Hello, Darlings! Today I am going to share with you some of the places we visited, shopping, and the food we enjoyed on our weekend trip to Nashville. My son Scott is study law at Vanderbilt and due to COVID restrictions has limited his contact. But finals are over, so we were able to visit him and his wife for a lovely weekend.
They have started to process of looking for a house and wanted to take us around Nashville, looking at the neighborhoods, and helping them narrow down the area they want to focus on during the house search.
Enjoying A Weekend Trip To Nashville
Welcome To Nashville, The Music City
Many people call Nashville the “Country Music Capital”. Country music artists, musicians, and songwriters live and work here. My son currently lives in downtown Nashville and just one block away from his apartment is Music Row where all the recording studios are.
The area is also home to Vanderbilt University and the student population. Lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping within walking distance. This makes it extremely convenient for both students and tourists.
Just blocks away is a “Work and Play” urban neighborhood called The Gulch. It is full of shopping, restaurants, and bars, popular with students and tourists. Nashville has recently become a popular destination for conventions and bachelorette parties.
Nashville is growing. The industry is working hard to keep up with that growth. Jokingly know as “Crane City”, large construction cranes dot the skyline and building is constant both day and night trying to keep up with the demand. It is a city with city noise.
Our Hotel- Hyatt at Vanderbilt
If you are visiting Nashville you will find lots of hotel choices. But at the same time, this area has become a huge tourist destination. In the high season, hotel prices can be steep. Air BNB’s are popular with the bachelorette weekend crowd as they are a more affordable option for large groups.
We stayed at the new Hyatt House at Vanderbilt. It is located right next to the hospital with incredible views both day and night of the Nashville skyline. Our hotel room had a king bed with a sitting area and a small kitchenette. COVID protocol was observed with masks required throughout the common spaces of the hotel.
Lunch At Cava in Green Hills
The first area we visited was Green Hill, a more residential well-established area. It is also home to the Mall at Green Hills. This area has all the traditional shopping and restaurant establishments. The only problem with this area is the traffic. Unfortunately, the road system is not built to handle the amount of traffic due to growth, and on top of that, it was Friday during the Christmas season.
After circling the parking lot several times, we were able to score a parking place in the very back. Tired and a little frustrated, we decided to go to lunch at Cava. Cava is a Meditteranean style “fast-casual” restaurant. Similar to Chipolte in that you have to go thru a cafeteria-style line and choice your protein, rice, salad, toppings, and sauces. I found it BETTER than Chipolte.
We spend the afternoon driving around this area, looking at potential homes. Also, hit the 12th South area which is a popular area for Air BNB’s with cute coffee shops, retail, and restaurants. We ended the day with an afternoon nap (got a little car sick).
Dinner In Germantown- Butchertown Hall
Our dinner plans took us to the Germantown area and Butchertown Hall, a Tex-Mex BBQ restaurant. Immediately when you walk up you are hit with the smell of smoked bbq. The restaurant was working hard with COVID restrictions, including capacity. Reservations are required and they have lots of outdoor seating along with sitting areas that had real fire pits. Very cozy feel.
The menu included family-style large portion bbq and sides, along with tacos and burger options. The BEST thing on the menu was their fresh-tasting frozen margaritas. We enjoyed bbq brisket for the table with brussels sprouts, street corn, and roasted potatoes. Dan got the brisket burger and said it was fantastic!.
Breakfast Day 2- The Nations
It is really hard to sleep in a hotel, especially one located next to a hospital in a city (lots of city noises). So after a rough night’s sleep, we headed out for another day of exploring Nashville. Today’s drive took us to the up and coming area called The Nations. The Nations is quickly being revitalized from industrial to urban residential. The huge growth of young professionals is driving demand.
These young professionals like the urban living of Nashville. The area of The Nations has zero lot line single-family and multi-family housing next to bars/pubs/restaurant/shopping/coffee shops built in renovated warehouses. For someone who grew up in suburbia, this concept is very foreign, but highly sot after with the young professional both single and married.
Breakfast Red Bicycle in The Nations
The Red Bicycle Coffee, Crepe & Sandwich Shop is a local Nashville chain that is very popular. Located in a renovated house with an eclectic feel. My son visits this coffee shop often to study due to the quiet homey feel. They had a breakfast selection of pastries and hot breakfast sandwiches.
Afternoon In East Nashville
After fueling up on breakfast, we explored the area of East Nashville. This area included Lockeland Springs, Five Points, Germantown. East Nashville is a combination of older homes that are being renovated and newer brownstone townhomes. The area recently had a major tornado come thru and the damage is still evident with destroyed buildings and boarded-up homes.
A cultural-diverse and quirky vibe with a mixture of historic homes, this area has tons of restaurants/coffee shops/ and bars. Soon it will be home to a marketplace similar to Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Lots of growth and development along with revitalization to meet the demands.
Lunch At Hunter’s Station
Hunter’s Station is an eclectic food hall with options including grilled cheese, baby back ribs, tacos, Asian fast food, and grab and go options. I was not hungry (actually a little car sick from driving around). My son and daughter in law got the Cabbage & Chicken Salad from Vui’s Kitchen, a Vietnamese style restaurant. It looked yummy.
Late Afternoon And Evening – Sylvan Park
After a much-needed nap, we headed back to West Nashville and our next destination the neighborhood of Sylvan Park. This area reminded me of Homewood, Alabama with its older homes with small yards, a more family-oriented neighborhood. It is very walkable area that features a golf course with a driving range and walking trails. An older neighborhood, with restaurants/ coffee shops/ pubs in the older renovated building.
Brand new development with a slightly industrial vibe is L& L Market. Indoor shopping area with a food court, this market is built in an old factory. The tenants include specialty, gourmet shops, luxury retail, restaurants, and bars.
Dinner At Answer
I really love all the quaint neighborhood restaurants in Nashville. For our last night, we visited Answer, a modern restaurant/pub that specialized in tapas/shareable plates located in Sylvan Park. This was a great opportunity for us to try something new. Our dinner included 3 sharable plates for the table, entrees, and a shareable dessert. It was a relaxing evening with good wine and food. The perfect ending to our weekend in Nashville.
Breakfast On Sunday- Bongo Java
Unfortunately we got called back to Birmingham as my other son (Scott’s twin) and his wife tested positive for COVID. We headed back to stock them up on groceries/pharmacy/and soups.
Our plans for Sunday were to visit Bongo Java in the Hillsboro/Belmont area. It seems this coffee shop is the “Oldest and Most Celebrated Coffee Shop” although it was open in 1993. The location could not be better, as it is across the street from Belmont University and is a favorite with students, faculty, musicians, and artist. They are famous for their “Nun Bun” which is supposed to look like Mother Teresa.
Their breakfast menu looked good with several hearty breakfast options that would work with my Keto Diet, and pastries for those who like a sweet in the morning.
More Weekend Trips To Come
Hoping to be back in Nashville soon. I really like exploring the area with a local who knows all the good shopping and restaurants. I would also like to go back to the town of Franklin, Tn which is located just south of Nashville, very cute area
Hoping that 2021 brings less COVID and more opportunities for Dan and I to travel. We had big expectations for 2020 with his retirement in January, but that did not happen. Trying real hard not to be home bodies and get out and explore.