Olivia & Thashana's Guide to Nashville
We have tons of respect for classic country artists, as well as a lot of outlaw country artists around today, but we (like a lot of Nashvillians) aren't so into the bro country that's popular in the mainstream today. As a tourist in our city, you will likely be told to head to downtown Nashville. That's fine if you're into a more artificial touristy experience and you believe Nashvillians wear cowboy hats (we don't - and I'd imagine people who live in Orlando don't wear mouse ears), but if you're not into that stuff, we're here to help!
We will recommend a few downtown tourist attractions, but we won't be sending you to the bars on Broadway. If you want to meet locals, you won't find them there.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and we will be updating it when we think of things or get good suggestions, so bookmark it and check back periodically. Additions will go into the "MORE PLACES TO CHECK OUT" list at the bottom of the page.
The original hot chicken is the best hot chicken. We'll be honest - the wait is usually insane, but it's worth it. No matter how tough you think you are, XXXHOT is too hot for you.
Cool English-style bar with tasty food and tons of imported beer.
Printer's Alley is downtown, but a bit removed from the touristy area.
This coffee spot is a long-time Nashville staple that's located in a former pet shop. They've also got great food if you're looking for lunch or a snack.
This is probably Nashville's favorite record store, and the selection is great. If you're lucky, you can catch an in-store performance after hours.
Catch a band at Exit/In, which has been around since 1971 and hosted nearly every act you can think of. Don't let the big names fool you - it's a relatively small venue.
FRIST center for the visual arts
This museum is housed in a beautiful art deco building (formerly occupied entirely by our main post office). Check their website for rotating exhibitions.
If Prince's is too much trouble for your hot chicken needs, check out Bolton's. It has also been around since long before yuppies got in the hot chicken game.
SKULL'S RAINBOW ROOM
A speakeasy-style lounge with food, drinks, and burlesque shows.
We will eventually do an episode on it!
Need a fun coffee shop where you can also get a meal or tasty baked goods? Done.
THIRD MAN RECORDS
There's a little of everything here - a record store, "novelty lounge" (basically cool things the proprietor has collected), and a venue. It's also houses the record label office. And, yes, it belongs to Jack White.
The 5 Spot
This is a fun and casual bar in the 5 Points area of East Nashville. You'll find live bands most nights.
Sometimes called the Mother Church of Country Music, this is was the home of the Grand Ole Opry for 31 years. You can still catch live performances here (and they're not limited to country). Seriously, if you can, do it. If not, take a tour during the day!
David Byrne will be performing on the evening of May 6 - the last day of CrimeCon.
An Irish pub with great food and live music. CrimeCon bonus: it's close to the hotel!
This one's located close to Something's Not Right Studios. You may have heard us mention this place before. They host an annual St. Patrick Swayze Day. You can't resist the Bodhi mural!
Three Corners COFFEE
This place is about as cozy as it gets. They even sell some antiques! If you want quiet place to have coffee, this is it. DO NOT skip the brioche cinnamon rolls (if you're lucky enough to get there when they have them).
It's a record store, but they also sell vintage clothes and furnishings, and they host events (typically live music).
This is definitely one of the best venues in town if you can catch a show here, and it's super laid-back.
Also, this is where Thashana and Olivia met!
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The name is pretty self-explanatory. This is a big and amazing museum. Be forewarned - it's downtown and in a busy tourist area, so parking will probably cost you.