So we wanted to let y’all know Local Creative is hitting the road to discover MORE local with our new feature ‘Weekenders’!
To us local is a state of mind. It’s where you are in a moment - the people you meet, the places only locals know and love to share when asked. Local creatives are everywhere and our blog has introduced us to them in more ways than we thought possible. Sharing our local experiences with you is so lovely but we wanted to dig a bit deeper.
Right now there seems to be no better place than Nashville to do local. We packed our travelers and hopped on the a fight to Tennessee. Join us as we explore the new local in the Music City. (we of course hit up a honky tonk or two along the way.)
Quite possibly the most important part of planning a weekend away is ensuring a place to lay your head at night. Whether you have gracious friends in a new city ready to extend a couch or booking a hotel – it’s crucial to get a good night’s rest after your busy days exploring. Here are some places to sleep in Nashville.
We’ve been curious to jump on the Airbnb train. What better way to feel like a local than to rent your own place in a new city. Longtime Nashville resident, Kristin Barlowe, offers just that by renting her 2 story bungalow style home in hip East Nashville. We stayed in Kristin’s luxe and ultra comfortable boho loft for a couple of nights (for larger groups sneak a peek at this ladies 3 bedroom oasis downstair). This house is perfect for a group of friends traveling together offering 5 rooms in total. The space is completely furnished with fresh linens, towels, robes, kitchen essentials and a French press (essentials are all covered, we are telling ya). We wish we actually could live in Kristen’s loft IRL. Also HBO.
If you are looking to splurge for lodging we say The 404 is a must stay. We are obsessed with this charming boutique property in the Gulch neighborhood. This 5 room hotel is small so book fast! This group nails the details of an upscale hotel experience but the invisible service gives the impression you are just staying at a friends chic apartment.
Trust us and book the King Loft, with spiraling staircase to a private lounging room and the white tiled shower of your dreams, you will not be disappointed to spend your weekend at this spot. The brass accents and wood furnishings are the definition of lifestyle goals, you might even walk away with a little interior inspo for your own home.
When traveling to Nashville prepare yourself to eat. If this requires mental preparation, physical activity or excessive planning - do whatever it takes. So many places to eat, so little time applies here. Our technique was sharing plates to sample as we restaurant hopped through Nashville’s best. As specialists in weekend getaways we have pulled together a list of places to hit up, what we like to think of as an exercise in splurging and saving.
Definitely do brunch here. Catch the weekend scene and enjoy some Americana –style classics off the menu. Do like us and grab a cortado from the delicious local coffee shop Crema and get cozy in a big leather armchair with the Sunday paper. Wait for your table and order the Graceland (waffle, peanut butter mousse, bacon, fresh banana) or opt for the egg in a basket as a savory option. After brunch casual lounge poolside if the weather is permitting or sign up for a bowling lane.
Where do we start with Mas Tacos? Here’s a start - we could eat this every day from here on and be in total bliss. When we arrived, delicious orders were being called out over the loudspeakers to tease us toward the entrance. At Mas Tacos we were greeted by Motown classics and remnants of a gritty, cool Nashville of yesteryear. We got the perfect window spot (for insta pics of course) during a bustling lunch hour. Try all of the tacos if you can stomach it. The pulled pork, fried tilapia, quinoa and sweet potato, and spicy carne were all A+. Top your meal with eloté, Cuban beans with plantains and refreshing pineapple cilantro aguas frescas and you are good to go.
Housed in a former shipping container, The 404 Kitchen offers classic European cuisine with a distinct emphasis on local. The flavors presented in chef Matt Bolus menu are sensational. We must say, try the burrata, but really you can’t go wrong here. We cannot recommend this dining experience enough for your next visit to Nashville. Inquire about drink pairings from sommelier and general manager Travis Brazil who curates this fine establishments drinks menu. Order a cocktail featuring The 404 Kitchen’s award winning Japanese whiskey collection. Our minds were blown after a sip of The South Pacific, a perfect blend of Akashi “White Oak” whiskey, Blenheim’s ginger ale and blood orange. These guys know their way around some food and drink.
Also located in the Gulch area, Adele’s a standout restaurant, perfect for al fresco dining in warmer months. Jonathan Waxman’s take on southern new American just hits the spot. As an ode to his mother, Adele’s does simple farm to table classics and elevates it to new heights. Take a seat at the bar and share some plates to make sure you get a little taste of everything from this menu.
Little Octopus is a concept restaurant by Chef Sarah Gavigan and Chef Daniel Herget. This gallery/event space turned restaurant hosts local artists and French meets Latin flavors with a Mediterranean twist. Think Miami meets California. Enjoy the sights and scenes of an art show with enjoying a special meal with friends. Chef Sarah, refers to Little Octopus cooking style as “guilt free indulgence” and we couldn’t agree more.
What’s a weekend getaway without a little shopping? You gotta work off that food somehow, nothing like a retail workout. Nashville is exploding with boutiques and shops bursting with Southern personality. Seriously met some of the nicest peeps in town at these spots.
Imogene & Willie
If you are tired of thinking about your outfit and considering uniform status, visit Imogene + Willie for a staple t-shirt and jean combo. This husband and wife team handcrafts a solid pair of denim for both men and women. Their tees are the perfect ratio of softness to a great weight in fabric. These two know what white tee dreams are made of. Built in an old gas station, Imogene + Willie is more than a storefront but a center of a community. This is truly a destination for lovers of denim. For more about this incredible duo, read their about page. We promise it will inspire you to create too.
We stumbled upon Hey Rooster on a walk to our next eating destination (yes, we tried walking around Nashville before surrendering to a rental). This place is the sweetest! We loved the ladies at Hey Rooster, we felt at home in the curated assortment of local. Even recognizing some favorites from BK. In the summer months, this spot operates as a CSA flower pick up and offers workshops and pop-up events on their second floor.
Get your home goods here at White’s Mercantile. Love the selection of Southern specialty groceries such as hush puppy mix, Tennessee toffee, sea salt and buttermilk biscuits and jams. Beautiful linens, towels and blankets are all for the taking here. This is the place to get that special piece to accent a room or a gift for a friend. A little bit of everything here but that’s what we expect from a great mercantile. Definitely grab a sno cone on the way out!
Coffee, it’s how we all start our days and let’s get real - it makes for an awesome pic for the ‘gram. Nashville exceeded our expectations when it comes to coffee shops. This city has exceptional taste in java and these are some of the awesome spots we stopped along the way.
This place is also known for it’s bars and pubs. Here are some spots to hit up to enjoy the nightlife. Don’t leave Nashville without saying hi to Santa and singing some Weezer karaoke.