Hey ya’ll! Getting my southern twang on as I reminisce about when my bestie and I went to Nashville and the Kentucky Derby last year. I want to share a post on my travel review from this trip in hopes that you will find it helpful if you are ever in Nashville or attend the Derby.
Let me start off by saying we literally ate our way through Nashville while listening to live music every chance we got. The absolute best thing about downtown Nashville is almost any bar you walk into day or night will have live music playing (I don’t get much of that here in NYC).
First off, we only had 48 hours in Nashville. You might think this is not enough time to do all the touristy things that may be on your Nashville bucket list, but surprisingly we were able to squeeze everything in and even had time for a nap!
We started off by landing in Nashville around 8 AM and went straight to the first place on our bucket list, the Pancake Pantry. This place is known for their sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup and man were they delicious!
Next stop was to drop off our bags at our hotel, the Comfort Inn Downtown Nashville-Vanderbilt. This wasn’t the fanciest hotel, but we were on a budget and it was located pretty close to Broadway (where all of the bars and restaurants are).
From here we had a 10:30 AM Pedal Tavern reservation. Early I know, but starting the day off with this allowed for us to get a sense of where everything was located on our bucket list. Being that we were the first tour of the day and it was pretty chilly out, my friend and I were easily the youngest people participating, but we had a blast regardless.
Later that night we met up with my cousin (who I haven’t seen in years) at Pinewood Social for a couple drinks. This restaurant had the friendliest bartenders, some pretty unique cocktails, and even a bowling alley!
Unfortunately, we had a late dinner reservation at The Southern and weren’t able to squeeze in a round of bowling, but the food at the Southern was to die for (specifically the delicious Chicken Fried Chicken with buttermilk biscuits …YUM).
We spent the rest of our night bar hopping down Broadway. If you only have time to visit one bar I highly recommend Honky Tonk Central. This 3 story bar has live bands playing different genres of music on each floor so when you get sick of one type of music you can dance your way to another floor for a change in beat.
The next day we woke up early to wait in an hour long line at Biscuit Love. Yes, we waited in line for an hour without having our morning coffee after a late night out, but this place was worth the wait in order to try their specialty Bonuts (biscuit-donuts)!
After rolling out of Biscuit Love, we decide to take our food babies to the Country Hall of Fame and Music and then spent the rest of the day enjoying the beautiful weather of the South.
We ended our trip in Nashville with an early dinner at Puckett’s Grocery before it was time to hop on a Megabus to Louisville, KY.
It’s safe to say, we successfully ate our way through Nashville and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Until next time Nashville… and off to the Derby!
My friend has been to the Derby several times since her sister went to University of Louisville (who we stayed with on our trip), but this was my first time going and certainly not my last.
After our hair was perfectly curled and we got on our Derby uniforms, Lily Pulitzer dresses and adorable fascinators, we headed off to a fraternity day drink which mainly turned into a mini photo shoot for me and my friend.
With plenty of time until the big race, we all walked down to Churchill Downs, placed our bets, and ran to the closest Mint Juleps we could find (and some BBQ pulled pork nachos…classy I know)! But before we knew it, our beautiful sunny day turned into a torrential downpour out of nowhere right before the final race. Luckily we happened to be standing near a group of people who had a tarp and let us wait out the worst of the rain underneath it with them.
Since it didn’t look like the rain was going to stop anytime soon, we started to head back to my friend’s sister’s apartment. Little did we know after we walked through the long tunnel that brings you out of Churchill Downs, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Needless to say, we made it to the Derby, but missed the final race.
Minus missing the big win, I’d say overall we had a pretty successful weekend. I may have easily gained 5 pounds from all of the deep fried Southern food we ate, but it’s safe to say the South is starting to steal this Northern’s heart.