If you’re like me and not super knowledgeable on the topic of the South then you’ll associate Nashville with great country music, hot chicken and dreamboat accents. After reading this, you’ll still associate it with all of those things because it was exactly like that.
I got a flight from New York and as soon as I entered the terminal I could feel I was in the South. Probably because they had country music blaring out. Anyway, I stepped out of the airport to be greeted by Jennifer driving my Uber. Jennifer, lovely name, lovely lady but also bat shit crazy. My Uber driver was either completely trashed or absolutely bolted. She was flailing her arms everywhere, head moving frantically from side to side, eyes darting whilst telling us how much she loved Princess Diana and hated Camilla — (read in deep southern accent) “Oh we all lurrvveee Diana; we hate Camilla, she can go dieeeee”. Ok, hun? Still trying to decide whether her being binned was funny or not; I’ve come to the conclusion it’s all just banter innit.
After not dying on the journey, we checked into our hostel. My man Ted gave us a little tour round the place and reminded us of the ‘no hard liquor’ rule. I met some great people in this hostel, it was really close to the main strip and wasn’t super spenny (details at the bottom). We met a low-key country music producer and violin prodigy as well as a singer who had just decided to stay in the hostel because it was “more fun”. Aside from them, you’ll probably bump into LOADS of English people if you go during the summer as they’ve all just flooded from summer camps. You just can’t leave the English behind… shoutout to my boy Max.
Although the hostel wasn’t too spenny, going out definitely was. The plus side is that almost every bar along Broadway (main street in Downtown) is open every day of the week til late and has a live band. There’s no cover charge for watching artists you’d normally pay for anywhere else in the world. The only down thing is that it means drinks are pricey. The bands take requests if you tip them and will interact with the customers. Ever listened to a country song ironically at pres? Think of how everyone goes mental for it and times that by 100. It’s a fun vibe, a mix between an authentic American city and a strip on a lads holiday.
That’s not to say that every bar pounds out the same thing because they’re all different and there’s something for everyone. Choose between learning to line dance, attempting karaoke in the ‘Music City’ of America or dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Ticked something of my bucket list with that last one for 20 seconds of fame on the bar before being told I couldn’t do that… and then realising I’d left my credit card in another bar… the good times just kept on flowing. Ultimately, the going out scene in Nashville was like Cowboy Maga (N.B. Seán came up with this and wants credit, write your own blog lil bitch).
If you’re not into going out and getting drunk, don’t go to Nashville. Ahhh, I’m being superficial but also not, don’t go. Sure, there are things to do in the day but the main attraction is the amazing music. If you’re into country music then check out the Johnny Cash museum; read his personal letters, listen to his songs and watch clips of his movies. At $20 a ticket I wouldn’t recommend going unless you REALLY like Johnny Cash. Alternatively you can go and visit the Parthenon in Centennial Park, a replica of the one in Greece or maybe you could just go to Greece? On the plus side their food is just as big as the music. Try their hot chicken and for the best mac ‘n cheese eat at The Stillery.
Go to Nashville for the music, good food and people. You’ll be surprised at how into country music you’ll get. It’s an infectious atmosphere filled with carefree, outgoing and friendly people.
A word to describe Nashville? Fun. Two words? Guiltless fun.
*Hostel: Nashville Downtown Hostel, 177 1st Avenue North
Next stop —-> Memphis, Tennessee