Recently I had a the pleasure of visiting on of the most popular travel destinations in the United States, Nashville Tennessee. Nashville has grown substantially in the past several years and is home so Broadway Street which features live music in nearly every venue. Although the ultimate purpose of the trip was to watch the Green Bay Packers play the Tennessee Titans (awful game) it was also a chance to explore the country music capitol.
Getting to Nashville
Flights into Nashville from Chicago were outrageously expensive so we opted to make the 7 hour drive via a one-way rental from Hertz. At first one way rentals were well over $200, but I was able to book through my Company’s travel agency for just $89. Lesson learned, if you work at a company with a travel agency agreement it may be beneficial to search for flights or rental cars via the agency as it may represent substantial savings.
The drive was very smooth and in no time at all we were in the heart of Nashville! We had to quickly return the rental car to Nashville Metro Airport (BNA) which could not have been easier. Luckily the airport features an attached parking garage so parking the car and catching a ride back into town was quick and painless.
Due to the size of our group we decided to rent an Airbnb in West Nashville. The neighborhood seemed a little rough, but there were no issues and taking Ubers into Nashville and back was no problem. If you ever decide to book a rental property from Airbnb make sure to visit this website to link your Delta Sky Miles account to earn Sky Miles for your stay.
Admittedly, much of each day was spent recovering from long nights out on Broadway Street. Broadway is approximately a 4 block strip lined on either side with multi-level bars and restaurants. Each one features live music from different bands on each floor. Although majority of the music played are covers of famous songs, each band proved to be quite entertaining. We hopped from bar to bar, but overall my favorite venues were as follows:
Acme Feed & Seed: Located at the end of Broadway, Acme proved to be a little more mellow than bars more centrally located on Broadway. Acme is comprised of four large floors with bars and seating on each. The first floor features traditional foods of Nashville, specifically a delicious “Hot Chicken.” The second floor oddly featured Sushi, but overall the sushi was very appetizing. Acme also has a rooftop patio which offers views of Broadway Street and Nissan Stadium located on the other side of the Cumberland River.
Tin Roof: The Tin Roof is centrally located along Broadway Street. This bar proved to a favorite of ours due to the shotgun layout of the venue. A long bar offers ample space to order drinks and the band is located next to the entrance just inside of a large open garage door. By no means is the Tin Roof the most exciting, cleanest, or best bar in Nashville, but it was an easy spot to find a seat, drink a few beers, and listen to once popular songs from the 1990’s.
Tootsies Orchid Lounge: Or simply “Tootsies” is a staple of Nashville and arguably one of the most famous venues along Broadway Street. On Friday night there was a substantial line to get in the door. From the street the odd mix of several songs playing out of the various floors has a strange appeal that draws visitors in. Fortunately for those who do a little research, there is a back entrance off of the ally behind the bar with direct access to the rooftop lounge which overlooks Broadway and the Bridgestone Arena.
Original Beer Cellar: By far the most interesting bar we visited, located below ground on Church Street. On Sunday’s the bar offers a 2 for 1 draft beer special. Purchase one draft beer and you are handed a poker chip which covers the cost of your second beer. Draft beers could be had for just $2.50 each which seemed to be the best deal offered in Nashville on the day of the Packers/Titans game.
On Sunday we crossed the Cumberland River via the pedestrian bridge which leads directly into Nissan Stadium. We were sitting in the upper level and after a short elevator ride and a few dozen stairs we found ourselves in the seats overlooking the stadium, but more impressively overlooking downtown Nashville. Nissan Stadium offers free, fast, Wifi throughout which solves the common problem of lost cellular service while in a large venue. Food & Concessions proved to be diverse and delicious throughout the stadium.
One-way flights to Chicago were significantly less expensive than the price to get to Nashville so we decided to fly home on American. Using my soon to be lost Platinum Status we were able to select Main Cabin Extra seats for free at the time of booking. After a short flight to Dallas we settled in at the DFW American Express Centurion Lounge for some food and drinks. If you have never had the opportunity to visit a Centurion lounge before it is definitely worth the $50 fee to at least check out once. The free food and free top shelf alcohol, coupled with complimentary wifi and spa can make waiting in airports significantly more enjoyable.
The flight from DFW to Chicago was uneventful and before long I was finally back in my home for a few hours before heading back to Dallas the next day.
Nashville is one of the most fun cities I have visited in recent months. Although significantly smaller than Las Vegas, the city is similar in that it has something different to offer everyone. New Premium Hotels could provide a nice relaxing weekend coupled with a concert or sporting event while Airbnb homes make for a large party weekend. I definitely hope to return to Nashville in the future. I am thankful my Company’s travel agency was able to help me get a severely discounted one way rental from Hertz and very thankful that I did not have to drive home after the long weekend