Nashville is celebrated as the home of country music, but this title all too often overshadows the city’s individuality. After decades of musical and artistic influence, Nashville possesses a distinctive southern charm, very much reflected in its local design aesthetic. While Nashville is a lesser-known city than LA or NYC, it has the deep musical roots and timeless charm to prove itself as a noteworthy contender.
There’s more than you can imagine to see and do within the 500 mile span of Nashville. While some of the city can be seen by foot, we recommend perusing the roads by car, cab or bicycle.
Scroll through to see an interior designer’s guide to the BEST spots in Nashville!
1. Where to Stay
Stay in the heart of downtown Nashville at The Hermitage Hotel, located on Sixth Avenue North. This traditional five-star hotel boasts a beautiful and luxurious wood-paneled Oak Bar. Full of charm and art deco accents, The Hermitage Hotel truly captures Nashville’s timeless Southern roots.
2. Where to Eat
Located in Germantown, Rolf and Daughters is an Industrial-chic restaurant offering clever New American dishes, communal tables and inventive cocktails. Often found on chefs’ guides to Nashville dining, Rolf and Daughters is a must-try with a sophisticated menu that is nothing short of impressive and delicious.
3. Where to Shop
White’s Mercantile located on 12th Avenue South is the ultimate shop for carefully curated home goods. The small general store was founded by singer/songwriter Holly Williams, a mother with “exquisite taste”, says gal-pal Gwyneth Paltrow. With goods from brands like Rag & Bone and John Derian, it’s guaranteed that you’ll fall in love with more than one find at White’s Mercantile.
4. What to Do
While visiting Nashville, you have to check out the stunning Cheek Estate, home of the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Explore the expansive botanical gardens, British and American artwork, and outdoor sculpture garden. The property spans more than 55 acres, so allow yourself at least two hours to visit. The top image shows a temporary installation by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, part of a series titled Human Landscape. Plensa’s exhibit is on view now through November 11th, so you have a little time to get yourself to Nashville.
5. What to See
Because country music is the heart and soul of this magical city, taking the opportunity to see a live performance will complete your Nashville experience. And if you’re going to do a country show in Nashville, you may as well go all out and see a performance at The Ryman located on Broadway in downtown Nashville. The Ryman Auditorium’s acoustics will treat you to the show of a lifetime, and it’s rumored there is not a bad seat in the house. The beauty and architecture of the building is just as special as the Ryman’s remarkable history.
6. Where to Drink
Located in Rutledge Hill, just a few blocks south of Historic Broadway, lies a humble brick building that houses the renowned southern restaurant, HUSK. Co-founded by award-winning Chef Sean Brock, HUSK boasts fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. The Bar at HUSK, located downstairs, features an on-site cocktail apothecary program, which supplies an array of housemade ingredients that highlight spirits from distilleries in and around Nashville. Beyond the bourbon-focused drinks, you can choose from a wide selection of artisanal microbrews from Yazoo, Blackstone, Wiseacre, and other Southern craft breweries. Take a sip of the true spirit of Nashville while enjoying the gorgeous hardwood interiors or a breathtaking view of the city.
Visiting Nashville is a complete experience. Combine Southern hospitality with artistic inspiration, and you get a flourishing city that’s alive and deeply embedded with cultural roots. Get those cowboy boots out of the closet and get packing, ’cause baby, we’re goin’ to Nashville!
xoxo, Laurel & Wolf