Ya'll I LOVE Nashville!!! When my husband had the opportunity to attend a business conference there last week, I jumped, like literally jumped, at the chance to join him. Thank goodness for a fantastic mom/grandma who held down the fort with our boys so we could head down to Nashville for a few days! We had SO MUCH FUN! Well, granted my husband worked part of the time, but I HAD SO MUCH FUN, and I think he did too!

Today I'm sharing my Nashville favorites with you. Research and planning things to do when I travel is my favorite but I realize not everyone feels that way. Consider this post a nice way of taking a little of the guesswork out of it for you. If you're considering a visit to Nashville, I highly recommend each one of these places you'll read about below! I had so much fun playing around Music City, visiting some old favorites and checking out several new things!

Below you'll find links to all the places I visited plus some insider tips.

Tourist Activities/Tours:

  • Top Down Tours
    If you have two hours to do anything in Nashville, do this tour and, if you're there for a few days, do it pretty close to the beginning of your trip! Top Down Tours has a few different tour types (including one that is all about hot chicken). My husband and I did the Viva Nash Vegas BYOB tour and LOVED it! First and foremost, it's a private tour in a jeep which in and of itself is awesome. Second, its BYOB, meaning you can bring drinks and enjoy them while you tour. Third, Jason (the owner and our tour guide) is fantastic! It's a very informative, intimate, relaxed, fun and unique way to see the city. We explored several neighborhoods, stopped a local pub to enjoy a drink mid-tour, took pictures by a few Nashville murals and legit had a blast. Afterwards, Jason sent us a full list of recommendations for places to visit, things to do, etc which helped me build out my itinerary for the following few days of my trip.

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  • Nashville Mural Tours
    And, then if you have two and a half more hours to spare, you also must do this tour!!! If you are a fan of murals/street art or are just looking to up your social media game with some sweet photos, this one is a must. Mary, the owner and tour guide, took our tour group all over Nashville exploring several amazing murals. She shared the background of each piece, allowed time for us take as many photos as we wanted and even took some on our behalf. It was a really cool way to explore Nashville and one that I would definitely do again! Below are just a few photos snapped during the tour, I have several more!!

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  • Backstage Tour Ryman Auditorium
    Jason, our tour guide from Top Down, recommended this and I'm so glad that I did it! The Backstage Tour is an extra charge on top of the standard self guided tour, but if you're a music lover, it's worth it. In addition to exploring the auditorium itself, the backstage tour gives you access to see all the dressing rooms plus the wings backstage. Pretty sweet to hang out in the same place as many music legends such as Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton.

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Coffee Shops:

  • Barista Parlor
    A Nashville favorite of mine. There are several locations throughout Nashville and they just might have the best biscuit in town. Might I suggest the sausage and apple butter biscuit if you are wondering what to order...it is delicious! They also make a pretty good oat milk chai (I might have had two or three during my trip). Side note ~ the location in Germantown has a couple cool murals worth checking out (see photos below).

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  • Killebrew Coffee
    Located in the Thompson Hotel, this is a cute coffee shop to grab a cup before exploring in the Gulch neighborhood. I had the oat milk turmeric chai and it was amazing!

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  • Farm City Coffee
    Located in the Nashville indoor farmers market, this is a nice place to grab coffee as you explore the market. I can't recall what I had but I do recall it being amazing.

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  • Milk & Honey
    Located in the Gulch, this restaurant is known for brunch, however I just had a lavender honey latte here prior to the mural tour and it was quite good!
  • Frothy Monkey
    Another popular coffeeshop in Nashville with a few locations throughout the city. While I didn't see anyone during my visit, I've heard that the 12 South location is good place to catch celebrities on occassion!

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Restaurants:

  • Chauhan Ale & Masala House
    Our first meal in Nashville and one of my favorites! If you like Indian food, this is a must visit place. It's co-owner and executive chef is Maneet Chauhan who has been featured on Food Network's Chopped and Next Iron Chef.
  • The Stillery
    Another recommendation from our Top Down tour as a great place to grab a burger and it did not disappoint. The burger was fantastic! We visited the Midtown location which was a little more quiet, but actually perfect and nice opportunity to get out of the hustle and bustle of Broadway and downtown.
  • Biscuit Love
    I biscuit love this place! It's a great place to grab breakfast before exploring the Gulch area. I'm not sure I love it enough to wait in the super long line that comes late morning through afternoon. However, if you go early when they open through about 8:30, you can get in fairly easy.

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  • E & Rose Wellness Cafe
    Perfect feel good, eat good kind of place. I had an acai bowl which was just okay (I'm spoiled with Just BEE here in CU) but I did love their juices and juice shots. I recommend the Cinna-bomb shot and the Pinneapple Express clean pressed juice! Also, I prefer their much roomier location on Church Street if you're going to visit while downtown.

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  • Clean Juice
    Another delicious feel good, eat good juice bar. This is in a newly developed area on 11th Avenue in the North Gulch. They have yummy smoothies (I got The Chocolate One with added tumeric) and tasty fresh clean-pressed juice.

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  • Chaatable
    By the same restaurant owners as Chauhan, this Indian street food restaurant is located in West Nashville. Not only was the place vibrant, beautifully decorated with great service, but my meal here just might have been my favorite all trip!

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  • Mockingbird
    Also by the same restaurant owners as Chauhan and Chaatable, Mockingbird is an excellent choice for a nice dinner but I've also heard the brunch is pretty great. It's American style cuisine with typical favorites such as hot chicken and chicken pot pie with next-level deliciousness.

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  • Five Daughters' Bakery
    Home of the 100 layer donut which is a MUST HAVE if you visit this cute little bakery in 12 South. Don't worry about the calories, just order one and enjoy every single bite. Trust me, it is worth it.

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  • Christie Cookie
    If you've ever had a chocolate chip cookie from a DoubleTree hotel, they are actually Christie Cookies. With two locations (one in 12 South and one in Germantown), these cookies are a tasty treat as you are shopping around either one of these neighborhoods in Nashville. Pro tip, they also sell tins of pre-packaged cookies that make for excellent take-home treats.
  • Franklin Juice
    As evident from this post, Nashville is not short on juice bars. You can balance out all the decadent treats by grabbing a juice, smoothie or acai bowl from this hip little place in 12 South.

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  • Kitchen Notes
    Located in the Omni Hotel SoBro. I can only speak to their Sunday breakfast buffet and while pricey (what buffet isn't!?) it was fantastic. They had everything you could have wanted and the dessert table was spectacular!

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  • Gracie's Milkshake Bar
    The most decadent milkshakes ever and ya'll, I went for it. I might recommend you take a friend or go hungry because these milkshakes are ginormous but they are totally delicious and worth the indulgence!

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  • Mas Tacos
    We grabbed lunch on our way out of town from this quick-serve taco joint located in East Nashville. Tacos were delish and I would also recommend ordering a Horchata to drink. Only cash or check so come prepared (though they do have an ATM).

Bars/Nightime Activities:

  • Robert's Western World
    Another recomendation from Top Down Tours. This is a fun, straight up traditional country music bar on Broadway. It's classic style country with inexpensive drinks and fried bologna sandwiches (you know, if that's your thing).

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  • Luke Bryan's 32 Bridge
    Part of 'new Broadway', it's a fun place to stop while your out bar hopping on Broadway. Great music, good cocktail menu and for any Luke Bryan fan, it's a worthwhile stop.

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  • Ole Red
    Blake Shelton's bar on 'new Broadway'. If you're a fan of The Voice you just might see some of Blake's team perform here. I watched Blind Joe from Season nine play which was kind of fun!

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  • Jackalope Brewery
    Nice place to stop following an afternoon exploring the Gulch. Delicous beers in a casual and relaxed environment. They have odd hours though so double check that they are open before you head over.

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  • Yee Haw Brewery/Ole Smokey Moonshine
    A little bit of everything in this brewery/distillery/shop/taco joint located in SoBro. There is also a sweet beer garden with a giant screen TV which would be super fun to hang in the warmer months.

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  • Alley Taps
    Located in Printer's Alley, this is Nashville's 'original gin mill and speakasy' plus a fun place to catch some live music off the beaten path from crazy, busy Broadway.
  • Rooftop Lounge at the Bobby Hotel
    Hip rooftop with fun cocktails. During the winter, they transform the rooftop into a nordic scene complete with igloos and cabins. I enjoyed a hot toddy which was perfect for sitting outside on a chilly night.
  • Rooftop of the Thompson Hotel
    We honestly didn't eat or drink here but checked it out based on a recommendation from Top Down Tours. It would be an awesome place on a nice summer night. Incredible skyline views of the city!

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  • Listening Room Cafe
    MUST VISIT!!! One of my new favorite places in Nashville. It's located in SoBro and is a songwriter's cafe. If you've heard of The Bluebird, it's similar (much easier to get in though). Set up in a intimate environment, you get to listen to songwriters perform their songs (some before they have even been released). I love that they give you a little insight into the song before they sing. It's amazing! During our visit we saw songwriters, Nolan Neal (season 11 of the voice), Alyssa Jacey, and Trey Lewis. They were all fantastic but Nolan stood out to me and is officially my new favorite artist. Overall, a great venue and one definitely worth adding to your list!

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  • 16 Bit Arcade/Pins Mechanical
    Another must visit (especially if you've got a group). Essentially this is an adult playground equipped with pinball, video games, duckpin (think easier/more fun variation of bowling), bocce, outdoor games and delicious drinks!

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Shopping:

  • L & L Market
    Renovated mill turned amazingly, beautiful shopping space. This isn't completely built out yet, but with a few cute shops, it's worth a visit.

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  • Amelia's Flower Truck/Shop
    Amelia's flower truck is often found in the Gulch and 12 South but she also has a brick and mortar at L & L Market. Gorgeous flowers that I would totally buy if I wasn't traveling.

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  • Winky Lux
    Located in the Gulch, this is a unique and fun makeup store. They also have photo booth areas so if you are an Instagrammer you are going to LOVE it in here. Consider your content for the next few days done!

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  • Two Old Hippies
    Located in the Gulch, this store has just a little bit of everything. A great place to pick up some reasonably priced Nashville souvenirs.

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  • White's Mercantile
    Locally made items found at this adorable 'general store' styled shop in the 12 South neighborhood.

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  • Draper James
    Owned by Reese Witherspoon and named after her grandparents, this is a must stop place in 12 South. It's pricey but a fun store to check out. Not to mention it is a beautiful space modeled after her own home with some photo worthy murals just outside. Staff also greets you with delicious sweet tea when you walk in the door (and it's free!).

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  • Hatch Show Print
    This was one tour that I wanted to do, but didn't. However, their gift store nearby the Country Music Hall of Fame (also worth visiting but didn't this trip) is a fun place to visit and shop. It's also a great place to pick up some unique Nashville souvenirs.

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  • Outdoor Voices
    Cute athleisure store in 12 South. I wanted everything and bought nothing! Tragic!

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  • Turnip Truck
    Cute natural foods grocery store and the perfect place to grab a snack and drinks before heading out on your Top Down tour.
  • Uncommon James
    Kristin Cavillari's store in the Gulch neighborhood. Beautiful store with cute jewerly, accessories and a great place to shop for unique gifts.

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Where To Workout:

  • Boothcamp Gym
    Hands down my favorite place to workout in Nashville. It's owned by Bachelorette favorite, Shawn Booth (you may recall him as the 'winner' of Kaitlyn's season). It's a challenge of a workout every time but it's one of the most welcoming groups of people you'll come across in Nashville. I've been a few times now and love it more and more each visit. And, if you're wondering, yes, Shawn is 100% as good-looking in person and he is the nicest ever!

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  • SHED Group Fitness
    With a few different locations around Nashville, SHED is a great place for a guaranteed butt-kicking workout. I visited the Gulch location for their Sunday Sprint and circuit class. It was brutal, but in a sick, twisted, I'm crazy about fitness kind of way it was also quite fun.

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  • Cyclebar West Nashville
    Located in the new L & L Market in West Nashville, Cyclebar is a great spin workout! The class I attended was 90's themed and a lot of fun! In case you're curious, there is also a Gulch location.

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  • SweatNET Nashville
    Not a gym in particular, but an organization that is worth checking out if you're headed to Nashville and looking for some exercise ideas and fitness inspo. They have several events at various gyms throughout the city. The Cyclebar class I went to was actually sponsored by SweatNET. The event included the class PLUS Five Daughter's Bakery paleo donuts post-workout.

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I hope you find this blog post helpful. I'm already eager to plan another trip and will gladly go with anyone that wants to roadtrip down to Music City! It's such a fun place that is constantly changing with tons of new things to see and do!