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  • Writer's pictureMr and Mrs Jones

A Muse-ical Travel Guide to Nashville, TN!

Updated: Jun 12, 2022


Photo taken at The Russell Hotel, Nashville, TN.

Table of Contents:
When to Visit Nashville?

We visited in February, so it was still quite chilly! The average for the week was around between the high 20's° to mid 40's°, but the streets downtown were still packed with crowds and the live music was booming. The best time to visit Nashville weather wise would be between April to mid October! December is also incredibly charming with Christmas decorations lighting up the city, however the winter season is much slower for tourism.


Do You Need a Rental Car?

If you are staying in downtown Nashville and plan to spend the majority of your trip downtown, then you do not need a rental car, Uber will suffice. Flying into the Nashville International Airport puts you 8 miles away from downtown and an average cost of $40 uber ride.


Lodging:

The Gallatin Hotel: This was the most colorful, photoshoot worthy hotel I have ever stayed at! Every turn you will be met with endless inspiration and overall joyous environment! One of my favorite murals in Nashville is in the courtyard of the Gallatin Hotel! Not only were there photo ops everywhere, but they had a photobooth to capture fun memories with your friends and family. The Gallatin Lobby also has a great coffee bar and superb lounge areas throughout the hotel. They have contactless check in and check out which made our stay a breeze!



The Russell Hotel:

The Gallatin's sister hotel is this all brick beauty, that was built in 1904. This over a hundred year old church was selected to be the location for the Russell Hotel because of its rich history and legacy of hospitality. Not only were the massive glass windows breathtaking, but the headboards in the rooms were church pews which made this possibly the most charming hotel we have visited yet! Not to mention, just like the Gallatin, the Russell Hotel offers contactless check in, they have a full photobooth, coffee bar, and endless picture spots throughout the hotel! In the lobby of the Russell, there is also an adorable recording studio which caught my attention immediately, and is a perfect reflection of a hotel in Music City. We recommend staying at the Russell Hotel at your next trip to Nashville if you want to have a wonderfully charming experience!



Activities:

The Parthenon:

For those of you who know us personally, you know that Hunter and I love just about anything European, from the architecture, design and style to so much more that causes us to seriously consider moving to Europe once we decide it's time to get out of the Coast Guard! With this in mind, we had to stop and see The Parthenon in Centennial park. This full scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon in Greece, was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Today it now houses art galleries and offers tours that showcase the full history of the Parthenon in Nashville Tennessee. We took a self guided tour and loved spending time looking at the plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles.



Downtown Shopping:

This trip was the first time our luggage has ever been lost/delayed in our history of flying (thankfully) and to be honest we didn't actually know what to do. TIP: Always pack what you need for your nightly routine and an extra pair of clothes in your carry-on, just in case! If your luggage ever does get lost be sure to check into your airline to see what their lost luggage policy is, we were able to purchase clothing items and be reimbursed later. So, we headed down to The Arcade Nashville shopping mall and scouted out some new outfits for the trip.

This mall was beautiful in itself and the new stores we found proved a treat in itself! The downtown area of Nashville also offers plenty of shopping which we enjoyed as the window shoppers we are!


Dancing on Broadway

To be completely transparent, this was where we spent most of our evenings while in Nashville. Every single bar offers live music and long nights of dancing and singing your hearts out! We went to Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, and so many other country artist's bars, it was incredible! Even though we visited Nashville in brisk early February, the sidewalks were still packed with loads of people moving from one honkytonk to the next, this is a scene that you will not want to miss!


Axe Throwing:

Down the street from The Gallatin Hotel, was BATL Axe Throwing! Unfortunately our very tightly package schedule didn't allow for us to squeeze in axe throwing but we highly recommend it, and with it being so close to the Gallatin, it is an easy activity to walk to! If this is your first time axe throwing, what better place to do it than Nashville?


Visit photoshoot locations:

Nashville is known for her murals, if you have the ability to just drive around downtown you will come across some of the most amazing murals throughout the city! Additionally there are endless instagramable picture locations in Nashville! My favorite was the White Limozeen at the top of the Graduate Hotel, everything inside of this hotel is a photo prop and the rooftop bar and lounge is no let down! See photos in our recommendation of the White Limozeen below!


Soak in the music and watch live performers just about everywhere you go:

As we all know, one of the famous ways to pass by the time in music city is to just sit and listen to live music. Every restaurant and bar in downtown Nashville is full of incredibly talented artists providing live music. Nashville is also home to several speakeasy's such as the Dirty Little Secret as well as a hidden bar located in the basement of the Noelle Hotel that you have to enter through a random storage closet to get to, (however this bar is limited to guests of the Noelle Hotel, so you must stay there to see it). No matter what your taste in music, there is a place in Nashville for you!


The Grand Ole Opry:

Hunter and I have been to many concerts at various venues and both agreed that watching a show at the Grand Ole Opry provided an experience that no other concert ever had. The Grand Ole Opry is large yet it feels very intimate, the seats are all pews which provides a sense of closeness to the guests next to you. No matter where your seats were in the audience you would have a great view of the performers! We had the pleasure of watching Luke Combs along with other artists perform. We had just gone to one of Luke's shows in San Francisco a few weeks prior and seeing him at the Grand Ole Opry was a completely different experience. You feel as if you get to know the artist personally, the Opry provides a sense of intimacy as the layout of the room feels more like the inside of a church concert venue.

-Music Row (fun drive by):

Music Row is worth the drive by at least, being home to record label offices, radio stations and recording studios, Music Row is at the heart of Nashville’s country music industry. The iconic Historic RCA Studio B, where legends like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton recorded hits, is open for tours!




Gaylord Opryland:

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is incredible, and very family friendly! We did not get the chance to stay here, but we will on our next visit! Only minutes from the Grand Ole Opry, this one of a kind experience of a hotel has four huge atriums. From SoundWaves, the city’s premier aquatic attraction, to an exciting lineup of family-friendly activities and entertainment, there’s something for the entire family to enjoy. Guests can explore 9 acres of airy, indoor garden atriums, a wide selection of award-winning restaurants & bars, the world-class Relâche Spa, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. From seasonal events and entertainment to high-end amenities and stunning spaces, Gaylord Opryland offers something for everyone.


Restaurant Recommendations:

Cafes and Coffee:

  • Cafe Internazzo: Take a trip into another time inside of this 300-year-old inspired European coffeehouse. Try the: Grilled Chicken Broiche and French Dip Cia Batta for a meal, then order the Hot Chocolate Deluz and Cafe Salzberg to drink, everything at this cafe was amazing!


  • Sinema Brunch: Hunter surprised me with a brunch reservation to the Sinema and although I assumed I was being lead in to see a 'way too early after last night downtown' matinee, I was incredibly wrong! Bottomless Brunch at the Sinema is an all you can eat southern cuisine experience for $36 a person! The waiters will start you off with their most popular appetizers and entrees, and what you like they will bring more of and what you don't they'll take away! The food was excellent! Although our favorite part were the drinks! They were also all you can 'drink', they offered a bloody mary and mimosa. I, of course, ordered the Mimosa which came with three different juices, the classic orange, grapefruit and cranberry juices!

  • Crema Coffee Roasters Cafe: This was a cute little coffee shop that stayed open in the afternoons! Try the: The Cuban latte and Season Chai Latte, DO NOT order to go, the presentation is part of the experience at Crema Cafe! The avocado toast is also delicious!

  • East Park Donuts and Coffee: Only a few minute walk from the Russell Hotel, is this an adorable, whole-in-the-wall, donut and coffee shop. Their selection of donuts were fun and unique and they had vegan and gluten free options!

  • Bluebird Cafe (of course): We went to the Bluebird Cafe obviously to hear the live music and see if it lived up to it's fame and references in country songs. Well, it did. From the outside it does not look like much, in fact we double checked our google maps a few times before heading in to make sure we were at the right place. But the musician inside did not disappoint, it was an amazing, intimate and incredible experience! We arrived after the kitchen had closed so all we ordered was the chips, salsa and guacamole. I'm not sure if we were just starving after the show at the Grand Ole Opry or if those chips, salsa and guacamole were actually as delicious as we thought, because we ate them in a solid 8 minutes flat! At the end of the night we looked around at the cafe and studied the endless pictures of country artists all over the walls of the cafe, The Bluebird Cafe did live up to its name!

Lunch:

  • Grilled Cheesier: Are you a grilled cheese enthusiast? Was the grilled cheese your love language in school? Is the grilled cheese still your love language? If so, this is the place you've been dreaming of! The Grilled Cheesier was an adorable lunch spot with an incredibly creative menu! Try the: Pamento Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese (most popular) and the Quesabirria Melt! Absolutely amazing and an affordable bite to eat, it was about $20 for both of us.

  • Sun Diner: This is the only place on Broadway in Downtown Nashville whose kitchen stays open until 2am! We stumbled into this diner through a conjoined restaurant that had closed there kitchen hours prior and were enjoying live music until we were using the restrooms before getting ready to head back to our hotel for the night when we noticed another staircase across from the one we just came down at the bottom of the bathroom area. Naturally, our curiosity lead us up the staircase and into the Sun Diner, where for the first time in Hunter and I's life, we ate chicken and waffles!! Best combination ever!! This was an 50's style, Elvis themed diner with a classically icon feel to it! If you get hungry after a night full of dancing, this is your best bet downtown!

  • The White Limozine: For some of the best views and photoshoot opportunities, head the top floor of the Graduate Hotel. This bar screams girls trips, bachelorette weekend or it's my birthday! Thankfully I have the sweetest hubby and best friend who took me here and enjoyed taking pictures with me! To be completely honest, the food and drinks were not the best, but the views, ambiance, decor and photoshoot props are what makes the White Limozine worthwhile!


Dinner:

  • The River House: Very pricey, but worth it! The steakhouse restaurant was gorgeous and the food was amazing! Try the: Prime Ribeye, or Filet Mignon Oscar and add a the Lobster Tail! Also the red zinfandel was the best we have ever had, it topped any we've tasted in Napa or Paso Robles!

  • E3 Chophouse: Co Owned by Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan this steakhouse is one of a kind! Be prepared for an expensive meal, but be equally prepared to be blown away by the food! Try the: Lambchops, and Lobster and Shrimp Fettuccine with white truffle cream sauce! So delicious! We also tried the red zinfandel at this restaurant and although they were great, The River House still wins for the best red zinfandel we've ever had! It is Keeping Up with the Jones approved! ;)

  • Hawkers: Just down the street from The Russell Hotel is this Asian cuisine restaurant! The restaurant itself was very cool and offered a unique experience from any of the other restaurants we ate at while in Nashville, and the menu was incredible! Try the: Pad Thai!

  • The Cookout (fast food): The Cookout is a fast food chain restaurant that us west coastians had never tried before! When ordering you can select a tray which much like back in middle school cafeteria, you can select your main food item, such as a burger, chicken strips, corndog, etc and then choose two sides, such as onion rings, cheese bites, chicken wrap, etc. For a fast food restaurant, we were quite impressed. We ate here the first night we got into town because by the time we got to our hotel (we arrived much later than planned due to our lost luggage fiasco) it was so late all other restaurants were closed, and so the Cookout surpassed any other fast food restaurant we have had before! Try the: the cookout is known for a drink called the Cheerwine Float, which is similar to a cherry coke flavoured slushy that they add ice cream to! Definitely a must try, at least once in your life!


Whether you are on a couples trip, friends group trip, or taking your family on a Tenessian vacation, Nashville offers something for everyone. But especially something magical for music lovers such as myself. You will not be disappointed! Tag us on instagram in your Nashville Adventures with #KeepingUpwiththeJones!


Travel soon, besties!

Mr and Mrs Jones

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