I recently had the pleasure of going on a trip to Nashville, TN with my wife. We flew out on a Friday night and back on the following Tuesday. We almost got stranded in Philly on Friday because American sucks, but other than that debacle, the trip was awesome. Being from way up north compared to the rest of the country, I was expecting a bit of a culture shock heading into the weekend. But given that Nashville is the bachelor/bachelorette party capital of the world, it turns out the city is mostly filled with douchebags just like myself, so I felt right at home.. Setting aside the obnoxious visitors, though, the people who actually live in “Smashville” are super nice. Of course, that could be because almost everyone is working for tips no matter where you go, so they really don’t have a choice except to be nice to you, but that’s besides the point. Anyway, as that I am part owner of this wonderful blog, I feel compelled to write about my experience, both the good and the bad. Without further babbling, here is a Yankee’s review of Music City.
Numero uno on the list of why most people (myself and Mrs. Cush included) travel to Nashville is the music scene. If you do not bartend or waitress in Nashville, you are a musician. Those are just facts. Literally everywhere you go will have live music at all hours of the day and night. It’s the Music City, and it definitely lives up to its nickname. There are some talented people out there grinding, plucking a 6-string all day every day for nothing but tips and waiting to be discovered in a sea full of talent. However, we did come across a few “musicians” in our travels that don’t belong in so much as a karaoke bar, let alone trying to make a living from their musical abilities. Not saying it wasn’t at least entertaining; it was. But I also don’t think I can hear “Suds in The Bucket” without cracking up ever again. One thing my wife thought of on our last day was that we should have picked one song and requested it everywhere we went to see how different all the singers out there handle it. That would have been a fun social experiment; maybe next time we are there, I’ll have 16 different videos of people singing “John Deere Green” to share with you all.
In all seriousness, bring a wad of cash everywhere you go. If a bar is not charging a cover, those people are not guaranteed any money at all and every couple of bucks helps. Don’t be an asshole who doesn’t tip.
If you follow me on Twitter, you would have been notified that on May 26th, 2019, I discovered God at a place called Stock and Barrel. To my surprise, He is not a spirit or an angel nor in the form of a burning bush. Instead, it turns out God takes the form of a chicken sandwich and duck fat fries. Additionally, we tried frog legs (they taste like chicken) and gator tail (it’s just chewy, salty fat) and I ate about 10lbs of sausage gravy. The food there will kill you, but you will die fat and happy. If the entire city burned to the ground and all that was left was Biscuit Love, I’d still consider buying a plane ticket just to experience their fresh squeezed OJ mimosa and bonuts again. I can’t say enough good about the food this city has to offer and that it’s also not terribly expensive. If you ever plan a trip to Nashville, be prepared to come back 4lbs heavier than when you arrived. At least.
Sidenote/hot take on the food:, Nashville hot chicken sucks. Maybe I had a bad batch but it’s basically buffalo chicken except worse. Don’t waste a meal on it when you visit.
While the food is inexpensive, where they get you in Nashville is the drinks. I’m talking $6 Miller Lite bottles. Now before you people from Boston or NYC come at me for thinking a $6 beer is expensive, please know that a good chunk of my adult life was spent at an establishment that offered $1 beers and $3 well drinks. So yes, I puked at the thought of shelling out as much as we did for drinks. Nothing more to say about that. Just wanted to bitch about the price of alcohol.
We had 3 full days. In my opinion, this was enough to see what we wanted to. In 3 days, we managed to do the following:
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
- Cooter’s Place Dukes of Hazard Museum
- Grand Ole Opry
- Gaylord Opryland Resort
- Country Music Hall of Fame
- Walk the Gulch area
- Day Drink up and down Broadway
There is a reason why so many people travel to this city. There is SO MUCH to do, and it is all in close proximity so you can really bust out a ton of different sites and activities in a single day. Whether it’s museums, live music, booze buses, peddle pubs, a cold drink on a rooftop, birding around the city like a maniac, taking instas in front of murals, or eating until you hate yourself, Nashville has something for you.
Broadway Street and the area around it is amazing. We managed to hit Kid Rock’s (holy hell what a party), Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, Tootsies (incredible dive bar with a lot of history), Losers, Bootleggers, Doc Hollidays and the George Jones. I don’t think you’ll find a bad spot on Broadway and if it is rooftops you seek, this place is heaven. Dierks’ place lays claim to the highest rooftop but in my opinion, The George Jones has the best one. Absolutely sick setup and it overlooks the river.
The Country Music Hall of Fame is MASSIVE. It’s almost overwhelming the amount of stuff they have in that building. You could easily spend four hours in there. We don’t have the patience for that, but I still feel like we got our money’s worth for the couple of hours we poke around in the hall of fame.
My wife and I actually stayed outside of the city out in Opryland, so we had to travel into the city for the two days we spent in the city itself. I highly suggest spending a full day out in the Opryland area. Cooter’s Place is quite the experience and obviously you need to do the backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry if you have any interest at all in country music. The tour was very well done and super interesting. I also suggest making a point to visit the Gaylord Opryland Resort that boasts 3000 rooms and an amazing indoor arboretum.
I could go on and on about everything we did and how much fun we had, but I see this review is nearing 1100 words at this point and I want to address one more issue so let’s move on.
Public transportation largely sucks there. Because we stayed out in the Opryland area, we had to Uber into the city. On Saturday night, we decided to go out downtown because we are still not quite 30 and although bedtime at 9:00pm sounds nice, I also get FOMO something fierce. So, we ventured into town to see what the nightlife was all about. Fast forward to 1:30am; we are ready to go home even though the bars don’t close until 3am.. Well unlucky for us, everyone else was ready to go too. Plus, we were fortunate enough to be in town the same night of an Eric Church show. In Nashville. At Nissan Stadium. I watched my Uber price go from a $13 ride to an $80 ride within a matter of minutes. Ubers were gouging and had massive wait times. Cabs were literally impossible to find. And nothing was going to take us out to our hotel 10 miles away. We were stranded along with thousands – and I mean thousands – of other people in the same boat as us just trying to get home. I have never seen more chaos than that night, and I’ve experienced Bourbon Street. We didn’t manage to catch a cab until 2:30am and even that was a complete stroke of luck. I say all of this to make one point. Stay in the city. Stay within walking distance of Broadway Street if you ever plan to go out at night. Uber outside of the city when you want to. Grab one of those scooter things to hit the outskirts. Whatever. Just make sure you don’t need to rely on an actual vehicle to get anywhere during busy times. It is prison.
There it is, folks. Feel free to pass along these words of wisdom to all of your family and friends who plan to visit this fantastic city. If you’ve got some suggestions yourself, feel free to comment below so our readers will see!