Visit America's Music City without Breaking the Bank
More than music lures international travelers to Nashville
Yes, the free live music scene is still epic here, but Nashville's other scenes have taken off and it's now a city bursting with innovative art, fashion, food, and hip neighborhoods. This all-around awesomeness has landed Nashville as one of the best budget-friendly destinations.
A culinary capital of the South
In Nashville, creativity spills over into its cuisine, from its farm-to-table cafes to its upmarket eateries. Start the day at one of Nashville’s best brunch spots and follow the locals, who pair their eggs with Bloody Mary's or Mimosas (known to set you right after a late night of live music).
Leave some room though, because you can’t leave Nashville without trying its famous Hot Chicken – fried, breaded, coated with spices, and served with bread and pickles. It’s so good that some restaurants won’t serve anything else.
Prince’s Hot Chicken is the creator and originator of the city’s signature dish, and although there are a few stiff competitors, they remain number 1 on mostly every foodie’s “to-eat” list.
Address: 123 Ewing Dr Ste 3, Nashville, TN 37207
It’s true that Nashville’s food scene can warrant a trip purely for eating (although, unsurprisingly, there are lots of venues that serve up live music with your dinner, too). You can even book a food and hotel package to sample the different cuisines in Nashville’s unique neighborhoods, from trendy 12South to historic Germantown. Just put on your comfy Converse and go explore.
Want a slice of pizza from the hippest place in the city? Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria is the new kid on the block in Nashville’s food scene but they’ve already made a lasting impression for natives and tourists. With 90s R&B and hip-hop inspired pizzas, like their spin on the classic Pepperoni pizza aka the “RONY, RONI, RONE” or the vegan-friendly “Nothing But A ‘V’ Thang”, pair perfectly with their locally crafted beers and cinnamon rolls and have gotten the thumbs up from some of hip hop greats.
Address: 911 Buchanan St, Nashville, TN 37208
Fashion and creativity
Nashville boasts an acclaimed industry of fashion designers and artisans, creating everything from boutique clothing to hand-crafted jewelry (it’s not all cowboy hats and tasseled boots). There are vintage clothes shops, jewelry studios, and boutiques galore.
Come in April to catch Nashville's happening fashion week, with events overflowing from boutiques and retailers around the city. And don't miss Nashville's Flea Market, a popular space for local artisans (and local shoppers). It’s one of the top flea markets in the country, with over 1,000 vendors from 30 states. You can pick up just about anything, including fresh food, antique furniture, and handmade leather goods just to name a few things.
Address: 401 Wingrove St, Nashville, TN 37203
Pinewood Social is a favorite stop for tourist, locals, and celebs when visiting Nashville, and for good reason. Having fun at the social isn’t hard when there are so many activities to enjoy in one place. There’s 6 bowling lanes and a bocce ball court if you want a few games to bring out your squad’s competitive spirit. On the inside, you can sit down and grab a bite, taste some one-of-a-kind libations at the bar, or grab a cup of joe at the crema coffee bar. Outside is the perfect summer oasis, complete with a swimming pool and pool bar to enjoy when the weather is warm.
Address: 33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210
Music tours, celebs, and more
Some say it should be against the law to come to Nashville and not see any live music. But even if you don’t go to a concert, there are loads of other ways to appreciate music in Music City. Head to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to explore the lives and voices of famous country singers.
Address: 222 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Another way to get close to the stars of Music City is a sightseeing tour, many of which focus on Nashville’s musical roots. You can see Taylor Swift’s condo or Elvis Presley’s gold Cadillac, and get the lowdown on the city's infamous Honky Tonks. Of course, if (or rather, when) you do fancy some live music, download Nashville’s free live music guide app and let it lead you to the tunes.