They call it the Music City. And I now see why.
As someone who grew up in Austin, TX, nicknamed the “Live Music Capital of the World,” I’ve always heard that Nashville is strikingly similar to Austin. Now that I’ve visited Nashville, I can 100% agree. With live music, rolling hills, a body of water next to downtown, and much more in common, they are truly sister cities.
I traveled to Nashville over the 4th of July weekend with 6 girlfriends and we stood out because we were NOT a bachelorette party. Fun fact: Did you know that Nashville is the #1 destination for bachelorette parties? (Side note: this fact was given to us by our pub crawl tour guide, so I may retract that statement later…) I wish we could have received free shots for every time we were asked if we were a bachelorette party. But ANYWAYS, for as populated as it was with groups of girls in sashes and tiaras and black and white, I can definitely understand the appeal of having your last swaray in the Music City. It’s an exciting destination, with plenty to do, a great nightlife while being affordable, and so many options for food!
These are my top 5 recommendations for Nashville:
(Side note: I am not including Broadway in this list because that’s a given and you can’t go wrong with any bar that has live music, which is every single one of them. However, our personal favorites were Tin Roof and Honky Tonk.)
- The Pharmacy. Picture a biergarten with unique burgers, house-made sodas, and a wide list of beers & ciders (my personal fav: Wittekerke Wild) and a great mural outside! I ordered the Farm Burger along with some sweet potato fries and I would order it again in a heartbeat.
- Pedal Party. It is definitely one of the more touristy activities, but you will not regret it! We were only able to get spots on the Brewery Route (they have 4 routes available) due to it being a holiday weekend, so I can’t speak for the other 3 routes, but I would highly recommend the Brewery Route! We stopped at Yazoo Brewery, which was on our list to check out, and Jackalope Brewing Co. This route also takes you down Broadway and you stop in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame for a photo op. You can sign up as a private party if you have enough individuals, or on a public tour; we did a public tour and, surprise, we had a bachelorette party from Toronto pedaling with us! Also, I highly recommend you book it in the early evening when it’s not miserably hot outside – our tour started at 6:30 and I can’t imagine doing it with the sun beating down on you!
- Murals. Who knew there were so many beautiful art murals in Nashville?! I’d only heard of the “I Believe in Nashville” mural prior to my Nashville research, and then I happened upon a friends’ Instagram with a photo of the wings (#WhatLiftsYou by Kelsey Montague – she has similar murals all over the world!). There are multiple locations for the “I Believe in Nashville” mural (you can check out my blog post on Lists & My Maps and see all of the locations) but the wings were by far my favorite. Check out my photos below to see!
- Kayaking on the Cumberland River. Starting your Saturday morning on a river while gliding by downtown Nashville is quite the way to start your day, eh? I would highly recommend booking a kayak rental with Cumberland Kayak Adventures! We went on a somewhat unique route due to some of the closures for the upcoming 4th of July fireworks, but on 2 out of their 3 routes, it takes you past downtown. Our guide was great and the views were even better! We picked a 2-2 1/2 hour float and I would almost say that was too long – your arms start to get sore a solid 30 minutes in (or at least ours did), but you can’t go wrong with any of the routes. 🙂
- Ryman. Another tourist attraction, yes, but definitely worth it. We did the Self-Guided Tour ($20) which starts out with a very impressive “theater experience” aka a video with projections, that informs you about the history of Nashville and the Ryman. Then you are allowed inside the auditorium where you can watch videos hosted by celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Robin Roberts, who tell more stories of the Ryman. You can also pay to take a picture on stage; it’s $20 but we split it between 5 of us, and you receive 5 prints and a digital download link! If you want to pay $10 more, you can take the Guided Backstage tour that allows you to see the dressing rooms where famous artists prepare for their performances!
- BONUS: Music City Pub Crawl. Ok, so I couldn’t resist adding this one to the list…the night before the pub crawl, we bought our tickets and I am so glad we did! Music City Pub Crawls hosts around 20 private bachelorette parties EVERY weekend (yup, you heard that right) as well as larger public pub crawls around the holidays. For the 4th of July, they were hosting a Firecracker Pub Crawl! It was $15 to sign up, and then we received drink specials at each bar. The specials were anything from $3 wells to $5 shots to 2-for-1 domestics. GREAT fun, good way to meet people, AND the tour guides give you some historical tales that were incredibly entertaining…Did you know that the word “hooker” actually originated in Nashville?!
Click on my pictures below to see what I mentioned above & more of our trip!