Nashville, also known as Music City, USA. Most think it’s just a bunch of honky-tonks and cowboy boots, but Nashville has so much more to offer — even if you don’t care for country music. Of course, if country music and cowboy boots are your thing, you’ll have a great time, too! Nashville is quickly growing and evolving every day, which means this guide will probably be out-of-date before it even posts! But that’s a good thing because in Nashville, there is always a new place to shop or restaurant to check out. Here are some of my favorites.
Las Paletas has become a Nashville staple. They make their gourmet popsicles using fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and herbs so the popsicles taste just like they should. They have cream popsicles, which are more like an ice cream bar, and fruit popsicles, which taste more like a traditional ice pop. You can also get them dipped in chocolate! They have around 20 different flavors each day and while they always serve your normal strawberry or chocolate, you’ll also find avocado (my favorite), hot chocolate with chili peppers and so many other interesting flavors. You’ll wish they didn’t melt so you could take more home with you!
If you don’t make a stop by the Goo Goo Clusters shop, you’re missing out! Those amazing candies are made right in downtown Nashville and you can even watch them work while you’re in the shop. There are usually samples out of the different flavors. I have yet to try one that I didn’t like, but the classic will always have my heart. Grab a box to take home for some friends, or hoard for yourself.
Date night & girls’ night out
Pinewood Social is a very unique place. It’s a full-service restaurant, bar, coffee shop, bowling alley and even has a pool outside. If you want to bowl, you’ll definitely need to call ahead to reserve a lane, but it’s worth it. The bowling alley is made from reclaimed wood using old bowling lanes. The pool area is 21+, but has its own menu and is great option for a girls’ night. Even if you only have time to stop by for a drink, Pinewood Social is worth it. The atmosphere is awesome and you will fall in love the vintage-industrial feel inside.
Arrington Vineyards is the perfect place to visit for picturesque views of rolling vines and a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. All of the vineyard wines can be tasted and purchased on-site and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic to accompany their wine. While I recommend this as an adults-only outing, kids are welcome. There are spacious areas overlooking the vineyards that are perfect for children to explore while the adults relax. Several nights each week in the spring and summer, the outdoor patio features live music and a visit at dusk offers spectacular views of the sunset over the Middle Tennessee hills that can’t be beat.
Edley’s BBQ is a must when visiting Nashville. I mean, you can’t go to Nashville and not have barbecue, right? Edley’s knows how to do it right. They have your typical pulled pork sandwiches, but they have so much more than that. You can get BBQ nachos, quesadilla or perhaps one of their best dishes — the Tuck Special. I would suggest going for a walk after that meal on the streets of 12 South, one of the awesome neighborhoods in Nashville.
Batch Nashville is a great stop to make if you want to be able to support the amazing local artisans in this town. They carry many of the food products that are made here in Nashville. Some of our favorites (that you can totally pack to take home with you): Willa’s Shortbread Cookies, Bluebird’s Biscuit Mix, Olive & Sinclair Chocolates and Eli Mason Cocktail Mixers. The Batch store itself is located inside of the Nashville Farmer’s Market, so make sure to save time to walk around and see all that they have to offer. You can also grab lunch while you’re there at some of the great restaurants.
The Frist Center is a true privilege to have in Nashville. A sophisticated art gallery and museum for Mom and Dad to enjoy, but there’s a twist. Upstairs, there is an entire area (Martin Artquest) dedicated to the kids. It’s hands-on fun that teaches kids about principles of art. I have to admit, you can usually find me pretending to help my kids with the activities, but really just doing them for myself. It’s tons of fun! The Frist is always free for children under 18, so you won’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy it.
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is another family favorite that seems more adult than child, but really is family-friendly. Sure, there are amazing exhibits for Mom and Dad to admire, but there are also special things for the kids to enjoy. They have the trains set up where Thomas and his friends drive through an elaborate track setup. They also have an amazing tree house that the kids can climb up and play in. The exhibits change periodically, so make sure to check what is going one before you visit.
Nashville locals, where are you favorite city gems?
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