looking for something?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

48 Hours in Nashville

Last week my mom and I took a little trip to Nashville. We had both been before but I could hardly remember as I was in elementary school the last time and Nashville has changed. The city grows by almost 100 people a day (remind you of Austin?) so I wanted to experience the new Nashville. And what I found was a beautiful mix of new and old. You still have the Music City personality with this hipster infused spirit. We both really enjoyed our trip so I thought I would make a little 48 hour guide. Each of these spots we visited and enjoyed (some more than others) and there are photos for your enjoyment. Let me know if you've done any of them or if there was something I missed because I plan to go back sooner rather than later - xoxo darling, Hayden.
A note: We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Nashville Downtown/The Gulch so when I am giving directions it is from that general area. I would highly recommend The Gulch because it is fairly close to everything. Also, we did not rent a car but I would recommend that as some of this stuff is far apart. You can also visit the Hermitage if you rent a car and that is a must! 
8:30am - Breakfast - Biscuit Love in the Gulch - Start your day with one of the most recommended places on the Internet, Biscuit Love. There are multiple locations but since we stayed at The Gulch, we walked to that location. If you are doing this in Nashville's high season I would recommend getting there right as the doors open because the line gets crazy. Since my mom and I were there on a weekday in the middle of summer we didn't have to wait for a table. However, at around 9am the place filled up and there was a line when we left. If I am being completely honest, it was not my favorite biscuit, purely because it wasn't the kind I grew up with. But it was delicious. I had the SEC {comes with sausage, egg and cheese} and it was a solid breakfast. Perfect for the shopping we would be doing later. 
10am - Shopping -12 South - If you've read other Nashville guides you'll have heard of 12 South. This is the spot where Reese Witherspoon's shop is and where other cute boutiques have flocked. We took a Lyft as we didn't have a car and it was about 15 minutes from The Gulch. We started at White's Mercantile, which is the
perfect spot to purchase a gift for friends back home. We ended up buying some cards & the cutest post card for my dad. But I could've spent hundreds of dollars in there. Next up was a stop at the "I Believe in Nashville" mural and the Draper James blue and white striped wall. These are classic Instagram stop-offs. My mom spent about 10 minutes with me posing in front of her iPhone...and I got stung by a bee! Nuts! Then we ventured into DJ, which can I say? Is the cutest. Literally it is me in a shop. The blue and white theme continues inside and it is my goal in life to wear all of it. I ended up with this top and this t-shirt. I love 'em both. We then stopped in Imogene + Willie, a spot I had read about on a few blogs. We bought a book for my dad and the shop itself is real cute, very Nashville hipster/country musician in the making. 
11am - Mid-Morning Snack - 5 Daughters Bakery - If you follow my personal Instagram account you'll know I assumed this to be an "instagram" bakery meaning that it was great for the 'gram but not so great on the taste buds. Gosh was I wrong, and how happy I was to be wrong! It was so, so, so good. I cannot talk enough about how good that donut was. I chose the Vanilla Cream. It has about 100 layers of donut with vanilla cream in between them and on top. Seriously, this cronut/donut was one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. Plus, the outdoor seating is cute and they have a little playground for kids. 
11:45am - Shopping - 12 South - To walk off our donut before breakfast we continued our shopping journey through 12 South. We stopped in at Serendipity, a shop that reminded me of South Congress in Austin, for socks and books. If you are a feminist this little, slightly crammed, spot is for you. You'll find books like In the Company of Women and feminist history books. Also, be sure to check out Savant Vintage named by Vogue as the "Best Vintage Store Nashville," which I feel is pretty high praise? 
1pm - Late Lunch -  Martin's BBQ - Instead of opting for the very popular Edley's we walked to Martin's on Belmont that is a little less than a mile walk from 12 South. You can Lyft but my mom and I liked the walk because a) gotta walk off that donut and b) the houses along the walk are too cute. It makes you want to move to Nashville like all of the other people packing up their things. The BBQ spot itself is next to Sun Records, yes the place that made so many of country musics legends. The BBQ itself is delicious. My mom and I both had sandwiches and the meat was tender as well as delicious. I had a cornbread hoecake, spoiler, it's a savory pancake. I really liked the BBQ sauce so I threw it on the aforementioned hoecake and went to town. They offer a "Redneck Taco" which is BBQ on top of a cornbread hoecake topped with slaw and sauce...and I think if you're going you should have that because it sounds pretty magical. 
2:30pm - Walk - Centennial Park - Parthenon - Need to walk off all that delicious whole hog BBQ? Take a Lyft or drive to Centennial Park near Vanderbilt. One of the biggest tourist attractions in Nashville is the Parthenon, which is a must see. The over 100 acre park is a perfect way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air after all of that shopping this morning. 
3:30pm - Afternoon Pick-Me-Up - NoBaked Cookie Dough - Just off the park is NoBaked, in an old house. I had never had gourmet cookie dough - I'm used to eating raw cookie dough out of the Toll House packaging (I know, that's not healthy) so this was completely new to me. My mom and I each got one scoop of their confetti sugar cookie flavor, mine in a cone, hers in a bowl. Let me say right now, one scoop is enough for a family of 5 to happily enjoy. So plan to share because this stuff is incredibly rich. It's delicious but my mom and I couldn't even make a dent in it. The shop also makes for great photos, with their neon "Don't Mind If I Dough" and glitzy "Nashville" signs. 
5:30pm - Dinner - Hattie B's Hot Chicken - Take a walk from the park area to Hattie B's Hot
Chicken on the other side of Vandy's campus. Hot Chicken is a Nashville staple and until this trip I had never tried the delicacy. So what is it? If you've ever been to Popeye's and they ask you if you want spicy or regular, take that and make a few different incredible flavors. You can get the mildest (basically just fried chicken) or you can get it "clucking" hot. My mom and I both got Hot! to feel the heat but not the "Shut the Cluck Up!" flavor because that seemed too extreme for our first time. We also had the pimento mac & cheese that was creamy and incredibly cheesy. I'm not even a fan of pimento but that was delicious. Pro Tip: Order online before you go, you can pick it up at the counter and eat it on the porch instead of waiting in line! We wish we had known this. 
8pm - After Dinner Drinks -  Yazoo Brewing & Tennessee Brew Works - Looking for something to do after you've digested your hot chicken? Head back to The Gulch for some craft beer. Yazoo and TBW are within walking distance of each other (Yazoo was across the street from our hotel) and both provide delicious liquid gold options. TBW has a really cool taproom consisting of shipping crates, balconies and lots of outdoor seating. The State Park Blonde Ale was my favorite but they also do a good IPA. At Yazoo the taproom isn't as cool, but it is the oldest craft brewery in Nashville. I really liked the Hefe, it was one of the best I've ever had. They also do food so if you need a little snack you can grab that. 
9am - Breakfast - Milk & Honey - This Gulch spot was my favorite breakfast in Nashville. We walked from our hotel, took us less than 10 minutes, and instantly were seated. They have some food to go at the front with a bakery case but we opted to sit down. The biscuits are much more traditional and I loved the atmosphere. They have a neon sign that says "Lard Have Mercy," who wouldn't love that? We both had the Big Kid Breakfast (two eggs cooked any way you like, M&H applewood bacon, sourdough toast (can opt for a biscuit for $1.50), local honey, home fries and fresh fruit). We both thoroughly enjoyed it and it set us up for a long morning and late lunch. 
11am - Country Music Hall of Fame  - Oh, this spot is a must see if you are in Nashville for more than an hour. The tickets are a little pricey, but I would say totally worth it. You begin your tour on the third floor with a rotating exhibit (mine was about Loretta Lynn) and then continue on to the "beginning" of country music. The whole museum follows one big timeline so depending on how old you are you will begin to recognize artists in different cases. Each case has 4-5 stars, their bios and then some of their memorabilia. I was fascinated by the outfits - so many bedazzled suits and custom cowboy boots. After we were done I created a playlist on Spotify of all of my old favorites because the museum just makes you want to listen to some country. And even if you don't like country, you can appreciate the hard work all of the artists put in to become themselves. 
12:30pm - Hatch Print Shop Tour - Honestly, the best part of the Hall of Fame is this tour. It's less than $20 and if you love typography, posters or art at all you'll love it. Hatch has been around for over 100 years making posters for everything - from Patsy Cline to kids birthday parties. They do everything by block print. None of it is digital, which is kind of amazing. They are using the same library of type that they had originally and they hand carve images to put on posters. You yourself can order posters between 100-1000 with a max of three colors. And guess what? At the end of the tour you get to make your very own Hatch Print. Seriously, do this. It is amazing. 
1:30pm - Goo Goo Shop - Before grabbing lunch, head further into downtown for a stop at the Goo Goo Shop to pick up some Goo Goo Clusters for your family and friends. Goo Goos are some of my favorite old school candies. They are kind of like a Baby Ruth meets a Turtle. They make them in Nashville so what better little treat to take back to the family? You can also have dessert here as they have a soda fountain. 
2pm - Late Lunch -  Acme Feed & Seed - A little over a block away from the Goo Goo shop, right on the water is Acme. I wrote about this spot for my internship last summer and finally got to go! They have multiple levels with different options. The first is a fast casual option with lunch-y options, floor 2 has a sushi bar, then there is an event space and a rooftop bar. Each level has a bar with various cocktails and craft beer. We had a late lunch on the first floor, I had a BBQ sandwich with fries. The brisket was delicious, the fries were okay. We then headed up to the roof for a cocktail and for the views of the river and people watching. We weren't disappointed. The view from the top is beautiful and the Mule Kicker (ole smoky lemon drop white lightnin', mellow yellow, lemonade, cardamom, served frozen) is delicious. 
3:30pm - Afternoon Pick-Me-Up - Barista Parlor - I stumbled upon this spot while reading a blogger's guide to Nashville and decided to stop in at the Golden Sound location (3 minutes walking from my hotel) to finish up some work. To say I was floored by the reality is an understatement. I knew that the coffee would be good based on the reviews and the photos, but y'all, the space is a co-working dream. The tables are the perfect height, there are tons of plugs and the lightning is a dream. It was one of the most enjoyable coffee shops I have ever been in, seriously. I had the iced coffee and then added a lil' splash of cream. 
7pm - Dinner - Pinewood Social - This is a millennial's dream. Seriously, it's a coffee shop, restaurant, bowling alley and swimming pool all in one perfect location. Not to mention the perfect neon sign above the lanes for that amazing shot for your story. But all joking aside, I was really impressed with
Pinewood. I was a little worried it would be an Instagram haven but there wouldn't be any substance and how wrong I was! We went for a late dinner during a summer weekday so there was no wait and enjoyed our dinner. We had one round of drinks - mine was the Two Tickets to Paradise (dolin blanc, lemon, vodka, black tea, lavender, sparkling rose) which was delicious. It wasn't over the top in the alcohol department but they also weren't skimping. We had French Onion Dip (caramelized onion jam, chives, crispy shallots), something I had never tried but ended up enjoying quite a bit. If you've had the dish before know that this one is a little sweeter than most. Then my mom and I split a Turkey + Brie sandwich (cranberry chutney, sunflower sprouts, multigrain bread) that I really liked. The turkey was fresh and all of the ingredients meshed well together. For dessert we had the Tahitian Vanilla Soft Serve (topped with chocolate cookie crumble) and let me tell you, that flavor is unlike anything I've ever had. But I liked it? I think? Overall, visit Pinewood for the 'grams, stay for the food. 

More Photos:
Hattie B's
Biscuit Love
 Mural on 12 South
White's Mercantile 

Imogene + Willie
 Five Daughters Bakery
Cutest quote in the Draper James dressing room.
A house near 12 South.
 Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
Barista Parlor Iced Coffee
 Yazoo Beer
 Pinewood Social
 Milk & Honey
Country Music Hall of Fame
Truly can't escape the Eyes of Texas...
My childhood obsession was thriving.

Hatch Print Shop
Acme Feed & Seed
 View from Acme Feed & Seed
Frozen Drink at Acme Feed & Seed's rooftop

post signature


  1. sounds like a blast! i'm moving to nashville in the fall for school and I cannot wait- I haven't visited yet but have been looking at ALL the travel guides lol

    1. You are going to have a blast! Good luck in school!

  2. 12 south is so cute! That was definitely my favorite part of Nash when I visited.

  3. You packed so much in to your trip-looks like an absolutely wonderful time! Definitely need to add Nashville to my places to travel list.

  4. Looks amazing! I so want to visit!


  5. This is amazing!! Nashville is one of my favorite cities, but I have yet to explore many of these great eats. So excited to try them!