Springtime in Nashville means allergies, thunderstorms, spiders, and, because we’ve all been cooped up for the winter, crowded downtown streets. Everyone wants to be out in the fresh air and sunshine, so doing anything even slightly touristy means fighting the crowds.
When Justin’s mom, Rhonda, came to visit, we wanted to play tourists in our own town and show her around a bit, checking out some sites she may not have seen on previous visits.
We used my Downtown Walking Tour as a starting point, skipping the places Rhonda had already seen or wouldn’t have interest in, and adding in a couple new spots we had yet to check out.
Nashvilliains and tourists alike, follow our footsteps next time you find yourself in Music City!
Start the day off drinking?! Before heading to lower Broadway, we kicked off our Day About Town at the Corsair Distillery. Neither Rhonda nor I are big whiskey fans, but Corsair makes a bunch of other liquors, some of which were included in the tasting, and the tour was interesting enough. The tour and tasting are totally worth the $10 – it’ll take about an hour of your time and you get to leave with a Corsair cocktail glass. Definitely a fun way to kick off our day.
Parking. We usually park at the Library parking lot because it’s one of the cheaper garages and isn’t an obvious pick for out-of-towners so it usually has available spaces.
The Arcade opened in 1903 and was the city’s first enclosed shopping area. It used to the be the talk of the town and now is often overlooked. It’s not usually very crowded, except during the First Saturday Art Crawl.
Printers Alley used to be exactly what it sounds like: an alley full of publishers and printers. In the 1940s, the street became famous for its nightclubs, and to this day it’s where you can find all sorts of rowdy folk. 🙂 (Read about the murder associated with the alley!)
George Jones Museum & Restaurant. This was new for us and I was excited to go somewhere we’d never been. The space is huge, with a large store and supposedly a museum (we did not see that). The rooftop bar would be a cool spot to hang out (with a great view of the river) if it hadn’t been for the million people already there. Pro tip: don’t go on a Saturday afternoon. We tried eating on the inside level, but our orders got lost and our food never came so we left and ended up a block away at Rock Bottom Brewery, always a solid choice for food. We were disappointed by the service at our first stop, but will be willing to try again on a less crowded day.
Riverfront offers some excellent photo ops, you can’t miss out on. (And offered us views of at least half a dozen more bridesmaid parties. We lost count after 15…)
The Pedestrian Bridge offers some of my favorite views of the city. On a day with as beautiful weather as this, you really can’t miss out.
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is not as old as it looks (built in 2003) but is still a beautiful building. If you ever have a chance to see a show in here, do it. It has such a classic, grand feeling inside that is unlike other performance halls in the area (with the exception of the Ryman, which also has an old, classic feel to it).
The Music City Walk of Fame Park is something you might not even notice if you weren’t looking for it, so I’m not sure it can be compared to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in size or notability, but it’s still kind of cool if you’re into that sort of thing.
The Music City Center is not your typical tourist site, but it’s a beautiful building worth seeing, and the view from the balcony is perfect for photos. Also, you can sneak a peek of the roof, where they are apparently keeping bees!
Veering from the downtown Walking Tour, we headed to Germantown (North Nashville) to have $6 Happy Hour cocktails at Silo, which is the only place you can get top-notch cocktails at such a low price. Sit at the bar and say hi to Courtney for us. 🙂
We ended the day with a baseball game at the new Sounds stadium (officially called the First Tennessee Park). No more bleachers; even the cheap seats are your standard stadium seats. And now they have a grassy hill area where you can bring your own picnic blankets to watch the game.
Have you played “tourist” in your own town lately? Where would you take YOUR mother or mother-in-law for a day about town? Share your favorite Nashville spots and tell us where to go in YOUR town!