Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve shared some travels with you – or anything for that matter. When I wrote my last life-related post, I had just gotten back from Kazakhstan, and I was suffering from crazy jet lag. Since then, I’ve moved into a new apartment, got some furniture, and went on a road trip with my best friend. To Nashville. As huge country music fans, Chelsea and I were so excited to visit it’s most important city, and when I say we’re big fans, I mean that we’ve both been listening since we were little kiddos. We were into country before it was cool and there was a TV show about it. We listened to country the whole way there.
We arrived in Nashville on Thursday night after a 9 hour drive from Milwaukee – just in time for a late dinner. We checked into our hotel (read more about our hotel at the bottom of this post), and asked the front desk where we could get something to eat. They replied with, “Over there,” pointing toward the door. Luckily, there was a guy in the lobby that expanded on their vague directions.
Thanks to their extra helpful advice we managed to find Tin Roof, a local bar and music venue, which happened to be right around the corner from hotel. We had the most amazing queso dip there. It was perfect – just spicy enough and extra creamy. I had a the Southwest Fajita sandwich and Chelsea had the Southwest Fajita quesadilla. Yes, they’re practically the same thing. What can I say…
For our first day, we decided to do all the touristy things – the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Broadway music bars. We walked from our hotel, and it was about 15 minutes if I’m remembering correctly. The museum was fairly cool, even though I’m not a huge museum person. To be completely honest, I think I was more enthralled with the archives/storage rooms. You could see into them, and I can’t even imagine the amount of amazing history that’s hiding in boxes back there. Other than that, there was a Reba McEntire exhibit that I really enjoyed because she’s been my all time favorite since I was 5 years old, and I loved seeing all the old, old country outfits on display.
After the museum, we wandered around the downtown area searching for matching Christmas ornament souvenirs and stopping a few music bars to listen to the live music. Even in the middle of the day, the atmosphere was one-of-a-kind. There was music everywhere.
We stopped at Jack’s Bar-B-Que on Broadway for lunch. The restaurant itself was charming, but the food left something to be desired. I was just unimpressed by everything, but it was enough fuel to get us through the rest of our exploring. We continued on to Printer’s Alley – a tiny little street that houses a lot of music venues – where we stopped into Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar for a drink and some more music.
After hanging out for a bit, we went back to the hotel to decide what to do for the night. We settled on the Grand Ole Opry and did a little restaurant research. Since it was Valentine’s Day, we were pretty pressed to find a table. We ended up at Moto – a new Italian restaurant. We weren’t really sure what to get so we shared the Porchetta, Kale Pesto and Mozzarella Pizza, the Black Spaghetti and a lemon budino for dessert. I’m not sure that anything ever tasted as good as that black spaghetti. We talked about it all night. Oh, and the service was really impressive.
Luckily we had eaten early because we had to book it to the Opry, but we made it just in time. It was quite the experience. There weren’t too many big acts that night, but I think that made it seem a little more authentic. We got to listen to a little bit of everything – bluegrass, classic country, 90s country and some current stuff.
Our second day in Nashville ended up being more about eating and shopping. We started our day in Hillsboro Village – a cute little district just past Music Row – where there a bunch of boutiques and restaurants. We had lunch at Fido. The restaurant was packed. The line to order at the counter took about 30 minutes to get through, but it was worth it. I had the Local Burger, which had one of my favorite ingredients fennel, and Chelsea had the Smoked Turkey and Brie sandwich.
After some boutique shopping, we stopped at Hot & Cold to get ourselves some Jeni’s Ice Cream – thanks to a recommendation from the wonderful Cheryl. I had Banana French Toast and Brambleberry, and Chelsea had Brambleberry and Vanilla. I’m so glad we stopped. Not only was the ice cream amazing, but the flavors were so unique that I can’t help but be impressed. Apparently Jeni’s has a cookbook so you can make they’re ice cream yourself, which is perfect for those of us who don’t live near a restaurant or store.
Skipping ahead to dinner, we went to The Pharmacy. I absolutely loved their menu – burgers and brats make a perfect menu for any Wisconsin girl – and their homemade sodas were so much fun to sample. We tried the Pharmacy Cream Soda and the Creamsicle while we waited for our food – the black bean burger and the stroganoff burger. After dinner, I ordered a chocolate soda for dessert, and it was the perfect ending to our Nashville food adventures.
*About our hotel: Chelsea and I booked the Best Western Plus Music Row based on its location and price. Unfortunately, we had a pretty bad experience while we were there. The hotel was misleading about the room rates. The rooms had incredibly noisy heaters and fans. The front desk tried to get us to take an unmetered cab – unsafe for anyone, especially two girls traveling alone. The lobby was under construction. The outlets weren’t properly installed in the walls. Housekeeping didn’t get to our room until almost 5 both days, and the best part of all, we came back to our room on Saturday to find this:
I mean, what is that? Did the housekeeper get distracted? Did they decide the day was over and that it was time to go home? And, how gross is it to leave the pillows on the floors. We had a pretty good laugh over it, but we left the hotel feeling ripped off and unsatisfied with out stay.
We had already decided to skip our last night in Nashville so we could split up the drive on the way back anyway, but we were so glad to get out of there. So we booked a hotel on Hotwire in St. Louis for the next night, and left in the morning to explore a new city.
Where else can we go together?
- Weekend in Chicago
- Where to eat in Wisconsin Dells
- Afternoon in Nanaimo, British Columbia
- Girls weekend in Milwaukee
- St. Louis, Missouri
Published: March 11, 2014. Updated: April 6, 2022.
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