Well Traveled: Music City Minute
It’s no secret I love country music, but that’s not the only reason I love Nashville. I was born and raised in the country and being an earth sign (Virgo), I tend to like places that are homey and warm. There’s something about the south that truly feels like “southern comfort” – from the humid weather to the friendly people to the country music.
If you’re looking for the traditional Nashville experience close to Broadway (the street where are the “honky-tonks” are), then stay at the Omni. The hotel has a great gym and the rooms are very nice. If you want a more southern experience (which I prefer), rent Morningside Cabin or any of these residences in Leipers Fork, a town southwest of Nashville where many of the country music stars live. Leipers Fork is home to the original Puckett’s – where you don’t want to miss open mic night on Thursdays. Make sure to stop at the antique shops and art galleries, and keep an eye out for Mike Wolfe from American Pickers. I’ve seen him each time I’ve been there. The drive to Leipers Fork is laced with gorgeous southern homes, horse farms and rolling, green hills. Go slow and enjoy the view.
If you stay up in Nashville, there are tons of hip, trendy restaurants that have a “big city” feel even though you’re in southern Nashville. Kayne Prime has great steaks and Rolph & Daughters has great upscale comfort food. For an amazing intimate epxerience with an unbeatable wine list and unique menu, go to the 404 Kitchen (reservation recommended). After dinner, be sure to hit Broadway and all the honkey-tonk bars, if even just for a bit. The Stage is the most popular bar. There’s a private bar called The Spot that’s worth trying to get into, where we ran into the lead singer of Kings of Leon Caleb Followill and his wife and Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge. Lily recently did an article for Net-a-Porter’s magazine where she highlighted her favorites in Nashville – be sure to read it as she captures a lot of places I’ve never been myself, and she for sure knows way more than I do about what’s cool in music city. (Btw, subscribe to N-a-P’s weekly Edit magazine – a worthwhile read that covers way more than fashion).
In Leiper’s Fork, as you’d expect, the food is through and through southern. Each day we’re there, we don’t miss the chance to grab a burger at Joe’s Naturals. They have their own farm where their grass-fed cattle comes from and the burgers are out of this world. The inside has a warm, homey feel and they also sell various organic, local food items from around the area (jams, nut butters, granolas, etc.). Puckett’s serves traditional southern fare and with a wide selection of beers. Say hi to Goose, the local long white-haired gentleman that might as well sleep there. Country Boy serves great breakfast. If you plan your trip far enough in advance, contact Joe’s Naturals to get on the list for their monthly farm-to-table dinner they host at their farm. Limited number of seats available and cost includes a complete farm-to-table dinner including wine. Not something they advertise so consider yourself an insider if you make it on the list!
Nashville isn’t so much a shopping town, but that doesn’t stop me! The Green Hills mall has a wonderful selection of stores including a Nordstrom that, because of being the only “luxury” store in the area, carries designer brands and designer boutiques most Nordstrom’s don’t have including Chanel, Gucci, etc. An outdoor mall area just south of Green Hills has a Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Lululemon and some unique boutique stores. Check out Billy Reid – a men’s and women’s clothing store based in the south that has a southern, vintage feel to their clothing design. Love it!
If you’re up in Nashville, definitely try Barry’s Bootcamp in the Gulch. One of the best workouts I’ve ever had! For an outdoor workout, head to the state capitol in downtown Nashville. Behind the actual capitol building are a few sets of stairs that will give you all you need for legs and cardio! While staying in Leiper’s Fork, the workout options are a bit more sparse, but neighboring Franklin has a Pure Barre and many yoga studios. The rolling hills will also be enough for a great outdoor run. Whenever we’re in a town with limited gym options, we always find a local high school and run the football bleachers. It’s a tradition for us and never disappoints!
Grab your boots, jeans and cowboy hat and head south! Music city is worth the trip.
Be well xo