With the lazy days of summer reaching their pinnacle, there's no better time to up the stakes than with a weekend in Nashville. Don't know what to do? We've got you covered. Here's our itinerary for the best weekend ever in Music City.All images courtesy of Camels & Chocolate
Once you arrive into town, check into your room at the Omni Nashville Hotel (request as high a floor as you can get) and get the lay of the land. The Omni is central to a number of downtown attractions and one of the only hotels in town to have an outdoor pool—with killer views at that. It's also got its own Honky Tonk, Barlines, downstairs, in addition to a coffee shop, restaurant, steakhouse and store.
From there, head to downtown where you'll have booked a table at the Farm House for Chef-Owner Trey Cioccia's elevated farm-to-table fare, all of which pair exceptionally well with the potent moonshine cocktails on the menu. Pro tip: Be sure and load up on pork belly Pop-Tarts to start, then take your server's recommendation and order whatever is the special that day.
Once you're done with dinner, you have three different options for nightlife: 1) have a mellow singer-songwriter night by catching a writers' round at the Listening Room Café or live bluegrass at Station Inn, 2) travel back in Nashville's history with a bar crawl through Printers Alley or 3) go all out with a night on Lower Broad where you can kick up your heels and dance with the best of them at the Stage, Acme Feed & Seed and Robert's Western World.
You'll probably be tired after your raucous late night, so sleep in then head to Saint Añejo when it opens at 10 a.m. for one of the best brunches in town. There's nary a better chicken and waffles—covered with jalapeno syrup and a secret spice, drizzled with cream cheese—though you'll also want to try a couple other items on the menu, like the Mexican Dark Chocolate Waffle with cinnamon whip or the Horchata French Toast, topped with sweetened bananas. Bonus: Many of the brunch libations are 2-for-1 on weekends.
Since you're already in the Gulch, you might as well hop on a Bcycle rental bike and pedal back toward the Cumberland, where you can visit the riverfront, walk across the Pedestrian Bridge, and also experience the city's deep musical history through a variety of museums and tours, like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, the George Jones Museum and Historic RCA Studio B. When you feel the hunger strike, drop into the new downtown digs of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint for that fine Southern staple, the pulled pork sandwich, and plenty of tasty sides.
When you're done, hop on over to Marathon Village, a former auto factory dating back to the early 1900s. It's now not only home to some of the city's brightest start-ups, but also houses some of its best whiskey, too, with Nelson's Green Brier Distillery and tasting room, the Corsair Brewstillery and a brand new Jack Daniel's General Store.
As the day turns into night, further your knowledge of Nashville's unique cocktail culture with fancy drinks at speakeasy-style Patterson House—no reservations here, so take heed and arrive as soon as they open—before walking around the corner to the city's finest French bistro, Le Sel, and tucking into its raw bar. If you're feeling the urge to burn the midnight oil, you're just down the way from Winners, Losers, and plenty of other rowdy Vanderbilt campus bars and dives.
Up and at ‘em! You'll want to get to Biscuit Love early before the line snakes out the door and around the corner. You can't come to Nashville and not try bonuts, though every doughy dish on the menu is worthy of consideration, like the East Nasty, which Bon Appetit named the best sandwich in the country. My tip? Indulge and order a little of everything!
Cinephiles will love a chance to peek inside the newly spiffed up Belcourt theatre, a 90-year-old beauty that just reopened after an extensive renovation. From there, it's either off to the shops of Hillsboro Village for a little retail therapy, down to the Parthenon in Centennial Park for a dose of art, or out to Belle Meade to fawn over the old mansions that line the streets en route to the stunning Cheekwood Botanical Garden. If you need to cool off in this heat, you can check out Nashville's brewery scene with visits to neighboring breweries, Jackalope and Yazoo.
Before you head back home after an exhausting—and filling—weekend, be sure and nab a table at this James Beard Award-winning restaurant City House to partake in its iconic Sunday Supper with plenty of inventive pizzas—apple, caramelized onion and chili pepper anyone?—and a bevy of other sharable plates rounding out the menu. (Reservations recommended.)