Dirty Chai will get you jittered up and ready for anything.
Owned by singer/songwriter Holly Williams (the daughter of country legend Hank Williams, Jr.), White’s is a meticulously curated hodge-podge of cool stuff from around the globe where folks like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, and Faith Hill like to shop whenever they’re in town. Be sure to stock up on Duck Fat Caramels when you you visit. They’re ridiculously good, and we’ve never seen (or heard of them) anywhere else.
Imogene + Willie
If your ideal shopping experience involves cool sweatshirts, quality denims and vintage treasures housed in the comfort of a 1950s service station, then Imogene + Willie is your place. (As a plus, it’s locally owned by a husband-wife team who started the business with a single email.)
It’s a lively biergarden with an impressive selection of brews, amazing burgers and yes, tater tots.
Instead of scoffing at Nashville’s hipsters, why not join them for Bocce Ball, Bowling and Burgers at Pinewood. Bonus: their cocktail game is formidable–try the Diamond in the Rough.
The Stage on Broadway
What’s not to love about a place where you can see live country music all night–and all day? The Stage has a classic honky-tonk vibe and a giant dance floor which has a way of turning spectators into participants.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
Brad Paisley just shot his video for “Bucked Off” at Tootsie’s, but don’t hold it against ‘em. This honkey-tonk has been one of Nashville’s most legendary spots for suds and songs since the 1960s.