Craving a getaway from the everyday with your best girlfriends? When was the last time you and your pals were able to chit chat over cocktails, shop ’til you drop, and eat a dinner together (that none of you prepared)? With its fun music scene, fine and funky dining options, and fantastic array of art festivals and exhibits, Nashville makes for the perfect weekend escape. Here are five reasons to plan your next girlfriends getaway to Nashville.
The Music Scene
Grab some dollar bills, pull on your best cowboy boots and hit the honky tonks on Broadway Avenue, downtown Nashville’s “Honky Tonk row”, for an incredible night of fun.
- Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (422 Broadway; Tel. 615/726.0463; tootsies.net) is one of the most celebrated.
- The Stage on Broadway (412 Broadway; Tel. 615/726-0504; thestageonbroadway.com) is the largest.
- Legends Corner (428 Broadway; Tel. 615/248.6334; legendscorner.com) is the most crowded!
All are within walking distance on Honky Tonk Row and none charge cover. Bring along some $1 bills – the performers earn their living with tips, and you just might catch a rising star. Diehard country music fans will want to take the backstage tour at the “Mother Church of Country Music”: the Ryman Auditorium (116 5th Ave N, Nashville; Tel. 615/458.8700; ryman.com). From Loretta Lynn to Johnny Cash, this auditorium has welcomed them all. Try to catch a live show here to hear the amazing acoustics in action (see ryman.com/events for concert listings).
Fall is festival time in Nashville, and there is a festival to celebrate everything from food to the harvest. For nonstop laughs, check out the 13 Hour Nashville Improv Marathon. Love Southern BBQ? Check out the Annual Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Championship. The Beer and Bourbon Festival boasts samplings of over 60 beers, 40 bourbons, and lots of BBQ. For a full listing of upcoming festivals in Nashville, visit visitmusiccity.com/visitors/events.
The Foodie Scene
The culinary scene in Nashville is quickly reaching for the same stars as its music scene. Check out The Catbird Seat, (1711 Division St.; Tel. (615) 810-8200), where 32 seats surround a U-shaped kitchen that cooks up signature dishes featuring fresh and local ingredients. For more casual old fashioned Southern cooking with a side of good ole’ country music, the Bluebird Café (4104 Hillsboro Pike, Tel. 615/383.1461), one of the preeminent performance venues in the U.S., hosts local and national songwriters, performers, and label scouts. Save room for creative craft cocktails at the Patterson House (1711 Division St.; Tel. (615)636-7724)
East Nashville, an eclectic neighborhood of antebellum buildings dating to the 1850’s, offers an array of funky, local boutiques in its 12th South retail district. Your quest for the perfect pair of blue jeans ends at Imogene + Willie (2601 12th Avenue South; Tel. 615/292.5005), where you’ll be measured and your customized, stitched up on the spot jeans – guaranteed to fit. There is no sign marking this shop (though you just might spot a celebrity inside) so look for the red + on the door and you’ll know you’ve arrived in blue jean paradise. A few steps away, you’ll find Katy K’s Western Wear and Ranch Dressing (2407 12th Avenue South; 615/297.4242), where you’ll find tee shirts, belt buckles, vintage inspired va-va-voom dresses and accessories for burlesque and stage shows and the everyday.
The arts scene is booming in Nashville, and you can catch it in action the first Saturday of every month when art galleries throughout downtown host receptions and exhibit openings for the First Saturday Art Crawl. You’ll find every genre of art, as well as wine and other refreshments along the way at this free night out on the town. Click here to see a shuttle route and map of where the galleries are located.
- Check out and check into the brand new Omni Nashville, the only hotel to feature a rooftop pool and a full service spa.
- Restore and revitalize at Sanctuary Yoga (3902 Hillsboro Pike; Tel. 615/297.8797; sanctuaryforyoga.com). Nashville’s premier yoga studio, this large yoga studio and boutique offers a wide range of classes in a variety of styles, including special weekend classes taught by yoga instructors from around the world.
- Take a tour at Yazoo Brewing Company (910 Division St;Tel. 615/891.4649; yazoobrew.com, where you’ll find the only beer brewed and bottled in downtown Nashville. Offered every Saturday, tour participants also receive a Yazoo pint glass and samples of beers.