Nashville must have been feeling a little left out after my last post proclaiming Franklin’s greatness. Music City decided to show Franklin who’s boss by being named a Top 10 “Favorite City” by the readers of Travel+Leisure Magazine. Now, those of us who call Nashville (or the surrounding suburbs) home already know how fantastic our fair city is, but it’s certainly nice to be recognized by one of the largest travel publications in the country. Native Nashvillians all have their favorite haunts, but the city is changing so rapidly that even people who have lived here all their lives are finding new adventures waiting in their home town.
But what was so enticing that the T+L readers rated Nashville the 5th most favorite city in the US? After being asked to rate such features as dining, shopping and cultural attractions 30 cities were tapped as “favorites,” but the top 10 featured some sleeper cities that broke into the top echelon by also offering affordability, growth and (I particularly love this one!) a connection to local small businesses and restaurants. Certainly Nashville has nearly endless dining possibilities and loads of culture (yes, lots of country music, but also an incredible symphony in a state of the art facility), but the newest (and I think best) new ventures in Nashville are the ones launched, owned and operated by local folk.
Interested in checking out some locally owned (and thoroughly delicious) dining spots? I highly recommend Holland House, a restaurant and bar that specializes in “rustic American fare” with an added splash of southern hospitality. Located in oh-so-hot East Nashville, Holland House has an eclectic seasonal menu that relies heavily on locally raised meat and produce. The quality of the food, the creativity of the menu, the presentation of the meals and the ambiance of the restaurant really can’t be beat. Do make a reservation, though… like all good things, a dinner here is worth the wait!
What about culture? If Nashville isn’t your home and you’re visiting for the very first time, you’ll want to hit the hot spots on Music Row. Take a tour of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium. Take a stroll down Printer’s Alley, buy a pair of cowboy boots at Lucchese and relax with a beer and some local tunes at Tootsies. If you’re returning for a second, third, or umpteenth visit, or you’re lucky enough to live here and want to enjoy all Nashville has to offer, consider catching a concert at the Schermerhorn or spend a day (or night) frolicking at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. The point is – and clearly T+L readers know this – there is truly something for everyone in Music City USA!
If shopping is your gig, you’ll be quite pleased with all Nashville has to offer. For the intrepid and diverse shopper, plan to spend a weekend morning at the Nashville Flea Market. Held one weekend a month at the city’s fairgrounds, this event draws a spectacular crowd and offers a sprawling mecca of collectors, antiques dealers and “trash to treasure” peddlers. For a change of pace, check out Hillsboro Village, our little college district that is chock-full of handcrafted jewelry, housewares and accessories. For duds, I suggest heading over to the Gulch and popping into Two Old Hippies and E. Allen. On popular 12 Avenue South, you’ll find a darling new boutique, Draper James (owned by Nashville’s darling Reese Witherspoon) that fairly oozes southern charm.
If, after visiting, Nashville wraps you around its little finger and you just can’t stand not to live here, give me a buzz and we’ll start working on finding a perfect home in America’s fifth favorite city!!! Happy Music City Adventures, ya’ll!