For those of you thinking about taking a Mother-Daughter vacation, Nashville is an amazing vacation choice! We’re so excited to share some favorite spots from our recent trip. It was one of the best vacations ever and we can’t wait to tell you why!
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Planning A Trip To Nashville
Nashville has been on my bucket list for so many years. For one reason or another, we were never able to get there. When it was time to plan a vacation, we were usually booking family trips to Disneyworld or getaways to Cape Cod.
Those are super fun for a family vacation, but now that my youngest has graduated College and is working full time, we are focusing on our love of travel. We plan to share travel adventures with you and hope it is something you will enjoy.
It’s always helpful to research vacation spots and get tips from others who have been. We want to share our tips-and mistakes-so that you have the best vacation possible!
When you are traveling you want to make sure you get the most out of it, as we all work too hard to have it be a flop!
Let me give you the background on how this trip to Nashville came about. It really makes it so much more meaningful. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that my daughter, Amanda, graduated College in May.
She began working in her chosen field of psychology two months later-proud Mom for sure!
College is expensive, so we weren’t able to take any big vacations while she was in school. It was worth every penny! Here we are on the big day-just a little happy right?
Fast forward to Christmas and my daughter hands me an envelope and says Merry Christmas. I figured it was a nice card with gift cards or cash. What I did not expect were two round trip tickets for us to go to Nashville!
Not only were the tickets included, but she also researched and booked an AirBNB for us.
In all my 51 years, I have never been as surprised as I was when I opened that envelope! You know I totally burst into tears at this thoughtful gift.
Now that you know the back story, let’s get to the fun stuff!
What To Wear To Nashville
What does one wear to Nashville? Cowboy boots are a must and Amanda and I both had fun wearing cowboy boots just about every day! I also made t-shirts using Chalk Couture inks and transfers. So many people commented on my shirts.
It was an ice breaker too! As a huge Dolly Parton fan, the “Dolly is my spirit animal” was a favorite, followed closely by the “I want a love like Johnny and June” t-shirt. So fun, right?
If you are interested in learning more about Chalk Couture, you can check out my page here.
Nashville is very laid back and you want to be comfortable for a full day of sightseeing and nights exploring the music scene. You definitely want to pack comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking.
You can still look cute with a pair of sneakers on!
Favorite Travel Items
- Women’s Holographic Fanny Pack -I’m not sure if it’s due to the popularity of the Netflix series, Stranger Things, or if the 80’s are just making a comeback-but you heard it here Fanny Packs are back and hotter than ever! Amanda wore this holographic fanny pack everywhere and it really came in handy. This would be perfect for going to theme parks, a day of shopping or sightseeing. It makes it so much easier to be hands free.
- Packing Cubes – These make packing a breeze and cut down on the space needed for trips dramatically. Plus, you can return home with plenty of souvenirs!
- Makeup Travel Cosmetic Bag – Keep your makeup separate from your clothes and also protect it during travel.
- Leather Travel Journal – Keep track of the special moments on your vacation by writing things down at the end of the day. If you don’t want to buy one, you can easily make a DIY journal.
Now that the packing is done and you have the background to this surprise getaway, let’s get to the good stuff. Nashville here we come! This gorgeous sunset picture was taken as we were landing:
Tips For Finding An AirBNB Rental
Amanda returned from a two week trip to Germany and England the month prior to our Nashville trip. She did a ton of research for the trip with her friends and they stayed at AirBNB’s the entire trip.
Here are her top 5 tips for renting an AirBNB:
- Read the reviews – This is probably the most important tip. Listen to what the prior guests say. If there are 20 positives and one negative, take that into consideration. But if all the reviews say the BNB is dirty, move on. The reviews are critical for hosts, as there’s so much competition. If something is in dispute, they will point that out.
- Research the area – You want to make sure you are in a safe location and the area is close to the places that you will be visiting.
- Review the included amenities -Each property will have a description and list of all amenities included. Check to see if things, like a blow dryer, for example, are included as it will save you from having to pack one. The more that is included, the less you will have to pack!
- Check travel dates to save money – If you are flexible with your travel dates, you may be able to save money by booking mid week or for just a few days. Some locations also give discounts if you are staying for more than 7 days. Some give a discount for booking more then two months in advance.
- Check for extra fees – Take your time reading the fine print and be sure to see if there are any extra fees. You don’t want any surprises while on vacation. It’s best to prepare for any fees upfront. Check for cleaning fees, service fees, taxes and any extra guest fees.
Air BNB Nashville East
We stayed at an AirBNB that was in Nashville East. It was close enough that we could take an Uber downtown, but it also allowed us to walk to fun shops during the day.
If you have not jumped on the AirBNB bandwagon yet, it is definitely something to look into for your next trip.
The one Amanda booked in Nashville East was absolutely perfect and she booked it on the AirBNB website.
From the welcoming decor, to the Visitor’s Book filled with recommendations and brochures, it made our trip that much more memorable. Here are a few pics:
Mother-Daughter Things To Do In Nashville
Broadway – Nashville Nightlife
When you think of Nashville, what is the first thing you think of? To me, it is the downtown nightlife. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
I reached out to my Facebook friends before the trip and asked for their favorite spots and also did a ton of research on the web to decide what to do.
Amanda only had one request-to see some live music, which was on my list as well! We had only had four days to explore, so we wanted to pack as much into it as possible.
Just a heads up, we did all the typical touristy things, so if you’ve been before you may have already visited these.
Hopefully reading this and seeing the pictures will bring back good memories for you. I am ready to go back just looking at all of these again!
We hit all the must see spots and packed as much as we could into a four day trip.
You can’t go to Nashville, without visiting the iconic Tootsies. This was the first spot that we hit on our very first night! Even on a Tuesday night, this place was packed.
With 3 levels, including a roof top bar, there was lots to see. The people were friendly, the bands were great and the drinks were flowing!
Here is the main link to Tootsies if you want to check out the music scene for the week you plan on attending.
- Honky Tonk Central
Located on Lower Broadway, Honky Tonk Central was our favorite music venue. The bands were incredible, the food was delicious and the general vibe of the bar was so fun!
We loved it so much that we stopped by each night before heading back to the AirBNB.
Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse
Having been a fan of Kid Rock for many years, this venue did not disappoint! With five floors, four stages, and six bars, this gorgeous Honky Tonk can accommodate almost two thousand people!
Blake Shelton’s Ole Red
Another favorite of ours was Ole Red named after Blake Shelton’s breakout hit Ol’ Red. The food was total comfort food at it’s finest. It was a laid back fun atmosphere and you never know who will show up to play.
A week after we visited, Blake, himself, was on stage performing!
Jason Aldean’s Kitchen & Rooftop Bar
Located in the heart of Broadway in downtown Nashville, Jason Aldean’s main restaurant includes a large bar with a 1961 4020 John Deer tractor! It’s pretty cool to see in person.
Be sure to check out the rooftop patio. It’s the largest rooftop on Broadway and the panoramic views are stunning.
Give the “Eat To Your Own Beat” food a try. You basically build your own basket of food, while enjoying cocktails at the Night Train bar.
Luke’s 32 Bridge
Featuring 6 levels, 8 bars and 4 stages with live music, as well as two restaurants including a sushi bar on the rooftop patio. Luke Bryan’s is a little pricey, but definitely a fun atmosphere.
Be sure to stop by The Frothy Monkey for breakfast or coffee. The menu has a great variety with everything from biscuits and gravy to a quinoa bowl!
Amanda’s banana iced coffee was to die for and we are big iced coffee drinkers!
We were told by several locals that we had to try Mafiaozas Pizzeria and we are so glad we did. The garlic bread was the best!
I ordered the Puccetti, a salad with spinach, baby greens, dried cranberries, almonds, lemon poppy chicken, and the most delicious deep-fried goat cheese coins. I was in heaven!
Edley’s BBQ was another restaurant that was highly recommended by both visitors and locals, including our Uber driver-who also was a caterer.
There are several locations and we went to East Nashville, which was walking distance from our BNB. The extensive menu was very reasonably priced and you received a ton of food!
We ordered a few appetizers so we could share. The BBQ loaded fries were chockful of cheesy goodness and topped with BBQ sauce.
My favorite were the BBQ chicken quesadillas.
Iconic Museums in Nashville
Country Music Hall Of Fame
You can’t visit Nashville without going to the Country Music Hall Of Fame. This has been on my bucket list for yours. I’m so thankful we were able to visit.
Be sure to check out the exhibit calendar prior to attending so you can plan what you want to see.
Be sure to check out Groupon for discount tickets. We were able to buy a package that included the Hall of Fame, Studio B and the Hatch Press tour.
Here is a fun fact-when we were shopping the gift shop, I was purchasing a Johnny Cash book for my son and the cashier told me that his daughter, Roseanne, had stopped by earlier that day to sign the book, which was a collection of Johnny’s early writings.
Roseanne, also a songwriter, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.
RCA Studio B Tour
Another favorite stop was the Studio B Tour. Just a few of the artists who have recorded in Studio B:
- Waylon Jennings
- Eddy Arnold
- Dolly Parton
- Jim Reeves
- Willie Nelson
- Mickey Gilley
Elvis recorded over 250 songs at Studio B. The piano he used is shown in the pictures below. You could just feel the sense of history in this room.
Johnny Cash Museum
The Johnny Cash Museum was filled with not only items from his amazing career, but also included so many things from his family life.
From family photos and recordings, it was a small peek into the life of Johnny and June.
Must See Locations In Nashville
Gaylord Opryland Hotel
Until you visit the Opryland Hotel, you cannot appreciate the beauty and sheer size of this place. We were completely in awe of the surroundings.
It is definitely a must see place to visit.
It is within a 15-minute walk of Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills and under 10 miles from Country Music Hall of Fame.
Here are just a few of the things to do and see at Opryland Hotel:
- Gorgeous Waterfalls
- Stunning Gardens
- Riverboat Ride
- Incredible Dining
- Grand Ole Opry Back Stage Tour
- Grand Ole Opry
- Water park
With close to 20 dining options, there is something for everyone’s appetite. From the Old Hickory Steakhouse to the family-friendly Paisano’s Pizzaria & Vino, where we ate.
You could easily spend days here and never eat at the same location! The hotel rates are not as pricey as you think. We loved it so much that we plan to stay here for a few nights on our next visit.
There is so much that we didn’t even get to see. Even if you choose not to stay at the hotel, plan at least a full day or two to explore. With a brand new Water Park this will be a destination spot for sure!
The water park was not open when we visited, but sounds incredible! SoundWaves sits on 4 acres and has 3 levels!
If you can visit Opryland during the Christmas season, the resort is decked out with three million holidays lights! It also has an ICE exhibit with ice carved into beloved characters such as Charlie Brown and friends.
In addition to the incredible nightlife, restaurants and museums, Nashville also has absolutely gorgeous wall murals all over the City.
Just search Instagram and you will find dedicated sites showcasing the cool street art.
If you visit Nashville, be sure to set aside some time to visit these beautiful works of art.
The Gulch – What Lifts You Wings: 302 11th Ave. S.
- An amazingly beautiful 20-foot high piece of art created by Kelsey Montague. You can also stop by The Juice Bar and Biscuit Love, which are also right around the corner. They are great stops for a bite to eat and drinks.
Nashville East Murals
We had to visit Draper James and loved it! They actually ask you if you want a sweet tea while you shop-what’s not to like? I have a Draper James pocketbook on my Christmas wish list (Amanda, if you’re reading this)
Jack Daniel’s Distillery – Lynchburg, Tennessee
While not in Nashville, we decided to plan a day trip to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg and had such a fun time. We again looked to Groupon and found discounted tickets for a tour that left from downtown Nashville.
The town of Lynchburg is so quaint and there are local shops and restaurants that you can visit as well. Our tour guide was hysterical and we had people from all over the country on our bus.
It was a nice change of pace from the busy nightlife of Nashville.
Here are our top 5 reasons why Nashville makes the perfect mother-daughter vacation:
In fact, Nashville is such a popular Mother-Daughter vacation that it was included in Southern Livings Top 11 Mother-Daughter Vacations that you can see here.
Thank you so much for visiting. Have a great day!
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