Noonday City Guide: Nashville, TN
One of the many benefits to having a community of Noonday Ambassadors from every state in the US is getting to discover the beauty in each of their towns and cities! Today Ambassador Katie Beard is taking us on a tour of her beloved city of Nashville, Tennessee. Whether you’ve traveled to Nashville before and are looking for some new haunts or are dreaming about a first-time trip, read on for Katie’s list of must-see spots!
Nashville is a town booming with creativity and warmth. You may not know it, but the person serving you coffee wrote the #1 hit you just heard on the radio, the cashier at your favorite store designed that bag you’re buying, and the person sitting next to you in the park just launched a new company reaching far beyond the Nashville city limits.
I love Nashville’s authenticity, music, and food…but mostly I love its heart to welcome you for a weekend or a lifetime with lots of local love. I am honored to take you on a brief tour of Nashville and show off some of my favorite places to shop, eat, and experience the true Nashville way.
First things first, brunch is a must. Marche is located in the hip area of East Nashville. With coffee that seems to refill on its own, French toast you’ll dream about, and a steak and eggs fit for a queen, you’ll find yourself recommending it to others in no time. On weekends it is quite busy, so best to get there early. East Nashville is also home to many fun shops like Vinnie and Louise and Welcome Home, plus a Five Daughters Bakery where the cronuts (croissant/donuts) feature 100 layers of magnificence and seasonal flavors.
Just across the bridge, you can stop into Nisolo, an ethical shoe and accessory brand based in Nashville, partnering with Artisans in Peru. If you’d like to continue on your quest for ethically made, FashionABLE is just a short drive away and features leather goods, clothes, and shoes!
12 South is a neighborhood booming with places to shop. From Draper James’ prim southern style to Imogene and Willie’s American made jeans, you’re sure to find a new piece for your closet in no time. One of my favorite spots to find the perfect gift for an out-of-town visitor, hostess, or friend’s birthday is White’s Mercantile! They sell perfectly curated items including many Nashville-made favorites like Olive and Sinclair Chocolates and Thistle Farms products made by women emerging from vulnerable situations like trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.
While you’re in 12 South, keep an eye out for Amelia’s Flower Truck where you can handpick your favorite bundle with the help of their friendly staff. The truck changes spots daily but their website is helpful for tracking it down.
Get those cameras ready and cheese for the camera amongst the many murals hidden amongst the businesses. The I Believe in Nashville spot is likely one of the most photographed (located on the side of the yummy BBQ restaurant Edleys), but we like these walls nestled beside Epice just fine.
Nashville isn’t just shopping and eating, we are nicknamed Music City after all. So, where are my favorite spots to listen? Musician’s Corner is an easy-going, free, outdoor concert series held in the months of May, June, August and September. Bring a blanket and choose some shade to enjoy a diverse afternoon of music in Centennial Park. Food Trucks and Kidville make this a family-friendly event; it is truly a gem in the heart of Nashville, and one of my favorite Nashville events.
Last, but not least, the Ryman Auditorium, lovingly called “the Mother Church,” is located downtown, off Broadway. I believe every trip to Nashville should include and potentially be planned around a concert at the Ryman. With its squeaky pews and humbling stage, magnificent acoustics and history of musical grandeur, it is unlike any other music venue I have entered. Just steps from the bustling foot-trafficked Broadway scene, you can hop to your favorite honky-tonk after leaving, if that’s your cup of tea. It’s hard to explain, so I’ll just encourage you once more: you must see your favorite artist at the Ryman.
Looking for some tunes to take you through your Nashville journey (or to make you feel like you’re there?). Check out my Nashville-inspired playlist below!