More Than Music
Words & Photos by Katy Chadwell
Home to the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman and countless honky tonks, Nashville is dubbed the Music City for good reason. With its laid back attitude and easy-going charm, the city makes for the perfect weekend getaway for those looking to experience a little Southern history and hospitality.
Nashville is the place for hot chicken, and Prince’s Hot Chicken is the original game in town. You can even call in your order to avoid the line. There is a spice level for everyone, including mild if you want to try the amazing flavor without breaking a sweat. Be sure to save room for dessert. Once mouths are fed, check in to the Thompson Nashville. The surrounding Gulch neighborhood is easily walkable and has several murals that are a part of the Nashville Walls Project. Plan your trip around a concert at the Ryman Auditorium, considered to be one of the best music venues in the world and the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Grab dinner and drinks at Gray and Dudley before or after the show.
Enjoy breakfast at Killebrew Coffee before setting out for the day. No trip to Music City would be complete without a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Take time to browse the historic RCA Studio B, where more than 1,000 hit songs were recorded, and don’t miss the Hatch Show Print tour to learn about the art of letterpress from the folks who have been making classic concert posters since 1879. Make your way over to the Tennessee State Capitol Building and the Nashville Farmers Market for lunch. Add to your collection at Third Man Records, a combination record store, venue, and headquarters of Jack White’s label.
Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Germantown neighborhood. Wilder is the place to go for stylish home goods or treat yourself to a premium handcrafted leather handbag at Peter Nappi. End up at Henrietta Red in time for dinner (reservations recommended). Known for seasonal American cooking with an emphasis on seafood and oysters, it was named one of the top new restaurants of 2017 by Bon Appetit, and the dining room is a feast for the eyes. Enjoy the city’s premiere venue for Bluegrass and Roots Music, The Station Inn, while indulging in “a thing of popcorn” for $2. If you’re in the mood for a nightcap, choose from the extensive cocktail menu at Patterson House.
Enjoy southern fare for brunch at Marsh House. Head down to 12South district to see some iconic murals and for some retail therapy at Draper James, Imogene + Willie, and White’s Mercantile. Try The Filling Station for sampling local beers on tap and feast on a treat at Five Daughters Bakery. Make your way to East Nashville—similar to East Austin, an area that is somewhat eclectic with a low-key vibe. The Five Points area has plenty of restaurants and locally owned shops such as Local Honey. Grab the best burger in town at The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden or hit up Pepperfire if you’re in the mood for another round of hot chicken.
If you go…The Thompson is the perfect place to call home while in Nashville. Located in the Gulch neighborhood, it is close to the action without being in the fray of downtown. The service is top notch, and the modern interiors feature mid-century touches. We also love the 21c Museum Hotel, a boutique property that showcases curated contemporary art exhibitions near Printer’s Alley.
Katy Chadwell is a member of the team at Austin-based Century Travel and would welcome the opportunity to help you plan a trip to Nashville or wherever your travels may lead you! Contact her at email@example.com and enjoy complimentary room upgrades, food and beverage credits, and more on your next vacation!