{Travel Guide} Two Days in Nashville

I’m finally wrapping up our KY-TN getaway by sharing our 2 day itinerary for our stay in Nashville. There are so many fun things to do in and around the city that it’s impossible to do it all in 2 days, but we tried to fit in as much as we could without overdoing it. I like to be busy on vacation, but not stressed about trying to see and do everything. 

We stayed at an Airbnb in the Germantown neighborhood and it was perfect! Our hosts were so nice and the guest house we stayed in had everything we needed and more! And a quick note, if you’ve never used Airbnb before, if you sign up using this link, you’ll receive $40 off your first booking of $75 or more! We’ve used Airbnb multiple times and have always had a great experience, but this was probably our best Airbnb stay!

Anyway, let’s get to it!

Day 1

I love taking food tours while traveling (and at home), so I really wanted to do one while we were in Nashville. They are a great way to try a bunch of local favorites if you’re short on time. Based on our schedule and the tour stops, I booked the Discover Nashville Food Tour with Dabble Studios. The tour was from 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. so it was perfect for lunch. They also took us around a few of the neighborhoods and landmarks (like the Parthenon), so we were able to see more of the city than we would have been able to on our own.

Our first stop was Sweet Creations and we each picked out a mini-pie. I picked apple and Adam tried the pecan pie. Both were delicious! 

Our next two stops were all about BBQ! We stopped at Hog Heaven for a BBQ sandwich and their white BBQ sauce and we went to Martin’s for a BBQ sampler. 

Our last two stops were Pepperfire and 3 Crows for hot chicken and drinks. The hot chicken was our favorite stop of the tour and now we’re both obsessed with hot chicken. And yes, I got mild and it was the perfect level of lips burning spicy. Our last stop at 3 Crows was for a bushwacker (the unofficial cocktail of Nashville). It’s like a chocolate boozy milkshake and it’s delicious! The tour also had an ice cream option if you don’t drink (or would rather have ice cream).

After the food tour we stopped by the Nashville Farmers Market. The outdoor farm sheds were just closing, but the market house was still open. We did some shopping at Batch (local, handmade gifts and goods), but our main reason for stopping was Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. I saw so many recommendations for Jeni’s Ice Cream while I was doing my trip planning, so we had to try it. I got Brambleberry Crisp and Cream Puff and they were both delicious! I’m still thinking about the Cream Puff!

There’s also a tap room at the Farmers Market, but we wanted to check out Yazoo Brewing Co, so we headed there next. Adam and I shared a flight and we really enjoyed their beers. They also offer tours of the brewery, but they don’t start until 5:00 on the weekdays so we were way too early to take one. Also within walking distance are Jackalope Brewing Co and Tennessee Brew Works. We also stopped at Party Fowl for more hot chicken (it’s on the way from brewery to brewery).

From there we headed back to our room to change for dinner and mentally prepare ourselves to hit up Lower Broadway afterwards. For dinner we ate at Butchertown Hall and it was delicious! I got tacos and decided to try a few of the flavors, so I ordered a carne asada taco, a brisket taco, and a fried green tomato taco! It was my first time trying fried green tomatoes! 

While we were in town the Nashville Predators were playing at home in the playoffs, so after dinner we headed downtown for some of the festivities. They had huge screens set up on the lawn outside of the arena with DJs and food trucks. It was crazy how many people were out there to cheer on the team. I love hockey, but Phoenix isn’t much of a hockey city, so it was SO fun to be a part of it in Nashville.

After watching some of the game we decided to check out the honky tonks on Lower Broadway. To quote Gwen Stefani, that shit was bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S! It wasn’t even that late yet and there were SO MANY drunk frat boys, bachelorette parties, wannabe cowboys everywhere. It was fun to see and we enjoyed a few drinks, but I was definitely feeling too old for that nonsense. I think the highlight of our time there was watching a drunk guy sing “I’d Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf at the karaoke bar. He was rolling on the stage, threw his shirt into the crowd and stage dived at the end.

Day 2

We started our day at Belle Meade Plantation. It’s only about 20 minutes outside of the city, so it’s a quick little adventure. Tours are every 10-30 minutes and last about 45 minutes. Tickets also included a wine tasting at the end (more details here). You can explore the grounds on your own, but the mansion is by tour only. They also have a restaurant and shop on site. We had to wait a little for our tour time, so we had breakfast at the restaurant and it was really good. We both really liked their biscuits.

I think there’s a cheaper ticket option to only tour the grounds, but I highly recommend the mansion tour. It was SO interesting to learn the history of the plantation and the family that lived there. In its heyday Belle Meade was known as the premier place for boarding, breeding and training thoroughbreds for racing. It was so influential that pretty much all of the famous race horses, such as Seabiscuit and Secretariat, can trace their bloodlines back to Belle Meade.

After our tour of Belle Meade, we headed back into the city to explore the 12 South neighborhood. 12 South is home to Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James store and many of the murals you’ve seen all over social media. We checked out the shops and took the typical tourist mural pictures. The floral mural is on the side of the Gea Pea Salon and it was one of my favorites. It’s a little further down the street, so no one else was there taking pictures. The other murals, were crazy busy! It took forever to get a picture with no one in it.

We had a late lunch at the 12 South Taproom and Grill. Other popular dining options in 12 South are Edley’s Bar-B-Que, bartaco, and Burger Up. After lunch we shared a maple glaze 100 Layer Doughnut from Five Daughters Bakery. It was heaven…I should have gotten my own!

So here’s where I admit my planning failure. Originally we wanted to eat at Puckett’s for dinner, but I didn’t make reservations ahead of time. The wait time ended up being way too long so we tried to go to Hattie B’s for more hot chicken, but the line was wrapped around the building. We had tickets for a show, so we didn’t have time for the wait. We ended up eating at a random place that had free parking and no wait. The food was good, so it wasn’t a total loss. But plan ahead and eat at Puckett’s or Hattie B’s, I’m sure they’re better than what we had.

Anyway, when you’re in the Music City you have to check out some live music, so I booked tickets for a show at The Listening Room. The Listening Room is a music venue that showcases singer-songwriters playing their own songs acoustically. The show we went to was Jordan Minton, Nick Wayne, Jordan Reynolds and Josh Kerr. We aren’t even country music fans and we loved it.

I don’t really like the twang part of country music, so them just singing and playing acoustic guitars was more my style. Of course you’d probably enjoy it even more if you were country fan because you’d probably recognize the songs. They’ve written for Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, and many more.

So that’s our 2 days in Nashville. If you’re planning a trip to Nashville, as long as you plan to see some sort of live music, try some of the amazing food, and explore at least one of the neighborhoods, you’ll have a great time!

Travel Notes

  • Parking is crazy in Nashville! I highly recommend using Lyft or Uber instead of driving in most cases. Trying to find parking is almost impossible in some areas...or it’s expensive! 
  • As I mentioned above, we stayed in Germantown, so Adam got Steadfast Coffee every morning. If you need a coffee fix, he recommends stopping there.
  • The wing mural that you see EVERYONE standing in front of on social media is next to Milk & Honey in The Gulch area. We drove by once and the line was super long….you don’t see that on Instagram.
  • The Grand Ole Opry is actually 20+ minutes outside of the downtown Nashville area, but the original Ryman Auditorium is right downtown. They still have concerts there and they offer tours too.
  • Word is that the best view of the Nashville skyline is from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

Do you live in Nashville? Have you been to Nashville? What are your must see, must do, must eats?

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  1. We had a lot of similarities when I visited. We loved the Belle Meade Plantation and the bar scene was pretty interesting... were able to make it to Puckett's but not Hattie B (I messed up on that one too). Nashville was a great city. We even did a Mammoth Cave day trip like you!

  2. We visited the Gran Ol' Opry and Monticello the last time we went. It was great!

    1. I wanted to walk around Opryland, but we didn't have enough time. Maybe next time!

  3. I love Nashville! You picked some awesome choices and the best view of the Nashville skyline IS definitely from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.

    Other favorites are: Frothy Monkey for coffee/breakfast/lunch, Whiskey Kitchen for dinner, and the original Escape Game for a fun night with friends.

    1. I forgot about Frothy Monkey! We got coffee there while we explored 12 South!

  4. I love T Swift so obviously I want to visit Nashville so badly, great guide for a quick trip

    1. I love Taylor too! I was hoping for a sighting, but of course I didn't see her...

  5. What a great trip! Last time I visited I ate at Loveless Cafe, and had chicken three nights in a row! Next trip I have to try the Food Tour! I also visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and tour which was wonderful. Next trip..Mammoth Cave. :)

    1. I wanted to eat at Loveless Café before we went to Belle Meade, but we got moving too late in the morning and had to skip it. Next time!

  6. My husband and I were in Nashville a couple of weekends ago and we went to Belle Meade too! I love anything historical so I thought it was great. And we went to Five Daughters and got enough donuts to take some home for breakfast the next morning :)

    1. I wish we would have gotten donuts to go too! They were SO good!

  7. I've never been to Nashville but it always looks so amazing! I'll have to make the trip someday.

  8. Nashville has definitely been on my travel bucket list for some time. I love all the sights to be able to see!

  9. I went to Nashville with a group of my young girlfriends and we pretty much did the Honky Tonk thing the whole time. I'm glad to read this because I'm planning a trip for my mom and Dad and it's good to have some suggestions for things that are not Bachelorette party chaos!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha yeah! There are so many fun things to do that aren't the honky tonks, but I think it's fun to check them out at least once while you're there!


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