Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our Music City Getaway

Nashville was amazing and I'm so glad we picked this destination for our anniversary.  People I talked with for recommendations said we would find things to do and said there was live music everywhere.  Let me tell you firsthand, they were not exaggerating. As soon as the bars open for the day live music is pouring out of them. It is like an ongoing country concert with people having fun everywhere!

Let's get started, shall we?

We arrived Friday night around 6:30 and checked in to our hotel. We quickly got ready then headed to Broadway Street for some dinner and drinks. Our first stop was Cadillac Ranch. This was our first taste of live music and I knew we were in for a great night. Fun Fact about Cadillac Ranch: It's the only bar downtown Nashville with a mechanical bull.  We would have stayed to watch some of the fun if we knew this beforehand.

After we ate some dinner, we wandered down to the Big Bang Piano Bar.  Greg and I love piano bars for the entertainment and good music. By the end of the night, this placed was packed and people were getting rowdy.  We got front row seats and I may or may not have been up dancing after midnight..

We had big plans for Saturday. This was our only full day there so I used Trip Advisor to help me narrow down some destinations.  We ate breakfast at our hotel, got ready, then headed to our first stop, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. We heard this place was big and beautiful... it held up to those rumors. Parking at the hotel was $18, but we beat the system of course. We parked in the Opry Mills parking lot and walked down a walkway, about five minutes, to the hotel.

There were little shops in the hotel where we picked up a souvenir shot glass. There were restaurants, waterfalls, fountains and more! If you were staying at this hotel, there would be no reason you ever had to leave.

While heading out of the parking lot, we decided to make a quick stop at the Grand Ole Opry. 

The bad news was a high school graduation had just let out and they were not giving any tours for the day. We wandered around the gift shop and snapped a few pictures before we headed out.

We left the Opryland area and were headed to downtown Nashville for some lunch. Before we could make it there, Greg threw a U-turn when he saw these:

Yes, Greg is a car guy, so we made a quick detour to check out some cars from The Dukes of Hazzard show.  There was a mini museum of things inside and an actor that was signing autographs.

We were now hungry for lunch so we stopped at the Nashville Dog for some gourmet hot dogs. This cute little restaurant was on Vanderbilt's campus in a nice area of town.

I went with their most popular, the Chicago Dog, and Greg went with the Chili Cheese.  The hots dogs and sides were good, but when you compare them to Portillo's, unfortunately they fell a little short.

Broadway Street was our next stop.  This was an area downtown where all the bars, cowboy boot shops and music were. This place was incredible.  The bars were open all day until 3:00 am, there were bands everywhere and people having a good time.  It rained for about ten minutes and we hopped into some shops.

While walking down Broadway, we stopped in Honky Tonk Central for some music and drinks. This bar was awesome! It was three levels, had balconies and a different band on each floor. We stopped at the second floor and enjoyed the balcony for a little.

Our last stop before dinner was the Trolley Tour. It was a one hour tour that took us past the Ryman Auditourium, Bicentennial Mall, Antique Archaeology, The Parthenon, Frist Center, Music Row and the Country Music Hall of Fame.  You could hop on an off the trolley at each stop and the next one would come around in a half hour. This ticket was good for 24 hours.  We chose to ride the trolley around for the hour because we were a little short on time. The tour offered history about things we passed and gave us an idea of where we wanted to stop on Sunday.

State Capitol Building

The Parthenon, better pictures below

Taylor Swift's High-Rise. She lives in the penthouse on part of the top floor.
If you look close, the curtains are open on the top right.. she was home :)

We headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. We had reservations at Amerigo which I would highly recommend. They had delicious Italian food and a great wine list. I had Shrimp Scampi and Greg had Three Cheese Tortellini with Crab Meat. Yum! Forgot to take pictures so we snapped one once we got back to the hotel between dinner and going out. 

Great backdrop, right?

We headed back to Broadway for the night and the plan was to bar hop. We heard so many good things about the music and atmosphere at all the bars. They don't charge cover so we figured we would get a drink, then move on.  We stopped in The Stage, Tootsies, Legends and Benchmark.  We tried to go back to Cadillac Ranch to see the bull in action, but it was packed! Oh well.

The band was packed on a tiny stage...

... so the singer performed on the bar

This was the scene when bar hopping, it was like a big Street Fest:

We didn't stay out too late Saturday night because we already had a long day. We woke up Sunday morning around 9:00, ate breakfast, checked out, then headed to a few places we wanted to visit more after seeing them on the trolley.

We went back to Bicentennial Park to read about some history of Nashville and see the WWII Memorial.

Quick stop at the Farmers Market right across from the park...

Cool bike rack

The Parthenon, a full scale replica of the original in Athens. Once you get up close, it seems very big.

Last stop of our trip, Antique Archaeology.  Located in the historic Marathon Motor Car Building, this shop belongs to Mike Wolfe, from the show American Pickers. Greg and I like watching this show on Netflix so we wanted to check out the inside and what they had for sale.

That wraps up our awesome trip to Nashville. If you have never been, I recommend booking a vacation ASAP. There is so much fun to be had!

Goodbye Nashville

Will be back tomorrow to share our gifts to each other :)

xo, Erin


  1. I love this post! Your trip looked like so much fun!