I’ve never been to Tennessee in my life, and now I’ve been there twice in three months! My sister Cassie and I decided on Nashville for our second annual Sister Vacation (Chicago was the first) and it did not disappoint. I didn’t go with too many expectations or have much on my to do list, but I loved every minute of it. Here’s my Nashville To-Do List:
To Eat & Drink
The Pancake Pantry has been a Nashville tradition since 1961. It’s one of those breakfast places that doesn’t take reservations and has a line around the block. Aka the best kind of breakfast place. Their specialty is pancakes (obviously) and they have a wide variety to choose from. Georgia Peach and Lemon Apricot were our picks and my oh my they were good. Even Matt’s plain Buttermilk Pancakes were some of the best I’ve ever had! If I lived in Nashville I would be a regular here, plain and simple. Oh…and did I mention they have a theme song?
Located in the super fun neighborhood of The Gulch, Biscuit Love is a go-to brunch spot. It originally started out as a food truck, then did so well that it became a full-fledged restaurant! So you know it has to be good. There are all sorts of biscuit menu items, ranging from savory to very, very sweet (like a biscuit smothered in chocolate, peanut butter, carmelized bananas and pretzels). And if that isn’t sweet enough? They have bonuts…fried biscuit dough. It’s as delicious as it sounds.
If you’re anywhere even remotely close to the South you have to get BBQ. It’s a known fact. Edley’s has two locations so you’ll have no excuse to not get at least one meal here. Pulled pork, chicken, brisket, catfish…whatever kind of BBQ you want, you’ll find it here. Plus with sides like baked beans, potato salad, corn bread and mac and cheese? You really can’t go wrong. I’m getting hungry just thinking about the pork tacos I had! We went to the 12South location (another adorable neighborhood) and it was a perfect night to eat outside on the patio.
Let me preface this by saying I’m not a big burger person (I know, I know. I’m un-American. I’ve heard it all before). But you can’t go to a restaurant that has won multiple awards for their burgers…and not get a burger. Everyone else got the Tennessee Burger (with Jack Daniel’s glaze and local bacon) but I wanted to branch out and got the Hawaiian (with teriyaki, pineapple and avocado). By the end of the meal we were all in agreement…that was the best burger we’ve ever eaten. Again, in the amazingly cute Gulch neighborhood, with a perfect outdoor patio, and you can even bring your dog! Rumor has it their truffle tots are to die for, so I guess I’ll just have to go back again someday and try them.
Broadway in Nashville is like The Strip in Las Vegas, Bourbon Street in New Orleans or Beale Street in Memphis. With bar after bar for blocks around you, there’s bound to be one with the style and atmosphere you’re looking for. We had fun just walking up and down the streets stopping in whatever looked fun. The most entertaining thing was watching a bachelorette dance it out at a Dueling Piano bar. That poor girl…her friends have blackmail for life.
My favorite bar though doesn’t have a name (that I know of). You go into the George Jones Museum, walk to the back, then take an elevator up to the roof. It has live music, both covered and open outdoor seating, and a view of the river. Our drink of choice for the night also doesn’t have a name, but just ask for Apple Pie Moonshine and ginger ale. You won’t regret it.
I don’t know about you, but I always like walking around college campuses. Makes me (almost) wish I was going back to school. And unless you went to an Ivy League, Vanderbilt is going to make your college campus seem like a high school. Definitely worth grabbing a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and taking an afternoon walk.
Belle Meade Plantation
For your history lesson, you’ll want to take a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation. The land was purchased in 1806 and the plantation was in operation for 100 years. It is most well-known for it’s horses. Belle Meade was a large thoroughbred farm and is still considered to be one of the best lineages of horses. Secretariat, Sea Biscuit and American Pharaoh ALL have blood lines back to Belle Meade. You can take a guided tour of the plantation, walk around the grounds and then finish your trip with a wine tasting at their winery.
Within a few hours of being in Nashville I’d already decided I could live there. If you get the chance, you have to go. With so many unique neighborhoods, local restaurants and live music…I’m convinced you could never get bored there.