Nashville Trip Report

Tom and I are just back from a few days in Nashville – our first time there – so I thought I would share some pics and give you a little trip report.

We flew from KC to Nashville on Friday morning, checked into our downtown hotel, and then walked the few blocks to Broadway, which is where all the bars and honkey tonks are.

The walk from our hotel to Broadway took us right by the Nashville Symphony. The grounds there were so pretty.

Our first stop was for lunch at Merchant’s, a 3-story restaurant in a historic building on a corner in the middle of Broadway.

We loved this old building and the all the warmth and character it had. Notice the painted floors above, with the paint worn off under the bar stools. Love it! By the way, that was a very stylish Southern couple that was posted up at the bar the whole time we were there. We spent some time trying to figure out what their story might be. Do you guys do stuff like that?

The tables at Merchant’s are marble, and they give you a cup of seasoned popcorn with your water when you sit down. My popcorn-loving husband loved that.

I had to take a pic of this mosaic tile floor in another part of the restaurant. 

I also loved all the exposed brick in the restaurant. This is in a hallway off the lobby.

We liked the food at Merchant’s too. I had a salmon BLT and Tom had a burger. We went back to Merchant’s for lunch on our last day too, where we split a turkey club and an order of mac and cheese with bacon. So, so good. This was all in the bistro part of the restaurant on the first floor. Upstairs is a higher-end steakhouse, which we didn’t get a chance to try.

Merchant’s is a great place to go on “the strip” if you want a quieter atmosphere and a break from bar food. We would go there again in a heartbeat, both for the food and the atmosphere.

After lunch, we headed to the nearby Johnny Cash Museum, which had been recommended to us. This stop was a must because of our dog, Cash, who is named after Johnny Cash.

A little break from the Nashville report to tell you Cash’s story: Our Cash was adopted from the Safe Harbor Prison Dog program, where they rescue dogs from high kill shelters around the Midwest. They take the dogs to Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, KS where some of the inmates are trained to foster and socialize the dogs and do some basic training with them. As it happened, we adopted Cash right around the time the movie Walk the Line came out and since he was a man in black like Johnny, and from a prison where Johnny liked to perform, my sister said we should name him Cash and it stuck!

This is a picture of our Cash that our dog/house sitter, Jake, texted me while we were in Nashville. It’s such a great picture of our sweet, handsome puppy, who is not a puppy at all anymore. He just turned 13.

The only souvenirs I bought on this trip were for Cash. Haha.

After the Johnny Cash Museum, we made a necessary stop at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. We can’t vouch for the candy here, but we can vouch for the ice cream. Wonderful!

We then stopped into Crazy Town for a drink and to listen to some live music. We ended up staying well into the evening, through a shift change and two different bands.

After Crazy Town, we made our way down Broadway to The Second Fiddle to listen to another great band. (One of the things I love about Nashville is a lot of times the windows and doors of the bars are open so you can “audition” bands as you go by and pick one you like to go in and listen to.) We ended our day by walking back to our hotel, ordering a pizza and collapsing into bed.

Day two was much more low key: golf for Tom and a massage for me. That evening we attended a function with Tom’s company (the reason we were in Nashville in the first place) and after dinner, we were treated to a private concert by Darius Rucker, which was a great experience. He finished with Wagon Wheel, which I had stuck in my head for the rest of the trip.

For our last day and a half of the trip we rented a car and did on our own little driving tour of Nashville. We drove from The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) and the Grand Ol’ Opry in the north to Franklin and Brentwood in the south. 

In between, we drove by Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, the Bluebird Cafe, Parnassus Books (an independent bookstore owned by author Ann Patchett), and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James store.

I also made sure we drove through some of the charming Southern neighborhoods that Nashville is known for. We were not disappointed. I could have taken a picture of every single house. The things that made them so wonderful were all the little details. Here are some of my favorites.

I loved the washed brick on this house.

Completely charming. Notice the railing above the porch.

I will always love any house with dormers. Notice the gas lantern hanging above the door and the brick steps leading up to the porch.

I LOVE this brick and the front patio with french doors leading out to it. Such a treat to see a patio on the front of a house.

Another dormer and a little puppy watching me take a picture of his house. Too cute.

Another gas lantern. There are so many of these in the South. They’re one of my favorite features.

Such a charming Cape Cod. Notice the swing hanging from the tree and Adirondack chairs. 

Dormers and shutters. They always work.

More dormers and a ceiling fan and rocking chairs on the front porch. The thing I came away with is that all of these houses felt like they were for living and not just for show.

There’s so much more we’d like to do in Nashville. I’d love to actually tour The Hermitage and not just drive by. We would also like to tour and see a performance at the Ryman Theater.

Have you been to Nashville? What would you recommend?

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  1. Love hearing from you. Thanks for taking me along 😉

    1. Thanks for coming and commenting!

  2. I love Nashville; we have visited twice and would go back in a heartbeat. We visited the country music Hall of Fame, Hatch Show Print , the Ryman, saw a show at the Bluebird, drove through Belle Meade and other neighborhoods, visited Parnassus Books, etc. We enjoyed wonderful food: HattieB’s hot chicken, Arnold’s, Loveless Café, Monell’s. During our first trip, we spent three days in Leipers Fork, near Franklin and the Natchez Trace. The friendly Southern charm is inviting to visitors! I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip!

    1. Wow! You’ve done so much. I really want to visit the Ryman and Parnassus Books as well. Thanks for all the recommendations for our next trip.

  3. I got a little carried away and didn’t intend to keep listing things – I just love Nashville (and Tennessee in general) so much. I enjoy your blog and Instagram–adore your sense of style! By the way, our 24-year-old son just moved to New York City, living in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. We are in Independence, Missouri – just across the state line!

    1. Oh wow! So much in common. Gotta love those NYC boys!

  4. Looks like such a fun Nashville trip!! The places and the food look amazing too! Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Julie, we live in Nashville, and seeing Merchant’s in your post reminded me that our children when they were in 3rd and 4th grade had etiquette classes in school and their “final exam” was a Christmastime dress-up trip to Merchant’s with parents in tow. They are about your kids’ ages so that brought back great memories.

    1. Mimi…how fun. What a special memory. Thanks for your comment.

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