For the last three years, I’ve gone down to Asheville for Siblingsgiving with my brother (2011 and 2012 recaps). He moved back to Indy so we did the family thing Thursday but wanted to make the most of the weekend and go somewhere. Our criteria: Close, cheap, fun, new. We settled on Nashville, Tenn. We aren’t big into country music but we’re up for adventure and several friends have visited and loved it.
We stayed at Nashville Downtown Hostel. It was budget-friendly and perfectly located just blocks away from the main strip. The staff was very friendly and helpful and I loved hearing so many different accents in the lounge and hallways from international guests.
Our tourist to do list wasn’t very long, partly because we didn’t have much time, partly because we wanted to save money and mainly because we had zero interest in the Country Music Hall of Fame-type stuff. We visited the Parthenon before checking in. It’s incredibly random, especially having been to the real thing in Athens, Greece. You can walk around the park for free but it’s $7 to go in and see Athena.
As an art addict and design lover, I was really excited to visit Hatch Show Print. The tour is $15 but worth it to learn about the history of the shop and see the letterpresses up close. Their motto is “preservation through production” as they aim to keep the art of letterpress alive.
My brother’s goal was to “get weird with some locals” and that we did Friday night. I’ve heard the city referred to as Nashvegas and I can see why. Broadway Street is lined on both sides with bars that all have live music. We hit up Rippy’s open air second floor (horrible drinks but fun band), the rooftop at Tootsie’s (awesome view of the strip), Tequila Cowboy (because I wanted tequila) and the rooftop at Acme Feed & Seed (more awesome views and a great DJ). The country bands weren’t so bad but I was definitely more in my element at the last two spots. We danced our asses off and ended the night at a hot dog stand so it was pretty perfect.
The hot dogs were delicious as were the rest of our meals. Broadway Brewhouse offered classic pub fare with a Cajun twist and some local brews of course. Jack’s Bar-B-Que served up some savory meats. The cheesy potatoes in the brunch buffet at Puckett’s were unreal. And by far the highlight of the trip was Merchants, where we enjoyed seasoned popcorn, duck fat tater tots and mac ‘n cheese with fried chicken on top. Total food coma.
To offset some of that, I did manage to squeeze in a three-mile runsploration Saturday morning across the Cumberland River pedestrian bridge and around LP Field where the Titans play. Tennessee is the 13th state I have ran in to date!
All in all, Nashville definitely lived up to the hype and we barely scratched the surface during our short, budget-conscious trip. Not sure where we’ll end up for Siblingsgiving 2015 but it’s got some big boots to fill.