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A Perfect Weekend Itinerary for Nashville, Tennessee

From honky-tonks to hot chicken, this Nashville weekend itinerary is a great introduction to sounds and sights of Music City.

In the words of country singer George Straight, if you’re looking for a good time—even it’s not for a long time—you’ll find that in Nashville, the songwriting capital of the world. Here, music is a religion, barbecue is an institution, and queuing in line for the best music and best food is a given. Every second in Nashville promises a harmonious blend of music, culture, and Southern charm.

This is a city where live country music spills into the streets no matter the time of day and tastebuds are tantalized by low-and-slow pork and scratchmade biscuits. This weekend itinerary promises an authentic Nashville experience, courtesy of our local friends-turned-tour guides The Gormans. Now onto planning your perfect weekend itinerary for Nashville, Tennessee.

NO. OF DAYS
ACTIVITIES
Biscuit breakfast, murals in The Gulch, Hot Chicken at Hattie B's and Lower Broadway honky-tonks
Stacks of pancakes, the Parthenon at Centennial Park, best barbecue at Edley's, Dolly Parton-themed rooftop bar, and secret taqueria
Lower Broadway Nashville

Lower Broadway is as crazy and as lively both day and night

Itinerary Day One Things To DoDay One in Nashville

BREAKFAST AT BISCUIT LOVE

Your Nashville weekend begin at Biscuit Love, a locally-owned purveyor of award-winning breakfast sandwiches. “The East Nasty,” featuring a slab of gravy smothered fried chicken between biscuits, won Bon Appetit’s Best Sandwich of the Year in 2015.  If you’re more of a morning nibbler, opt for the 5-pc “Bonuts,” fried biscuit balls tossed in sugar and served with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote. Sharing is optional.

STREET ART AROUND THE GULCH

From there, it’s time to explore the trendy Gulch neighborhood to scout some of Nashville’s finest murals, many of which are located in The Gulch. Here are some favorites:

📍 What Lifts You Wings by Kelsey Montague: 302 11th Avenue South (There’s also a set of baby wings!)
📍 What Lifts You Rainbows by Kelsey Montague: 1010 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
📍 Kittenish Store: 302 11th Avenue South (Inside the store, you’ll find rose-covered wall and the neon sign “You’re Like, Really Pretty”)
📍 The Nashville Walls Project by Jason Woodside: 302 11th Avenue South
📍 Candy Hearts by Bryson Leach: 601 8th Avenue South
📍 Spread Love by Anthony Billups: 1015 Nelson Merry Street

 

Murals in the Gulch nashville

The Nashville Walls Project by Jason Woodside is located in a parking lot

What Gives You Wings Mural Nashville

Right next to this mural, you’ll find a set of little wings if you’re traveling with children

COFFEE AND COWBOY HATS

If you’re looking to dress the part of a country crooner, then head to Rustler Hat, Nashville’s premiere custom hat experience. Hats range from $175 – $475 depending on quality and customizations. From brandings to burnings, its a concierge service for personalized cowboy hats. They take walk-ins but due to the high foot traffic, it’s best to schedule a fitting. They also sell fun leather jackets.

If you’re looking for a unique coffee experience, head to Barista Parlor. In addition to coffee and tea, they also serve specialty espressos like Whisky Caramel and CBD-infused drinks.

 Custom cowboy hats in Nashville

I had no idea that custom hats were even a thing until I visited Nashville

LETTERPRESS POSTERS IN THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME

As a graphic designer, Hatch Show Print was on the top of my must-visit list. Housed in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the longstanding letterpress print shop has produced posters for many famous musicians and events using movable type and hand-carved imagery. Their timeless prints are fairly priced and you can pick up a $3 cardboard tube to transport your print safely home. If funds allow, don’t bypass the museum, which is home to the largest collection of country music history and memorabilia.

No time for the store? You can grab select prints at the Country Music Hall of Fame airport store.

Letterpress posters at Hatch Show Print design shop

The letterpress posters at Hatch Show Print design shop make great souevnirs

LUNCH AT HATTIE B’S CHICKEN

If you can handle the heat, head to Hattie B’s for their spin on a local specialty with an equally spicy origin story. Story goes that Thorton Prince III, an alleged womanizer, was served a chicken sandwich “so spicy it’d burn your tongue off” as revenge by his fed-up girlfriend. But the plan backfired and Thorton became addicted to the cayenne madness. Soon he was selling the recipe to the masses and thus, hot chicken was born!

Prince’s Hot Chicken is the OG but our friends love Hattie B’s and for good reason. There is a constant line but it goes quickly. Spice level begins at ‘Southern’ (no spice) to ‘What the Cluck’ (this is an actual health concern for the level!) Afterward, grab some chocolates to go at the Goo Goo Clusters Shop, Nashville’s official candy.

Other food choices: If you want to sample more of Nashville’s famous eateries, check out the nearby Assembly Food Hall (see on map) for other popular spots like The Pharmacy Burger Parlor.

Hattie B's Nashville Hot Chicken

Can you handle the heat and the lines at Hattie B’s?

SUNSET ON THE RIVERFRONT

Amble across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, offering a nice view of the city skyline and Nissan Stadium. The truss bridge connects downtown Nashville to the residential suburbs of East Nashville. After your little stroll, pop into Crema Coffee, a zero-waste coffee house and roastery, for an afternoon pick-me-up. You can’t go wrong with one of their seasonal lattes or pour overs but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the coffee soda.

Two Days in Nashville weekend itinerary

The pedestrian bridge is an easy stroll across the Cumberland River

NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN ON LOWER BROADWAY

The moment you step foot on Lower Broadway, you’ll understand why Nashville is called “Music City.” Parties in every form (the majority being bachelorette parties) flock to Lower Broadway mainly for the various “honky- tonks” that dominate the street in flashy splendor. Honky-tonks are known for three things: country music, dancing, and drinking.

Line up early if you wanna get into the iconic honky-tonks, like Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Robert’s Western World, or Honky Tonk Central. You can also try your luck at a celebrity-owned venues: Miranda Lambert has Casa Rosa, Justin Timberlake owns Twelve Thirty Club, and Blake Shelton has Ole Red. Another fun spot on that isn’t a music venue is Boot Country, infamous for their “Buy 1 pair of cowboy boots, get 2 cowboy free” deal.

Getting There: Lower Broadway is car-free Thursday to Sunday so you’ll have to walk a little bit to get to to the destination.
Pro-tip: Most honky-tonks allow children before 6 pm, when they becomes strictly adults-only venues.
⠀

Lower Broadway Things to Do in Nashville

Robert’s Western World is a local favorite eight years running

Honky Tonk Central Nightlife Lower Broadway

Special thanks to the Gormans for making sure we got the local lowdown

WEST TENNESSEE BARBECUE AT MARTIN’S BAR-B-QUE JOINT

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint had a line out the door but their second-floor features open-air seating, live music, and zero wait time! Martin’s is known for their West Tennessee-style whole hog that is cooked for roughly 24 hours. So once they run out, they run out. By 9 pm on a Saturday night when we visited, the brisket was no more, but we were lucky to get some spare ribs and pulled pork.

Brisket at Martins Barbecue Joint

Martin’s BBQ features low-and-slow Western Tennessee style hog

Nashville BBQ


Itinerary Day Two Things To Do

Day Two in Nashville

STACKS OF PANCAKES AT PANCAKE PANTRY

Pancake Pantry is a breakfast haunt, incredibly popular with the local crowd and hungry collegiates. They pride themselves in made-from-scratch pancakes that come in 23 different flavors and dole out generous portions. I urge you to try the sweet potato pancakes with a cinnamon syrup, its unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. The kids meals are made with extra TLC.

Pro-tip: The Hillsboro restaurant is the original location and gets slammed on the weekends but they opened a new location Downtown that is less busy.

Breakfast in Nashville Two Days Itinerary

Pancake Pantry always has a breakfast line but we went at 11:45 am and were in the clear

SEE THE PARTHENON AT CENTENNIAL PARK

Head to Centennial Park, the premiere urban park in the city, to check out a full-scale replica of the famous Parthenon landmark found in Athens, Greece. For $10 entrance fee, you can check out a few paintings and marvel at a 42-foot golden statue of the Greek goddess golden. Centennial Park also has a mile-long walking trail for leisurely strolls and a sunken garden.

What to do in Nashville

Get a taste of Ancient Greece in Nashville’s Centennial Park

LUNCH AT EDLEY’S BBQ

As a first-timer to Nashville, it’s contentious for me to say Edley’s BBQ is Nashville’s best barbecue but their brisket makes a strong case.  At Edley’s, you’ll be introduced to the Southern concept of Meat N’ Three. Choose your meat and fixins (the side dishes). An older couple let us know that the brisket and turkey were the musts. If you can spare the extra calories, get the fatty brisket for that that melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

More murals:The famous “I Believe in Nashville” mural is right around the corner from Edley’s on 2702 12th Avenue.

Edley's BBQ Nashville

I personally like Edley’s more than Martin’s just because of that brisket, oh my yum! All the meat was a little more moist and flavorful.

Food at Edley's Nashville Tennneseee

The had jalapeno cornbread and banana pudding for fixins. Say less.

LUNCHTIME DONUTS AT FIVE DAUGHTERS

Post-lunch, pass by Five Daughters, a bakery known for its signature “100 Layer Donut,” Akin to a cronut, it takes three days to make and comes in staple and monthly flavors. This shop is really considerate of dietary needs with paleo, gluten-free, and mini-versions of their hundred layer donut. The founders are also Asian and have five daughters! The 12 South location of Five Daughters has a small outdoor play area for kids.

Five Daughters Bakery 100 Layer Donut

Don’t forget to ask them about their seasonal flavors!

Nashville's best bakery Five Daughters

The mini version is perfect for little ones

ROOFTOP DRINKS AT A DOLLY PARTON THEMED-BAR

If the weather is on your side, then head to the Graduate Hotel in Midtown. Hiding on the roof is an over-the-top, Dolly Parton-themed bar, The White Limozeen. The instragrammable bar is decked out in glorious amounts of pink and features a larger-than-life bust of the queen of country. Sip on craft cocktails with a Dolly flair while you soak up panoramic views of the Nashville skyline. The patio is walk-in only and 21+ after 7 pm.

This isn’t the White Limozeen but you can find this pretty mural war at Kittenish in The Gulch

EARLY DINNER AT MAS TACOS

Never in a million years did I think I would find one of the best tacos I’ve ever eaten in Nashville of all places but Mas Tacos Por Favor delivered. This Mexican-style cantina boasts tacos, sopas, elotes, and margaritas and their flavors instantly transported me back to Mexico. My only regret is not ordering every taco. They are only open Tuesday to Saturday so plan ahead. And if you’re lucky to be there on a Wednesday, order the Wednesday-only tamale. Special thanks to my friend Silly Little Kiwi for sharing this secret spot with me.

Mas Tacos Por Favor Nashville Tennessee where to eat

A cantina and taqueria hidden in East Nashville

SEE A SHOW AT A LEGENDARY VENUE

Nashville’s vibrant nightlife extends beyond Lower Broadway. Here are spots to where you can remain seated while enjoying some live performances:

📍 The Ryman Auditorium and Opry House are two historic music venues where the echoes of legendary performances linger. The Ryman, located right in Lower Broadway, was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry broadcast, but the weekly shows now have been relocated to the Opry House, which is en route to the airport. I recommend you purchase tickets for shows in advance.
📍Station Inn in The Gulch: This intimate venue is the inner sanctum of live bluegrass, where seats are snatched up quickly by locals for the nightly 9 pm show.
📍 Printer’s Alley in Downtown: Another lively area for nightlife revelry where you can find blues at Bourbon Street Blues Bar and jazz at Skull’s Rainbow Room.

Iconic Honky-Tonks Nashville Tennessee

Tootsie’s is kid friendly until 6 PM.


Map of all Nashville locations 🗺️

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Where To Stay in Nashville 🛏️

With only two days in the city, opt for accommodations in the Downtown area. The hospitality scene in Downtown is littered with big-name chains and trendy boutique hotels. Hotels can get pricey in spring and summer so saddle up! Book in advance as conferences and shows usually lead to a higher price tag for accommodations.

 

The Graduate Hotel Where to Stay Nashville

The Graduate Hotel in Nashville is a boutique property with a collegiate theme geared for visiting college students and their families


👉 Is there anything you would recommend if you only had a weekend in Nashville? Share your must-dos in the comments below!

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Perfect Weekend Itinerary for Nashville, Tennessee on The Next Somewhere Blog

Two Days in Nashville: Perfect Weekend Itinerary

Filipina-American Millette Stambaugh is a thirty-something former expat who has traded her nomadic ways for Philadelphia living. Corporate worker by day, content creator by night, Millette specializes in visual storytelling and joyful journeys and wants to help others find their "next somewheres." Follow her escapades on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok @thenextsomewhere.

Comments:

  • January 18, 2024

    I’ve never visited Nashville but it sounds like an underrated place to visit! Thanks for sharing your top recommendations on how to spend two days here!

    reply...
  • January 19, 2024

    I’ve always thought Nashville is fairly underrated for families/kiddos – love to see more people exploring it as a family. Also love your site theme/layout, it makes it really fun to read!

    reply...
  • January 20, 2024

    Nashville looks like such a fun place to visit + so much good food to be had there! It’s barely 8am and I’m hungry already, haha.

    reply...

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