Ben and I are coming up on one whole year married! Because our summer schedules are crazy, we decided to celebrate early and spent last weekend exploring Nashville!
After what we felt was the perfect trip and having fallen completely in love with the city (as in liked it so much we briefly considered actually moving) we have a few favorites to share.
We woke up stupid early on Saturday morning with a looong list of places we hoped to visit in just one day. To get our coffee fix we headed straight for Crema, a super hipster third wave coffee shop in the SoBro neighborhood. Ben had a drip coffee and I tried their latte and both were amazing. Unfortunately it rained literally the entire day so we couldn’t enjoy the patio with a stunning view of the city - so that’s definitely on our list for next time.
After coffee we drove to 12 South to try a world famous 5 Daughters donut. I don’t have enough words for how charming the decor was and how mind-blowing the vanilla buttercream stuffed maple glazed donut was. You absolutely cannot miss this one.
So about 12 South - we were chatting with friends to get recommendations and they suggested that we stick to 12 South for shopping because it’s less touristy and I’m SO thankful we got that advice! The neighborhood is absolutely enchanting and Ben and I squeezed in a walk through some of the residential neighborhood to marvel at the gorgeous homes before it started pouring on us. To get out of the rain we ducked inside The Frothy Monkey. They had an adorable spiral staircase and a Caramel Coconut Latte that looked incredible so even though they were way too packed with people avoiding the storm this time, we are definitely stopping here for coffee on our next visit.
To wrap up our time in 12 South I almost gave Ben a heartattack when I literally jumped for joy over unexpectedly finding a Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's to-die-for Southern clothing store) and a Sprinkles ATM! I carried around a free sweet tea and dreamed about decorating our new apartment with floor to ceiling Draper James and Ben agonized over his cupcake decision before settling on the Salted Caramel (which of course he loved).
After dropping by the Farmer’s Market and doing some quick shopping downtown, we took a 30 minute drive out to Franklin, TN. We had heard it had a busy and precious downtown and that was the understatement of the century. The down was the perfect vision of a tight knit small community and the bustling local shops were chock full of one a kind finds. We found a store packed with all the southern brands that Ben loves to wear and we spent way too much money on t-shirts from Southern Shirt and Patagonia. We stumbled upon a shop called Imago Dei (in the image of God) that touched my heart in every way. The sweet poster below was posted on their wall.
After the rain caught up with us in Franklin we drove back to Nashville and into the neighborhood of East Nashville. We stopped for a bourbon at Holland House while we dried off and waited for our table at The Pharmacy next door. We waited over an hour for our table at Pharmacy and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I don’t say this kind of thing lightly. This was the BEST burger I have ever had. It lived up to the hype and then some. I had The Cheeseburger with a turkey burger and caramelized onions with sweet potato fries. It was such a filling lunch that we never got around to getting dinner!
After lunch we were feeling pretty exhausted and drove back downtown to check out Pinewood Social. This is one of the most unique places I’ve ever visited and I would LOVE to see something like this here in Columbus! It’s a pool/bowling alley/bar/restaurant/lounge that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, and cocktails. It is a little bit of everything done so well. I got a scrumptious mocha and Ben had a citrus coffee soda that was surprisingly not gross! This was the most relaxing stop! I definitely recommend it!
Finally we drove into Hillsboro to visit Parnassus Books! This adorable bookstore is owned by Ann Patchett! She is a brilliant novelist and owns a bookstore chock full of beautiful books and literature. The shop is guarded by the sweetest little patrol puppies that make the whole experience that much better. After dropping by the iconic lobby of the Hermitage Hotel pictured below we popped by our hotel for a nap and a change of clothes before getting ready to go back out for the night!
When we headed back out for downtown that night it was around 1am and we went straight for 1920’s speakeasy: The Patterson House, where the cocktails are crafted by mixologists right in front of your table and cost an arm and a leg. The decor was so classic and luxurious and the atmosphere made you feel like you were sitting in a movie scene, but after spending $13 each on two tiny cocktails we were very ready to get back into the live music scene and save our money!
We dropped by Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge intending to hop from bar to bar but the band playing on the 2nd floor was so good and the dancing so fun that we ended up settling in for the rest of the night listening to Old Crow Medicine Show and making new friends.
Ben had a meeting back home around 6 so we knew we would only have time on Sunday for a quick breakfast. We were so stressed out over all the good choices but we finally settled on The Pancake Pantry and were SO happy we did!
I had sweet potato pancakes with maple cream syrup with the dark chocolate chip pancakes and thought they were just perfect. Ben had the Farmer’s Breakfast and called it the very best breakfast he has ever had. We are pretty obsessed with getting a brunch in every weekend so that is high praise.
I hope this quick and dirty runthrough of our favorite stops in our whirlwind tour of Nashville inspires you to spend your weekend getting to know this beautiful and welcoming city. On our next trip we are hoping to catch a show at The Bluebird Cafe, a concert at the Ryman, visit the Grand Ole Opry Land Hotel, and take a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation. Do you have any favorites that didn’t show up on our list? Comment below to give us your recommendations!
Our family Spring Break road trip was perfect. Just the right amount of touristy stops and trying to feel like a local. Plus we all got to have a hand in fulfilling my sweet grandmas lifelong dream of seeing Elvis's home, Graceland. Here's what we think you just can't miss.
1. Beale Street
This street is literally a party 24/7. We came here as soon as we dropped our bags in the hotel and now we're full of inside jokes from all the craziness. There is live music coming from every door and you will run into every single kind of person, We plopped down on a patio and listened to possibly the worst and best show I've ever heard from "Cowboy Neal the Real Deal." If this is definitely a must see.
2. National Civil Right Museum
Wow did we not schedule enough time. The museum is so big and so emotionally draining that you definitely need to give it between three and four hours minimum. At the end of the tour you stand inside the room in the Lorraine Motel that MLK stayed in the night before he was assassinated. It's powerful and important.
3. Soda Fountain
Also on Beale Street is A. Schawb's Old Fashioned Soda Fountain. There are phosphate sodas, milkshakes, and handmade waffle cones. It's just like the movies and sitting at the bar with my family was wonderful. My grandma loves her a root beer float and she said these are the hands down best.
4. Pizza and Coffee
I've come to believe that you get to know the heart of a new city through their coffee shops so my sister Ella I and hunted some down and our favorites were Blufftown Coffee next to the Civil Rights Museum and Cafe Keough downtown. Blufftown is more neighborhood coffee shop and Keough is more of a transplanted European cafe. Both are a must stop.
Of all the food we had, and yes sadly even the ribs, this pizza was what we are all still talking about. In the newly renovated section of the downtown you can watch the trolly cars pass and sit on the patio of Aldo's Pizza to eat the most scrumptious Six Mushroom Truffle Pizza you will ever eat.
Also in case you were curious this is Elvis's mansion and the happiest little lady Graceland's probably ever seen.
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."