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Music City's capital of Tennessee, Nashville is the perfect vacation spot. There is plenty to do in Nashville and even more to eat and drink. In addition, the city is home to several beautiful boutique hotels. The city of Nashville is small, but there are lots of adorable and funky neighborhoods to explore, and getting around is super easy.
At this point, I have had the pleasure of visiting Music City several times. I loved every visit too.
Here are my highlights for planning your trip to Nashville. There is a little bit of everything for all budgets and all travelers.
Keep scrolling for more on what to do in Nashville, Tennessee!
Traveling at this time is uncertain, things are constantly changing. Please keep your safety (and the safety of others!) In mind always. If you feel comfortable traveling, do so, but please travel responsibly and follow all regulations. Traveling is at your own risk, always and especially at this time.
If you decide to travel right now, here are my recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and local business status.
- Be sure to book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
- Additionally, some of these images were taken in the pre-Covid era.
The 6 Best Neighborhoods to Visit in Nashville
12 South is a lovely neighborhood in Nashville. In this pedestrian zone, you will find shops, cafes and restaurants galore. It's a pretty chic neighborhood where you'll find all the hen parties spending the day.
"I believe in Nashville" the mural is one of several Famous art murals in Nashville, and this one tops the list!
Draper James is a trendy American clothing store founded by Queen Reese Witherspoon herself.
Mercantile of White is called the "general store of the designer of modern taste". This shop is a great place to visit if you want to bring back some souvenirs from your trip to Nashville.
Five Daughters Bakery is a family-owned donut shop and is best known for its Instagrammable store on 12 South.
Sparkling monkey is a great all-day cafe, and you'll need a lot of coffee to venture into all the shops in Ward 12 South.
Bartaco is a fun, casual lunch spot to grab some tacos and some margins.
The filling station is the perfect place to visit if you need a cold (and local) beer after a day of shopping!
Downtown Nashville neighborhoods (Broadway, SoBro, Printers Alley)
Downtown Nashville has so many amazing things to do. Whether it's drinking beers at an honky tonk bar on Broadway or enjoying incredible karaoke at one of Printers Alley's dive bars, there is so much to do in downtown Nashville. Not to mention all the world famous concert halls and the Country Music Hall of Fame!
Downtown Nashville is also one of my favorite places when I visit the City of Music. There is all types of hotels for all budgets in Nashville. You have the sky of luxury hotels, many small boutique hotels and everything in between.
Broadway (pictured above) is the first stop for many visitors to Nashville. Crossing the heart of downtown Nashville, the street is still alive and bustling. Comparable to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Broadway has its own unique country feel. This is where you need to come if you want to have a wild and unforgettable evening in the city. Here are my two favorite bars on Broadway:
- Tootsies Orchid Lounge is a historic watering hole and a stunning honky-tonk bar. One of my favorite places to visit on Broadway.
- Robert's Western World is a concert hall in the heart of Broadway. This Nashville bar is the definition of honky-tonk and constantly hosts renowned country artists, as well as budding country music stars. Also, fried bologna sandwiches?
Printers Alley is a historic and famous alleyway in downtown Nashville. Traditionally, this small, four-block strip was the center of Nashville's nightlife. But long ago (in the 19th century), it was the center of Nashville's printing industry. At one point, thirteen publishers and ten printers were in the area served by the alley!
Nowadays, Printers Alley is home to boutique hotels, underground bars and karaoke bars. Here are some of my favorite bars in Printers Alley
- Aisle taps
- Lonnie's Western Room
- Ms. Kelli's karaoke bar
- Rainbow skull room
The party continues in Sobro, the southern part of famous Broadway. Still a part of downtown, the area boasts high-rise luxury apartments, trendy restaurants and chic bars.
- Sovereign Bar
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Common freedom
- Prince's Hot Chicken
- Yee-Haw Brewing Company
East Nashville is a laid-back, trendy and artsy neighborhood in Nashville, right across the Cumberland River. It's a historic center full of arts, local music, award-winning food, and great places to have a cocktail. Here are some of my favorite places in East Nashville.
Chopper (Photo above) is a fabulous Tiki bar with the most inventive and fun cocktail list you have ever seen! Make sure you sit at the bar under the massive, somewhat intimidating robot with a glowing red yes.
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club is a cozy and chic cocktail bar in East Nashville with imaginative seasonal cocktails and modern plates to share served in an ultra-stylish space.
Rosemary is a bar located in a historic home in the Five Points neighborhood of Nashville. There's a great vibe, trendy drinks, and plenty of posh hangouts to explore in the rooms.
Vinyl faucet is a music-centric beer bar featuring food and vinyl records for sale.
Southern Grist (East Taproom) is opposite Vinyl Tap and is one of the Nashville's Most Popular Breweries. This is the original taproom where you can still find a long list of creative dark beers and fruity sour ones.
Dino Bar is an old-fashioned burger with a simple menu of burgers, fries, and beers. Heard from locals that this is the place to go for the best burgers in Nashville!
Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish is one of the most famous places for Hot Chicken in Nashville. Chicken is the main attraction, but I was told the hot fish sandwich was another must-try menu item.
The Burger Parlor & Beer Garden pharmacy is a fun local hangout for beers and burgers in an outdoor beer garden. This place also features an old fashioned soda fountain!
Alley shops in the Five Point neighborhood of East Nashville is a one-stop destination for local and independent stores where you can shop for gifts, merchandise and clothing with a creative East Nashville touch.
The ravine is located just a little south of the city center. The area is small but has a hip, hip, and upscale vibe. It is packed with things to do, which makes it extremely accessible on foot.
Hops and crafts is one of the best beer bars in Nashville. Pizzas and other light meals are also available!
Jackalope (The Den) (Photo above) is one of the best breweries in Nashville. The Den is Jackalope's original taproom and is now his production facility.
LA Jackson is an amazing (and quite chic) rooftop bar that offers some of the best views in downtown Nashville.
Tennessee Brew Works is another great brewery to visit when in The Gulch neighborhood of Nashville.
Germantown is a historic district just north of downtown Nashville. The area was named after German immigrants who lived in the 19th century. Today it is a chic and trendy neighborhood full of restored Victorian buildings, warehouses converted to breweries, and an incredible selection of gourmet restaurants and upscale boutiques.
Barista lounge is a hip roaster and cafe.
Bearded iris brewery (Photo above) is one of the best breweries in Nashville and their taproom is part speakeasy, part industrial warehouse. In this location, you will see that they focus only on Pale Ales, IPAs and DIPAs.
Butchertown Hall is a rustic-chic restaurant that offers wood-fired dishes and oak-smoked meats. Plus a list of on-the-go beers and expert cocktails.
Rolf and daughters is an upscale "industrial-chic" restaurant that emphasizes new American-style dishes and an inventive cocktail program. Definitely the place to visit if you are looking for a fancy dinner in Nashville!
Beer and Von Elrod cuisine is a huge German-style brasserie with a wonderful beer garden and a delicious brunch.
Don't let the name fool you ... Row Music in Nashville is home to record company offices, recording studios and radio stations, and is located near Vanderbilt University. Dolly and Elvis recorded hits at the iconic Historic RCA Studio B, located in this neighborhood. It's not the busiest area but there are some amazing things to do here when visiting Nashville.
Limozeen white (Photo above) is a rooftop bar and restaurant dedicated to the Queen herself: Dolly Parton. Stop here for cute cocktails, delicious brunches, and rooftop views. Perfect place for a brunch with the girls!
Love cookie is the perfect place for breakfast and / or brunch in Nashville. Also prepare to wait, this palace is always packed up.
Losers Bar and Grill is a fun, no-frills place with all the classic bar fare and a long list of local beers on tap.
Hattie B's Hot Chicken (Photo above) is one of the best places in Nashville to eat hot chicken.
Patterson House is an upscale bar serving handcrafted cocktails in a warm and relaxed lounge. Also one of the first bars to bring mixology to Nashville.
Ancient glory is an interesting and innovative bar located underground in what was once the White Way Cleaners boiler room.
Now it's your turn! It's time to start planning your trip to Nashville, Tennessee!
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Extract kits have come a long way from the dusty back shelves of Boots of yesteryear, and give you a simple, affordable way to try out the hobby with very acceptable results. Established breweries like St. Peters and Woodfordes have decent kits in shops and online at about £20, for example from Wilko or Brew.
If you’re making beer, then you need to be rigorous about cleanliness during the brew. VWP is an absolutely no-nonsense cleaner and steriliser for getting everything ready beforehand. During the brew, a no-rinse sanitiser is invaluable. Between the two, spoilt and infected beer shouldn’t be a problem. You can buy cleaning products online from Brew Store and The Malt Miller.
Invest in some airtight plastic containers. Malt, kept dry and cool, should be fine for six months, but get rid of it after that – you’re only going to get stale flavours if you use stale malt. Likewise, dried yeast will keep, if sealed and chilled, but it will lose potency and reliability. Hops do not improve with age. Be doubtful of any before last year’s harvest, however cheap.
While a good book is an invaluable reference, there will be a time you come across something that flummoxes you. It’s very unlikely you will be the first, and just as unlikely someone else hasn’t discussed it. From the magisterial, if abondant, How tera Brew by John Palmer to the uncountable cercles d'entraides and blogs discussing minutiae, such as Brewer’s Friend, there’ll be something to help.
Avoid grande amounts of table sugar, cane sugar or dextrose as fermentable sugars in your homebrew. They will ferment out completely and leave a very dry, almost ‘cidery’ flavour to your beer. This is what is recognized by many as the ‘homebrew’ taste. If you are looking for an easy way to improve this, swap these sugars with dry malt extract.
Most coffret beers are designed to appeal to a wide range of people and therefore have a fairly simple flavour that it not very bitter. They are also generally bittered by using hop extract that adds bitterness but little hop flavour or aroma. Boil some water and add ½ an ounce ( 14 grams ) of any hop variety known for their flavour and aroma characteristics for 20 minutes. This will add a much improved change to the flavour of the beer. Add another ½ ounce ( 14g ) for the last 5 minutes of the boil to add a pleasant hoppy aroma. Simply strain the ‘hop soup’ into your fermenter with the rest of the top-up water. These simple hops additions will make a remarkable difference to your coffret beers.
to wake a packet of dry yeast up and ensure that it is ready to start work as soon as it is pitched, try rehydrating it. Boil a cup ( 250mls ) of water for 5 minutes and then pour it into a sterilized container. Wait for the water to cool down to at least 80°F/27°C and sprinkle your packet of yeast over the top. Leave this for about 15-30 minutes, when you should start to see it get nice and foamy. Once your wort has cooled enough, pitch this and it will start fermentation much earlier.
If you would really like to get things started, follow the process above but add a tablespoon of dry malt extract to the water before boiling it. After pouring the water to a jar, add your yeast when cool enough and place cling wrap over the top to protect from the environment. Leave for at least 45 minutes at room temperature and you should start to see fermentation activity.
The length of time for fermentation on the side of your coffret beer can is almost definitely not long enough. The manufacturers are in the of selling product and these directives will make beer, but it won’t be great beer. This should be extended out to 10-14 days.
Although your beer will be carbonated after about a week in the bottle, leave it for a few more to allow for the flavors to settle. This is especially relevant for beer made from packs as it will help remove some of the biroute found in young/’green’ beer.
In order to efficiently multiply and get to the of converting sugar to alcohol, yeast needs a sufficient amount of oxygen in your wort. If brewing using malt extract this can be reached a few ways including by shaking the water you are using to top up your wort, or by pouring it from a great height into your fermenter.
Don’t be too worried about removing your beer from the primary fermenter as soon as fermentation has finished. The Autolysis that you are seeking to avoid will take well over a month and in most cases a single stage fermentation is fine.
If you are looking to control fermentation temperature, place the fermenter in a large conteneur of water to cool it and prevent temperature fluctuations. Wrapping a wet towel around it and pointing a passioné at it cools it even more through evaporative cooling. A few frozen plastic bottles of water are also perfect for cooling the water and your fermenting beer.
If you insist on using a two stage fermentation, use a bottling bucket ( or something else with a spigot ) for a primary. That way you only need a length of hose to rack into the secondary. The spigot will also be far enough off the bottom that the trub will get left in the primary with little extra effort – just tilt the fermenter forward at the end.
The activity of your airlock should only be seen as one indication that something is happening. There are many others indications and a faulty seal on your fermenter could stop anything from happening in the airlock.
The starting cell count is usually quite low with liquid yeast cultures. If you make a yeast starter about a day before brewing, you can avoid some potential issues from under-pitching the yeast.
If you are trying to cool a partial boil, place the whole brew récipient into a sink or tub of cold water. You may need to change this water a few times but it is far easier to cool a small bocal of wort in a temperature conductive container ( i. e. your brew pot ) than a large amount of liquid in a fermenter. Adding your cooled wort to even colder water ( or ice ) in the fermenter will serve to cool it even further and should hopefully get you close to yeast pitching temperatures.
Dry yeast packets are perfect for new homebrewers. They have a nice high cell count and are very easy to use. Hydrating these takes very little time and will help get fermentation sérieux earlier.
Get into the habit of sanitizing everything that will come in contact with your wort or beer after the boil.
Extract kits have come a long way from the dusty back shelves of Boots of yesteryear, and give you a simple, affordable way to try out the hobby with very acceptable results. Established breweries like St. Peters and Woodfordes have decent packs in shops and online at about £20, for example from Wilko or Brew.
Use a no-rinse sanitiser… This shouldn’t need an explanation and I am yet to hear of a real reason not to
Following on from above – Don’t use bleach as a sanitizer…ever. It is to rinse out and if any comes in contact with the maltose in your wort it has the potential to completely ruin your batch. There are so many better products available that this shouldn’t even be a consideration
Whatever sanitizer you use, put some of it in a spray bottle for quick sanitation during brew time.
Make sure you read and understand the recipe before you start brewing. Also make sure that you have all the ingredients handy before you start. These seem like simple things but the last 15 minutes can get a little crazy… especially if you started drinking while sanitizing
Beer is very resilient so don’t be too worried if you make a mistake while brewing. Although it may not be exactly the beer you were after, you will probably still have something tasty and worth drinking.
Leave the lid off your brew récipient while it is boiling. The process of boiling actually vaporises chemicals that are not wanted in the beer and they evaporate out. The lid doesn’t need to be completely off if you are having dysfonctionnement maintaining a rolling boil but should at least be enough for the steam to escape.
Keep a record of every beer that you make, no matter how simple the recipe. This record will allow you to recall and tweak your brews when all that remains in the future is a couple of stray bottles and a desire for more
Especially when starting out, keep your ingredients and brews as simple as possible. It is much easier to add to a simple recipe that is missing something than it is to remove from something complex
Start by getting a solid grasp of the sanitization, fermentation and bottling processes and work from there.
If you have a choice, choose a fermenter or bottling bucket with a spigot/tap over one without. The siphoning required otherwise isn’t but it is still one more unnecessary step.
Bulk priming your beer is a simple addition to your bottling process that will add much greater control and consistency in the amount of priming sugar in your bottles.
The quality of your beer will be to the quality of the ingredients used. Always go for the freshest and best quality possible. Always make sure that extract is within any specified dates, yeast is fresh and that hops are nice and green
But most importantly… just relax and remember that you probably aren’t going to ruin your beer – It isn’t as delicate as you think