Unconventional Nashville

This past week I tagged along on my mom’s work trip to Nashville. Out of all the cities I’ve traveled to in the states, this city is probably my favorite. From the live music almost everywhere you go, to the amazing street art, Nashville’s immersive atmosphere is like nothing else I have ever experienced. Although it is almost expected of tourists to visit the city’s iconic honky-tonks and indulge in it’s southern eats, my mom and I did not. Throughout our short stay, we spent our time walking the famous streets, shopping in local boutiques, attending concerts, and eating at the “healthier” options (beside our orders of biscuits from Milk and Honey) over of the numerous barbecue and chicken places. Overall, after this visit, I am ready to plan my return.

Nashville During CMA Fest 

Ironically, my mom’s orchestra conference happened to be taking place at the same time as CMA Fest. If you don’t know what that is, it is basically the Coachella of country music. In contrast to the popular festival in California, this widespread event extends throughout the city. Being a country music fan, this was perfect timing. I was able to attend the CMT Music Awards, see Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, etc. perform live at the Grand Ole Opry. Even though most of the concerts during CMA Fest were free, I did not research ahead of time, so I missed them all… oops. 

Best Area to Stay?

If you want to be in the center of everything… find a hotel downtown. Almost everything is within walking distance. If you’re interested in visiting Music Row, the Country Hall of Fame, the best restaurants and shops, etc., stay downtown. My mom and I stayed at the Omni right next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The hotel itself was beautiful but, it’s location was even better. 

Top Restaurants in the City 

AVO

If you’re a vegetarian… this place is for you. This restaurant is completely plant based. Honestly, if you had put my plate in front of me without giving me any background on the place, I would never have guessed it was all vegan. This place is located a little drive outside of downtown and it is WORTH that uber ride. Out of all the restaurants we went to, this place was my favorite, by far. 

Epice 

My mom and I absolutely love Lebanese food; so when we came across this place, we knew we had to try it. Everything we had was extremely fresh and light. I had a lentil and rice wrap and it was amazing. This place is located in the 12th South district which is a famous area for local boutiques, restaurants, and some of Nashville’s most famous murals. If you’re looking to shop, definitely stop at Espice for a little mid-shopping lunch.

Nada 

Thinking back at the tacos I ate here is making me hungry… Need I say more? If you’re looking for a good Mexican restaurant, this place will exceed your expectations. Not only are the dishes amazing, but the rice pudding dessert dish was the BEST. This place is located a little drive outside of downtown. It is definitely worth the travel.

Sunda

If you’re looking for good sushi… come here. The decor in the restaurant is really pretty and so was the food (lol). This place is located in the heart of the Gulch, so if you’re looking to sightsee after dinner, this is a great restaurant to dine at.

Tratoria II Mulino

My mom and I actually found this restaurant accidentally. On our first night, we were very disheartened to find that there were no vegetarian options on the Music Row (bad mistake lol). Walking back to the hotel, we came across this restaurant and decided to give it a shot. I got a ravioli dish that was unlike anything I have ever tasted. Definitely dine here if you’re looking for a good Italian meal.

Top Boutiques 

  1. Kittenish
  2. Moda boutique
  3. E.Allen
  4. Crue
  5. Draper James

Other Good Eateries

  1. Milk and Honey
  2. Bisquit Love
  3. No Baked Cookie Dough
  4. The Frothy Monkey

Thanks for reading!

-Aria 🙂

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