We were in Nashville in December 2018, as part of Big Trip #2.
Nashville was our second-to-last stop on Big Trip #2, because it’s well-positioned for heading home from Out West, and because it’s a super fun town with a great urban camping situation. Read about our previous Nashville visits: ONE, TWO, THREE, and our subsequent visit FIVE, or skip to our Nashville Favorites post!
We stay at the Nashville Fairgrounds campground when we stay in Nashville. To us, there is no other Nashville camping option. The future of our sweet campground is a little up in the air right now because the fairgrounds/speedway complex is scheduled to be redeveloped, but the plans seem to include RV sites, so we’re optimistic. It’s rare to find a campsite close to the center of a cool city… Austin is the best example!
For the first time, our stay coincided with the Nashville Flea Market, at the fairgrounds complex on the fourth weekend of every month. It was well worth wandering through, despite booths being underpopulated due to terrible weather. Our favorite vendor was the cast iron guy, who can rehabilitate any cast iron skillet or pot you send him, and was loaded with advice for cast iron cooking aficionados like us.
We had to hit our favorite restaurant in Nashville, Husk. It’s quite pig-centric, but even non-pig eaters like me can find mouthwatering options (like the menu staple–my usual order–“A Plate of Southern Vegetables”). The cuisine is upscale Southern, located in a beautiful historic house in a quiet neighborhood just south of Downtown.
We finally made it to Rolf and Daughters after a few failed attempts. The brick dining room in the happening Germantown neighborhood is gorgeous, and I thought the creative veggie-heavy small plates we tried were fab. J particularly liked the pasta, but was less enthusiastic overall about our experience for no definitive reason. If you’re choosing between Rolf and Husk, pick Husk!
Only being in Nashville for a couple days… somehow we still got a good amount of drinking research in. You’re welcome!
Bearded Iris is still the best brewery in Nashville, and lots of people agree, based on the crowd in the taproom. If you’re an IPA fan, you must try their beer. (Currently distribution is limited to TN and KY.)
Tennessee Beer Works is close to the campground, has above-average beer, and is a fun place to hang out with frequent live music, a multi-level indoor space, and a big patio. The food menu looks quite good (hey there, fish tacos!)–but as we were stopping at TBW on our way to dinner at Husk, we couldn’t spare the stomach space to try anything.
Rooftop bars can be swanky or cheesy; hotel bars can be sophisticated or lame. Up (beware, their site plays obnoxious music), a rooftop bar in a hotel, lands toward the sadder end of both spectrums. The views of Downtown from the outside deck are lovely, but sitting at the indoor bar on a cold December night drinking an uninspired cocktail left much to be desired.
Minerva is a new speakeasy in a part of town we hadn’t visited before, and to my delight it has an 80s/90s theme! It was buzzing with an after-work crowd and the spacious patio looked like a great place unwind on a pleasant day.
We enjoyed a quick cocktail at the bar at 5th & Taylor in Germantown. It’s a huge space, an old warehouse beautifully redone, with yet another pretty patio that made us want to return to Nashville at a sitting-outside time of year.
We were back in Germantown once more for coffee at Red Bicycle Coffee, a laid-back spot to catch up on some computer work. My specialty latte was delicious, and the food menu (particularly breakfast–crepes! tacos!) looked fab.