Every year, my girlfriends and I all try to get together for a girls weekend. We are friends from high school and a few of us (like me) have moved away and as we get older, we just don’t always have the time to hang out as much as we want to. So we started planning yearly girls weekend trips.
All of us hail from Indianapolis, and we’ve usually stayed in Indiana for our trips, as most of us still live there. And so when we talked about going to Nashville for our girls weekend, our husbands and family all thought we meant Nashville, Indiana. Don’t get me wrong, we have done a girls weekend there too, and it is a cute town in Southern Indiana if you are looking for a low-key girls trip, but we weren’t talking about that Nashville.
My one friend’s husband and my mom both though we were going to Nashville Indiana until the week of the trip, when we told them, no, we were going to Tennessee, which we girls all laughed about together later. No, we weren’t going to Nashville, Indiana, we were going to the REAL Nashville, the one in Tennessee. Hence, the title for this post was born, courtesy of my friend, Mandy (pictured below with the What Lifts You mural).
Hailed as one of the top destinations for bachelorette parties and girls weekends alike, we were pretty excited for our trip. We ate, we drank, we laughed, and a good time was had by all….except maybe the kid at the bar who tried to pick up my friend Sarah (#yourenotagirlgoaway).
I have to say that Siri had a hard time helping me navigate around the city. She was usually telling me to get into the left lane when I was in the right, only to tell me to get back in the right lane and turn. Oy. Regardless, we did okay. Our Airbnb was in a great location, only a couple blocks from the honkeytonks, and we walked almost everywhere, so it worked out.
The best thing about Nashville is that there is so much to see and do, and EAT. Since we were not arriving until late Friday and leaving early Sunday, we really didn’t have a whole lot of time to do too many touristy things, but we managed a few must-dos.
This city, while known for its music, is quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon for its street art. These commissioned pieces are a far cry from the graffiti you might see on old abandoned warehouses or train cars. These works of art are legal, commissioned, bright, and beautiful, so grab your camera and get ready to Instagram evvvverything.
If you feel like a fun mural treasure hunt around the city, check out Camels & Chocolate or Nashville’s Convention & Visitor’s Corps lists of murals and get out there! Or, if you prefer a more structured tour, book a tour here that ends in donuts and mimosas.
Nashville at Night
Looking for a night out on the town? Broadway is where it’s at. Honkeytonks fill the the night with live music, bright lights and plenty of booze. In fact, I think that the live music everywhere you turn might be one of my favorite parts of Music City. You really can’t go wrong, no matter where you turn. Go in, have a drink and a listen, and if it isn’t for you, move on to the next one.
I know that when you read that heading, you though “food” but what you should really read it as is “foooooood” because guys, for real, yum.
If you’ve read any of my other travel posts, you know that food is a big part of each post, but that is especially true in this one. Nashville helped me step a bit outside of my comfort zone with regards to food, and I tried combinations that sounded crazy but tasted delicious. And truth be told, I’m not even sure I could tell you exactly what I ordered because I was so busy enjoying it, I forgot to note it down. What does that mean for you, dear reader? That means if you go to Nashville, pick something on the menu and just eat it, you won’t be sorry.
While I didn’t always get the order noted down, I did make note of where we ate. Our first taste of Nashville happened at Ole Smoky, where we grabbed a couple of tacos from White Duck Taco Shop before heading over for a moonshine tasting.
We were a bit decadent with our early lunch on Saturday, enjoying a bit of champagne with our burgers from Burger Republic, because why not? And if you go to their location in The Gulch, you’ll also be able to see the What Lifts You mural down the street, though there will likely be a line, so be prepared for that.
There are plenty of options when it comes to playing the tourist in Music City. You can opt to visit The Country Music Hall of Fame, or The Johnny Cash Museum, or even see a full scale replica of The Parthenon built for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition. Or you could do like we did and book a plantation tour that ends in a wine tasting!
Belle Meade Plantation is a historic mansion, now operating as a museum and wedding venue. The plantation was home to one of the country’s preeminent horse breeding stables, where many of today’s race horses are able to trace their bloodlines back to. I really liked how the historians in charge of the museum have made it a point to tell the stories of the slaves that worked on the plantation, reconstructing a typical two family cabin that was typical of the time and filling it with stories and artifacts used by those who lived there. They are taking the time to flesh out the stories of the men and women forced to labor for no wage, and who even after the Civil War, were paid little and had wages docked for any infringement of the house “rules.” The historians make no effort to conceal the poor treatment of the slaves on the property, finally telling a bit of history that many would have preferred never be told.
The grounds are beautiful, and after our tour of the house, where they have furnished with as many original pieces as they could track down, and the complimentary wine tasting, we were able to take our time wandering around the several outbuildings on the estate. Near the building where they do the wine tasting, they also have another building that you can buy ice cream or fudge. We went for the fudge, and lots of it, sampling everything from the raspberry chocolate to the Reese’s Cup and everything in between. I spent way more on fudge than I should have, and I’m not mad about it. When I got home, I just watched my husband, Mr. I-don’t-like-fudge, with a knowing look as he devoured both pieces of the raspberry chocolate and the peanut butter that I got for myself. Punk.
After our plantation tour, we headed down to Olive & Sinclair for a little bit of sweet indulgence: chocolate! Because one can never have too much chocolate as far as I’m concerned. We arrived just before they closed, so we weren’t able to tour the factory or see them making it, but they source organic cacao and grind it down and make all their sweet confections in house. They have so many different, outside the box flavors, which one will be your favorite?
While you’re at Olive & Sinclair, be sure to snap a pic next to my new boyfriend ;). This cute little lego man is painted on the same building that is home to Olive & Sinclair, in case you are interested in more street art.
We had a wonderful time in Nashville, though brief, and I would love to go back to see more! Have you been? What would you recommend as a can’t miss? Tell me in the comments below!
Until next time!
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