I’m so excited to share with you a complete recap of my girls weekend in Nashville with Kim of Penny Pincher Fashion, complete with all the eats, sights and fun you can imagine during a 48 hour trip.
I met Kim back in the day, I think first through Twitter (which I know, hysterical!) and we then stayed together during a blog conference in 2012. The rest is history! We instantly connected over blogging, motherhood, health (rather, our struggles with it at times), love of shopping & everything in between. Even though we have only spent days together in over six years, I totally count her as one of my closest, most trusted and fun friends. Plus, her blog has countless affordable style inspiration that I always find super helpful!
So, our trip! I went to Nashville with a group of five girls at least eight years ago pre-kids and had the best time, so was pumped to return. The city did not disappoint, and funny enough, has clearly become such a destination for a girls weekend! We saw countless groups of girlfriends, from bachelorette parties to those celebrating 40th birthdays.
We stayed at the Hutton Hotel, a perfect central destination that I cannot recommend enough. The hotel was beautifully decorated, contemporary and clean, and had a free shuttle service that became a huge money saver since it takes you within five miles…. perfect to get to nearly every area including Downtown (Broadway for all the live music), 19th Avenue North and The Gulch, for example. Plus, did I mention its turndown service that included handmade salted caramels from Shotwell Candy Co.? We might have asked for a few extras they were so delicious.
So, what should you do during a weekend trip with your girls (or guys)? Here’s my top recommendations!
EATS & DRINKS
Barista Parlor: a totally cool, hipster coffee shop with impressively rich coffees, espressos and teas, along with a decadent wall of chocolate and plentiful seating. There’s a few around town, though we went to the one in Germantown to meet with blog friend, Jackie.
Bartaco: yum! The coolest, super casual yet totally hip place for yummy tacos, guac, chips and margs. We had an afternoon snack at Five Daughter’s Bakery so we weren’t starving. Instead we grabbed a table here (get here early, the wait can get intense!) and got a few tacos — I loved the fresh tuna in a lettuce wrap, and the mushrooms on a corn tortilla — plus the fresh margaritas were the perfect accompaniment to the lively atmosphere and people watching.
Biscuit Love: frequently on people’s must-eat list, get here early because the line easily wraps around the building! I got fried chicken on a biscuit smothered in sausage gravy (so insanely delicious and yet made for the grossest photo!), and a side of this yummy kale salad; Kim had the same kale salad with two over-easy eggs on top… delicious! You MUST get their bonuts — an order of five biscuit donuts that are out of this world. The shop is also known for this Nashville sign.
Butcher and Bee: This East Nashville establishment has a big following thanks to Chef Bryan Lee Weaver; the cool interiors balance a killer menu. We went for brunch where I was immediately drawn to the fried avocado sandwich, which is layered with crispy bacon, fried egg and naturally, fried avocado.
Five Daughters Bakery: go here for most delicious 100 layer donuts, with a plentiful array of paleo and gluten free options (Kim’s choice; she said they were incredible!). I literally licked the plate clean. I got the vanilla cream but the lemon curd and blueberry preserves was a close second. Everything looked incredible fresh! Weather permitting, enjoy it outside on one of the patio tables.
Hattie B’s: when I learned that Nashville is known more for its hot chicken than BBQ, my bro told me we need to get to Hattie B’s. My bro seriously knows the best eats around the country and lucky for us, this is a short walk from the hotel. Best tip ever: order online! The line is nuts but you can easily order on the Hattie B’s web site, pick up and be in and out in less than 5 minutes. The fried chicken was incredibly juicy, with the best/crispiest skin ever. Required eating. FYI: If you don’t go here, go to Prince’s Hot Chicken. Seriously.
Josephine: We selected Josephine’s after seeing it pop up with great reviews on a number of web sites. We must confess that it was good, but not stellar. I would absolutely go back through for wine and the charcuterie plate — the cheese selection was interesting, and since Kim is paleo, they even brought over apple slices in addition to baguette. Located in the 19th Avenue North area.
Le Sel: perhaps the most Instagram-worthy eater in Nashville, this Midtown French Brasserie has the prettiest loungy pink benches, a beautiful bar and the sweetest details. The spot is open for brunch and dinner, and we enjoyed it for brunch before walking toward Vanderbuilt to do a little boutique shopping. The eggs benedict with house-cured salmon and hollandaise was perfectly prepared. If you go for dinner, go for the oysters.
Rolf and Daughters: One of my favorite meals of the trip, this intimate, industrial chic restaurant and bar focuses on small, fresh plates, home made pastas and interesting combinations. I had this spiralized butternut squash salad with mimoleette cheese, pine nuts and other yummies that was straight out of my dreams. My pasta was incredible as well (though a small portion) and Kim’s chicken was cooked to perfection. I would absolutely come back here.
Patterson House: ok, truth. We only walked through this speakeasy bar clearly popular to locals and visitors, as the popular spot with a super cool, chill vibe had an hour-ish long wait. We heard from multiple people (and many in the local hospitality scene) that this place serves up the best cocktails. Be sure to plan accordingly, get there early and enjoy a seat at the bar or one of the cute booths.
Other eats worth noting (that I’d love to try next visit!): Pancake Pantry (since 1961), Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Jack’s (for BBQ), Husk, Kayne Prime, and Monell’s for family style southern cooking.
I don’t think this salmon benedict sandwich is happy for what’s about to happen to it. 😉
SEE & DO
Shopping! Hello, a girls weekend must… even if it’s just browsing! One of our favorite part of the weekend was discovering all the fantastic little boutiques around town. Look for pockets of stores on 19th Avenue North (Draper James is there, the brand by Reese Witherspoon), the Gulch and and Vanderbilt area. Favorite shops included The Impeccable Pig, Serendipity — shop filled with all fair-trade and local finds (we got the cutest pair of tassel earrings for $12!) — and Scout and Molly’s.
The Country Music Hall of Fame – if it’s your first time to Nashville, this is a fun and interesting tour. I did it on my last visit and it’s a fun way to spend a few hours… particularly if it’s a chilly or windy day. Just a heads up that it’s a little spendy at over $20/ticket.
Live music on Broadway: a total tourist tradition, you have to go to Broadway for some honky tonk fun! We seriously had the best time, listening to live music at The Stage — which has expanded now to four floors of live music — and then we followed our new favorite, Chris Shrader Band, over to Crossroads. A few vodka sodas later, and it was 2:30 am! We had so much fun dancing, singing (we loved that Chris mixed in fun 90s and 2000s jams with some dance-worthy country) and living it up… honestly a total highlight in my book! Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge is another landmark…. you have to stop by, if even for only a few minutes. You never who you’ll see performing at these spots, or who the bands will bring on stage!
Tour the Insta-worthy murals: We loved walking around corners only to discover so many Instagram-worthy walls and murals. Particularly on a nicer day, there are so many beautiful places to walk around Nashville. This post is a great way to discover the best spots!
Parthenon: totally random I almost laugh writing the randomness of this when we first heard! However, did you know that Nashville is known as the “Athens of the South” thanks to the numerous higher education institutions? I had no idea! It’s located in Nashville’s Centennial Park.
Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium: two music institutions that continue to host some of country’s top performers.
Get a piercing! Kim and I both wanted our cartilage pierced so decided to make it happen together on this trip. We took an Uber out to Dahlia, where owner Betty Ann got to work. Such a fun memory! If you decide to do the same, be sure to make an appointment.
I haven’t read a book in an embarrassingly long time; this book Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes is speaking to me. I have been obsessively recommending it to everyone.
Can’t argue with complimentary mimosas or spiked hot apple cider upon arrival at Hutton Hotel.
While in Nashville, it went from 75 degrees to 41 degrees and snow within 48 hours. You should have seen our suitcases. #allthethings (do not ask me for packing tips!). LOL. I haven’t seen snow though in probably a decade so even though I froze my tush off this little moment was super cool.
She also hooked it up by letting me borrow her amazing moto jacket! It paired perfectly daytime with a black blouse, crossbody and adidas, and for evening with a floral cold shoulder blouse (last seen here), tassel earrings and over-the-knee boots. I really wish I could have snagged this from her!
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