Nashville. If you’ve been lately, you know that Nashville has become a kind of Renaissance city of the new South, where amazing food, recreation, entertainment and of course music are all served up with optimism, energy and Southern hospitality. Are we excited that WestJet is offering Nashville as new a destination? Why, yes we are.
If you believe, as we do, that taking a trip just for the food is not only reasonable, but highly recommended, then Nashville is saving you a seat. You can go for the classic Nashville meat and three, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, your choice of meat and three delectable sides. You can’t go wrong doing just that at venerable institutions like Arnold’s Country Kitchen or the Loveless Café. Keeping it on the Southern soul food tip, you’ll want to get some barbecue, of course. Nashville’s Peg Leg Porker provides a mouth-watering introduction to Tennessee-style barbecue; save some room for the fried peach pie. You’ll also want to visit some of the restaurants where Southern charm meets more adventurous new school cuisine. Husk, the Catbird Seat and Rolf & Daughters all offer ambience and menus that are a bit more upscale, and a whole different kind of delicious.
Nashville has welcomed a hip, young creative class over the last decade or so, and that has definitely made for great coffee, with many options if you’re looking to sit and sip or just grab premium fuel on the go. Barista Parlor and Crema are two consensus choices for Nashville’s ultimate bean.
Once you’ve coffee-d up, you’ll want to head to Broadway and Music Row. Nashville, after all, is about music, and this is where much of the music happens. We’re talking all kinds all kinds of country – young country, traditional country, bluegrass, and honky-tonk. Some of the bars feature bands set up in their front windows, playing into the room. As you stroll past, you can look in at the bar from behind the band. It’s a cool kind of vibe, and gives the sidewalk a sort of backstage feeling when you stop to listen. The live music on Broadway plays all day, every day and it’s free – remember though, that many of these fine musicians are playing for tips. If you like what you hear – and you likely will – your generous appreciation will be undoubtedly appreciated.
For many Nashville visitors, it really is all about country, Music Row, the Ryman and The Opry – but Nashville’s music scene is thriving and varied, with rock, blues, jazz, classical and more, and more live music venues than many cities three times the size. 2nd Avenue and Midtown are definitely worth exploring if your tastes lean toward blues, rock and alt-country. The Nashville Live Music Guide is available for free download on Google Play and the App Store and will keep you in the know and up to the minute.
You can definitely make a weekend or even a week out of strolling up and down Broadway. But there really is so much more to Nashville – museums, galleries, attractions, professional sports and amazing neighbourhoods – we’ve really just scratched the surface. One note before you go: if you want to really experience all that Nashville has to offer, you’ll need to be mobile. It’s not a walking city, so renting a car is definitely a good idea. Or relax, let taxis or Uber do the driving, and get the benefit of some local insight while you ride. Nashville. It’s a weekend, it’s a week, it’s a way of life; it’s an unforgettable no-place-like-it that will have you hankering to visit again and again.