You know the song “I left my heart in San Francisco”? Well they had obviously never visited Nashville. From the moment you step off the plane you are made to feel welcome, the people are so friendly and genuine but also relaxed. That’s the main thing I picked up on there, how chilled out the place and its people are. This mood quickly became infectious and even though I flew halfway around the world for effectively a weekend city break I came away totally relaxed and happy.
We spent the first day over at The Grand Ole Opry doing the backstage tour and having a look around the impressive nearby Grand Ole Opry Resort. The resort is stunning and well worth a visit, it’s easily walkable from the Opry although as a pale English girl in the sunshine I did notice the distinct lack of shade. The backstage tour at the Opry was fantastic, the tour guides did a fantastic job and made sure to take their time and explain it all, they also made sure to move it at a pace to keep you interested but give everyone on the tour enough time to view everything. We rounded off this day doing a little bit of shopping and eating/drinking in Dave and Busters and the nearby outlet mall.
We next visited The Ryman Auditorium, this place just oozes history from it’s walls. Some of the biggest country legends have played here, sadly we didn’t get to see a show while visiting but walking around you could get a sense of how amazing it would have been. We visited a few other museums such as the Johnny Cash museum and the Country Hall of Fame and museum, both are worth a look and I enjoyed learning a bit more about Country music. However one thing I will say about Nashville is that it’s not cheap. All the museums started to add up a bit after a while, maybe the issue I have is that in the UK our museums are free so it’s a big change.
We had a good wander around the town, it’s truly beautiful and most of the centre is easily walkable, the riverfront is particularly stunning. There’s a great pedestrian bridge that links the town to the stadium but it’s worth going on to get some amazing views of the city skyline. Our night was spent in the Gulch which is the new “cool” place to be in Nashville and it was lovely to venture into one of the local neighbourhoods.
We started off our last day with one of the best breakfast of my life at Puckett’s Grocery, it seemed to be the place to be on a Sunday for brunch as we had to wait a while for a table but my gosh it was worth it. We ventured out to the Parthenon later in the day which was a bizarre sight, we walked around the local area though and visited Vanderbilt University taking in the sights of the frat houses. Of course when in Nashville you must go see the Bluebird so we did but the queue for it was way too long for us and one of our Lyft drivers had recommended a nearby neighbourhood called 12 South and a great burger restaurant. This is where I fell in love, as I was walking the street with all it’s perfect little stores and it’s perfect houses I could easily see myself living here. We had a drink in a cute little bar and one of the best meals of the trip in Burger Up where the locals made us feel extremely welcome. We spent the night having a walk around the city in the night time taking in all the beautifully lit buildings and the neon-ness of Honky Tonk Highway.
The next morning we set off for our flight back to the UK and fittingly this is the day that the weather changed from the glorious sunshine to rain. Our flight back was First Class on Virgin Atlantic and we made full use of the lounge access at Nashville and in Atlanta while we waited for the connecting flight. Flying back First Class was something I imagine I can do once in my life and I loved it, having a lie down bed was an amazing experience and being woke up to a freshly baked breakfast was lovely. Landing back into Heathrow was landing back to reality though, a long travel home on the National Express, a good night’s sleep and then back to work.
I would highly recommend a trip to Nashville for anyone, it is a beautiful city packed with history and some of the best food I have eaten in a long time. Cheers for a great holiday Nashville!