Nashville, y'all!

For me, traveling has always been something I love to do but never do enough of it. While I

love living in Chicago, it's always nice to get out of the city and into a new surrounding. It's refreshing, (often times for me) cultural and of course fun! I recently set off for Nashville, TN and was very excited to explore. I had heard nothing but great things about Nashville but never have had the opportunity to go. Even though this was a quick trip, I knew I wanted to make the most of my time there.


Nashville, be it a smaller city, has a lot to offer. From great food, exciting sports teams and many attractions, Nashville a perfect vacation destination.


I am going to break this post into a few sections: Food & Drink, Exploration and Music.


Food & Drink

Let me preface this by stating that I am no foodie. I love to eat but I don't have the most sophisticated palate and being a vegetarian, I usually cannot eat every item on the menu. I will say though, the Nashville food scene is pretty good. Having eaten out for pretty much every meal, I never had disappointing or less than good food. Also, the coffee shop scene is like none other I have experienced. Each coffee house is "on trend" and brings a different personality.

Henrietta Red had amazing ceviche with a very classic modern vibe.

Above (L to R) Barista Parlor, Steadfast Coffee, Steadfast Coffee

From iced coffee to vegetable pot pie, I was never hungry. Nashville is a foodie paradise with tons of options varying from ultra casual to upscale menus.

Apparently, 30 people do yoga at Barista Parlor on Saturday mornings.

It's all about the details at Henrietta Red. From the floor tile to the hostess stand, no details goes unnoticed. Also, how nice are the communal tables?!

Lunch at Le Sel will leave you with wall art envy. Also, a full belly! What's not to love when you mix French influence with southern charm?!


Exploration

I am the type of vacationer that wants to get out to see, do and explore. If I wanted to lay by a pool or beach, I can just stay in Chicago for that. With having heard so many wonderful things about Nashville, my main goal was to experience the city and surrounding areas as much as I could.

One thing I learned is how gentrified this city is becoming. The entire area of Germantown is under construction with new apartment complexes popping up left and right. With it you will find many great shops and restaurants, but you wonder what it all once was.


Nashville, as I have learned, is great for wall art. It seemed like everywhere I looked, there was another mural. Below is just a snippet of what I saw.

Of course, it wouldn't be Nashville without a quick pitstop at the infamous Draper James wall. Reese asked me to say hello! (jk I wish).


There were several other fun stops along the way. The unfortunate thing about Nashville is that is isn't too transit friendly. Everything is spread out and without a car, it's traveling by Uber or by foot. Most of the areas explored required some form of transportation and while most places were 15 - 20 minutes from the city center, it seemed like I spent a lot of the time in a car.


Before the trip, I used the app Outings to assist with finding neat and personalized places based on my particular interests. One of those places was a children's park with a remarkable mosaic dragon, pictured right. I knew I wanted to stop by and see if for myself and it certainly did not disappoint.


One other amazing place with a lot to see was Centennial Park which features 132 acres of gardens, ponds, paths water features and a to-scale replica of The Parthenon.

The Parthenon really is a site to see. The sky and green grass really accentuate the beauty.

Lastly, Nashville has some extremely trendy shopping. While it all seemed to be the same after a while, it was really neat to stroll in and out of the shops.

Above (L to R): White's Mercantile, White's Mercantile, imogene + willie, imogene + willie


Music

Obviously, Nashville is a music city. Between the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and countless dive bars and concert venues, there is not shortage of options. The main reason for the trip was to see Bea Troxel perform at Musicians Corner and The High Watt. With folky tones and a voice that puts a smile on your face, Bea's singer/songwriter vibe will leave you with happy ears (even considering her set is framed as leading your though sad to nuanced sad).

Above: Musicians Corner Below: Musicians Corner, The High Watt, Musicians Corner

Overall, Nashville is a great place. With a vibrant music scene, a yummy food scene and a busy cultural scene, you will need a few days to fully take it all in. I only grazed the surface and look forward to a return trip, picking up where I left off.


Share some of your favorite places to vacation and why you like it so much in the comment section below!

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