I mentioned last week that there's no better way to see a new city than with a local, so you can imagine how happy I was to be introduced to Nashville, Tennessee last week by a whole bunch of home-grown cowgirls. Every meal we had was out of this world and we definitely checked out the coolest sights the city has to offer. In fact, if these lovely ladies are ever looking for another job, they should be tour guides – they would definitely drive up tourism in this fun town.
Nashville is a place for music lovers – even if you're not a huge country music fan (ahem… me) you can't help but appreciate the amount of emerging talent that you can see performing at one of the many bars lining Broadway – they play for tips-only in hopes of being "discovered" by one of the many scouts checking out venues and new musicians. When you walk into places like "Tootsie's," where people like Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline first belted out tunes, you can almost feel the musical hope and ambition swelling throughout the cozy place. Hopping along the line of honky-tonk bars is quite the experience.
Nashville is also an incredible place to check out if you're a history buff – there are countless historical sites to see in and around the region. For example, we checked out the Carnton Plantation, where there's a confederate cemetery, a battlefield and an original plantation house that was converted into a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin. Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War where 9,500 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing.
And if you've got a good appetite and a craving for barbecue, Nashville's your place to be! Every meal we pigged out on was out-of-this-world delicious. Want some great resto suggestions? The first place we hit was Martin's BBQ in Nolensville just outside of Nashville, where I had the best beef brisket, ribs and pulled pork I've ever had in my entire life. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only eat one thing it would be something from Martin's. We also noshed on great Italian food at the neighbourhood eatery MAFIAoZA's, where the pizza was incredible, the service was great and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. We toured the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, which was beyond impressive, with nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an indoor river with a Delta flatboat not to mention slews of restos (we ate at the Jack Daniels restaurant and I had griddled meatloaf and pecan pie for dessert), as well as downtown's Whiskey Kitchen, where our gang ate everything from fried jalapeno pickles to Jerk-spiced chicken wings, cheddar ale soup, fish tacos, and steak and fries – it's a must-eat in Nashville.
If you're looking for a vacation destination that has a little bit of everything, mixed with a lot of southern hospitality, then Nashville is the place for you. Music City really has got it all!