A Nashville Weekend Guide for Creatives

 In Culture, Guide

Today, visiting Nashville, Tennessee, can involve so much more than live music. Though, if you’re like us, no weekend getaway is complete without it. Several cities in middle America have thriving music scenes, but what sets Nashville apart is the sheer number of talented performers concentrated there.

In the past 10 years, the southern city’s population has exploded, and it now holds a spot as one of the top 25 largest cities in the U.S. according to recent census data. Many are traveling to music city for country tunes and hot chicken, but we were looking for a trip with a fresh edge. Follow our guide for where to stay, where to eat and where to shop.


Photo by Emily Dorio.

Where to Stay: Noelle
This hotel, built in 1929, was recently reimagined by Rockbridge as a hub for the city’s most interesting makers and artists. Operated by MAKEREADY at 4th Avenue North and Church Street, the list of luxury accommodations here is long. It’s tucked into downtown Nashville, just steps from bustling Broadway, so we recommend valeting your ride or taking a cab from the airport.

Nashville Drug store coffee

Photo by Josh Gilmore.

When you arrive, you’re greeted by a beautifully styled lobby and kind staff. To your left is Keep Shop, a curated retail boutique within the hotel, stocked with creations from local artists. To your right is Drug Store Coffee—so many steps above the tired continental-breakfast option. The rooms and suites are clean, comfortable and well-designed. And the view from most rooms is unmatched in the city.

Art lines the hallway walls, serving as an in-house gallery featuring local artists. And the culinary options at Noelle were a pleasant surprise: incredibly delicious and expertly designed. Had we not been eager to explore the city, Noelle would have provided entertainment for the full three days we were there. Pro tip: There’s a secret speakeasy in the basement. Find a storage closet and walk in. Trust us.

Nashville KeepShop Noelle ALIVE Magazine

Photo by Emily Dorio.

Where to Eat Breakfast: Butcher & Bee 
If you want to experience Nashville like a cool local, head to East Nashville. Dive bars and the coolest new restaurants and shops are all popping up there. We brunched at Butcher & Bee and loved the avocado toast and breakfast burrito. It’s casual, well-plated and earthy. And the hosts wear the most stylish mom jeans in town.

Where to Eat Lunch: Burger Up
This local burger joint has two locations and rave reviews. We sat on the patio, and the service was excellent. Bonus: They have a delicious veggie burger that our vegetarian staff approves of.

ALIVE Makeready Nashville

Photo by Josh Gilmore.

Where to Eat Dinner: MAKEREADY Libations & Liberation
This elevated American-tavern experience also happens to be located in Noelle. Enjoy an all-American beer and wine list, family-style dining and a hearty seasonal menu. Then, after dinner, make your way to the tropically inclined rooftop bar, Rare Bird, before you mosey on back to your room.

Photo by Caroline Allison.

Where to Brunch: Fenwick’s 300
Located on a strip in Melrose buzzing with brunchers, Fenwick’s 300 has everything needed for a comfort-food brunch. They get crowded, so get your name in early. We love that the hot spot is located in the same bustling strip as The Sutler Saloon and Sinema. If you can’t get a table, try one of those other two delicious options.

Where to Shop: Two Son or Wilder
This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Two Son and Wilder. You may have read our Nashville-tour story with our friend Libby Callaway in our 2016 Voyages & Discoveries issue. Both shops have an excellent selection of clothing, jewelry, home goods and more.

This post was done in collaboration with Noelle. Thank you for supporting the businesses that keep ALIVE growing. 

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