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A Weekend in Nashville: 5 Must-Visit Spots

Samantha Korenfeld

A weekend road trip is a great way to celebrate the weather (finally) getting nice. Two of my friends and I decided to do just that and hopped in the car for the easy four-hour drive from our home in St. Louis to Nashville. None of us had ever visited Nashville, so we were excited to explore the Tennessee city known for live music and delicious food. After a quick 48 hours in this sweet little city, I now have a cherished list of must-sees. Here are five spots that make Nashville worth the trip.

Stop 1: 12 South

Start your trip in the 12 South neighborhood, an area packed with high-end boutiques, ‘gram-worthy murals, and lots of local food options.

Our first stop was the beloved Draper James flagship store, where Reese Witherspoon’s preppy empire comes to life, including a store employee greeting customers with cups of sweet tea at the door. The entire space is also adorably styled, and with good reason. Everything is for purchase, right down to the art on the walls. There are also two murals right outside the store that make for great photo ops.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Right across the street is the Madewell Denim Edit. Normally I wouldn’t stop in a store I can shop at home, but this one was special. They do all of their monogramming and embossing in-house, so you can watch the personalization in real time. If you’ve been waiting to get one of their classic totes or some jeans, stop here to watch them become uniquely yours (and take a killer Boomerang while you’re at it).

In addition to larger stores, 12 South is packed with smaller pop-up stands, like jewelry by Kristin Clemens. Clemens takes found and vintage pieces and combines them with modern hardware for one-of-a-kind jewelry. I got a necklace with a brass “captain” placard pendant from an old ship. How cool is that?

Image Courtesy Samantha Korenfeld

All that spending made us work up an appetite so we stopped at Edley’s Bar-B-Que for Nashville’s famous hot chicken and some barbecue. Almost everywhere on 12 South had a wait, but Edley’s was able to seat us and feed us quickly — and also force us into a mid-afternoon nap thanks to their amazing cheesy grits casserole.

Stop 2: Pinewood Social

I think I said “I love this place” about 200 times in the hour or so we were at Pinewood Social. The restaurant is the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of. From its industrial-chic decor to its vintage-style bowling alley, Pinewood Social is packed with southern charm.

 

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We couldn’t make up our minds on what to order at Pinewood, so we ended up splitting a few entrées. Our favorite was the smoked salmon cakes with brown butter hollandaise. Unfortunately, they couldn’t fit us in to bowl, so I recommend making reservations. Overall, it was such a happy place to be and I would definitely go back. Like, tomorrow.

 

Stop 3: Germantown

Saying we were excited to shop in Nashville is an understatement. But we didn’t find that boutique-y feel we were looking for until a friend who had recently moved to Nashville led us to Germantown. There, we found shops with everything from sleek minimalist jewelry and accessories (ABEDNEGO) to unique and colorful home decor (Wilder). But the hero of our shopping day was Bits & Pieces Antique Boutique. This adorable store combines new pieces with a bohemian flare with actual vintage and antique pieces. So much of the shopping in Nashville comes at a, shall we say, *aspirational* price point, but all three of us — with very different styles and budgets — walked away with new stuff that we loved.

 

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After we had our fill of shopping, we stopped by Henrietta Red for a snack before heading back to our Airbnb. We had heard great things about Henrietta Red from various travel blogs, and it definitely lived up to the hype. We got a few snacks and cocktails, but the best of the best were their perfect fries with lemon aioli (which, may I add, pair well with any of their beers).

Stop 4: Broadway, aka Honky Tonk Highway

Although none of us are over 30, my friends and I tend to be more of the in-bed-by-nine crowd. However, since we were in NashVegas, we decided to step out of our comfort zone and head down to the notorious Honky Tonk Highway for a little bar hopping. The second we got out of our Uber we were shocked at how packed it was!

Image Courtesy Unsplash // Drew Hays

We combed through the crowds and finally decided on Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row. There were several floors of restaurants and music, but the highlight for us was the gorgeous open rooftop. We made friends with a few groups who had also road tripped up to Nashville and sang along with a fantastic live band who had the crowd of hundreds singing in unison to Americana favorites.

After a few drinks and several rounds of singalongs, we decided to find some food on one of the side streets off Broadway. We ended up at Pancho & Lefty’s, a little Mexican restaurant (also with a rooftop bar!) that lured us in with its promise of CBD-infused margaritas. Sold. We climbed up to the rooftop dining area, put away some amazing adobo chicken tacos, and sipped our CBD margs as we listened to acoustic James Taylor covers for a perfect little nightcap.

We sipped our CBD margs as we listened to acoustic James Taylor covers for a perfect little nightcap.

Stop 5: ACME Feed & Seed

Our unanimous favorite stop was ACME Feed & Seed, a four-story live music venue with incredible live acts from country to pop, as well as a ton of food options including a sushi bar, great barbeque, and the famous frosé drink that tastes a little too delicious for its own good. We got to ACME just in time to explore what each floor had to offer, finally settling in front of the main stage to listen to an amazing little self-described “funky country” band called Wild Earp.

Image Courtesy Samantha Korenfeld

We placed an order for some pork belly tacos and then found a front-row seat for a show-stopping performance by Morgan Myles, a vocal powerhouse who had us up dancing, laughing, and sometimes even standing in silent awe of her range and skill. Between the cute country decor, the great food, and the incredible music, our night at ACME was without a doubt the highlight of our trip and the best of Nashville all rolled into one spot.