Nashville, long known as Music City, has quickly become the nation's "it" destination. It's cultured, growing exponentially, boasts multiple coffee and fine dining establishments hailed as the top in the U.S., and of course home to country music. Nashville's cool enough for college students, safe and exciting for families, and filled with destinations for everyone in between.
Must see in Nashville
Broadway, lined with authentic honky tonk bars that always feature country artists, is the first place visitors tend to visit. Next up is the 12 South area for fine dining, clothing and artisan boutiques, and a beautiful park. And of course don't leave town without walking the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge by The Bridge Building to get the best view of the skyline.
Where to stay in Nashville
Travelers with children should stay near Opryland or Downtown. If you're looking for nightlife, stay in Midtown, where everything is within walking distance and "lights out" may not even exist. For cheaper, more eclectic options, venture to East Nashville where many residents rent out their homes in quaint neighborhoods close to Barista Parlor, one of the highest regarded coffee shops in the country.
Best and worst time to go to Nashville
May through October is by far the best time to visit. Countless festivals occur during these months, showcasing the city's dedication to culture and fine arts and free concerts, featuring national artists who normally perform only in arenas. December and January are the worst times to visit, as the music industry takes a winter hiatus and almost everyone hibernates during the cold.
Where to get lost in Nashville
Getting lost in 12 South means perusing artisan shops including the famous Imogene & Willie, grabbing coffee at Frothy Monkey, dinner at Urban Grub, and ice cream at the famous Jeni's Ice Creams.
The best deal in Nashville
For a free adventure, head to Centennial Park. One of the most beautiful sites in the city, it features flower gardens, attractive walking paths, and a full scale replica of the Greek Parthenon. And chances are, the city is hosting a free concert or art show there.
Transportation in Nashville
Travelers should highly consider renting a car or using a rideshare app, as most neighborhoods are spread out and public transportation is very minimal.
Getting in from Nashville International Airport
Getting into the city from Nashville International Airport is easy. It's just a 15 minute Uber or Lyft ride away, much more affordable than a shuttle or taxi.
Local tip for visitors to Nashville
Locals know that the best plan of action on a weekend to is to visit Broadway during the day or early evening and local bars at night. Try Patterson House, a speak easy in Midtown. There's no sign outside, but it's the black double doors on the corner of Division and 18th.
Author's bio: Rebecca Cicione has lived in Nashville for four years. She works in the nonprofit and music industries and her favorite place to be is anywhere outdoors.