Keith and I just got back from an anniversary trip to Nashville, and it was such an incredible few days! I spent many hours in the months leading up to our trip, doing research and reading blogs and making reservations! So I figured that I would share a recap of our trip in case anyone else is planning a trip there as well!
We chose Nashville for our five-year anniversary trip because it was a city that we hadn’t been to together, was a quick trip from Boston (just under 3 hours, on a nonstop Jet Blue flight), and because we love, love country music. In case you don’t know this, we actually met at a country concert! Country music is such a huge part of our story <3
We decided to go Wednesday to Saturday, and I’m glad we did because we got to see and do a lot without tons of crowds. By the time we left on Saturday, it was definitely crowded!
We arrived Wednesday night around 5:30pm, and we took an Uber to our hotel, the Renaissance located in downtown Nashville. We could see the Ryman Auditorium and all of Broadway down to the river, from our room!
The remnants of Harvey were making its way through Nashville, so it rained off and on for most of our trip. It didn’t ruin our plans that much though, and while I had a general idea of some things we wanted to see/do, we had a lot of free time and flexibility, and this ended up working out really well for us!!
We had made dinner reservations for our first night at Puckett’s 5th& Church. I chose it because of its proximity to our hotel and the reviews were really good!
We were a little early for our reservations, so we sat at the bar and ordered a few drinks while we waited for our table. Our food was delicious! Keith had the “hot chicken and waffles” and I had “chicken fried chicken with gravy”. It was soooo yummy.
After dinner, we made our way down to Broadway, stopping to take a few photos along the way.
I was surprised at how quiet Broadway was! I guess I was expecting it to be more nonstop like NYC or Vegas, so we were surprised! We wandered in and out of a few bars, listening to live music until last call. I can’t remember the last time we stayed out until last call, haha!
We woke up Thursday morning, and while it was still cloudy (and muggy), it wasn’t raining! So we got dressed and headed east out of our hotel.
We walked away from downtown, toward the up and coming Gulch neighborhood. We went to Biscuit Love for breakfast, a place I had heard really good things about!
There was a line, but it moved quickly thanks to how organized their system was. They let only about 10 people in at a time, and you ordered your food and drinks at the bar. By the time you made your way to an open table, they were bringing your food out. It was run like a well oiled machine. So if you go and see a long line, don’t get too discouraged! I was super excited to get to sit under their “Nashville” sign (another photo op that kept coming up in my searches of things to see)!
Next, we wandered back up 11th Street to the “wings” mural. If you google or search Pinterest for “top places to take a photo in Nashville”, I guarantee that this will be in the top 3! Kelsey Montague is an artist who travels the world painting these “wing” murals. She has murals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Poland and the Netherlands! You can also search her on Instagram and see more of her work @KelseyMontagueArt
After that, we explored the Gulch neighborhood, admiring the cool architecture and design of the buildings, and the murals that seem to be all over this city!
Then we walked … and walked! We walked back through downtown, passing the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Walk of Stars park. We were headed to the Johnny Cash museum, when we decided to make a quick stop at the FGL House. We love Florida Georgia Line, and we were pretty thirsty! We started talking to people at the bar, and before we knew it, several hours had passed, ha!
The sun came out just in time for us to take a walk over the pedestrian bridge and take some photos of the city. I really loved this city, and it’s so pretty too!
We made our way back to the hotel to get ready for our night! It was starting to rain, but we were so excited to be going to the Bluebird Cafe!
If you know anything about country music, or watch the show “Nashville”, you know exactly what the Bluebird is! It’s located in a strip mall in the Hillsboro neighborhood about 20 minutes from our hotel, so we took an Uber. We had tickets for the 6pm show, an “In the Round” evening with four up-and-coming, young songwriters.
These four songwriters were absolutely amazing. Because of how small the Bluebird is, we were literally sitting right on top of the writers. It was such a magical, honest, intimate experience, unlike anything we had ever seen before!
The show ended and we walked outside, and it was pouring rain. There were flash flood warnings, and the rain was just getting worse and worse as the night went on. We had no plans after the show, and it was barely 8pm, so we decided to stand in line for “walk up” tickets to the 9pm show.
The way ticketing works at the Bluebird is kind of complex. Tickets for shows go on sale 7 days prior at 8am. When you go to their website, you are placed in a queue to purchase tickets. There are (at most) 50 tickets available for any show. Somehow, I managed to snag the last two seats together to the 6pm show. There is no fee for the tickets, only a $10 food/drink minimum per person. They also reserve about 10-12 tickets for “walk ups”. You can show up the day of, and stand in line in hopes of getting in to see a show. Well, because of the weather, we were fortunate that by the time the 6pm show ended, there was NO ONE in line for the 9pm show! So we hopped in line (we were actually the first ones!) and we got in to the 9pm show! We truly lucked out getting to see TWO shows at the Bluebird.
The second show was just as amazing as the first. This was another “In the Round” but with songwriters who have tons of hits, many of them were #1 songs! We met the writers for Lee Brice, Chris Young, and the guy who wrote “Highway Don’t Care” for Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift, and “Redneck Crazy” for Tyler Farr. It was a very lively, fun show!
We left the Bluebird and got back to our hotel around 11:45, and we were just falling asleep when we were woken up by tornado sirens. Being from MA, and not having tornado sirens, we had NO idea what to do, but we were so freaked out!! We sat there for a few minutes, Googling answers on our phones and after reading “go to the safest part of your house, preferably a basement or other storm shelter”, we figured that being on the 14th floor of a hotel, with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, was probably not the best place to be!!! Of course, we get down to the lobby, and there was no one there, haha! We felt like such tourists! The manager at the front desk explained to us that the sirens are situated on the top of our hotel (since it’s such a tall building, in a central location), but also that the siren picks up signals within a 50 mile radius. In other words, we were perfectly safe and would hear an announcement if there was a need to evacuate.
We finally fell asleep around 1am, and were so tired, we slept until 10:30 on Friday morning! But I guess that’s what vacations are for, right?!
I’ll be back later this week to recap the last two days of our trip! 🙂
Linking up with Biana