Perfect Weekend Getaways

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Nashville Pedestrian Bridge into the city!

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the perfect place for any country music lover. From the Grand Ole Opry to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, you’ll be singing country songs all day long.

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The above photo I snapped on the street corner, inside are the crowds that waited in line to enjoy the country music atmosphere and hype of Dierks Bentley’s Bar. A lot of country stars have their own bars they’ve opened and are quite popular with the visitors.

For country-music fans, singers and songwriters from all over the world, Nashville is the ultimate destination. But Nashville isn’t just country music, it is a lively city, breaking out with new businesses, a dynamic food and cocktail scene, and bright lights!

Nashville is full of unique boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants, like Bluebird Cafe where you can sit and enjoy live music from rising stars. For a run by heading over to the full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon. You can go jogging on the beautiful paths in this cherry blossom-filled park right across the street from Vanderbilt University. Roam the streets and enjoy the sweet southern hospitality the city has to offer. Everyone is sincerely so kind and helpful! Not one day went by that someone didn’t offer directions when seeing us struggle with our google maps on a street corner.  If you’re lucky you might even run into Taylor Swift. Or Reese Witherspoon. Or Luke Bryan. Or Kristen Cavallari. Such a neat town. 

The Hermitage Hotel

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We stayed at The Hermitage Hotel! Outstanding service, food and accommodations. The Hermitage Hotel is located right in the heart of the Music City, and has been a landmark for more than a century.

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Decorated in with a blend of Beaux-Arts and Renaissance features, its phenomenal architecture stands out among the historic buildings on the East Coast. My FAVORITE breakfasts and dinner also came from the restaurant located underneath the lobby of this hotel: Capitol Grille & Oak Bar — This restaurant is a MUST. If you are celebrating anything GO HERE. It’s menu was incredible and our plates were phenomenal. We shared a few bottles of wine (Cakebread Cellars, my favorite) and let me just say, THE GRITS!!!! Never have I ever raved about grits in my life. These were out of this world. I dream about those. Each morning we just walked right downstairs for our exceptional breakfast/brunch- with a side of grits of course.

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The Hermitage’s longtime status as a local magnet has even inspired the timeless slogan, “Meet me at the Hermitage.” You honestly won’t regret booking a night or two, or three or four here (We stayed Tuesday through Saturday morning)—each room was designed for maximum luxury and comfort. They were filming a few movie scenes a couple of the days we stayed there. Fun fact: Apparently the 1910 award-winning men’s bathroom off the lobby. Once you enter the Hermitage Hotel, turn to the right and go down the stairs to the ever-so swanky Capital Grill and Oak Bar.

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The Men’s Room is right off the hallway. The lush bathroom is walled in gleaming lime-green-and-black leaded glass tiles, has lime-green fixtures, terrazzo flooring, and features a two-seat shoeshine station. If you can’t find it, just ask! They now allow women to see it as well. I found this all to be pretty interesting and humorous.

There is also a JW Marriott and Westin. The Westin boasts the city’s tallest rooftop bar popular L27 rooftop bar with a pool lounge, tasty drinks, and a stunning view of the skyline.

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JW Marriott

FORBES: One thing is certain when you make plans to visit the newly opened JW Marriott Nashville you won’t need directions. All 33 floors of this $285 million dollar addition to Music City’s luxury hotel scene rise in glorious, glass-encased curvaceous splendor over the city. The commanding views define this property and its compelling elliptical shape (designed by renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica) has transformed the downtown skyline. Even legendary Chef Michael Mina, whose restaurant Bourbon Steak dominates the hotel’s 33rd floor, is pretty excited about his Nashville debut.

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If you’re like me, you love The Marriott International W brand and guess what, W Hotel in the Gulch plans fall 2020 opening! So if you’re planning a Bachelorette Party, Birthday, weekend trip, Etc. Keep this in mind, it’s sure to be amazing. It’s one in a barrage of new hotels in the works in response to booming tourism. About 120 hotels are being built in the greater Nashville Metro area, including the 33-story, 533-room JW Marriott.  The W will include two restaurants by Chef Andrew Carmellini of NoHo Hospitality Group: The Dutch Nashville and an Italian chophouse.The lobby will feature the W’s “Living Room” style, with a full bar, DJ booth and local artwork. A 9,700-square-foot “WET Deck” pool area will have luxury cabanas, a yoga area, grill and bar.  A rooftop bar with a fireplace will be surrounded by landscaping.

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“Based upon our own experience with developing upscale hotels in other US markets, offering hotel guests unique and exciting amenities beyond those typically found in similar hotels greatly enhances their stay and truly sets the brand apart from our competitors,” said David Carlins, president of Magellan Development Group, which will oversee construction. “The amenities and services planned for W Nashville will most certainly accomplish this while setting a new standard of excellence in Nashville’s hospitality market.”

There are about 50 W Hotels around the world, and there will be 75 by 2020, according to Marriott.

To Do:

There are SO many boroughs and neighborhoods you can explore for a different feel and experience. I asked a few close friends who are from Nashville and this is their *must-see* list:

Downtown Nashville

This is a pretty large tourist spot now, but if you go all the way there, you need to go!

The Gulch

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The Gulch is quite popular. This area I found to be so cute and trendy! I had to make a few walks from our hotel down there to go see in person Uncommon James (a jewelry boutique owned by Kristen Cavallari, anyone else watch E!’s show Very Cavallari… or more importantly her start on MTV’s Laguna Beach in high school?) I also had to go see Kittenish (the adorable mother of 3 and wife to Eric Decker, Jesse James Decker’s clothing boutique)

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We had reservations at Sambuca which is American food, live music, and offers a rooftop bar. We had a bottle of FAB rosé there.. and the live music played all my favorite 90’s songs! Can’t forget to stop at the wall with the “wings” for a quick pic. Milk & Honey also looked amazing- I didn’t have time to stop in but the menu looked pretty cool. Biscuit Love is right around the corner and SAME thing. Looked GREAT.

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Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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No visit to Nashville is complete without a trip to Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. To get the most out of your visit, be sure to book a group tour, which includes a recording session and line dancing at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon. At Wildhorse Saloon, they  have line dancing and there are some great restaurants there, too. The walking bridge downtown is super cute and you can see all of downtown Nashville and the Nissan Stadium from there. Bridgestone Arena is downtown, where the Nashville Predators NHL team plays. It is a super fun atmosphere so if they have a game, you should try and go! ALSO stop for praline samples on Broadway. SO GOOD.  We ventured back to the Gulch that night to a sushi restaurant  on M Street called ViragoM Street is so cool because it’s one destination and 6 restaurants all owned by the same person! M Street Entertainment offers an eclectic portfolio that includes Virago, Moto Cucina + Enoteca, Kayne Prime, Whiskey Kitchen, Saint Añejo and Tavern. It’s an awesome atmostphere all around with twinkle hanging lights and exposed brick. So whatever you’re in the mood for, chances are- they probably have it. I’d describe it as a chic scene!

Each restaurant is distinct in both its cuisine and atmosphere, with the M Street Signature Style firmly branded in each concept. This signature is synonymous with exceptional quality, consistency, hospitality and innovation.

Arrington Vineyards

My sweet friend Karris Hudson helped me with the following list of go-to’s!! Didn’t make it here sadly! This is one of my sweet Nashville-native friend’s favorite places. It was started by Kix Brooks (from Brooks and Dunn) and a friend of hers who has been to Haiti before. (We know each other through service work in Haiti, she now has lived there for 17 years– YES heart of gold) “Sometimes they have live music there, but it is such a peaceful place. It is a vineyard and they have picnic tables and tree swings.”

Grande Ole Opry

It is really great if you like country music! You can go to their website and see who is playing. An array of talented musicians and other performers are always scheduled to play here, so whether you head to the Opry for your favorite act or purchase tickets on a whim, you can guarantee you’ll have a great experience. One of my favorite artists: Brett Young is performing there tomorrow night, for example!

Nashville Tour

They have tours that take you throughout Nashville and some people love to go on them to hear the history, etc. You can see the Ryman and all that fun stuff! It was right here that country music found an audience beyond its own back porch, and countless careers took off as deals were signed on napkins and paper scraps backstage. This is a building where anything is possible: a soul can find redemption, a crumbling building can find salvation, and an unknown kid with a guitar can find his or her name in lights. We walked past it a few times and there were lines out the door for this one. Maybe get the ticket ahead of time!

Downtown Franklin

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Such a quaint, charming little town square. Definitely a must. They have a main street with the several boutique shops. Good restaurants, too! I think we ate at 55 South! Let me just tell you one  of their specialties to try: Char-Grilled Oysters: garlic lemon-butter, parmesan along with some fried pickles and crab meat fries ha!  There is a GREAT coffee shop/restaurant called The Frothy Monkey down there, too. Order the  havana latte. steamed milk, espresso, house-made condensed milk + vanilla + star anise + cinnamon sauce!! OMG I miss it. But you can find The Frothy Monkey in a few different areas as I did– 3 or 4 to be exact.
IveyCake = My friend’s friend, Ivey, owns a cupcake shop called IveyCake and it is in Brentwood (corner of Old Hickory Boulevard and Franklin Road next to The Perch). The cupcakes are amazing and it is a really cute shop. A MUST! Merridee’s Breadbasket as well, southern comfort bakery!!

12 South

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This is like the Nashville hipster place…super popular. They have a place called Five Daughter’s Bakery that sells 100 layer donuts. They are really good! 12 South is basically all one area and there are a lot of neat restaurants: Mas Tacos, Bartaco, The Flipside, and lots more! They have a Frothy Monkey coffee shop in this area, too. Taqueria del Sol is a local mexican favorite! Psst: Did you know that Reese has her own clothing line? And you can shop it at her adorable Draper James store in Nashville I stumbled upon- they have the cutest all-american pieces, plus they offer you little blue plaid cups of sweet iced tea to enjoy while you shop! There’s an Outdoor Voices storefront as well! They have activewear that is functional for all things movement and adventures! It’s such a cool concept inside, designed like a little house! Click here to save $20 off your first $100.
We also loved just window shopping and walking into little clothing boutiques, juice bars, and Jeni’s Ice Cream for samples before we ubered to our hotel downtown. It seemed like there were so many events going on in the shops, I enjoyed champagne in Emerson Grace Nashville.

Pinewood Social in downtown Nashville

This is a really neat coffee shop/restaurant and one of my favorite places to go. It is really popular and they have a vintage bowling alley. Inside is a cool atmosphere…they have tables and couches…coffee and food is SO GOOD! Need a reservation though because it gets busy.
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Arnolds in downtown Nashville

If you like good Southern food, go here. It is one of the most well known places to eat in Nashville, but doesn’t look like it. It has been around a long time and the owners are SO nice!

 Hair Salons

Definitely look up Parlour 3 as well as Hunter Paige by Parlour 3. Both are super girly if you need a salon during your stay. I’m a huge fan of cute salons!

Leiper’s Fork

This is about 15 minutes past downtown Franklin. Some friends of my Nashville friend have a cabin out there and that is where she usually stays when going there. It makes you feel like you are way out in the country. They have a little town square in Leiper’s Fork that is really charming and they have a couple good restaurants, too. Try to go to The Country Boy.

Churches

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This photo I snapped while crossing the street downtown, semi-close to the convention center. As you can see the trees are blossoming with such grace! We visited in April. I actually think this is a school- still pretty ha.
Local favorites are Rolling Hills Community Church, Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, and The Belonging. Rolling Hills is in Franklin. The Belonging is downtown.

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