Music City is one of the most exciting new stops in travel and tourism, but don’t get caught up in those Nashville travel sites that urge you to throw on your cowboy boots and prepare for some down-home country fun. Want to hang out like the locals? This handy list will keep you far from the crowds, lines, and “wooo” girls of the NashVegas strip and put you right in the heart of the best Nashville travel has to offer.
Nashville Travel: 10 Things To Avoid
I understand this typically is the reason for most travel to Nashville in the summer, but don’t expect to start hobnobbing with Music City’s residents. The overpriced, overcrowded tourist trap that is CMA Fest is reason enough to send Nashville’s finest straight to Bonnaroo for the week. Bye Felicia!
Often considered [or believed to be] the “drink of choice” in the South. The truth is there are only two options for tea in Nashville: iced tea or Kool-Aid. Because the “sweet tea” served at any restaurant is not a refreshing beverage, it’s tea flavored sugar. Trade it for a Fat Bottom brew, which is just as refreshing and will keep your buzz throughout the day.
Broadway After Dark
I get it. You’re coming to visit Music City, so a stop on the Broadway strip is a must. But when the lights go down, find comfort in one of the neighboring subdivisions. As the sun sets on Broadway, the streets will fill with drunk fraternity bros and bachelorettes who aren’t going to remember their night in the morning. Avoid them at all costs!
Jeni’s Ice Cream
Hot chicken is the official food of Nashville, at least since Hattie B’s made it cool. And it’s good. Real good. But don’t try to show off. Nashville hot chicken is no joke. Depending on the location –it’s on just about every menu in the city — the heat levels are not here to play. If you want to have an enjoyable trip, don’t go for the hottest version. You’ve been warned.
Nissan Stadium on Game Day
Avoid trying to navigate anywhere near the stadium when the Tennessee Titans take the field. You’ll thank me later.
Remember that time Pancake Pantry was forced to shut its doors due to health code violations? Yeah, most tourists don’t. But they will lineup down a full city block for some of the most mediocre pancakes in the city. Just because some Nashville travel site told them to.
Nashville is nothing like the formerly ABC, now CMT, series Nashville. Cast members Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, or the likeness of their characters, wouldn’t be caught dead in the establishments featured on the series. Charles Esten might though. Shade!
Biscuit Love Brunch
The Nashville food scene is a funny thing. All it takes is one national press article to skyrocket your business in Music City (ever heard of the aforementioned Hattie B’s?). This one-time biscuit-slinging food truck got so much hype from its initial press blitz, people started lining up like it would be the last meal available before a winter blizzard. The food here is fine and you’ll likely enjoy a fresh plate of ‘bonuts,’ but it’s not worth the wait and certainly doesn’t live up to the hype. If it’s brunch you’re after, check out Saint Anejo down the street.
It’s not a tourist destination and you won’t see Carrie Underwood [albeit beautifully] walking down the street to a recording session. It’s two one-way streets lined with small houses that double as recording studios, publishers’ offices, writers’ rooms and labels. And that’s barely there anymore. What was once known as “the row” to entertainment professionals is being overtaken with condos, fitness studios, and a Virgin Hotel. Nothing to see here, folks!
Have an upcoming trip to Nashville and need advice? Have something to add to this list of things to avoid when Nashville travel is on the agenda? Start the conversation in the comments below and let’s chat!