WANDER LIST: NASHVILLE
Few cities have captured my heart so unexpectedly quite like Nashville. From the very first time I set foot in Music City, I immediately knew I’d be hooked. There’s so much more to this town than its legendary country music scene, although that itself is enough of a reason to visit. The thing I love most about Nashville is the quant little neighborhoods beyond the honky-tonk bar scenes of Broadway.
From the laidback, eclectic vibe of East Nashville to the swanky high rises and vibrant nightlife of The Gulch, each unique neighborhood offers a different side to Nashville that’s definitely worth exploring. Below are a few of my favorite Nashville spots.
[See & Do]
Take in some live music – This one is a no brainer. A trip to Nashville without catching a live show is like going to New York City without enjoying a bagel. It would be such a shame! There are plenty of great spots to catch talented musicians, both local and otherwise, right on Broadway. There's Robert’s Western World, The Stage and Honky Tonk Central, just to name a few. You could also check out The Listening Room or the famous Bluebird Café. If you choose the latter, make sure to check the schedule and get there at least two hours before the show. Lines form early and it’s first come first serve seating.
Country Music Hall of Fame – Even if you’re not a country music fan, there are still plenty of cool memorabilia to take in such as suits worn by Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn’s stage dresses, Willie Nelson’s…vests, or whatever it is he wore. At the very least, this place is worth a stop to grab a few awesome prints at legendary letterprint shop Hatch Show Print!
225 5th Ave. S.
Johnny Cash Museum – Pay homage to the Man in Black and grab some souvenirs while you’re there.
119 3rd Ave. S.
The Ryman Auditorium – If you’re lucky, you can catch a great band play at this historic venue formerly known as the Grand Ole Opry House. Everybody who’s anybody in the music world has performed on this famous stage, from Dolly Parton to Bob Dylan to Ray LaMontagne.
116 5th Ave. N.
Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge – Take in a leisurely stroll and catch a great view of the downtown skyline, LP Field and the Cumberland River on a nice day.
The Parthenon – This full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens is fitting, considering Nashville is known as “The Athens of the South”. Bring your camera and take advantage of a photo op among the grand columns.
Centennial Park, 2500 West End Ave.
Get in touch with nature. – If you’re looking for a nice escape, there are lots of gorgeous state parks and lakes to choose from within driving distance from the city. There’s Radnor Lake close by, there’s majestic Burgess Falls, Rock Island State Park or Fall Creek Falls State Park. Check out this handy list of Tennessee Parks to plan your adventure!
Downtown Franklin- This historic and charming suburb is only a few minutes south of Nashville, but strolling the old downtown streets is like a walk back in time. There are plenty of great shops, art galleries and restaurants that line Franklin’s Main Street. My personal favorite is Grays, set in a 1876 Victorian building which used to be a local pharmacy.
Imogene & Willie – This tightly curated shop is best known for trend-proof jeans that just get better with age. Their jeans aren’t cheap, but they do custom fittings and alterations right at the store and every pair is lovingly crafted by hand in Nashville. Definitely worth the splurge if you’re a denim lover.
2601 12th Ave. S. (12 South)
Wilder- This newly opened design shop offers local designers like Hackwith Design House as well as goods by artisans from all over the world.
1212 4th Ave. N. (Germantown)
Sisters of Nature- A bohemian style maven’s dream, this cute boutique sells a wonderfully curated mix of independent clothing, accessories and gifts. They also have a mobile shop!
521 Gallatin Ave. (East Nashville)
The Fuselage- A great place to score unique décor, gifts and apparel with a Nashville flair.
521 Gallatin Ave. (East Nashville)
Marathon Village- Located in what used to be the Marathon Motor Works building, parts of which date back to 1881, Marathon Village is now home to a diverse collection of shops and galleries. Grab some rare finds at Antique Archeology (of American Picker fame), grab a Jeni’s rootbeer float and a cool Olan Rogers Supply t-shirt at The Soda Parlor or just grab a cup of coffee at Garage Coffee Co.
1305 Clinton St.
Hey Rooster General Store- It’s hard not to fall for this adorable little shop! They carry everything from sweet handmade tea towels, hand poured candles, natural beauty products and even small batch foods like artisan butter spreads and chocolate bars. Be warned though, you’re going to be tempted to buy one of everything here!
1106 Gallatin Ave. (Greenwood)
Hatch Show Print – This historic letterpress has created posters and prints for countless bands, musicians and businesses all over Nashville and beyond. You can choose from over a hundred prints in their store while watching their large print shop in action, churning out great designs off the presses!
224 5th Ave. S. (Downtown/SoBro)
[Eat & Sip]
Gabby’s- Seriously the best burgers in Nashville, served up in a non-pretentious, laidback atmosphere. Get there early as lines to tend to form pretty quickly.
493 Humphreys St. (South Nashville)
Marchè Artisan Foods- This European-inspired café is a great place to grab a delicious brunch made with fresh local ingredients.
1000 Main St. (East Nashville)
Pharmacy Burgers- Beer & burger lovers will surely love this cool hangout complete with a beer garden out back.
731 McFerrin Ave. (Greenwood)
Mas Tacos Por Favor- Their tacos may be amazing, but what keeps me coming back is their delicious chicken tortilla soup and cilantro & lime agua fresca. The cozy atmosphere makes this the perfect place for a casual lunch with friends.
732 McFerrin Ave. (Greenwood)
Burger Up- Enjoy the cool neighborhood vibe and a delicious gourmet burger made with local beef from Triple L Ranch in Franklin.
2901 12th Ave S (12 South)
Pinewood Social- If you only had a few hours to spend in Nashville and need a cool spot to grab lunch, a cocktail and even a cup of Crema coffee for the road, this is THE place to go. This impeccably designed social gathering space features plenty of communal seating for working on your laptop, a vintage bowling lane and an awesome outdoor space complete with a ping pong table, an airstream bar and even bocce ball!
33 Peabody St. (Downtown)
Barista Parlor- Great coffee paired with well-designed interiors, what could be better? This Nashville staple is always a must stop.
2 locations: 519B Gallatin Ave. (Lockeland Springs) & 610 Magazine St. (The Gultch)
Loveless Café- Never in my life did I imagine I’d ever wait over two hours for some homemade biscuits made from scratch…but that’s exactly what we did for Loveless Café’s incredible Southern fare. Everything here is delicious, but don’t even think about passing up the biscuits!
8400 Hwy 100 (Bellevue)
Butchertown Hall- A modern take on the beer garden, this beautifully designed restaurant serves up a delicious rustic menu plus an impressive selection of beers from the city’s finest breweries.
1416 4th Ave S (Germantown)
Biscuit Love- Come for the brunch, leave room for the “bonuts”. That would be the biscuit-donut hybrid that will leave you wanting more. So. Damn. Good.
316 11th Ave. S (The Gulch)
Fido- This order-up spot is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch and their delicious signature drinks are a must try. My personal fave is the “Grey Skies”- bergamot simple syrup, coconut milk, espresso, Olive & Sinclair chocolate shavings. Yum!
1812 21st Ave. S (Hillsboro West End)
Merchant’s- Set inside a historic building right on Broadway, this bright and beautiful restaurant serves up elevated versions of classic dishes like duck fat tater tots, Soup n Sammy with smoked gouda and bacon, and smoked brisket with chipotle sorghum bbq.
401 Broadway (SoBro/Downtown)
Steadfast Coffee- This new coffee shop has such a bright, airy and minimalist feel, making it a perfect spot to relax with a cup of coffee or to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner from their fresh seasonal menu.
603 Taylor St. (Germantown)
Crema- This local coffee bar and roaster serves up more than just a delicious espresso, they also offer awesome pastries and breakfast options.
15 Hermitage Ave. (Downtown)
The Bang Candy Company- If you love marshmallows, you’ll love their unique handmade gourmet marshmallow creations like the rose cardamom (my personal fave), maple bacon bourbon and blackcurrant absinthe. It’s marshmallows all grown up!
1300 Clinton St. (Marathon Village)
Pub 5-This hip downtown gastropub offers wine, beer & cocktails along with a refined food menu all in a very cool space worthy of pregaming before a night out on Broadway.
104 5th Ave. (SoBro/Downtown)
Olive & Sinclair- Known as Nashville’s preeminent makers of handcrafted, stone ground artisanal chocolates, Olive & Sinclair carefully crafts each bar with classic Southern flavors that make them truly unique.
1628 Fatherland St. (East Nashville)
The Post East- This cozy corner shop is a great place to start any Nashville morning. Try their “Bullseye” savory muffin and fresh smoothies for breakfast!
1701 Fatherland St. (East Nashville)
Las Paletas – This is one of those places I always have to stop by every time I’m in Nashville. Their delicious, freshly made popsicles (paletas in Spanish) are quite popular with locals and visitors alike, and for good reason. Most of their flavors are seasonal, so there’s always something new to try!
2911 12th Ave S. (12 South)
5th & Taylor- From the thoughtfully designed space that provides a sense of effortless warmth and hospitality, to the carefully crafted menu, this restaurant has “favorite go to” written all over it.
1411 5th Ave. N. (Germantown)