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Eating on the Fly: Nashville, Tennessee

Eating on the Fly: Nashville, Tennessee


Next stop: Music City. Nashville, Tenn., has a growing food scene, but this fine town has a lot of competition (and perhaps a long way to go) when it comes to being one of the tastiest communities in the Southern U.S. I planned this trip last minute, and while I was pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to get a reservation at The Catbird Seat, I was fairly confident that Nashville has some good alternatives to offer.

For lunch, it was something quick and easy. While Corky’s BBQ is more of a Memphis chain, I saw that it had a drive-thru, so off I went. All of Corky's meats are slow-cooked over hickory wood and charcoal. I chose ribs covered with the "dry rub," which have a completely different flavor than the "wet" barbecue sauce that most of us typically eat (read: devour). Dry rub had a flavor of cayenne, cumin, garlic, and something else… I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it may be a secret ingredient. Don’t let the dry rub fool you, though. Your hands will still be sticky, and you will certainly be licking your fingers.

For dinner, I tried Pour House: Burgers, Bourbon, and Brews, which just opened a few months ago. Parking is valet only, but it is well worth a few bucks since parking downtown Nashville can be challenging. It was busy, but my friend and I got a table in less than 15 minutes. I settled for a portobello burger that was juicy and flavorful. Since I had indulged in a hearty helping of fries with my lunch, I opted for a salad. The server informed me that all of the bourbon menus had been stolen since the restaurant’s opening. I guess customers were so impressed with the selection of more than 130 bourbon varieties that they needed a take-home souvenir. That was OK by me since beer goes pretty darn well with burgers. I tried a local Portly Stout from Turtle Anarchy Brewery in Franklin, Tenn. Creamy, dark, and delicious. Pour House is off to a great start. It will only improve once bourbon menus become available again.

My friend, who’s a Nashville local, brought me to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for dessert. My friend also owns a local Nashville catering business, Savor the Flavor Catering, so she knows food. My understanding was that there is always a line at Jeni’s, no matter what day, what time of the day, what day of the week, the fullness of the moon, or whatever. Considering that the staff allows customers to sample any flavor they may want (without limit) I’m still surprised at how rapidly the line moved! The server behind the counter was very patient and knowledgeable. I guess we sampled eight different flavors each. The standouts were goat cheese and red cherry, banana cajeta, riesling poached pear, whiskey and pecans, and some sort of fig flavor (I unfortunately forgot since my taste buds were in shock at the time!). Once I had tried a nice variety of their samples, I settled on a cup full of the goat cheese and red cherry… ahhhh-mazing! Please tell me I get to go to Nashville again one day... like... tomorrow. So many flavors, so little time. I will stand in that line at Jeni’s again, any day, any time, and during any phase of the moon!

For more Nashville coverage, check out our Nashville Travel Guide.


Reviewing Nashville's newest food trucks

Tia Mirenda poses for a photograph with her Eggplant Parm and Meatball Sub sandwiches in front of her A Little Italian food truck at Sheraton Music City, where she was serving lunch on Tuesday. (Photo: Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean)

In my first food truck round-up, circa summer 2011, I was excited by the "dozen or more roaming our roads." Fast-forward four years, and that number has mushroomed, like the tall-skinny houses, to more than 60, supported by its own organization (Nashville Food Truck Association) and a hungry city.

It's an all-consuming adventure to track down and try all of the great eats. You'll find amazing variety (shaved ices, steamed sandwiches, griddled waffles, stuffed burgers) and globe-trekking tastes (Jamaican, Egyptian, Serbian, Korean) at widespread venues (festivals, farmers' markets, city parks, business parking lots, neighborhood streets). For daily updates, social media tools are invaluable.

Today's review offers a sampling from a few of the new rigs.

Watermelon salad from The Four and Twenty Blackbirds food truck has chunks of blue cheese and candied pecans, awash in sweet-sour pepper jelly vinaigrette. (Photo: George Walker IV / The Tennessean)

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Jason Mathieson, chef and owner of Four and Twenty Blackbirds, describes his fare as globally inspired comfort food, with poutine, a French-Canadian fried comfort, often heading his roster. He prepares crisp hand-cut fries ladled with brown gravy and cheese curds, just like they do in Quebec. C'est si bon! But your eyes will widen when you see his Southern poutine, the potatoes additionally topped with pulled pork shoulder, tender collards, shredded slaw, green onions, shaved jalapenos and cotija crumbles. That's a mighty mound of fine eating.

He goes in for seasonal comforts, too. Cool off this summer with his watermelon salad chunked with blue cheese and candied pecans, awash in sweet-sour pepper jelly vinaigrette.

Cannoli from the A Little Italian food truck. (Photo: Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean)

A Little Italian

Tia Rose Mirenda, [email protected]

Tia Rose Mirenda's name leaves little room for doubt as to her heritage. And Mirenda brings a little of her Sicilian heritage to Nashville in her truck, A Little Italian. She makes three kinds of subs to sate your appetite, each napped in Old World red sauce and melt of mozzarella. Both chicken Parmesan and tender beef meatballs deliver, but we'll always order an often-overlooked favorite: eggplant Parm — lightly battered aubergine discs in the familiar tomato sauce and cheese. To wash it down, we recommend The Manhattan Special. It's an espresso coffee soda, bottled in Brooklyn for over a century. Zoom-zoom.

Her cannoli are terrific. Following her family recipe, she pipes small crunchy tubes with creamy, barely sweetened mascarpone, each end dotted with chocolate chips.

Like The Godfather's Clemenza immortalized: Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

BBQ shrimp from Sehrt Seafood. (Photo: Kyle Dreier Photography | www.dr)

Sehrt Seafood

After studying at the John Folse Culinary Institute and cooking at fine eateries in Louisiana, James Sehrt returned to Nashville with the intention of providing Gulf seafood to his landlocked hometown, sourcing the freshest catch to sell from his mobile store. Customers can purchase pounds of white shrimp, crawfish, soft shell crabs, oysters and whole snapper. This spring, he introduced his authentic NOLA style dishes. Offerings shift, based on chef's whim and seasonal availability. One evening, it could be shrimp Creole made with tomatoes and peppers from Green Door Gourmet, or grits and grillades, or crawfish beignets. In his BBQ shrimp, head-on crustaceans arrive in a sumptuous rosemary and pepper-laced broth, with a hunk of crusty bread to mop up all the juices. Sehrt's caper and scallion-packed remoulade is his choice dunk for crisp shoestring fries — now it's ours, too.

Food trucks I still want to try

Pie on the Fly's OMG pie with chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallow. (Photo: Kyle Dreier Photography | www.dr)

Pie on the Fly

The pies at Pie on the Fly are not what you'd think — no wedges of filled pastry crust — these unusual treats are cast-iron pie-pressed sandwiches baked in a wood-fired oven. Two slices of bread encase savory or sweet fillings and transform into delectable toasted rounds that you can eat on the fly. Seasoned ground beef, barbecue sauce, sautéed onions and bell peppers comprise the Hillbilly Cheesesteak, further enriched with mozzarella. It reminded us of a Sloppy Joe — only tidy. The Sexi-Mexi is a cheesy affair, plumped with roast turkey, peppers, salsa and a stretch of pepperjack. For dessert, they offer fruit-based pies: Peach cobbler is a seasonal winner. Otherwise, go for the decadent chocolate-peanut butter-marshmallow fluff. Much better than fly on the pie, right?

Thunderbird's thighs are generously spiced and sweetly low-and-slow smoked. (Photo: submitted)

Thunderbird Wings and Thighs

Here's a food truck with a semi-permanent location: Wednesday-Saturday outside Craft Brewed on Franklin Pike. Chip De Vier, Craft Brewed's owner, partnered with Thunderbird's Trace Scarborough to bring his pecan-wood smoked chicken and fixin's to the beer-centric hub. Now customers can have some good food to accompany their quaffs of amber ale or creamy stout. Who doesn't love a pile of wings — especially when they're generously spiced and sweetly low-and-slow smoked? For a full meal, order the Thunderbird thighs along with confetti slaw and smoked four-cheese mac.

The bibimbap is a standout dish from the new Funk Seoul Brother food truck, which launched earlier this year. (Photo: Courtesy of Funk Seoul Brother)

Funk Seoul Brother

At Funk Seoul Brother, the acronym KFC doesn't stand for the same ole Colonel Sanders battered and fried — it's Korean Fried Chicken. And here, it's some of the lightest, thinnest, crackliest battered and fried wings you'll ever taste. Add a brush of fiery gochujong sauce to the bird, and you'll find new meaning to hot chicken. The guys behind Riffs Fine Street Food started a second truck, this one devoted to their riffs on Korean street food. Soulful bowls of bibimbap follow tradition, but dishes like Galbi Tot-chos (that's Korean barbecued short rib over "angry" — as in sriracha and gochujong striped — tater tots) or sushi burritos are complete originals.

The Bus Stop slider from the Electric Sliders food truck is an all-beef patty, Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions and homemade steak sauce. (Photo: Shelley Mays/File/The Tennessean)

Electric Sliders

Likely you're too young to remember, but in 1976, Marcia Griffiths introduced the line dance craze via the Electric Slide to her hit single, "Electric Boogie." Just last year, chef Zac Jenkins debuted his Electric Sliders, six different fancy-meets-fast bites on a bun. We dig the Disco-Demi: A three-ounce beef patty gets its wow factor from sharp cheddar, pickled onions, arugula, white truffle vinaigrette and rosemary demi glace. Those same onions get deep fried, bringing toothsome crunch to "Piggy Stardust" — an over-the-top wonder of pulled pork and pimento cheese sparked with bourbon-balsamic barbecue sauce. Psychedelia is the savory-sweet vegetarian option: grilled Portobello mushroom slider layered with chevre, fig jam and a splash of balsamic. It's electric!

Find more food trucks

Visit Nashville Food Truck Association's website (www.foodtrucksnash.org) for a comprehensive listing. It's the Who's Who of Music City's mobile eateries. They even have an app you can download to your smart phone. Or follow them on Twitter @foodtrucksnash.

Three NFTA member trucks achieved top 20 ranking in The Daily Meal's "101 Best Food Trucks in America" list. With the entire country's food truck fleet in consideration, 101 trucks were chosen as the best in the country.


Where should I stop along the way?

Where's the best place to stay in Nashville?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in Nashville.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Gaylord Opryland Resort, which was mentioned 10 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Want to research more popular hotels in Nashville? Click the blue button below.

Where's the best place to eat in Nashville?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Bluebird Cafe, which was mentioned 5 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Want to research more popular restaurants in Nashville? Click the blue button below.

What are some things to do in Nashville?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Nashville. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

Cheryl from Edina, Minnesota asked:
Nearby small towns or outdoor areas? (6 answers)

Mike from Bronx, New York asked:
Top of the line hotels in Nashville? (5 answers)

Jane from asked:
Hotel by Airport (4 answers)

nicholas from Indianapolis asked:
What are some must sees in Nashville during the weekend (4 answers)

Katie from Los Angeles asked:
What's the best neighborhood in Nashville for a first time visitor? (4 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Nashville.

Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Nashville to Pigeon Forge drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

Looking for ideas for more destinations within driving distance of Pigeon Forge? Try searching for places within 3.5 hours of Pigeon Forge.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Pigeon Forge to Nashville. Or get a full Pigeon Forge to Nashville flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Pigeon Forge well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Pigeon Forge!

Nashville is 1 hour behind Pigeon Forge
18 Pigeon Forge travel answers
16 Knoxville travel answers
1 Loudon (Tennessee) travel answer
2 Crossville travel answers
163 Nashville travel answers


SUBSCRIBE NOW News 2 Evening Digest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two men hooked an unexpected fish while fly fishing on the Caney Fork River.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported Matt and his friend Jason were fishing for Striped Bass when Matt hooked into something special.

  • (Courtesy: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)
  • (Courtesy: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

The fishermen worked for half an hour and were towed around in their boat for over half a mile before they eventually landed a five foot, 55 pound Paddlefish, according to the TWRA.

The agency reported the men took some photos and released the fish back into the river unharmed.

The American Paddlefish are prehistoric fish that can grow over five feet long, weigh as much as 200 pounds and live beyond 30 years, the TWRA reported. The agency added American Paddlefish can be found throughout the Mississippi River Drainage and generally inhabit large rivers like the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


SUBSCRIBE NOW News 2 Evening Digest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While the International Space Station (ISS) passes by often, conditions are not always ideal for viewing.

That won’t be the case Monday night! A mostly clear evening sky will give Middle Tennesseans the perfect view of the ISS.

From Earth, the ISS looks like a bright, non-twinkling star that slowly moves across the sky. It’s very hard to miss. Currently, there are seven astronauts living on the ISS.

April 5, 2021, the ISS will appear starting at 7:58 p.m. and will travel northwest to southeast across the sky for six minutes.

The ISS circles 250 miles above the earth and NASA offers a convenient way to track it on their Spot The Station website.

You can use a compass or a compass app to find the spot on the horizon where the ISS will appear and disappear.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Travel time from Nashville to Union City (Tennessee)

How long does it really take to fly from Nashville to Union City (Tennessee)? Here's a sample itinerary for a commercial flight plan. If you want to know the total travel time to reach Union City (Tennessee), you need to include time at the airports. Eventually, you'll be able to customize this itinerary to select other nearby airports and choose your preferred airline.

Thursday, 2:00 pm : start in Nashville
drive for about 19 minutes
most airlines recommend you get to the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight, so arrive by 3:14 pm at the latest

2:19 pm : Nashville International (BNA)
if you need to check luggage, make sure you do it at least 30-60 minutes before departure, or in this case, by 3:44 pm

2:49 pm : get your boarding pass and go through TSA security
allow enough time for long security lines during busy travel seasons or holidays, and prepare for the wait time

3:49 pm : arrive at the gate
once you're ready to board, you can get something to eat in the airport or just relax near the gate

4:19 pm : prepare for boarding
check your boarding pass for your group number or listen to the gate agent as they announce boarding, some airlines require you to be in the boarding area 10-15 minutes before departure or risk losing your seat

4:34 pm : board SkyWest Airlines Inc. flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

4:44 pm : this is your scheduled departure time
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 20 minutes

5:04 pm : so this is your actual departure time
it takes the plane an average of 21 minutes to taxi to the runway

5:25 pm : wheels up! take-off from BNA
fly for about 1.5 hours in the air

6:42 pm : Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Chicago, IL is the same time as Nashville, TN
land at the connecting airport
taxi on the runway for an average of 8 minutes to the gate

6:50 pm : arrive at the connecting airport
make sure you schedule enough time for your layover
there may be a minimum connection time for your flight

8:35 pm : get to your connection gate
with the average delay, you have about 1 hour, 45 minutes

8:50 pm : board SkyWest Airlines Inc. connecting flight
you can scroll down to view other airlines that fly this route

9:00 pm : scheduled departure time for connecting flight
but this flight is usually delayed by an average of 26 minutes

9:26 pm : actual departure time for connecting flight
it takes the plane an average of 18 minutes to taxi to the runway

9:44 pm : wheels up again! take-off from
fly for about 52 minutes in the air

10:36 pm (local time) : Barkley Regional (PAH)
Union City (Tennessee) is the same time as Nashville
taxi on the runway for an average of 4 minutes to the gate

10:40 pm (local time) : arrive at the gate at PAH
deboard the plane, and claim any baggage
if you're renting a car, check if you need to take a shuttle to car rental agency, otherwise you can ride in a cab, limo, or Uber for about 2.5 hours to your destination

Friday, 1:00 am (local time) : arrive in Union City (Tennessee)

Now finally, let's look at an example flight from BNA to PAH and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Nashville to Union City (Tennessee) including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.


How Pop Culture and Comedy Can Help Millennial Teens Ace the SAT

By Jared Friedland, Founder, Catalyst Prep

Beware the Ides of March! If you’re a high school student slated to take the SAT this year, you and Caesar may have more in common than you’d think. Shakespeare’s soothsayer may have been describing the ill-fated emperor’s imminent assassination, but his ominous assertion could just as easily have been applied to a teenager gearing up for the spring’s College Boards. The March SAT, the second of seven tests offered throughout 2013, is considered the most popular test for high school juniors because it falls a few months before Advanced Placement exams – “A.P.s” in the parlance of overburdened, Ivy League-aspiring teens – and six to eight weeks after mid-terms. In fact, so many of the nearly three million high school students expected to take the SAT this year will be taking the March 9 th test that it’s currently causing more Gen-Y stress than a sold-out Carly Rae Jepsen concert.

Way back in the 20th century, when my fellow Gen-Xers and I were in high school, preparing for the SAT was a lot less intense. Sure, we knew the SAT was important, and sure, if you had proto-Tiger Mom parents like mine, you were reminded of that importance on a daily, if not hourly, basis. But the culture of hysteria that now surrounds The Most Important Test Of Your Life had yet to surface, and the biggest source of our adolescent anxiety was not being able to name the latest group on Yo! MTV Raps.

Today, things are different. At Catalyst Prep, the college preparation company I founded in 2006, we receive so many anguished Please-help-us-if-Cody-doesn’t-get-a-2340-he’ll-never-get-into-Harvard emails that we’ve semi-seriously entertained the idea of lobbying the American Psychiatric Association to list mild to moderate I’m Never Gonna Get Into Yale as a seasonal mood disorder in the DSM-IV. If you don’t happen to be a high school junior or, even worse, an iPhone bill-paying, driver’s permit-fearing parent of a high school junior, you may have a hard time conceptualizing the degree of dread the SAT now incites in students. The best way to get a sense of the utter torment teenagers endure the hours before taking the SAT is to picture being notified of a tax audit while reviewing your shriveled 401(k) while waiting in a hospital room for the biopsy results of that weird-looking brown thing that’s caused you to surf WebMD for the last three weeks. It’s nerve-wracking, and given the SAT’s three hour and 45 minute duration, the panic isn’t exactly short-lived. The latest, 2400-point version of the SAT, unleashed in March, 2005, consists of 170 questions in math, grammar and critical reading, and a 25 minute essay, which ranges from broad philosophical questions like “Is creativity needed in today’s society?” to controversial “out of left field” questions, such as the infamous reality TV prompt that sucker punched students on March 12 th 2011.

So, what’s a Millennial to do besides find solace in the angst-ridden Facebook status updates of his or her fellow test-takers? I’ve found that the most effective way to defuse test anxiety and boost scores is to coach students in a way they find appealing: with pop culture and comedy. Can’t recall the definition to “hackneyed,” a word that only seems to exist on standardized tests and in David Denby’s New Yorker film reviews? No sweat — just think of that Glee episode where the kids convince Mr. Schue to ditch his tired, conventional, utterly banal songs in favor of Salt-n-Pepa’s bawdy “Push It.” Having trouble remembering how to graph parabolas? No problem — let’s just graph Justin Bieber’s curiously parabola-shaped head, and you’ll never puzzle over a y = 3(x – 2) 2 ever again. Can’t explain what subject-verb agreement is if your GPA depended on it? No worries — just take a gander at Kim Kardashian’s tweets and see what can be gleaned from her like, eww, gross attitude toward proper grammar. In short, what we’ve discovered is that learning how to ace the SAT and other standardized tests can actually be enjoyable. (Ok fine, maybe “enjoyable” is a bit of a stretch, but at least non-torturous.)

Levity’s impact on learning is supported by neuroscience. Whether your preferred delivery method is Stephen Colbert (mine) or Garrison Keillor (my 76-year-old mother’s), anything that makes us laugh engages both hemispheres of our brain, so when we lampoon the SAT and get students to relax, we’re not just alleviating test anxiety, we’re tuning up minds to think more analytically about problems requiring deep deliberation. Here are three tips if you or someone whose cell phone bill you pay is taking the SAT this spring:

1. Avoid Writer’s Block by Preparing Examples in Advance. Although the essay prompts vary from test to test, the SAT uses the same themes over and over again (like Independence vs. Following the Crowd), so if you prepare a novel and a historical figure or artist who apply to a wide range of prompts, you won’t draw a blank. Make sure you pick an individual that you can write about authoritatively and a book that doesn’t involve extremely good-looking teenage vampires.

2. Generate Headlines As You Read. Having trouble determining the main idea in reading passages? Think about the headlines on sites like TMZ. Headlines like “Lil Wayne Ain’t No Tupac” are eye-catching and informative because they involve a subject (Lil Wayne) and a verb (ain’t no). (Well, a quasi-verb.) Generate “headlines” as you read and you’ll have no problem summarizing the point of each passage.

3. Don’t Get Punk’d. Making careless errors on math problems? Chances are you’re being bamboozled like a contestant on hidden camera shows like MTV’s Punk’d. Just like a guileless celebrity who is so drawn in by what’s in front of him that he fails to realize Ashton Kutcher is lurking in the bushes, students tackling SAT math problems are vulnerable to ignoring all the signs that they are facing a trick question. To avoid being duped, students should always underline key words that can alter the solution to a problem, words like: even, odd, positive, negative, consecutive and integer.

Once you recognize the SAT’s formulaic patterns, you’ll realize it doesn’t take a soothsayer to predict what’s going to be on the test. As Shakespeare sort of says in Julius Caesar: “The fate of the SAT is not in the stars, but in ourselves.”


Cara Nicoletti: 4th generation Butcher and Founder of Seemore Meats & Veggies

Cara Nicoletti grew up working at her family’s Boston butcher shop, Salett’s which opened in 1941. After college she took up the family trade, working at top restaurants and butcher shops in New York City. However, Nicoletti grew concerned about the environmental impacts of meat-eating, so she began to experiment with vegetable-based and humanely raised animal sausages which led to Seemore Meats & Veggies (her grandfather is named Seymour).

Seemore Meats & Veggies aims to tackle waste and carelessness in the meat industry, and to help people eat meat more sustainably. They participate in a carbon credit program in effort to limit the company's environmental impact. The company is comprised of a team of 8 women.


Seek out street art

Some of the city’s great street art

Nashville is packed with street art. Hidden in alleys, under bridges, in parking lots—murals and artworks seem to be everywhere. Finding them around the city feels like a scavenger hunt. Luckily, you never have to look too far.

One of the most popular murals in town is the “Wings mural” by Kelsey Montague, which you can find in The Gulch. There’s even a painted line on the sidewalk to show people where to patiently wait a turn for a photo. When you’re done there, take a walk down 11th Avenue South to see what other murals you can find.

Beyond The Gulch, the Germantown and East Nashville neighborhoods have lots of street art. Wander the area near Werthan Lofts or take a drive down Gallatin Pike, respectively, to see some of the highlights of Nashville’s ever-changing canvas.


Nashville’s exciting music scene spans a variety of genres. This is the reason the city has been nicknamed “Music City”. In Nashville you can find country and rock bands in every honky tonk bar, symphonies in every theater and opera in performing arts centers.

Of course, the main music in Nashville is country music. This is where most country stars get their start. In fact, the Country Music Hall of Fame is located here, as well as the famous Grand Ole Opry! Each June thousands of country fans flock to this city for the CMA Music Festival.

This vibrant city is not just about music, though. Nashville is known as the Athens of the South because of its 24 post-secondary educational institutes. In fact, you can find Athenian architecture throughout the city, including a full-scale replica of the Parthenon.

One of the best things about this city, though, is the Southern style food!

Architecture of Nashville A boot store sign in Nashville

Money and Time Saving Pass

Save time and money on attractions in Nashville with the Nashville Sightseeing Pass. Pay one price, but choose from over 30 attractions and offers. This will save you money even if you only have time for two of them.

What To See and Do in Nashville

Free Walking Tour

There is no better way to see a city than by walking. Free Tours by Foot Nashville offers free 90-minute walks with through downtown Nashville with local guides each Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. You only tip your guide the amount you feel the tour was worth. Book your tour here.

Stroll the River Walk

Take a stroll along the Cumberland River on The River Walk. Enjoy all of the old architecture while listening to music waft out of the local bars. There are lots of places to sit and just take in the views of the river. Among the many bars and restaurants there are also a few other places of interest along the River.

The Bridge over the river in Nashville The Korean Veterans Blvd. Bridge over Cumberland River The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River in Nashville

Johnny Cash Museum

If you’re a Johnny Cash fan, take a stroll through the Johnny Cash Museum. They have the largest and most complete collection of his memorabilia in the entire world. You can also watch videos and shows about the Man in Black.

Ryman Auditorium

The historic Ryman Auditorium is where bluegrass was born and country stars got their start. It’s also the home to the original Grand Ole Opry. Come here to enjoy live music and stand-up comedians.

Goo Goo Shop

Along the Riverfront you’ll find all sorts of attractions and shops. Including the Goo Goo Shop. This is where you can taste the yummy Goo Goo Clusters! Goo Goo’s are a mixture of caramel, peanuts, marshmallow and chocolate and they have been making them since 1912.

Stop into Goo Goo for some yummy chocolates

Pedal Tavern

A Pedal Tavern is a multi-rider bike that is built around a bar. Pedal down the road and see the city with an ice cold drink in your hand. They provide the rolling pub, you provide your own drinks. Don’t worry… only ten of the seats have pedals, but only 5 of the seats have to pedal. After a few drinks, you’ll want to grab one you don’t have to pedal!

Near the Riverwalk in Downtown Nashville A Pedal Tavern

See the Titans Play

The Tennessee Titans have a great football team with the addition of Ryan Tannehill as quarterback! It would be great to see them play live if you happen to be in town during NFL season. The Nissan Stadium is right on the Cumberland River downtown and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge will make getting there very easy! Check out their schedule and purchase your tickets here.

Nissan Stadium, where the Tennessee Titans NFL team plays

Fort Nashborough

Close to Nashville’s riverfront is a stockade called Fort Nashborough. It was established in 1779 as a forerunner to the settlement of Nashville. It was used as protection for settlers against Indians and wild animals, but now the replica is part of Nashville’s Parks and Recreation. You can take a self-guided tour from 9 am to 4 pm daily, and admission is free.

Fort Nashborough

Check Out the Music Venues

When you’re ready to give you feet a rest from walking, take in some music! A couple of places we went to that I recommend for great live music are Legend’s Corner and Tin Roof . We were at each of these little honky tonk bars in the afternoon and they were very busy. I imagine at night they might get a little crazy – but fun!!

A little bit further out is a place called 3rd and Lindsley . This is a huge place where you can walk in on any night and find on stage not only a musician trying to make it big, but a musician who has made it. Bands like Lady Antebellum, Train and Ed Sheeran have all played at the venue. We happened into this bar one night and on stage was Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers! Try to get there early for good seats!!

Vince Gill at 3rd and Lindsley A cute bar sign in Nashville

Country Music Hall of Fame

If you are a country music fan, then one stop you have to make is the Country Music Hall of Fame. Floors and floors of memorabilia, including Elvis Presley’s “Solid Gold’ Cadillac and gold piano!

Michael was a big Gene Autry fan when he was a kid and was thrilled when he came upon Gene Autry’s guitar.

On the night we were at the Hall of Fame they had a band playing downstairs and then a duo in one of the rooms off of the center. We hit it just right and had such a great time!

Elvis Presley’s Caddy at Country Music Hall of Fame Michael with Gene Autry A band playing at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Gaylord Opryland Resort

On our fourth day in Nashville we hailed an Uber and took a ride to the Gaylord Opryland Resort . This hotel is owned by Marriott and it is like a little city inside. It’s kind of like a big glass enclosed 4.5 acre greenhouse with over 500,000 lush plants. It has several restaurants, boutiques, waterfalls and even a 1/4 mile long river on which you can go for a boat ride. The walkways are peaceful with little rivers running through. It is absolutely stunning and a must see while in Nashville!

The river through Opryland Resort Gaylord Opryland Hotel Nashville Opryland Hotel

The Grand Ole Opry

And, of course, no trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to The Grand Ole Opry ! About 2 weeks before we left for Nashville we went on ticketmaster.com to see what was going on while in town, and we found out Brad Paisley was playing the Opry. We ordered our tickets and got great seats – 6th row just off center! See my separate post on The Grand Ole Opry.

Brad Paisley at Grand Ole Opry

Top Tours for Nashville

See all Viator tours for the awesome city of Nashville.

Annual Festivals and Events

Plan a trip around one of Nashville’s many annual festivals and events.

Best Time to Visit

Rates are best in the winter, but the weather can be pretty chilly with occasional snow. The best time to visit Nashville is between March and May or in the fall months of October and November when the leaves are in their colorful glory!

Where to Stay in Music City USA

Omni Hotel

We were in Nashville for a long weekend, and I was wishing we had a few more days just to hit more of the bars and listen to the great music!! Since Michael had a conference, we found a great hotel on Booking.com right next to the convention center. The Omni Nashville Hotel was right in the center of everything.

Within walking distance you can find several bars with new musicians trying to make it big – and they are fabulous! Each bar you pass on music row has an exceptional musician. As you make your way down the street the sounds of guitars, saxophones and beautiful voices surround you – and people are even dancing on the sidewalk! Nashville is a great, easy walking city, but it does take a long time to walk because of all of the music stops!

Sidewalk Musicians

Finding and Booking Accommodations

Lodging is one of the most important aspects of planning a trip. You want to find the right place for the best price. Our favorite resource when making reservations for lodging is Booking.com. They really seem to have the best deals on hotels, B&B’s and rental properties. Read more about finding and booking accommodations.

Where to Eat in Nashville

The food in Nashville is some of the best in the entire country! Here are some of our favorite places.

Etch Restaurant

Not only is the music in this city great, but the food is also fabulous!! We had 4 very memorable meals in Nashville in the 4 nights we were there. The first night we at Etch Restaurant in downtown Nashville – a beautiful restaurant with excellent food and great service. Try the roasted cauliflower for starters – delicious!! Oh, and the drinks are fantastic! My personal favorite is the Smoked Old Fashioned – YUM! The place is sleek, cool, and elegant all in one. I will definitely be heading back here for dinner next time in Nashville!

Peg Leg Porker

Our second day in Nashville we wanted to try some barbeque and everyone we spoke with said “go to Peg Leg Porker“. It is a little place where you order at the counter and they call your number. It was a gorgeous day in March so we took a seat outside expecting good BBQ. It’s not only good at Peg Leg… it is some of the best BBQ we’ve ever had!! Michael had the ribs and said they were falling off the bone and delicious! I went for the pulled pork sandwich and it was moist and tender and the sauce was amazing! Great little place for lunch!

Peg Leg Porker Nashville

The Catbird Seat

On our second night we had reservations for dinner at The Catbird Seat . This restaurant is interactive. The room you eat in has about 20-25 seats that surround one large “U-Shaped” bar which wraps around the kitchen. The chefs are in the middle preparing and cooking your meal. The meals are on a whole other level – absolutely beautiful preparation and your tastebuds will love you for treating yourself! It is a unique and outstanding food experience! Reservations are a MUST and they release them about 30 days out. It is very pricey, but well worth the experience.

Monell’s

The third day’s lunch was definitely the most memorable. Not only for the food, but for the experience… Monell’s. OMG. This place is a must do while in Nashville!! Monell’s is located in a very charming area called German Town. Their motto is “Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends”. At Monell’s you’ll feast on comfort foods, family style. Their menu changes daily, but we had fried chicken, southern style green beans, Macaroni and Cheese, Cornbread, biscuits and gravy, pork chops, pot roast, mashed potatoes, bread with homemade jam.

Monell’s is all you can eat for about $20.00. They sit you down with other “strangers” at a big table and they bring the food to your table family style and you pass it until it’s gone… and then they bring more! It is a great expe rience with dynamite southern food!! I want to go back to Nashville just so I can try their brunch, which I hear is fantastic!! They do not take reservation… be prepared for a wait of about 30 minutes!

Monell’s in Nashville

Entering Monell’s Our community table at Monell’s

Moto Cucina & Enoteca

We came away from our meal at Monell’s thinking we would never eat again because we were overstuffed… but, we had to try a place that was recommended by a friend, Moto Cucina & Enoteca. This place has delicious Italian food with a really cool, friendly vibe. For appetizers we tried the Burrata with marinated cherry tomatoes, basil and smoked Chardonnay, and the Prosciutto e Mozzarella. The Burrata was so creamy and delicious, and the melon with the Prosciutto was perfectly salty and sweet – great combo! For dinner Michael went with the Tagliatelle Bolognese and I had the Black Squid Ink pasta with lobster ragu – outstanding!! Affogato for dessert – coconut sorbet, vanilla gelato and espresso.

How to Get Here

Nashville International Airport (“BNA”) is where you’ll fly into. It’s about a 20 minute drive from the airport to downtown Nashville. Uber is available to take you from the airport to town. See how to get the best deals on flights.

Getting Around

There is no need for a car in Nashville, as it is a very walkable town. If you don’t want to walk… grab an Uber. An Uber will be your least expensive and most convenient option.

Share Your Travel Tips & Comments

As always, if you have any of your own travel tips to add to this post, any remarks on the article, or if my information needs an edit or addition, please leave your comments below. I value all of your input.