Nashville, or Nashvegas as many call it, has become one of my favorite cities in the U.S. My sister lives in Tennessee so I am able to visit there a few times a year. Every time I go over the past three years I discover something new about this beautiful city that makes me fall in love even more.
Nashville is most known for its music scene and BBQ, but the city has so much more to offer. It is home to the idyllic Vanderbilt University, the Predators Hockey team, and the Tennessee Titans. If you are not into country music fan don’t worry there are plenty of Jazz bars you can visit or head towards the country for some wine tasting.
Whatever you are looking to do, you will be able to find in this town. Here are some of the hidden and not so hidden gems that have become my Nashville staples over the years.
Best places to hit up on Broadway
If you are staying in downtown Nashville, you better make it out to these places. All the bars on Broadway have live music starting at 10am. If you are not a country fan don’t worry many genres or covered including classic rock.
The Stage: Is the place to be on Broadway. It is a whole lot of country and guess what, there is no cover charge. On any given night you could be surprised by a live performance or visit from one of your favorite country stars. The vibe here is electric and you will guaranteed be on the dance floor as soon as you get a drink from the bar.
Whiskey Bent: This is one of my favorite bars. It is not the biggest one on the strip but it has some real power house performers. My favorite is Biff Kapow. They mainly cover rock and classic rock with a little country mixed in. And the female lead singer will have you on the dance floor in no time.
Tootsies Orchid Lounge: Is one of the oldest and most famous places to hit up. It is where many country stars have gotten their big break, including the legendary Willie Nelson. If you make it here make sure to check out the rooftop bar. You can enjoy a your drink and a great view of the city center.
Other noteworthy bars to check out Honky Tonk Central, Paradise Park, and Rippy’s.
Libations and Nosh
Jack Bar-B-Que: Travel + Leisure Magazine rated Jack’s one of the best BBQ restaurants in America. It is easy to see why. They have three locations, one right on Broadway between The Stage and Tootsie’s. They are best known for their Texas Beef Brisket.
The Patterson House: This is Nashville’s favorite speakeasy. If you want to have the old-fashioned vibe and take a break from all the downtown hustle and bustle then this is the place. It is right on music row. Seating is limited and reservations are not easy to come by. But the wait is worth it with homemade bitters and original cocktails.
The Southern: My family and I stumbled upon this yummy steak and oyster restaurant right off of Broadway one day and I am happy we did. If you are looking to enjoy a nice meal this is the place. Everything I have tried on the menu melts in your mouth. I highly recommend starting with the crab cakes.
A Little Music History
Grand Ole Opry House: This is a must see even if you are not a country music fan. I have to admit I had no idea what this place really was until I took the tour. There is 90 years of country music history here. If you take the tour you get to see all 18 themed dressing rooms, go backstage, and stand on the same stage countless country stars have been standing on for decades.
Johnny Cash Museum: If you are a Johnny Cash fan make sure to come here. It is in the heart of Downtown Nashville. There is plenty to see but make sure you go during the day because it is closes after 7pm.
Ryman Auditorium: Past home to the Grand Ole Opry back in the 1920s, Ryman Auditorium is another spot with amazing history. Past presidents, country stars, actors, magicians, and activists have walked this stage. Today they mainly host tours and concerts.
I am going to give you a bonus spot to check out while you are in downtown Nashville called the Wild Beaver. It may not be the classist place in Nashville but it is the most entertaining for its people watching alone. You can get cheap drinks and enjoy the many activities such as karaoke, bull riding, darts, videos games and pool.