10 Nashville Hot Spots That Don't Involve Country Music
For those who aren't up for honky tonking on Broadway.
Nashville, Tennessee is the hub of country music in the South, but this booming city – growing every day by hundreds of people – is much more than just Music Row or guitars on Broadway. With a ride in the 2018 Equinox from our friends at Chevrolet, we took a peek around this fun Southern gem, experiencing the flower markets, hip shopping joints, and mouth-watering offerings that Music City shares with the South. Here are some of our favorite spots for those visitors who are hoping to catch a little more than the music.
Visit The Frist Center For The Visual Arts
Nashville's art museum is anything but ordinary. Located on Broadway, this family-friendly spot has rotating exhibitions, bringing in art from all around the world into our own backyard. The museum opened in April 2001, and has an interactive ArtQuest gallery, a gift shop full of incredible blown glass, and a café for when Van Gogh's still-life paintings of fruit inspire your hunger.
Take A Walk Through The Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
As a Tennessean myself, the first place I think to take guests is always Nashville's botanical gardens. The gardens themselves are absolutely stunning when they're in bloom, yes – but the art at Cheekwood makes the trip worthwhile. You'll find world-class sculptures, such as trees made of blown glass by Chilhuly, sprinkled in amongst the natural landscape. Once you've strolled around the gardens, you arrive at the original home of Leslie and Mabel Cheek, built in 1929. It's a preserved museum that you'll need at least an afternoon to enjoy. If you're visiting in the spring, you'll see 150,000 blooms. If you're visiting during the winter holidays, make some time to see Cheekwood's one million lights – you won't be disappointed.
Grab A Snack At Five Daughter's Bakery
This family owned bakery sells out daily because of their famous 100-layer and incredibly flaky doughnuts. With rotating monthly flavors including Maple Bacon, Moose Tracks, and Peaches & Cream, it's no wonder that dozens of these doughnuts can be found at notable events and breakfast tables everywhere. If you're waiting until the last minute, be sure to check out the Donut Cam to see if your favorite flavor's still on the line.
Pick Blooms At Amelia's Flower Truck
Try to catch this darling truck if you can; it's loaded with colorful blooms and fresh greenery. Often parked in 12 South, Amelia's is the perfect place to stop after munching on your doughnut or having a taste of nearby Jeni's ice cream in East Nashville. The vibrant flowers are a perfect touch for the table – or, if you're traveling through – a great hostess gift.
Find Souvenirs At White's Mercantile
Started by Hank Williams, Jr.'s daughter, Holly Williams, White's Mercantile is an eclectic compilation of unique Southern goods from local artisans. You can find locally made soaps, leather goods, prints, pillows, candles, and books – among many other unique trinkets. This shop is the perfect place to pick out a souvenir; there's a little something for everyone.
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Sip Tea At Draper James
Reese Witherspoon's brainchild and hot spot for Southern belles can be found in the young, hip district of 12 South. The store is filled with our favorite Southern sayings, classic fabrics, charming appliques – and you're handed a glass of sweet tea to keep you company while you shop.
Snap A Photo By The Nashville Murals
Right next to Draper James is one of Nashville's most Instagrammed spots – a floor-to-ceiling painted mural with the words "I Believe In Nashville." This tourist favorite loudly proclaims the city's mantra, one that's been reiterated through powerful floods, storms, conflicts, marches, and exponential city growth. This mural is only one of a handful throughout Nashville. Swing on over to the Gulch for the "What Lifts You" winged mural and abstract art.
Stop At The Parthenon
Although Nashville's Parthenon frequently makes the "Top Things To See In Nashville" list, this stunning structure is completely worth the trip. It's a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon, and, in the summer, the property is home to numerous festivals, markets, and outdoor plays. If you're looking for more than a photo op, be sure to check out the museum inside the Parthenon; there's a 42-foot-tall statue of Athena and plenty of beautiful art.
Shop Local At The Nashville Farmers' Market
Support the local farmers and entrepreneurs Friday-Sunday in the summer. You'll find seasonal chef demos, family friendly contests (like the July Pie Contest), a garden center, and mouth-watering dishes. The Nashville Farmers' Market is one of the country's only year-round markets, and it's located just a block from downtown.