rainy flight out of BOS
one thing Nashville and I can agree on
reunited at the Grand Ole Opry!
farmer's market--please note the attractive veggie vendor
broadway a.k.a nashvegas
cowboy boots galore
the Parthenon (the nashville version)
This past weekend my college friends and I reunited, after three looong months since graduation, in Nashville for a quick 48-hour whirlwind trip. Ever since traveling to different cities on the weekends while I was in Europe, I think I've mastered the art of squeezing all things cultural and fun in 48 hours or less when visiting a new place. Luckily, Nashville isn't that big. And, to be honest, there's not a whole lot to see in terms of tourist-y things. Good food, drinks and friends were the main focus of the trip, which I am not complaining about.
When we weren't sipping on moonshine margaritas and noshing on pulled pork (don't worry, a round-up of Nashville restaurants and favorite dishes is in the works), we spent the majority of our days exploring the farmer's markets, seeing the Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon, and poking through the little boutiques around Vanderbilt. Here's a list of Nashville must-sees that can be done in 48 hours or less:
- Hillsboro Village - a little downtown street near Vanderbilt that's home to a line of boutiques, cafes and a famous pancake joint, The Pancake Pantry.
- Tennessee Chic (where I found the "What doesn't kill you makes you blonder" quote) - a bright and cheerful shop with decorative homemade quotes lining the walls and colorful clothing.
- Pangaea - embrace your inner hippie/bohemian side with this boutique's offering of eclectic jewelry, clothing, folk art, felt hats and home goods.
- Native Nomad - a more upscale boutique that features local casual and contemporary designer clothing and accessories. Think neutral colors, locally-made delicate jewelry, modern apparel with a nomadic flair.
- Grand Ole Opry - the most famous country music venue; however, the building shown above in the group photo is actually not the historical version. We made that mistake and took an Uber all the way there to a strip mall! The original, called the Ryman, is just downtown off of Broadway.
- Farmer's Markets - one for food and one for vintage goods.
- Nashville Farmer's Market - a food and flower market that sells locally-sourced produce and baked goods. The Market House also has 16 restaurant vendors that serve BBQ, pizza, ice cream, Asian and Mexican cuisine. It's truly a food-lover's paradise.
- Fairgrounds Flea Market - a goldmine of vintage goods, including that amazing leather jacket in my photo above. We're talking antique records, silverware, art and other trinkets. It's definitely worth wandering through but it is hot in the sun. Pick up a freshly-squeezed lemonade as you explore.
- Broadway - the main strip of downtown Nashville that's crawling with bachelor/bachelorette parties, Pedal Taverns and Party Barges. At all hours, you can walk down Broadway and hear live country bands performing in multilevel bars with happy hours specials everywhere. There's a reason why they call it Nashvegas.
- Parthenon - a full-scale replica of the actual Parthenon in Greece that was originally built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Located in Centennial Park, the monument is pretty to look at, especially while sitting by the pond nearby. In other words, this makes a good scenic rest area.
Though the days are packed, and I'm sure we didn't get to everything, especially the local spots, I think we were able to fully experience Nashville. I must say, I don't think I've ever seen so many bachelorette parties, colorful clothing, rhinestones and blondes in one place. Needless to say, I put aside my dislike for country music and embraced the Southern hospitality.
Stay tuned for a recap of the other version of Southern hospitality:
moonshine & BBQ.