With a population growing at 100 people a day, Nashville is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. right now. Millennials have rediscovered a love for country music, wanting to live and breathe the hum of the honky tonk, while talented artists show up with guitar in hand, hoping to make it big in Music City.
Nashville has also become the go-to destination for bachelorette parties, and the tourism industry in this small city is booming. Of course, there’s much more to this “Crazy Town” than meets the eye, but to find where the locals go, you’ll have to step away from the bustling, neon-lit street of Broadway. Read on for six of Nashville's best-kept secrets.
Street Art of 12 South Neighborhood
Nashville’s iconic street art is no secret when it comes to photos on Instagram, but talk a walk through the city and you'll find it's a bit harder to pinpoint. A little off the beaten path from downtown Broadway is a section of the city called 12 South. Home to delicious restaurants and boutique shops (including Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James) this hideaway also boasts the majority of the city’s vibrant street art. Here you will find the famous “I Believe in Nashville” sign, as well as floral murals, “Make Music, Not War,” and many other noteworthy designs. Be prepared to stand in line to take your Insta-worthy photo, but don’t worry, the lines move fast. Tip: If you’re looking for the famous #WhatLiftsYou angel wings of Nashville, keep walking along 12 Ave S. toward the section of the city called The Gulch - you can’t miss them.
Pedal Taverns on Broadway
We couldn’t leave the whole of Broadway out of this list. But, it’s how you experience Nashville’s nightlife that matters - so, get your pedal on! This experience is for tourists and locals alike, though you’ll find more bachelorette parties pedaling down Broadway than anyone else. Voted the #1 outdoor activity in Nashville, Pedal Taverns are also the #1 pub crawl through Nashville. For two hours, pedal around the vibrant streets of downtown with 14 of your friends, a DJ/Driver, and a bartender while sipping on your BYOB drink of choice and belting our every word to Despacito. You’ll become a celebrity during your ride, as pedestrians snap photos of your wild ride in the bar-wagon. Plus, a convenient location to downtown lets the party continue in any of the multi-story country music bars once you’ve pedaled, sipped, and repeated for your two hours.
RCA Studio B
Elvis Presley recorded over 200 songs at RCA Studio B on Music Row in downtown Nashville, including his first holiday album with the famous “Blue Christmas” tune. But, recording a Christmas album in the humidity of July left Elvis feeling less than inspired. To combat his own holiday blues, he asked staff to hang Christmas lights and decorations around the studio and blast the A/C to bring in the Christmas spirit. These Christmas lights miraculously still twinkle in the studio for guests to see when they tour RCA Studio B.
Nashville’s best skyline views can be seen from the top of a big hill - in the midst of a small residential neighborhood near Vanderbilt University. Known as Love Circle, locals refer to this hidden gem as Music City’s version of lovers lane. Bring a blanket and your bae, a picnic basket and some champagne if you're feeling fancy and watch the sun set over Nashville’s stunning skyline, away from the throngs of tourists.
Award-Winning Corsair Distillery
So you heard that the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is an hour and a half drive from Nashville. Don’t fret, Music City has its own award-winning distillery - which is actually a “brewstillery.” Corsair Distillery is “booze for badasses,” having been awarded by Whiskey Magazine as Craft Distillery of the Year and Innovator of the Year, and yes it is a brewstillery. Experience the Corsair Malthouse and Brewhouse tour at their original Tennessee location on Clinton Street, and taste your way through experimental whiskeys, innovative brews, and daring beer cocktails. At only $8 per person, you can’t pass up this local favorite.
The #1 Bathroom in America at the Hermitage Hotel
Looking for the restroom? Look no further -- you’ve found America’s number one spot. Located in downtown Nashville’s historic Hermitage Hotel is a 1930’s Art Deco-style men’s bathroom with numerous awards claiming its title as “Restroom of the Year.” Ladies, don’t you worry, you can see this first-class throne room too, and you don’t have to sneak a peek through the crack to do so. Its popularity and fame opened the iconic bathroom’s doors to the public, allowing tourists and locals alike to ogle over the sleek green and black walled tiles, terrazzo floor, and even a classic shoe shining station, keeping true to this luxe latrine’s historic look.