Exploring Nashville

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On the agenda for this weekend is lots of eating and drinking. I’ve searched the web for the best restaurants in Nashville and looked at the opinions of food bloggers and local dwellers to get our best bets.

Once again, I’ve made use of the awesome Google Maps custom feature to bookmark all of the spots I want to check out while we’re there. Since eating and drinking might get a little bit boring, we’ve also scheduled a kayak tour of the city’s rivers and plan to rent some bikes to check out the downtown area.

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The 3 girls in the wedding party are so much fun and we get along splendidly, so it should be a weekend filled with laughs and good memories. Can’t wait to enjoy my Memorial Day Weekend and send Angie off to married life.

This weekend was so much fun that I completely forgot to blog about it! I’m just starting to catch up my writing of everything that we did during our 4 day stay, and I’m excited to share some of the experiences that I had in Nashville over the course of this week! Stay tuned for all my favorite experiences, food and shopping from in Nashville. But we’ll start today with a quick run down of our exploration.

It was the first time that I had traveled with these 3 ladies, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We all get along really well and I figured we had similar styles of travel due to our personalities. But you never really know for sure until you’re actually traveling together. And I am happy and thankful to report that we got along splendidly! In fact we had so much fun together that we’re already planning our next trip together for 2016.

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It’s funny when you’re in a group with other people the things that you learn about one another, and the semi “roles” that you assume in the group dynamics. I was certainly the trip organizer/planner in the group, which is surprising considering the bride (Angie) is a professional program manager and Kate is totally type A too. Regardless, I did some extensive research prior to departure and made a Google Map of all the fun things I was excited about doing. By sharing it with the other ladies, they could add their ideas and then we could access the map on any of our phones. You can see just how crowded our little map got!

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We went with the plan of exploring the city neighborhood by neighborhood. We budgeted a few hours in each neighborhood over the course of the weekend, but didn’t necessarily plan every activity. We wanted to leave some of the weekend up to chance, rather than running around on a really tight schedule. I made all the dinner reservations in advance to make sure we got into the best restaurants, but left brunch and lunch largely up to the travel gods. By creating a map with a variety of good reviewed places, we knew we could stumble onto something good no matter which part of the city we were in.

I had two favorite neighborhoods — the 12th Street South area and east Nashville. Both have a really young and youthful vibe about them, with great restaurant and shopping choices. 12th Street felt a little bit more upscale, with designer clothing boutiques and sit down restaurants, while east Nashville definitely had a hipster vibe. We’re talking lots of beards, tattoos, and funky clothing shops. We also didn’t miss our chance to explore a few of the more “cultural” sites, including the Parthenon replica and the historic state capital.

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I went into the weekend without any real expectations about Nashville. I knew it would be cool and fun, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it there. Like really a lot. I thought the weather was amazing, and the Southern hospitality was perfect. People were incredibly friendly and smiled to you on the street. The city itself felt compact and easily navigated without being claustrophobic. We had a hotel in the gulch neighborhood and seeing all the new construction and shops proved how much Nashville is growing. Of course the music scene and youthful nature makes it appealing to a bunch of mid twenty-somethings, but I really appreciated the historic feel as well. I would happily go back!

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Author: Megan Arz

I am a travel and food obsessed Midwesterner living in Chicago and dreaming of the world. I work as a full-time program manager for Greenheart Travel, but I am also committed to integrating the travel lifestyle into my every day routines. I am passionate about ethical travel, meeting new people, creating unique memories and eating local cuisine!

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