6 days agoClaire Gibson answered the question:Every city has its own idiosyncracies. Nashville has some funny customs too. We say "ya'll," that's for sure. Also, you'll notice that no one is a stranger—everyone talks to everyone whether you met three years ago or three minutes ago. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation in line waiting for your coffee, it's something we all do on a regular basis. Or, rather, don't be surprised when someone strikes up a conversation with you!
On May 9Claire Gibson answered the question:Ask anyone in Nashville, and they'll tell you their neighborhood is the best in Nashville. But the great thing about this little city is that it has these mini-boroughs that each have their own flavor. Here are my favorites (in no particular order, mind you):
1. East Nashville. For the last ten years or so, East Nashville has been considered Nashville's "it" neighborhood. After a 1998 outbreak of tornados ripped through and destroyed much of the community, new residents moved in to renovate and rejuvinate. Today, East Nashville is home to some of the city's most famous musicians, including Jack White, The Black Keys and Ben Folds, and offers up some of Nashville's best food and funky atmosphere. If you're not sure where to start, go to 5 points, the spot where Woodland and S. 10th Street meet.
2. 12 South. Another recently gentrified neighborhood in Nashville, 12 S is the main drag that runs north and south, and is now home to a row of restaurants, shops, and homes that value small-town neighborhood feel. Though questions have been raised about how quickly the area has developed (and tempers have flared over parking issues and the new construction of 4-story buildings on an otherwise residential road), 12 South still maintains the laid-back feeling of your own neighborhood, even if you don't live there. Park on a side street, like Ashwood or Dallas, then take a walk. Don't miss Imogene + Willie, Burger UP, Edley's BBQ, 12 S Taproom, Local Honey, or Serendipity.
3. Germantown. The newest kid on the block, Germantown has been blooming right before our very eyes. With the establishment of high-end restaurants like Rolf + Daughters, Silo, and Germantown Cafe, this little nook of historic homes and great city views has taken to new heights. Developers are creating high end urban flats in Werthan Lofts, and young professionals are taking note. Also, keep an eye on 100 Taylor Street, an old flour-mill turned creative hub for new entrepreneurs, arists and designers.
On May 8Claire Gibson answered the question:Nashville is best known for music, but guessing someone's music tastes is about as hard as picking a zebra out of a line up. Why not bring home something they can taste rather than guessing at their favorite music flavor? Here are some great places to stop in before you leave. You'll head home with more than a few treats!
1. Chucklet + Honey — cookies of all kinds!
2. Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.— try the original salt and pepper variety.
3. Sweet 16th Bakery — in East Nashville, find something you don't like... I dare you.
4. Bang Candy Company— handmade marshmellows, syrups, and other adventurous treats
5. Bellemeade Bourbon — two Nashville guys making their great-great-great-grandfather's bourbon.
6. Tricycle Sweets Company — One lady, three wheels, great bakes!
7. Roast Inc. — go home with a pound or two of these perfect coffee beans
8. Papa C's Pies — go with the strawberry rhubarb in summer or the jack daniels pecan in fall. YUM.
9. The Peach Truck — the best Georgia peaches brought to you by Stephen and Jessica Rose, two of Tennessee's finest.
On May 7Claire Gibson answered the question:Who doesn't love a good souvenir? Answer: nobody. In other words, if you're going to take the time to travel, you might as well come home with some good booty. Here are a few ideas:
1. A pair of genuine boots. You have some options in Nashville. If you're looking for a high-end boot that will last forever, go with Peter Nappi. If you're looking for the classic, rhinestone-crusted, embroidered pair, try Nashville Boots on Harding Pike.
2. A stash of foodie treasures. There are plenty of local foodie finds that are worth taking home to your family. Think Olive and Sinclair Chocolate, Bang Candy Co., Bellemeade Bourbon, or a pound or two of coffee from Roast, Inc.
3. A tailored pair of blue jeans. Located on 12th Ave S., Imogene + Willie manufactures some of the nation's finest designer jeans.
4. Wildsam Field Guide. Head over to Parnassas Books in Green Hills, and find a copy of the Nashville Wildsam Field Guide. This travel guide will not only help in your journey, but will be great reading on your way home. It includes essays from Nashville greats like Tony Early, J. Wes Yoder and Roseanne Cash, not to mention a plethora of illustrations that will bring Nashville back to life when you're back at home.
5. Records. Before you leave Nashville, make sure to stop in at Grimeys and pick up some vinyl. Don't have a record player? That's okay. Put them up on your wall as art until you decide to invest in a good old analog player. You won't regret it!
On April 29Hayley Bosch answered the question:I was recently in Nashville for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon at the end of April, and the weather was very unpredictable. This spring has been a rather confusing season for much of the country (unseasonably warm days followed by snow), and Nashville is no different. While you may expect the end of April to be mid-70s and sunny, it was cold and rainy. Sure, the weather could've been better for a marathon — you're running for about four hours, after all — but the rain wasn't too bad; in fact, it was rather refreshing. If you plan on being outside, consider packing a slicker because you never know when it's going to rain. When it’s sunny, Nashville certainly shines with its beautiful green spaces (think Centennial Park) and historic buildings. Of course, there are plenty of things to do inside, and just think of how gorgeous all of the parks will look after all of the rain. Soon, the city will start heating up and get rather humid.
On April 29Claire Gibson answered the question:Nashville isn't a complicated city. We like music. We're friendly. We have a few attractions you just can't miss. But if you're headed to Nashville soon, here are a few tips from the insider's view:
1. Don't rely too heavily on public transportation. Taxis or a rental car will serve you better.
2. Get to know your way around. The highways are a little tricky—but a quick tip: I-40 runs east to west, I-65 runs north to south, and I-440 is like an underbellied mirror image of the Cumberland River. If you want to get downtown, just get on Broadway.
3. There are two cities—and both are worth seeing. There's old Nashville, which includesThe Grand Ole Opry, The Loveless Cafe, Broadway, Honky Tonks etc. Then there's new Nashville, full of young entrepreneurs, craft brewers and clothing designers. To find the "new," just head to a coffee shop and ask the barista. Chances are you'll find something great.
4. Don't compare us to Austin. It's like saying Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have a lot in common. It may be true, but it's better to keep the analogy to yourself. I promise.
On April 29Claire Gibson answered the question:Nashville weather, particularly in the spring and fall, is incredibly unpredictable. From March to mid-May, temperatures swing from the 50s up to the 80s, and everywhere in between. There are random thunder storms, hail storms, and even the occasional tornado watch if things get dicey. So, if anything is to be expected, it's rain. Lots of it. So if you're on your way to Nashville—bring a slicker!
Once we move into the summer months, weather will get much more predictable: Hot, Hotter and Hottest. Though Nashville doesn't have the reputation for humidity like cities futher south, don't think you've missed out on that gem of southern summers. Steam rising from the pavement early in the morning is one of the signs of the season, and if you have curly hair, don't fight it. Embrace it.
On April 24Claire Gibson answered the question:If you're making your first trip to Nashville, boy are you in for a treat! After growing up and moving every two or three years, I've lived in more states than you can shake a stick at, and I've decided to call Nashville home because it's such a friendly, welcoming, and exciting town. Here are some of my favorite things to do when friends come to town:
1. Go hear some music. You're missing out if you miss the music. Every night there's something different available in Nashville, from free concerts to expensive headliners—my favorite concert hall is The Ryman. The acoustics are perfect, the lineups are always top-notch, and there isn't a bad seat in the house.
2. Make friends with local artisans (i.e. shop local). Take a tour of Nashville's new "maker" culture. From Imogene + Willie's denim emporium to Otis James' sewing rooms, there are young people in Nashville using their hands to make something one of a kind that you can only find in Nashville. There's also great local shopping in East Nashville.
3. Get a good meal. Nashville's restaurant scene is in the midst of a major renaissance. More local restaurants have popped up in the last few years than I can keep up with—and the food just keeps getting better. Check out these restaurants, or the five best food experiences in Nashville. Or, if you're looking for brunch, here are the five best places to find it.
4. Enjoy the great outdoors. Nashville is full of nature—from hiking trails to the river front, there are plenty of ways to get outside (and most of them are free). From stand-up paddleboard to movies in the park, a picnic in Centennial Park, or a trip to the farmers' market, you'll miss too much of Nashville if you stay inside!
5. Check out the city's best bars. Nothing screams vacation like a good martini. And no one makes a martini like The Patterson House. If you're looking for a patio try Pub5, Three Crow, or Edley's BBQ. If you're wanting to hole-up, you'll like Holland House, Bar No. 308, or Rumours.
On April 24Claire Gibson answered the question:Brunch is the best meal of the weekend. Will you go for eggs and bacon? Sweet french toast? Or will you turn the menu over for a plethora of lunch-inspired picks? The options are limitless. But in Nashville, here are a few must-see restaurants, for those of us who love the 10 a.m. meal.
1. Tavern. Buy-one-get-one mimosas? Yes, please. Add to that a goliath list of omlettes, eggs benedict, southwestern scramble that will fill you up for the whole day—and you've got a recipe for brunch success. The atmosphere can be loud and boisterous, but if you show up before the noon crowd, you'll get a table in a jiffy.
2. The Southern. Make reservations, because otherwise, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you'll get the standard line from the hostess: "It'll be about 2 hours." But once you find your way to the table, you won't be disappointed.
3. Marché. Chef Margot McCormack serves lattes in bowl-sized mugs and fills mimosas with top-of-the-line bubbly. She takes brunch seriously, and it's paying off in long lines, and a full restaurant every morning of the week. Try the french toast, or if you're trying to go for the lighter side, the apples and brie are a good choice, too.
4. Germantown Cafe. As soon as you sit down in Germantown Cafe, you'll get a basket full of small, cinnamon-sugar dusted donuts. Then, take your pick from a long menu of tried and true favorites, like the sweet potato hash, or the chef's famous chicken salad. Afterwards, enjoy a walk through one of Nashville's most historic neighborhoods.
5. Sky Blue Cafe. On the East side of town, Sky Blue is making a name for itself as one of the best breakfast spots around. Though it doesn't have a the pomp and circumstance of a more established brunch spot, Sky Blue has that mom-and-pop feel that I'm always looking for on a weekend morning. Small and intimate, Sky Blue offers breakfast all day.
On April 22Claire Gibson answered the question:I must admit that my husband and I are still in that recently married, yet to procreate demographic. But we don't discriminate against those with little ones. In fact, we hope to have a few (or five) of our own someday. In the meantime, we've kept a keen eye out for the best places in town to have kids in tow. Here's what we've seen:
1. Burger Up - Upscale burgers with down-to-earth atmosphere, Burger Up is always busy—and always full of families, particularly in the 5 - 6 o'clock hours. Luckily, that's also happy hour. And your kids will be after a delicious burger and fries—with portions large enough to share with a sibling. After 7 p.m. things get busier, and the wait gets longer.
2. Rosepepper - This Cantina has delicious mexican favorites (tacos, chimichangas, burritos), plus a really great happy hour deal for parents: half priced margaritas. But with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, the wait is never too long, especially if you arrive before 7 p.m. Take a look at our favorite margaritas in town and a Rosepepper hack, too, if you're looking for a deal.
3. Turnip Truck - The Turnip Truck has two locations in Nashville, one (our favorite) in the Gulch, and the other in East Nashville. The Gulch location always offers an interesting variety of choices on the hot bar: meatloaf, soups, collard greens, curries, breads and desserts—not to mention an extensive salad bar, too. Choose what you want, leave what you don't. It's that simple!
4. Five Points Pizza - Located in East Nashville's hoppin' five-points area, Five Points Pizza offers incredibly delicious, massive pie options. Our favorite is the South Brooklyn. You'll find the place filled with the aroma of basil and mozzarella, and teeming with families just like yours.
5. Edley's BBQ - Just across the street from Burger UP you'll find Edley's, an order-at-the-front joint complete with brisket, chicken, turkey, and pulled pork options, and plenty of sides to choose from too. There's an outside patio, an inside bar, and plenty of people watching wherever you sit.
On April 18Claire Gibson answered the question:If you're looking for a food "experience" Nashville has plenty to offer. From high-end chefs to hole-in-the wall treasures, look no further than these story-worthy bites.
1. The Catbird Seat. If you can manage to score a highly coveted reservation with famed chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson—you're in for a treat. A prixe-fixe menu with optional drink pairings, The Catbird Seat gives youthe birds' eye view into the kitchen. Watch as Josh and Erik whip up multiple courses, using exotic ingredients, eye-popping flavors and unexpected twists on original fare. It's an experience unparalleled in Nashville.
2. Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. On the other end of the food "experience" spectrum you'll find Prince's—a James Beard Award nominated restaurant steeped in southern history, grease, and lots and lots of heat. Stand in line late at night for your chance at spicy fried chicken served on smushy white sandwich bread. Then you'll know what the craze is all about.
3. Bluebird Cafe. With a menu complete with traditional sammies, sides, and drinks to slosh, the Bluebird cafe has gained noteriety for its regular appearance on ABC's new show, Nashville. But it's been iconic long before hitting the t.v. screen. Every night, enjoy live music in the round as you imbibe a glass of wine or a cocktail. But don't talk during the performances. That's a big no-no.
4. Mas Tacos Por Favor. Once Nashville's premier food-truck, Mas Tacos Por Favor has parked it in East Nashville. Now, it's brick-and-mortar (and not much more) location still offers it's delicious tacos with just the right amount of kick. Don't walk away without at least one fish taco. Open Tuesday, Thursday for lunch and Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturdays, brunch is offered from 9 until 3.
5. The Peach Truck. Tennessee isn't exactly known for its peaches—we leave that to our southern sister, Georgia. But thankfully, married duo Stephen and Jessica Rose are bridging the gap, bringing fresh peaches to Nashville straight from Stephen's family farm in Georgia. Every summer from May - late July, these two huff it old-school in his green Jeep Gladiator, offering passersby a taste of true summer sweet. One brown bag of peach truck peaches runs for $6.
On April 17Claire Gibson answered the question:Whether you are a spectator or participator, Nashville has plenty to see and do when it comes to competition.
There are the obvious choices, like LP Field to see the Titans play on any given Sunday, or Bridgestone Arena to see the Predators take to the ice.
Then, there are a few lesser-known gems. Want to catch a raucous time with the Nashville Roller Girls? Head over to the Municipal Auditorium or the Tennessee Fairgrounds (depending on the scheduled date), and be prepared to sign a waiver—even this spectator sport comes with some risk.
There are road races scheduled regularly around town, with the Music City Marthon always in April. Also, if you're interested in catching college sports: basketball, football, soccer, volleyball or baseball—check out the local universities: Vanderbilt University and Belmont University both maintain Division I programs competitive nationwide.
On April 11Claire Gibson answered the question:When it comes to nightlife, Nashville has everything you'll need to make some memories. Whether you're looking for twangy two-stepping, underground music or a just a real good drink, you'll have more than enough to choose from in the 615 (that's Nashville's area code, if you were curious).
Roberts Western World. Anytime after 10 p.m. this place wil be rocking, rolling, and banjoing like crazy. It usually gets pretty packed, so don't plan on having a heart-to-heart with your dance partner. You'll be lucky if you catch their name amidst the loud music and teeny-tiny dance floor—but you'll laugh a lot!
The Stone Fox. New to the Nashville scene, brother and sister duo Elise and William Tyler opened The Stone Fox to offer a music venue managed by musicians. After 9 p.m., there's usually a small cover charge—and every night there's something new on stage. Techno? A dance party? Electronica? Rhythm and Blues? The Stone Fox has it all.
Bar No. 308. It's not just that this is my favorite bar in Nashville (although it is). Bar No. 308 seems to bring together a fun, interesting crowd every single night of the week. Looking for some flair in your ho-hum cocktail? Ask for "The Big Woo," or the "Monkey's Paw."
On April 10Claire Gibson answered the question:Nashville is definitely a kid-friendly town. Go to any bar or restaurant before 7 p.m., and you'll see Nashville families out in storm. Head to the park, the zoo, or a museum, and you'll find kids there, too! But here are my three favorites, a few lesser-known treasures that kids will love while visiting Nashville.
- Dragon Park - A park with slides, swings, see-saws, and a full-sized dragon (sculpture that is) located just a few blocks from Hillsboro Village. Kids can climb and run and jump out the wiggles while parents relax at this well-shaded park. The city plans to revamp Dragon Park sometime in 2013, so get there while the dragon still exists!
- Las Paletas - What kid doesn't like a popsicle? Better yet, what adult doesn't like a popsicle? And these popsicles aren't your normal fake-fruit, dyed variety. They are made with fresh ingredients, and will make your mouth pucker up with every bite. My favorite flavor is the raspberry-strawberry, and my husband always goes for pistachio.
- The Greenway - Over on the west side of town, at the corner of 51st and Wyoming is an entrance to the Greenway, a 3-mile paved loop that circles around McCabe Golf Course. But all along the trail are nature's goodies: creeks to splash in, dogs to pet (on leashes of course), birds to watch and flowers to pick. There's even a train that runs alongside the far west side!