So you’re in town for basketball season, but may not know how to spend your time in Nashville. No worries, this itinerary is full of where to stay, eat and play while living it up in Music City. Experience the music talent, culinary masterpieces and buzz of excitement surrounding the city. Take a drive just outside the city to discover even more authentic Tennessee sites. Hidden gem spots and locally fun areas are just a scroll away:
Have a comfortable stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Nashville’s neighborhood, The Gulch which is steps from expansive shopping, restaurants and coffee shop options. When the sun goes down, hurry to claim your spot in the Up Lounge on the top floor of Fairfield for delicious bites, cocktails and gorgeous views of Nashville. The hotel also serves complimentary breakfast in the event you’re still recovering from traveling.
If you do leave your hotel for breakfast or brunch, you can head straight to City Fire where savory and sweet options wait for you. Choose from the indulgent brioche French toast, the bacon apple cinnamon rolls or the shrimp and grits, Sweet and Savory burger and the prime rib and eggs. Wash it all down with the Southside – a cocktail of Bacardi Light Rum, house made mint syrup, pineapple and lime.
To get ready for the game, shoot some hoops yourself at Sevier Park in the 12South neighborhood. After sweating it out on the court, take a refreshing walk on the paved trails that wind through the park. You’ll find the historic Sunnyside house where you can learn about the home via the historic markers. Built in the 1840s, the home sat between battle lines during the Civil War and saw Union soldiers march past the house to take over Confederate positions during the two-day battle.
You’ll have worked up an appetite so it’s time to nosh on some of the best Lebanese food in town. Epice, a family-owned establishment sporting sleek, modern restaurant designs, has classic Lebanese dishes made with fresh herbs and spices. Grab a table early and start off your meal with the hummos and falafel dishes, then go in for the Muhamara soup (roasted red peppers) and the Shawarma – seasoned julienned sirloin, pickles and onion relish.
Catch the Game
East Nashville is home to The Mainstay Restaurant where you should go to watch the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships. Drink specials can be taken advantage of every day and the menu, if you get a little hungry while watching the game, is filled with Sports Bar-esque choices from wings to fried green tomatoes or avocado fries. Down a Yazoo or East Nashville Brew Works brew for a taste of the local flavors or sip on the East Side Margarita or the Agave Antigua cocktails.
Enjoy the Sunrise
Because of your close proximity to downtown, lace up your sneakers about 30-40 minutes before sunrise and jog or walk to the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to watch the sun illuminate Nashville. It makes for beautiful skyline images of Nashville as the sun crests the horizon, shining brightly on the buildings. Great for selfies or self-reflection before the day truly gets underway.
Kick off game day festivities with brunch at Le Sel, a French-inspired cafe with eye-catching decor touch points. The food is amazing as well. Order the beignets filled with apple butter and sprinkled with spiced sugar for a starter. Sip on a grapefruit mimosa while noshing on the crepe that is stuffed with Bear Creek Farms sausage, egg, tomato and fromage blanc or the avocado toast – sunny side eggs (or you can substitute for however you like your eggs), bacon, pickled onion and tomato.
Game Day at Bridgestone Arena
Experience the frenzy of the game. Cheer on your favorites with fellow basketball fans. Get a drink and light meal in the Patron Platinum Club which is open for most events. The Patron Platinum Club has southern fusion cuisine like apple cider brined pork with an apple moonshine glaze, white chocolate pecan bread pudding and a variety of drafts and cocktails for the tasting. Other concessions at the Arena include draft beer and wine, nachos, hot pretzels, popcorn and more.
Keep the excitement going with a visit to Lower Broadway where endless music, dancing, cocktails and beers can be ordered in celebration. Journey to other music venues like Exit/In, 12th & Porter and Mercy
Lounge to take in even more local talent before heading out of town.