WHERE TO TUNE IN AND KICK UP YOUR BOOTS
From don’t-miss honky-tonks and western boot shops to never-ending Christmas and where to find Nashville’s hottest hot chicken, read on for Hotel Preston’s guide to Music City’s greatest haunts.
While we’ve listed just some of our favorite haunts here, this certainly isn’t all – check out our neighborhood guide. As you plan future trips, please double check with the featured business’s websites directly as, given safety measures in place and state regulations, hours and operations may be affected.
One can hardly say Nashville without thinking hot chicken, therefore our first hot spot on the list has to be Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, where the fiery fowl phenomenon began over 70 years ago when, as legend has it, Thorton Prince’s significant other doused his chicken with cayenne pepper while seeking revenge for cheating on her. Alas, Prince not only prevailed, but fell in love with his punishment, and the Nashville delicacy was born. Prince’s continues to be a crowd favorite among hot chicken lovers, with stiff competition from players like Hattie B’s, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish and Party Fowl that put their own spin on the iconic dish.
For something other than traditional Southern food, Two Ten Jack in East Nashville opened as the city’s first izakaya serving Japanese-inspired comfort food and tasty ramen. Available to go.
When in Nashville, hitting up a bluegrass brunch is a must. Despite its notorious waitlist, we love The Sutler Saloon. Grab a (bottomless) mimosa or Bloody Mary while you put your name in and enjoy the live music while deciding between hot biscuits, brisket hash and fried chicken and waffles.
Christmas never ends at Santa’s Pub, one of Nashville’s best dive bars crammed into a double wide trailer on Branford Avenue owned by the legendary Santa himself, Denzel Irwin. Serving cold beer only in cans, this cash-only establishment is known for its good times, karaoke and unannounced celebrity appearances from the likes of Marcus Mumford, Kid Rock, Kacey Musgraves and others.
For fun and games, Pinewood Social has a little bit of everything from coffee and cocktails to a bowling alley, dipping pool and yard games. In true Tennessee fashion, try the Moonshine at Ole Smoky Distillery whose roots can be traced back over 100 years. There’s an outpost at 6th *& Peabody alongside Yee-haw Beer and live music.
If off the cuff is your thing, check out Attaboy. There’s no menu at this minimalist speakeasy-style bar in East Nashville, and each drink is personalized based on the flavor profiles you like to imbibe. Another speakeasy you may want to call upon is The Red Phonebooth. Housed in a 100+ year-old building in downtown Nashville, you’ll gain access by entering a secret phone number into a restored antique phone booth that looks transported from London.
It’s not a proper visit to Music City if you don’t catch a show. The Ryman Auditorium is a classic, and is reverently referred to as “the Mother Church of Country Music.” Putting on some of the best shows in the city, we recommend keeping an eye on their lineup of upcoming shows whenever a trip to Nashville is on the horizon.
Bluebird Café is another beloved Nashville institution, known for hosting up-and-coming songwriters and national acts with no advance notice.
For that honky-tonk, only-in-Nashville vibe, The Station Inn is a truly historic bluegrass venue at home in the Gulch. And, if you’re in the market for a pair of Western boots, not far from The Station Inn lies Nashville Boot Co with a wide selection of styles and brands to comb over.
Grab a bike through Nashville B-cycle for a day and ride the greenways through the city starting at Riverfront Park in downtown along the Cumberland River. Break off and head toward Bicentennial Park to the Farmer’s Market. Or continue on for a long, leisurely 6-mile ride ending at Ted Rhodes Park (and back). Or Bike the Greenway. There are two separate paths depending on the level of adventure you’re looking for. The Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a 4-mile ride into East Nashville and the Stones River Greenway covers 8 paved miles with numerous side routes and some elevation changes. It’s a nice challenge if you’re looking!
Just south of the downtown action sits Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a 55-acre garden and art museum on the historic Cheek estate and open year round. Aim for July, as Chihuly at Cheekwood will feature artwork (some exclusive) in both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Cast a line at Percy Priest Lake, among Nashville’s largest lakes, 15-minutes from downtown. The park spans 14,400 square acres and more than 250 miles of shoreline. Boat, fish, swim, picnic – you name it – you can do it here. Take a breather, sit back and relax or get out on the water. Check out Nashville Paddle Company for paddle boards and kayak rentals (check website for availability).
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