I am a big fan of domestic travel right now. It’s time we Americans show some gratitude for the vast and diverse landscape that we inhabit. Wanderlust can be cured in our backyard for a lot less than a European tour or soul-searching excursion in South America. Less time, less money, less planning. It’s a triple win.
Me and some of my oldest friends decided to take a girls trip together. We are spread out in the corners of the country representing Texas, New York, and California, so we met in a semi-central location: Nashville, Tennessee.
Why did we choose Nashville? Live Music Capital of the World, home of the honky tonk bars, and great southern food were the draw. Plus it’s extremely affordable and of course it was featured in the netflix series, Master of None.
And how did the trip go? If I do say so myself, we did Nashville right. And here’s how:
Every list I’ve seen has this donut shop on its list. It adorable and they have some pretty unique flavors. I chose the Milk Chocolate Sea Salt and it was perfect. The donut itself and very airy, very similar to the texture of a croissant. My only complaint is that they don’t really have any coffee except a drip coffee pump.
This, dear reader, is no overstated tourist trap. It is the real deal. The line goes down the street and we waited for over an hour and a half, but damn if it wasn’t worth it. For southerners, you’ll appreciate the biscuits themselves. They are buttery and rich and hearty. The nashville hot chicken was delicious so if you want to hit two birds with one stone, try this spot equally popular with tourists and locals alike and get your taste of the chicken Nashville is famous for. It was good enough that we skipped Hattie B’s.
Nestled in a quiet street in Germantown, this New American restaurant is extremely unassuming. You might miss it if you walked by. But it is not to be missed. The homemade pasta was excellent. I had their version of cacio e pepe. The shrimp and squid ragout was also delicious. I’d also like to mention that their Good Ole Fashioned Lover Boy cocktail was one of the best I’ve ever had. Great fancy night out.
I was born in the south, in rural Tennessee to be exact and I have a deep-seated love of southern comfort food. I felt like I was home when I was eating at Monell’s. It’s a family style, all you can eat, everything on the menu, butter explosion experience. You sit down with a bunch of strangers, you get every quintessential southern dish (think biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, grilled catfish), and then you feast like it’s Thanskgiving.
Country Music Hall of Fame
I don’t even consider myself a fan of country music. Though I do have a recently found obsession with bluegrass, but that is besides the point. It was still a fun thing to experience. And you kind of have to say that you went to Nashville and did it.
This is the street pictured above with all the honky tonk bars. Currently living in Austin, I never understood how Nashville could be the live music capital of the world. But now I get it. Live bands everywhere!
This area is super cute. It has Five Daughters Bakery (mentioned above), a coffee shop called Frothy Monkey, and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James Flagship store. So you can hit a lot of things all at once. It also has a lot of cute boutiques. I myself really liked White’s Mercantile. All around this area is good for walking around and it is just hipster enough to be adorable and not obnoxious.