What brought me to Nashville? A soft spot for country and whiskey, an intrigue towards troubadours and honky tonks, and an obsession with the Man in Black. I’ll try anything once and found myself roaming with new groups every night, exploring the parks and city together during the day, trying the famous hot chicken and barbecue and drinking the night away at the famous honky tonks on Broadway Street.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park/Tennessee State Capitol
This is not necessarily a brisk walk but it is the definition of fulfilling. There’s a long check list of war memorials, a Greek-styled amphitheater, an amazing farmer’s market, and more along the way. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera!
There’s nothing you can’t buy here from a dozen fresh mini donuts to a handmade bouquet to a big draft beer to go!
The Best Barstools:
I became a regular at this bar. How? I came every day, brought in patrons and made friends with others, and I TIPPED well especially when they were dead slow or crazy busy. Why? Because if you tip $50 on a $50 tab they’ll remember you in a good way. When the bar is slammed you’ll be a priority to be served, they might give you a free drink or two, they might give you the ginger ale that’s not pure syrup, and they might even hangout with you when they get off. Yes – these all happened.
What is a honky tonk? A country bar that plays live music and Nashville is filled with them. From no names, to contestants on The Voice, to A-list country singers like Tyler Owen – they all play in Nashville’s honky tonks. I flew in on a Sunday morning, my last night in town was Wednesday, I finally had a conversation with one of the singers, who almost entirely work for tips. I introduced myself and offered to buy the group a round and they all graciously accepted except for her. Of course I inquired and she explained to me she was twenty and had just moved from Wisconsin Saturday. She had been in Nashville barely longer than me and was performing for the number one honky tonk in Nashville. If that’s not courage for chasing a dream then I don’t know what is.
Yes, this bar is directly derived from the film. Any female employees and customer are allowed to dance on top of the bar, tap water is not free, and you cannot touch any female on the bar even if it’s your girlfriend. Did I break some of these rules and more? Yes. Why? Because of the damn patron buying me double shots of Jameson, the two bartenders giving me their numbers asking me to go out with them when they get off, and the fact that I was going out on a Tuesday where every drink is dirt cheap.
Buy one get one beers is an amazing special here considering the immense number of drafts. Simply pay for the price of one and hold onto a poker chip that stands for your free beer until it’s time for the next round.
The best hot chicken sandwich in town!
The best BBQ in town, but let it be known Jack’s headquarter location is actually 2 miles away where the food is made fresh and then distributed to its Broadway location.
Mike’s Ice Cream & Coffee Bar:
There is almost always a line out of the door here! Why? Because everything is handmade and Mike’s is rated as the number one ice cream in Tennessee!
Nashville Cowboy: A pair of boots will easily run you $500+ here but when its buy one get two free it definitely give you more bang for your buck.
Have A Look:
Country Music Hall of Fame: Admission: $22.50, Open Daily 9am-5pm
Johnny Cash Museum Admission: $18, Open Daily 9am-7pm
George Jones Museum: 10am-10pm daily, Admission $19
The Parthenon in Centennial Park
Churches: I can’t help but admire them everywhere I go!
Uber, rent a bike, or hop on a pedal tavern which is basically a draft beer bar on wheels.
Where I Stayed:
Nashville Downtown Hostel Co-Ed, $35 per Night = $140
I’m not going to lie this is the nicest hostel I have ever stayed at and more than affordable. They are discreetly located a block away from Broadway and not heavily advertised to avoid locals trying to stay in order to meet out-of-towners. I walked in thinking I had gone to a hotel on accident in fact. They have a full kitchen, several private bathrooms and showers, a pool table, are five stories high, and the staff is absurdly friendly and helpful! Highly recommended!
Who I Met:
It’s all too easy to meet people here because everyone is here for the same reason – to have a good time! Some like to go out, some like to explore the city, or both like myself. From aspiring musicians, to flight attendants, to bachelorette parties – I spent a little time with everyone and found that the majority of the locals are tourists who stayed!
Want a Deal?!
Nashville’s Total Access Pass includes:
- Admission into your choice of 4 attractions & tours from the 23 listed below
- Free admission to The Parthenon
- Free admission to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
- 25% off the Music City Hop On/Off Trolley Tour
- 10% off at Shop Music City at the Visitor Information Center
Download Nashville’s Free Live Music Guide App
What I Took Away From Nashville:
This city prides itself in being the place to be to enjoy a good old-fashioned rack of ribs, some moonshine, and listen to some fine country classics live while you meet the friendly locals or interact with fellow travelers. Even the homeless people are friendly, they don’t ask for trouble and they don’t go looking for it. Stay near downtown, try the hot chicken, and drink some damn local whiskey!
Roundtrip Flight from Frontier $140
Hostel for 5 days and 4 nights: $140
Total Attraction Fees: $75
Daily Budget: $200×5 days=$1000
Hey Shaun, thank you for your visit to our beautiful city, Nashville TN! Ryan of ReallyEntertainingTours.com