Last week, we took a few days off work and headed to Nashville for a mini vacation. Every time we’re up that way, we are usually visiting family and/or going to a football game, so we never get to do many of the “Nashville” things that so many others rave about. So we decided to take a long weekend trip to knock several things off our Nashville bucket list. I took far too many photos (shocking!), so I’ll keep the words to a minimum and let you tag along via photos on our trip as “hometown tourists.”
On the itinerary:
1. Arrington Vineyards
2. Nashville Zoo
3. Country Music Hall of Fame
4. Dinner at Husk
5. Lunch at The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden
6. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.
7. TN Brew Works
8. Hot chicken!
We made a pit stop at Arrington on a windy, overcast afternoon, and it was one of my favorite things we did all weekend. Because it was a Thursday, the vineyard was fairly empty, so we grabbed the “Picnic Tasting” (4 samples of our choice with wine crackers) and headed out to a picnic table with a beautiful hilltop view. You can bring your own picnic or purchase cheese/crackers/sausage/chocolate truffles from them. We didn’t think ahead to bring our own snacks, so we bought a block of Gouda, some toast crackers, and a sampling of their specially-made truffles for an impromptu happy hour. It was absolutely lovely, and I can’t wait to go back!
We both voted the Zoo as our favorite place that we visited, and I’ll have a post devoted to our animal friends coming soon.
Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co.::
While I don’t consider this place quintessentially “Nashville” since it’s a newer company, we were excited to make our way over to their shop. We first tasted O & S chocolates and caramels at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival earlier this year, and I just had to find their shop to get some more of their goodies. I love their Bourbon Nib Brittle, and Duck Fat Caramels. Get on their website and order yo’self some. Or if you’re in Nashville, stop by their shop and you can take a tour of the factory!
As usual, we ate our way around the city, including a home-cooked Mexican dinner with Craig’s family and a lunch out with his grandparents.
We had burgers and beers at The Pharmacy over in the East Nashville area. Such a fun little joint with lots of great outdoor seating, lots of burger and sausage options, and lots of beers on tap.
Our favorite was dinner at Husk, which I wrote about here earlier this week.
We got some of Nashville’s famous HOT chicken at Hattie B’s. We debated for a long time between Prince’s and HB’s, but this not as sketchy location won out, and I’m happy about that. The chicken was hot, but not on fire, the sides were OK, and the company we had at our picnic table was really nice. And while this choice is a bit more mainstream than Prince’s, I didn’t have to worry about our safety while I waited in line, which was a legitimate concern if we’d chosen the other option.
And we got after-dinner cocktails at The Patterson House, which was quite fun. It’s definitely not a large group-type of place, but it’s perfect for a date night or outing with a couple of the girls. Lots of interesting options (Craig got the Bacon Old Fashion and I got the Champagne Cocktail), and the mixologists are really good at what they do.
We had a little extra time one afternoon, so we made a quick stop by Centennial Park to walk around The Parthenon. I didn’t see the need to pay for us to go inside, but I later learned that it serves as the city of Nashville’s art museum, which is pretty neat. Nonetheless, it was fun to walk around the outside and gawk at the size of the columns on the full-scale replica of this Athens monument.
Hatch Show Print::
This was particularly fun for me to visit, given my degree in Printmaking. Hatch Show was the big “competition” to Yee-Haw Industries, the letterpress company I interned with in Knoxville at the end of college. Hatch Show has been around for decades and as you can see in the photo below, they make allll sorts of letterpress signage. Their studio is in the Country Music Hall of Fame building and is open to the public. Nobody was working in the studio over the weekend, but I’d have loved to see the printmakers in action. I picked up a fun Tennessee-themed print to hang in our house. 🙂
Country Music Hall of Fame::
I bet you can’t guess who wanted to go here? 🙂 Just kidding — it was pretty neat to learn more about the history of the genre and see all sorts of country music memorabilia, including costumes, guitars, records, and even giant cars once owned by Elvis and the likes. The museum is humongous, and I’m sure if you stopped to read every bit of signage on display, you could spend all day there. And how about that purple wolf jacket below? I know what Craig’s getting for his birthday this year…
Tennessee Brew Works::
After we were finished up with all of the touristy items on our list, we met up with our friend Danielle for a beer tasting and some football watching at Tennessee Brew Works. We love trying out new breweries, and I really liked that at this one, you can sit down restaurant-style and order either a flight of different beers or just choose your favorite brew to sip on. The Georgia/South Carolina game ended up being delayed quite a bit due to weather, so we made our way over to M. Street Tavern for the remainder of the night. Such a fun way to end our touristy trip through Music City!