After living in Nashville from 2010-2019, these are my favorite things and suggestions on fun places to explore.
Neighborhoods to explore: 12 South, Gulch, Germantown, East, The Nations, Hillsboro Village, Broadway, Green Hills, Berry Hill, Midtown, Downtown Franklin
Brunch: Urban Grub, 5th & Taylor, Farmhouse, Butcher & Bee, Henrietta Red, Sinema, Earnest’s Bar & Hideaway, Fenwick’s 300
Casual – Tacos: bartaco, Bakersfield, Mas Tacos, Baja Sexto, The Local Taco, Pancho and Lefty’s, Oscar’s Taco Shop, Don Juan Carniceria y Taqueria, Taqueria del sol
Casual – Pizza: Slim & Husky’s, 5 Points Pizza, Desano, Mafioza’s (open until 3am), Nicky’s Coal Fired, Dolce Vita, Folk
Casual – Hot Chicken: Hattie B’s, Pepperfire, Bolton’s, Party Fowl, Helen’s, Prince’s
Casual – misc.: ML Rose, Martin’s BBQ, Edley’s, Peg Leg Porker, Chaatable, Honeyfire BBQ, Hopsmith, The Stillery
Seafood: Marsh House, Henrietta Red, Saltine, Urban Grub, O-ku, The Optimist
Nicer dinner restaurants: barcelona, Virago, Rolf & Daughters, hathorne, Butchertown Hall, Mockingbird, Henley, House of Cards, Green Pheasant, Kayne Prime, The Continental, and most of the restaurants listed under brunch could be on this list as well
Honky Tonks: The Stage, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk, FGL House, Tootsie’s, Crazytown, Honky Tonk Central, and Luke Bryan’s
Downtown (not Broadway): Black Rabbit, Gray & Dudley (21C hotel), Dream Hotel, Printer’s Alley, Skull’s Rainbow Room
Rooftops: LA Jackson (Thompson Hotel), L27 (Westin), TENN on Top (Holston House), Nashville Underground, Rarebird (Noelle), UP (Fairfield Inn), Crazytown, Kid Rock’s, Bourbon Steak (JW Marriott – technically enclosed but great views), and Downtown Sporting Club
Vibe-y cocktails: Old Glory, The Fox, Gray & Dudley, Makeready (secret basement bar below this restaurant), Patterson House, Flamingo, Attaboy, Never Never, Rambler, Walden, and Red Door (more bar vibes than cocktails but a fun time)
Swanky Dinner Experiences (tasting menus): The Rabbit Hole (v v expensive but amazing), Bastion, Catbird Seat, Tailor, The Chef & I
Wine and Beer: Arrington Vineyards, The Filling Station, Yazoo, Bearded Iris, City Winery, Nashville Urban Winery, Nashville Cocktail Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Nashville Rose Festival, Corsair Distillery, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Diskin Cider, Bearded Iris Brewing, Tailgate Brewery, and Brew at the Zoo
Book Related: McKay Used Books (massive warehouse with cheap books), Parnassus bookstore, and Southern Festival of Books (October)
Random fun things: Hot chicken week, Burger week, Walking bridge downtown, The Escape Game, Local fairs (Williamson Co, Wilson Co, Tennessee State), Nashville Zoo, Ax throwing, Opryland Hotel at Christmastime, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens – esp. Halloween, Christmas, and Springtime, Wine on the Rails, Kayaking, Live On The Green, Way Late Play Date at Adventure Science Center, Goat Landscaping, and CMA Fest
Sports and Outdoor Activities: Sounds Games, Predators Games, Titans Games, Mural hunting, Kayaking, Waterfall Chasing, Goat Yoga, Radnor Lake, Percy Priest Lake, Centennial Park (Parthenon), Pedestrian bridge downtown, and Top Golf
Music Venues: Ryman Auditorium, Ascend Amphitheater, Exit/In, Marathon Music Works, Cannery Ballroom/Mercy Lounge, Bridgestone Arena, The Cowan, The End, and TPAC
Coffee Shops: Frothy Monkey, Fido, Bongo Java, Cafe Makai, Crema, Red Bicycle, Barista Parlor, and Cafe Coco
Misc. Other Great Places: Loveless Cafe, Melrose Billiards, Ember’s for Shotskis, Dawg House on Sundays to see the Spazmatics, The Belcourt for indie movies, Savage Bingo at Headquarters, First saturday downtown art crawls, Five Daughters for amazing donuts, all the murals around the city, Farmer’s Market, and Amelia’s flower truck
Nashville is such a vibrant, fun city and I loved all the years spent there where I grew into the person that I am today. The city helped shaped me and I am so thankful! It will be crazy to go back and see how much it changes in the next few years!
If I am missing any categories on here that you are interested in, leave a comment or message me at email@example.com. I would be happy to give personalized recommendations!