3 Days in Nashville Travel Guide & Itinerary
If there is one destination we were looking forward to the most on our southern US road trip, it was definitely Nashville: the land of cowboy boots and country music. We visited Nashville over New Years with our friends a few years back and we’ve been itching to get back ever since. On top of the fact that we fell in love with Music City the first go round, Brittany’s parents and older brother would be joining us making this a truly epic weekend. We spent just long enough at our peaceful retreat in north Georgia and we were ready for some cold beer and live music in the big city. We packed our bags, loaded up the truck and crossed into Tennessee.
Where to Stay in Nashville
Of course you can opt for a pricey hotel room right in downtown Nashville and have easy access to all of the shops, restaurants and bars but be prepared to empty your wallet. We took one look at the cost of hotel rooms and knew that wasn’t going to be an option for us, especially since there were 7 of us. We were looking at 3 rooms at a minimum of $200/night per room to be downtown.
Since we had cars we considered hotels further from downtown but even still they were pretty expensive and the value for the money just didn’t seem to add up. The only thing that made sense, again, was Airbnb. I knew we could find a house or apartment with all of the amenities and space for less than or equal to the same amount for a dinky hotel room and that sounded a hell of a lot better. After a little research, we settled on two houses in the East Nashville area that turned out to be the perfect choice.
I read that East Nash is a hub for arts, live music, craft beer and some of the best food in all of Nashville. It’s a mostly residential neighborhood with locally owned restaurants, cafes and boutiques sprinkled throughout. The house Charlie and I stayed in with his parents was a gorgeous house situated on a golf course with a lovely front porch. It had 2 large bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a big living area and kitchen equipped with just about everything we needed. We got all of this for just $90/night per couple. The best part of all was that it was just a 5-7 minute drive to downtown. And then we joined the rest of the 21st century and signed up for Uber…
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If you are new to Airbnb, sign up using my link and receive $35 Airbnb dollars toward your next stay and I will too! Its a win-win! –> click here to sign up!
Getting Around Nashville
Yeah so we may be a little behind the times but we finally had the opportunity to try out Uber. Although our Airbnb was just a short drive from downtown Nashville, nobody was opting for designated driver (oddly enough) so we figured we’d give it a chance. So I know I always rave about Airbnb, because I do love it, but I’m going to go ahead and rave about Uber for a minute because we were all kind of obsessing over it. Actually, by the end of the trip our entire family was Ubering. Yep, our moms and dads included. But here are some tricks that made it even better. We googled for some discount codes and after trying a few, we found “First3Rides5” which got us $5 off our first 3 rides. Well, we each downloaded the app and each used this code. Our rides never exceeded $7 each way and after taking $5 off, we never paid more than $2 a ride. Also worth noting is the cost of parking in downtown Nashville; even if we were willing to drive, we would have easily paid $10+ to park per night. Our ride was always there within 5 minutes – usually closer to 3 minutes – and we never even had to enter an address. The app figured all that out for us. Not only that, but we always had really friendly locals offering tips and recommendations for the city. Needless to say, Uber was a success and so much better than trying to hail a taxi, explain where you need to go and worrying if you have enough cash on hand. Uber took care of everything with just a few clicks.
If you are trying Uber for the first time, you can also support The Trading Travelers by signing up with our promo code “brittanyi671ue” and you will get your first ride free (up to $20) and we will get a free one too! This might benefit you if you are taking a longer ride, but if you are taking multiple short rides the first code might be more beneficial (if it is still active).
Where to Eat in Nashville
The Lipstick Lounge – funny story – we were trying to get in at one of the popular local restaurants in East Nash, first Sky Blue Cafe and then Mad Donna’s, but they had crazy long waits and we just weren’t having it. We were sitting in the car trying to figure out where to try next, considering looking for an IHOP or Shoney’s so we could skip the lines, when Charlie noticed the Lipstick Lounge across the street. They were advertising brunch and had no line out the door like the others so we went for it. A few minutes after ordering our drinks and finally taking in our surroundings (the picture of the guy in a banana hammock on the wall!), we started to realize where we were at. Aaaand…it was actually a gay bar. Nothing like hitting up a local gay bar with the fam for breakfast 🙂 It was actually a really fun place with a mix of customers, super friendly staff and really awesome food. We definitely had a good laugh about it though. Check it out if you are in the area – the burritos are delish!
Mas Tacos Por Favor – one of Nashville’s most popular eateries located in East Nashville, this was recommended to us by both of our Airbnb hosts so we knew it was a must-visit. This was definitely one of our best meals! So many amazing flavors coming at you at once, especially the chilaquiles (pictured above)!
Jack’s BBQ – always an insanely long line out the door on Broadway so you can’t miss it. There’s a line for a reason though! Get your fill of BBQ at Jack’s.
Top Things to See in Nashville
Broadway: the main strip with endless options of restaurants, shops and bars with live music to choose from. Our favorites were Robert’s for cheap food and beer and Swingin Doors Saloon for the best music and atmosphere! We found some of the more popular spots (Tootsies, Honky Tonk Central) to be way too crowded although they did have great musicians.
Country Music Hall of Fame: allow a couple of hours if you want to see it all. We paid $24.95 per adult ticket.
Grand Ole Opry House: $22.00 for daytime backstage tour for adults 12+. The tours started every 15 minutes and lasted about an hour.
Ryman Auditorium: formerly the Grand Ole Opry House. We didn’t get a chance to visit, but its on our list for next time!
Nashville Tips and Travel Advice:
- Use websites/apps like Airbnb and Uber to not only shave a few dollars but get the best value for your money! For you Airbnb first timers, if you sign up through my referral link you get $35 credit when you book your first trip and I get $35 too! –>>support The Trading Travelers and sign up here! 🙂
- Wear some good walking shoes. Ladies, these are my favorite!
- If you are visiting the Gaylord Opryland Hotel or Grand Ole Opry, park at the mall in the back to park for free
- Skip some of the super popular spots like Tootsies and Honky Tonk Central if you want to avoid crowds. There are plenty of places that are far less crowded with excellent musicians.
- If you really really want to avoid massive crowds, get your fill of live music in the afternoons when you can still find a seat and plenty of good music. This is also the best time to visit those touristy places (mentioned before) that you just have to visit – you know, for the bucket list.
- Having trouble finding a seat anywhere on Broadway? Wait for the bands to change. That’s usually when people start to move. If you plan to be on the dance floor all night anyway, then this may not apply 😉
- If you are considering having your bachelorette party in Nashville, this is your official warning that you will be 1 of 18,494,647,999 other bridal parties in Nashville wearing themed shirts and riding around on those bicycle bars all over town!