My sister and I recently traveled to Nashville with our mom for a milestone birthday. The music, food, and our New York Rangers (sorry Smashville) did not disappoint! Here are the highlights from our weekend getaway.
Planning a trip to Nashville? As a Fora Travel advisor I can help and hopefully add in some perks too =)
Stay & Play at the Hutton Hotel
I loved the mid-century modern music vibe at the Hutton Hotel. The lobby is decked out with guitars and vintage record players. The coffee shop partners with local businesses Stay Golden and Nashville’s High Garden Tea while making fresh donuts in-house. Later guests can enjoy drinks like a boozy milkshake at the lobby bar which wraps around to the restaurant Mane & Rye. Entertainment includes pinball and shuffleboard, as well as, live music. Guests can also see performances at the hotel’s music venue Analog or learn to play guitar with the Fender Play In-Room Experience. The Hutton Hotel fully embraces Nashville’s “Music City” moniker and as usual, my mom’s hotel pick was spot on. It wasn’t walkable to Broadway or the Gulch, but the hotel car will drive guests to destinations within a three-mile radius (first come, first serve) and it was a quick Uber ride to these destinations. The front desk and concierge service were also friendly and helpful with recommendations – like a resident tip to order from Hattie B’s pick-up (close to the hotel) online as a way to avoid waiting in the long line.
Where to Eat
“Calories don’t count outside your zip code” – sign at The Pancake Pantry
We didn’t get to try Hattie B’s as planned (excuse to go back) and the lines for brunch at Bisquit Love and Milk & Honey in the Gulch were insane (didn’t want to lose shopping time before the Rangers… I mean Predators game). Nonetheless, we ate well the entire weekend starting with breakfast at the Pancake Pantry near Vanderbilt. Highly recommend the sweet potato pancakes. The downstairs bar at Luke’s 32 Bridge was a nice spot on Broadway for live music, good drinks, and apps like Kettle Chips, which I’d describe as southern pulled pork nachos. For dinner, we had two amazing meals in the Gulch neighborhood at Sambuca and Moto. I would go back to both in a heartbeat. Sambuca had live music playing so it was like being at an intimate concert venue while having a fine dining experience. The filet was served with Gorgonzola walnut butter and port wine bordelaise which made it taste out of this world AH-MAZING! You also have the option to add scallops, shrimp, or lobster tail. We loved the pasta dishes at Moto, especially the Tagliatelle Bolognese. Our server helped us choose a good wine and let us know which dishes would be enough to share – which was much appreciated at the end of eating and drinking our way through Nashville.
Things to Do
“Music is life. That’s why our hearts have beats” – Cecily Morgan
It’s all about the music. After fueling up on pancakes we headed out to The Grand Ole Opry House for a backstage tour. Our tour guide shared its storied past from the original location at Ryman Auditorium. We learned about the musicians who’ve joined the circle while viewing their private entrance and mailboxes, dressing and “living” rooms, as well as the stage and famous circle. We all found the tour to be worth the drive from downtown and were happy we didn’t miss it. Tours run every fifteen minutes which made it easy to fit into our short two day stay.
After the tour we headed back to Broadway to experience some live music before visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and resting up for dinner. There are tons of options along “Honky Tonk Highway”. I’m still blown away by the talent packed onto this one street and city as a whole. If you’re a hockey fan like us, definitely attend a Predators game at Bridgestone Arena. You can see Tootsies from the stadium windows and the crowd spills out onto Broadway after for more fun (the music never ends). Or you can see a concert there as well – like the upcoming (Nov 23, 2019) “Last Waltz Nashville” with top acts paying tribute to The Band’s farewell concert. Ready to go back now…
Shopping in the Gulch
“Nashville stole my heart” – wall mural at Kittenish
And my money. I found some fun pieces at Kittenish, Blush Boutiques, and Two Old Hippies. We “don’t have these stores at home” was my excuse to buy (the sales tax is higher than CT). I really enjoyed this area of Nashville. The shops, restaurants, murals, and walkability gave it a nice neighborhood feel in the middle of a rapidly growing city.
Have you been to Nashville? What were some of your favorites from the trip? My sister, at least, has a couple more trips in the works for the near future! #nextbachbash. As for me, I hope to return with my own daughter one day. I have a feeling she’ll love music city. After all, she is named after her Mimi <3