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Nashville Travel Guide: Good Eats and Fun Activities

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I recently took a spontaneous trip to Nashville, Tennessee for my birthday and had the absolute BEST time! We ate amazing food, explored the popular neighborhoods in the city and did some pretty cool activities as well. With that being said, if you’re thinking about taking a trip this winter, you’ll want to keep reading this Nashville Travel Guide.

Prior to my trip, whenever I mentioned that I was going to Nashville I always got the “what’s there?” response. Literally every single person I told asked me some variation of this question. I’m not the biggest country music fan, which was why so many people were curious, but there was just something that drew me to that city. It was one of the last places on my 40 Places to Visit Before 40 list, but I knew I would fall in love, I just felt it. On top of that, I get lots of flight specials from Jet Blue, and this time around Nashville happened to be on the list. It was fate.

Popular Neighborhoods

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Here are some of the more popular neighborhoods that are guaranteed to pop up in your next Nashville travel search. We stayed in the downtown area which was practically at the center of it all. It was walking distance from Broadway, and only a short drive away from the other areas as well.

  • Downtown
  • The Gulch
  • East Nashville
  • 12th South
  • Germantown

Food

I’ve traveled to several places in my life, but I have to say that Nashville has the best food so far. With my diet/lifestyle, finding places to eat tends to be a challenge, but there were so many options to choose from! Before my trip, I did do a little planning and bookmarked a handful of restaurants, especially vegan, on Yelp. Although I am not vegan, I do love to eat vegan food and try to whenever I can. My prayers were answered! For each restaurant, I’ll rate my experience out of 5, based on taste, atmosphere, and service.

Oscar’s Taco Shop; 5/5

The best tacos I’ve had in a very long time! This was the first place we ate on the day we arrived, and unlike many of the others, it wasn’t pre-planned. We were shocked at how good it turned out and it was then I knew this would be an amazing trip. We had the shrimp and fish tacos that were seasoned to perfection, with chips and salsa that were surprisingly just as good!

The Wild Cow; Rating: 4/5

This was a cute little vegan restaurant in Eastland. Service was good, and they were very welcoming and you could see they valued diversity amongst their staff. I had the black bean and sweet potato tacos; they were good but not my favorite if I’m being honest. The hummus, on the other hand, was delicious.

Cafe Fuzion; Rating 5/5

The tiny cafe was another gem that wasn’t pre-planned. It was right outside our hotel and the perfect start to our day. The owner was very friendly and the food was amazing. Who knew balsamic vinegar would taste so good on avocado toast?

The Southern V; Rating 6/5 (Can I do that?)

Black-owned and vegan! I don’t even think I need to say much more after that…other than get the mac n cheese! Luckily we went during the week because based on reviews, this place gets packed. It lived up to the hype and felt even better since we were supporting black business owners. Besides the food being delicious, the decor featured marble patterns and gold accents that made me feel right at home.

Stock & Barrel; Rating 5/5

If you’re into burgers (even vegetarian) and bourbon, this place won’t disappoint. We ate here for dinner on the night of my birthday and it was the perfect way to end the night. Our waiter was both friendly and engaging and had great recommendations for us to try. I highly recommend the Salmon Burger and Crispy Shrooms, I discovered a new love for mushrooms that night. The drink menu was endless, and unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of what I had, but just know it’s all good!

Things to do

Murals

After food, another fun activity is to hunt for murals throughout the city! With a quick google search, you’ll find countless resources for making an adventure out of sourcing these murals. I happened to come across a few on my journey, and it was fun to capture these beautiful creations.

Historical Sites

I didn’t realize Nashville was full of so much history, from the war memorial to the Black History on every corner in the Downtown area. There is also a walking tour I believe, that takes you to all of the local historical sites. I didn’t get the chance to do it this time around, but hopefully next time I’ll be able to fit it in.

Music

If you’re into music, country or not, this is the place for you! After all, it’s called Music City for a reason. Of all the museums centered around music, the Musicians Hall of Fame seemed to be the most appealing since I’m not the biggest fan of country music. It was so interesting to see how far the industry has come and where it all started. My favorite part was seeing the evolution of the Grammy’s, in the Grammy Museum Gallery.

Shop

I made it a goal of mine to not shop too much on this trip. Not only because I didn’t have much extra space in my luggage, but also because I’m working on buying less and saving more. This trip consisted of spending most of our money on food and transportation which I was happy with, but a place that I had to stop at was Lemon Laine. It’s a one-stop shop for all things wellness from the inside out. They even have an oil bar where you could customize your own facial oil and although I didn’t get a chance to experience it, it is on my to-do list for my next trip.

We also visited the Gaylord Opryland Resort and it was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Since it was during the holiday season, every inch of the resort was beautifully decorated. The place is massive; it was like an entire town separated from the rest of the city. It was a fun experience, and definitely family friendly.

Bottom line, if you’ve never been to Nashville, I would HIGHLY recommend it. There’s so much to see and do and this recap was only a piece of the pie.

Cheers to another city crossed off my bucket list!

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