The Good Life
with a Southern Drawl

The Perfect Day In Nashville

By Amy Bailey — May 13, 2021

It is no secret that the Music City is beyond popular these days. So for residents and tourists that means there is tons to do. With the plethora of restaurants, activities, and hotels, we sought out the best of Nashville. So grab your bestie or besties and plan a day trip or weekend getaway and allow plenty of time to explore.

Where To Stay

Thompson Nashville – As if Nashville wasn’t cool enough, it now boasts home to several upscale boutique hotels, like the gorgeous Thompson Nashville. Located in The Gulch area, the hotel showcases the city’s creative spirit with impeccable design by Nashville’s own Hastings Architecture Associates and the excellent Marsh House restaurant. There is a rooftop bar, LA Jackson, for porch sippin’ cocktails, twenty regional brews and fantastic views. Sleek surroundings, sliding barn doors, gorgeous tile, and hardwood floors deck out the hotel’s guest rooms which also feature floor to ceiling windows.

Noelle Nashville – Sleek, beautiful hotel located downtown that is close to everything. The Noelle boasts a gorgeous lobby, coffee shop, and cool antique features keeping true to the history of the original Noel hotel. A plus for our family, it is pet friendly with no pet fee. Did I mention there is a water bar on each floor? Yes serving chilled, sparking, and ambient. Stay hydrated my friends, especially in the music city – it’s good for the skin, body and soul.

Hermitage Hotel – If you are looking for a more traditional hotel whose luxury has stood the test of time, the Hermitage Hotel is always an excellent option. Located in in downtown near the heart of it all, the location is great and the opulence is the best in Nashville. Spacious rooms with plush 600 thread count bedding, generous living space, large marble bathroom with soaking tub, Nespresso machine, and more.

Where To Eat

Henrietta Red – Female powerhouse duo, Julie Sullivan and Allie Poindexter joined forces to create one of the best restaurants in Nashville. This is an easy favorite of my family because we LOVE oysters, yes even the 10 year old will tell you oysters are her favorite food. Possibly the best oyster selection in the Southeast, an energetic atmosphere, creative food that is also delicious, and great service have made Henrietta Red a new favorite that we will be returning to again and again.

City House – Italian inspired hot spot serving pizza, pasta, and an array of entrees with a Southern twist, City House is a MUST in Nashville located right down the street from Henrietta Red in Germantown. After just 20 minutes in this restaurant, it is easy to understand why chef Tandy Wilson has taken home a coveted James Beard award. You may also want to check out Mop/Broom, Wilson’s newest restaurant which opened in August of 2018 also in Germantown and serving more casual Southern comfort food.

Graze – The BEST vegan restaurant I have ever been to and such excellent food anyone would want to eat here. Brunch is an array of breakfast burritos, tostadas, biscuit bowls, and so many more choices. Their vegan cinnamon rolls that they serve sometimes for dessert are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever eaten. We drive to Nashville just to eat here, that is how good it is!

Etch – Extra yum and extra convenient to all points downtown. We have enjoyed this restaurant when going to a Predators game or the Nashville Symphony. If you are staying downtown, you could have a great weekend getaway without having to worry about getting in the car. An awesome menu with meat,seafood, and plant based options, cool atmosphere, and impeccable service.b

Homestead Manor – Talk about Southern culture, this former Civil War plantation at Thompson Station near Franklin, is a specimen of Southern food and history. Dating back to 1809, each room in the house has a different theme from the men’s library to music to a picnic setting. The house carries with it so much history including one of only four 35 star American Flags as well as the original cellar where they now have chef’s table dinners in which the meal is paired with your tastes. The menu is inspired by the on-site 10-acre farm, local farmers and craft artisans. The 75-plus types of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits at Homestead are organically grown on the farm and brought directly into the kitchen as well as into the Glass House Bar to make delicious craft cocktails. The restaurant is open nightly Tuesday-Friday and serves brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. For the chef’s table you can make special arrangements for cellar seating with up to 6 guests.

Marsh House – Bringing a taste of the new south, Marsh House is arguably Nashville’s best restaurant featuring fresh seafood from the South and a bevy of fresh produce. If you are an oyster lover, this is your spot featuring the best Southern oysters to slide down your throat.

Frothy Monkey – Hip and delicious, Frothy Monkey serves up real coffee as well as breakfast, lunch,a and dinner. You will fall in love with this local hot spot and feel like a Nashville insider.

Saint Anejo – Any meal here is great, but brunch at this new hot spot is fabulous! Enjoy chilaquiles like you have never experienced in a small fry pan layered with tortilla strips, salsa, and a fried egg, great guac and salsa, and spicy libations of mezcal or tequila or the bubbly.

Josephine – Chic, yet relaxed with good simple, tasty food. I recommend ordering a few small plates to share like the Brussel sprouts (if you smirk at the idea of Brussel sprouts these are unlike any you have ever experienced, so good they’ve been written up in the New York Times), carrots, and ravioli. The entrees are also hearty yet healthy like salmon or quail.

What To Do

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art – Cheekwood is an excellent place for children with treehouses, a train at Christmas, and summer camps. It also boasts various exhibits and themes events throughout the year. Consistently one of our favorite places to return to again and again.

Downtown Franklin – Driving North on Interstate 65 gives you the perfect excuse for a detour into Franklin. This beautiful Southern city full of charm is a must visit. Just strolling along the quaint streets is an experience. Enjoy delicious eateries like longtime staple Puckett’s Grocery as well as so many cute boutiques and antique stores. Street music is a regular occurrence as well.

Johnny Cash Museum – A must see. The museum features never before seen historical documents, letters, awards, instruments, and also the last hand written manuscript to the last song Cash ever wrote. The museum has been ranked a top must see by Forbes and National Geographic.

The Basement Nashville – Looking for up and coming, extremely talented musicians as well as surprise notable acts, The Basement is a music lovers must. Forget the typical scene and opt for something not so touristy.

Pinewood Social – A coffee shop, work place, restaurant, bowling alley, bar, and in the summer their swimming pools are open – yes Pinewood Social is one of the coolest, most unique places you will ever set foot in. The food and coffee are delicious – we had a cup of hot elderflower tea, a goat cheese omelette, and homemade granola, but there was plenty to appeal to all tastes from handcrafted drinks to lobster rolls to raw oysters. It is like a club you do not have to qualify to be a part of, you just have to show up, relax, laugh, and enjoy good food.

Where To Shop

Two Old Hippies – One of my favorite stores ever! Located at 12th and Pine in The Gulch area, this 8,000 square foot store is an experience featuring a variety of price points and a variety of styles for men and women along with unique jewelry, accessories and gifts. The store also hosts home decor and books. If shopping isn’t your thing, they also host live music 5 nights a week featuring a Hammond B3 Organ, Roland keyboard, Ludwig drum set, and our own Bedell, Breedlove and Weber instruments. You can also visit “The Vault” which is home for a premium selection of guitars. The walls are lined with an incredible collection of rock n roll memorabilia all available for sale.

White’s Mercantile – Also owned by Holly Williams, White’s Mercantile is a modern general store equipped all things taseful. From cookbooks to honey to pet supplies, everything is natural and groceries are sourced from humane, local farmers.

UAL – Like a sample sale on steroids, if you are looking for a steal of a deal, UAL is a fun shopping experience just be prepared to dig your way to designer discounts. You may leave with a pair of designer denim at only $20 or Chloe top for $200.

The Perfect Pair – Located on charming Bandywood Drive, owner Whitney Dunn has loved fashion since she was a little girl. The Perfect Pair sells gorgeous shoes and accessories to some of Nashville’s most notable celebrities. Whether you are looking for something timeless or trendy, The Perfect Pair is a must shop for any style maven.

Billy Reid – Notable Southern designer Billy Reid’s boutique is a must see. Handsomely decorated and carrying all the designer’s best, the store is a fun place to shop whether you are scouting a gift for your husband or conjuring your inner laid back, rockstar.

H.Audrey – Superior taste reigns at H.Audrey. Brands that are hard to find anywhere in the South can be found at H.Audrey. Owned by Holly Williams, H.Audrey is a store for those with high end taste with a modern edge. You will find unique pieces that you will not see other people wearing.