Chris and I spent Memorial Day weekend in Nashville, TN with two close friends who have both moved there over the past few years from the DC area. This was my first time visiting Nashville and we had so much fun! I would love to go back and do the same things all over again. Here is the rundown of the weekend:
Late Night Dancing at The Flipside
After a great rooftop cookout on Friday night at Chris’ former roommate’s apartment complex, we walked over to The Flipside with a huge group of friends for some dancing! The Flipside is a bar and restaurant with an awesome retro feel. I was impressed by the quality swing dancing going on when we first arrived, but was even more excited when the DJ started playing Top 40.
Brunch at Marché
After staying at my dear friend Carrie’s house, we walked over to an adorable neighborhood spot, Marché, for brunch and some girl time! Carrie told me we needed to get there before 9:00am if we didn’t want to wait too long, which seemed pretty early to me. Sure enough, however, the wait was already 15-20 minutes when we arrived. After we left, the wait was an hour!
We split a half-order of their well-known French toast, which was delicious. I went with the spinach and artichoke crepe for my entrée. Carrie chose a basic breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and breakfast potatoes. The sunlight streamed through the window and I was in love with the charm of it all.
Coffee at Barista Parlor
One of my favorite things to do in new cities is explore the different neighborhoods. In Nashville, this seemed to be especially important to do since locals don’t really hang out downtown that much. There are different pockets in Nashville where restaurants and shops are located, so people seem to gather in these places. After brunch, we wandered around Hillsborough, Vanderbilt’s campus, and East Nashville.
We finally landed at Barista Parlor, which is a coffee shop unlike any place I’ve ever seen. The shop is located in a giant garage-like space–and it is hipster central. We hung out there for awhile and watched a band set up outside for a good thirty minutes. They played one song, then started setting up the stage some more. Were they going to play a set? Or were they just there to hang out and act like a band?
The coffee was really good and it was a cool space with fantastic people-watching opportunities. Carrie let us know about a parody Instagram account, Barista Parlour, which gave us an entertaining lens for the whole experience.
For lunch, we tried out what Carrie described as the “best tacos I’ve ever had.” They were pretty delicious! Mas Tacos used to be a food truck and now has a small restaurant in East Nashville. I scarfed down a breakfast taco and a beef brisket taco. Chris and I also split some elote, grilled corn on the cob coated in cheese and spices!
We wrapped up our Saturday afternoon stopping by the end of Musician’s Corner, a free summer concert series at Centennial Park. It was a hot day, but all of the trees gave us the perfect amount of shade. We sprawled out on a picnic blanket and got set up just in time to hear the final act… Ben Kweller! It’s neat to be in a place where there is great music everywhere you turn. On the side of the stage, the lead singer of Kings of Leon, Caleb Followill, hung out with his wife, model Lily Aldridge, daughter, and some friends.
Dinner at Acme
After a very hot run outside, showers, and some regrouping, we all met up for a rooftop dinner at four-story Acme downtown. Even though locals often shy away from the tourist-filled downtown area, our friends knew some good spots and wanted to make sure we got the full Nashville experience.
Acme is a great space with a bustling restaurant on the first floor, sushi and a lounge on the second floor, a private party area on the third floor, and a breezy, glamorous view of Nashville on the open roof. Though we struggled to find a table at first, we were able to grab a spot to eat our food just before the tables cleared out for dancing at 9:00pm.
Honky Tonk at Robert’s
We spent the final hours of the evening at Robert’s on the main strip and thoroughly enjoyed the classic country of Brazilbilly! I couldn’t believe how many bachelorette parties were in, out, and around the strip. Great people-watching and a fun time!
Final Sunday Activities
Sunday started off with a quick stop for coffee and breakfast at Frothy Monkey, church at Midtown Fellowship, and lunch at Taqueria del Sol. Simple tacos, solid margaritas, and amazing queso. It was the perfect casual lunch spot.
Afterwards, we walked over to try the famous Jeni’s Ice Cream! There were so many enticing flavors, and I wondered if I should pick something classic, but the special popcorn ice cream was too tempting to resist. It was strange–with real bits of popcorn stirred in and a buttery flavor–but amazing!
We went on a fun driving tour to see some of the large Nashville homes in the suburbs, like Alan Jackson’s home, then finished our trip at Pinewood Social. This place is incredible, with coffee, a bar, food, karaoke, a vintage bowling alley, an outdoor pool, and more. There is plenty of seating and space for groups. It seems like the perfect place for a birthday party, bible study, work event, etc.
In summary, we loved Nashville! The town has a lot of character and is filled with genuine people who seem to really make time for one another. It was nice to be surrounded by a slower pace of life and still be in the midst of so much to do. I hope we get the chance to go back soon!