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We love Nashville.
If you follow any of our social media accounts, we’ve made that pretty clear we love Nashville by our frequent visits. Anytime our travel has us remotely going anywhere near Nashville, we find an excuse to drop in for a visit.
This past week we made yet another trip through the country music capital to visit friends, explore, and finally make a trip down to the Country Music Hall of Fame!
Today, I want to share some of our favorite places to eat and explore in the area, plus our new favorite place to camp in Nashville.
Where to Eat and Drink
We chose to eat at Martin’s since it was an easy walk from the Country Music Hall of Fame, but our Nashvillian friends said it’s their number one recommendation for barbecue.
Being from Texas, we have pretty high standards for barbecue, and Martin’s didn’t disappoint.
We waited 10-15 minutes in line to order and easily found a table in the giant two-story restaurant. Incidentally, we sat right near the kitchen door. So after we ordered, I sat and drooled while they brought out trays of fries, ribs, nachos, and a plethora of other drool-worthy BBQ. It was immediately clear that we should’ve just ordered one of everything on the menu.
I ordered a chopped beef sandwich and Alyssa shared her pulled pork loaded baked potato with me.
Weirdly enough, we seemed to be the only couple around the restaurant, as most people came here with large groups of friends or families.
This place is the hipster coffee mecca. The first time I went there, I was unabashedly upset at the fact that I’d just paid $6 for a cup of pour over coffee.
However, it’s really good coffee. Yes, it’s still overpriced and out of my budget, but if you’re looking to treat yourself to a great cup of coffee, it’s a great place to stop. Bonus: It’s a great place to people watch and wonder how many of the hipsters around you are actually famous musicians.
They also have a few breakfast items on the menu, and Alyssa claims that their gluten free biscuit is the best she’s ever had.
This place exudes love (I’m talking more than just the biscuits). On our second most recent trip to Nashville I made three trips to Biscuit Love in one week (yes, it was that good). I tried a new menu item each time and all of them were amazing.
Grits, bonuts (biscuit + donut), the East Nasty (a biscuit with fried chicken on top)–it’s all worth the calories you are about to put in your body.
But you should definitely try the biscuits.
I also met the owners and had a nice long conversation with them. They launched Biscuit Love out of an Airstream, which made me like them even more (RV bias… it’s a real thing). Now it’s one of the hottest breakfast spots in Nashville.
Note: Make sure and arrive before 9AM on any given day as there will be a long wait. We waited up to 45 minutes for a table and ended up sneaking seats at the bar to save time.
What to Explore
Country Music Hall of Fame
This is typically the number one thing to see in downtown Nashville, but we didn’t cross it off until this year. I think because we are full-time RVers we intentionally try to do non-touristy things, but this was a dumb reason to put off such a cool experience.
I’ve listened to country music my entire life, but I learned so much more about the origins of the style and the pioneers who made country what it is today. Plus, right now you can check out the expansive Dylan-Cash exhibit and learn more about Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash’s influence on the music industry.
You’ll also see more modern features, like guitars and artwork by Brad Paisley and dresses worn by stars like Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini, and Miranda Lambert.
Plan for at least two hours in the museum and $25 per ticket. We parked in a parking garage next door and it was an easy walk over.
Or as our six-year-old friend likes to call it, “danger park”. This park is in the heart of downtown and comes with rock climbing walls, swings and all sorts of adventures along the river.
When the park first opened, several people were hurt climbing the rock wall (hence the nickname danger park).
A major advantage of this park is the massive parking lot, making it a breeze to park the rig right next to downtown. This is one of many parks you should definitely check out while visiting Nashville.
We are classic in bed by nine people, but every once in awhile we’ll dust off our boots for a night on the town.
There are plenty of bars on Broadway Street and each one boasts a different live band each night. We actually went to one bar with four different live bands, one for each story of the venue. Our favorite bar was a Nashville favorite called Tootsies (see their website here).
And unlike most bars, you’re likely to find spacious dance floors for a little two-stepping and line dancing.
The thing I love about Nashville is how quickly you can escape the city and find yourself surrounded by hills and trees. A short drive south of the city, we spent the afternoon at Arrington Vineyards enjoying local wine.
We love good wine, and the hilltop views were breathtaking. If you want a relaxing afternoon to unwind, this is hands down the best place to be.
PS Their raspberry and blackberry wines are to die for!
Camp in Nashville
Enjoying a sunset at the Jellystone Park in Nashville
In our many visits to Nashville, we’ve camped at several different campgrounds in the Nashville area. Our most recent and new favorite spot was at the Jellystone Park near the Grand Ole Opry, which comes complete with a putt putt golf course, pool, ice cream parlour, and spacious full hookup sites.
[Read our full review of the campground here]
Of the three parks we’ve camped at in Nashville, this one is definitely the most friendly to big rigs and is a short 15 minutes to downtown.
We like Jellystone parks because they are the most consistently nice and well-kept parks we’ve come across during our travels. Also, when it’s not peak season the parks are a bit less chaotic (read: no kids running around!) and really peaceful. They are a bit more pricey than some of the surrounding parks, but if you’re camping with a family there’s no better place for the amenities.
Alyssa whooping up on me in mini golf.
We had a blast playing putt-putt, racing on the inflatable obstacle course, and devouring ice cream from the Hot Rod Ice Cream Shoppe on site.
Why We Love Nashville
We love Nashville because of the people here, who I’m convinced are some of the nicest people in entire US. The country music scene, great food, well kept parks and surrounding hill country scene are amazing. The more we explore the city, the more we feel like this could be our new home one day.
If you’re making the trip through Tennessee, I hope you get to try out some of our favorite spots to eat, explore and camp in Nashville.
[…] We like visiting Nashville at least twice a year and right now, it’s our number one choice for where we want to live when we “settle down.” To see where we like to camp in Nashville, check out What to Do and Where to Camp in Nashville. […]
I hope you made it up to the Farmers Market and Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. That is just a great place. I am now staying in Southern Kentucky about 60 miles north and make the trip down often. There is also a “FREE” shuttle bus that makes the rounds from downtown up to the Bicentennial Mall, so park at the Farmers market, have some great food, enjoy the Mall, and make the trip downtown and back, getting on and off the bus along the way, taking a walk through the sides streets of Nashville and find some good deals on fresh produce and other things.
Ooh, I forgot about the market! We’ve been to one before there. That was our first time to try Kombucha…not our thing lol. But those are great suggestions!
You have got to get to the Jazz on the Lawn at Beachaven Winery up the road from Nashville. May 13th and 27th if your staying long enough.
I recently retired from Fort Campbell and we love Nashville. The main reason we choose to stay local.
Tootsie’s is by far our favorite place to hang in Nashville as well. Love that you can get live music all day long there. We’ve been to Nashville 4 times now and the majority of the time as been spent at one of the tables in the front room at Tootsie’s. Occasionally it would get too crowded and we’d wander to the back room where, if you are lucky, you can listen to some great music of yet unknown artists. When we were there two years ago, a new artist came in early in the morning and dropped off a CD asking if they had any opportunities for them to play. I guess someone forgot to show up that evening as they called this guy and he played the back room. Damn he was good. Hoping Dalton Gray puts out an album real soon.
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