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Bright lights and live music fill the streets of Nashville’s buzzing main drag all year long. Over last few years, the Tennessee capital has experienced a remarkable surge in growth, and it’s now become one of the hottest music and foodie scenes in the nation. Yet despite all the new hotels, bars and restaurants, it’s managed to somehow maintain the small town feel which made it so beloved in the first place. Whether it’s a trip with friends, a bachelor party, or just a fun weekend getaway, Nashville offers an amazing time. These days, you can stay at a funky new boutique hotel in East Nashville or dine at a world-class Jonathan Waxman restaurant in the Gulch. Go pack your jeans and get those dancing boots ready, because now’s the time to plan a trip to this favorite southern city.

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Nashville Tennessee skyline from the Cumberland River, Aug 2016

Nashville skyline

Neighborhoods: East Nashville and the Gulch

Years ago, there were whispers of a revitalization of the East Nashville neighborhood. Cool bars and small eateries began to slowly plant roots there. They say, the best things come to those who wait and this area of Music City was no different. Today, East Nashville is quirky and buzzing with people and locally owned businesses. While still filled with hipsters and casual, eclectic spots, you’ll also now find fine dining restaurants and upscale boutiques. Shelby Park offers a gorgeous green space when the weather is nice and during football season, Titans fans flock to Nissan Stadium. Closer to downtown, chic hotels and high end fashion stores are popping up in the Gulch neighborhood. A LEED certified community, the area has been recently reimagined. Once the center of industry in Nashville, the art scene in the Gulch is thriving and world famous bluegrass singers are coming there to entertain fans. With so much happening so quickly, it’s easily the coolest neighborhood in Nashville.

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Brunch at Husk | Photo by Compass + Twine 

A killer food scene

Nashville’s had a strong culinary scene for many years, with mainstay cult favorites like Princess’s Hot Chicken and Loveless Cafe still attracting locals and visitors alike. However, some big name restaurateurs and chefs have made their mark on the city in recent years and the food scene is now better than ever. In 2013, James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock opened a Nashville outpost of his famous Charleston restaurant, Husk, to serve up some of his inventive Southern cuisine. Similarly, the city caught the eye of famed chef Jonathan Waxman, who opened the raved-about Adele’s restaurant in the Gulch in 2014. Nashvillians can now get Waxman’s famed kale Caesar salad south of the Mason-Dixon line. Another newcomer in Germantown is the contemporary oyster bar Henrietta Red. Bright and airy, baked oysters are cooked in a wood burning oven, delicious vegetarian dishes dot the menu and craft cocktails are always flowing.

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The rooftop at the Thompson | Photo by Compass + Twine

Cool places to stay

Ten years ago you could count on one hand the number of funky crash pads to stay at when visiting Nashville. Now there are a bunch of great boutique hotels in the neighborhoods, along with some fun, swanky larger spots downtown. Over in the trendy Gulch neighborhood, check out the Thompson Nashville. The luxury property, which opened in 2016, has a chic design, funky, eclectic decor, and lies within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in the city. For a larger downtown property, you can’t go wrong with the Omni Nashville Hotel. This resort has large, comfortable rooms, a wonderful spa and fun rooftop pool scene.

musician playing banjo in retro filter photo

Live music at the honky-tonks

Honky-Tonks still going strong on Broadway

One of the best things about Nashville is that it has great neighborhoods and a fun main drag downtown. While area’s like the Gulch and East Nashville have become havens for trendy new establishments, Broadway, the main street running though the heart of Nashville, remains better than ever. Home to all the famous honky-tonk venues, where live music fills the air and talented up-and-coming artists entertain fun-loving crowds, Broadway has grown without loosing its charm. Tootsie’s lead the charge with a massive update and expansion a few years back, setting the tone that honky-tonks are a mainstay, and still some of the best places to kick back and catch great country music in Nashville.

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Tagged: Nashville