Best Day In Nashville
With Nashville being a growing tourist destination we regularly have people ask us what they should do when they visit. We are assuming that anyone reading our stuff just wants to come here and skate. The must visit skate spots of our city is an upcoming post but this is a day worth of stuff to keep everyone else busy while you cruise around and meet our friendly law enforcement officials. This is our ideal day in Nashville, that doesn't involve skating. Think of it as our “Best Of” list wrapped up into a convenient travel guide. This is by no means exhaustive but if you only have a day here this is how it should be spent.
The best days in Nashville start at The Hermitage Cafe. Located just North of Downtown this old timey joint is exactly what you want from a bare-bones diner. Super cheap, good food with a couple waitresses that you know have seen some stuff. When I first moved to the city and was dirt poor I would take girls here because I knew that it would be good and made it seem like I really knew my way around. I actually had my first breakfast in Nashville at the Hermitage Cafe because it was right around the corner from where I returned my Penske Truck. Whether you want to start the day small with a couple eggs and coffee or go big with Pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs and some hash-browns you will not be disappointed.
There are a lot of people that come to Nashville just to drink coffee. While this may seem crazy to most, the Nashville coffee scene really is something to see even if you are an outsider to that world. A great place to get your feet wet is Barista Parlor Golden Sound located in the Gulch just the other side of downtown from the Herimtage Cafe. When walking into Barista Parlor it is obvious that everything is very intentionally curated. Everything in the place is custom made especially for the setting. But, do not confuse intentionality and eye for detail as being pretentious. The employees are always super friendly and happy to help, even those of us that don’t know about coffee.
After coffee make your way down West End to Centennial Park and take a look at Nashville’s own Parthenon. Originally built in 1897 its worth seeing as it is a full size replica of the original. Inside, the Parthenon hosts an art museum with different shows rotating through. There is also a 60ft statue of Athena as would be seen in the original during its prime. Centennial Park is also a great place to stretch your legs if you want to get some exercise after breakfast.
We cannot overstate the importance of visiting Big Al’s Deli while in Nashville. This in itself might be enough to merit a trip to Nashville. Al has become an Uncle to us at Salemtown Board Co. so we are a little biased but I can say wholeheartedly that he is cooking up the best food in our city and doing it at ridiculously cheap prices. Check his twitter account for the daily offerings. Some of the highlights are the smashed (not mashed) potatoes, the skillet beans, the chipotle cranberry chicken and the meatloaf.
Nashville has become somewhat of a burger Mecca so what I’m about to say is a bold claim. His burger is the best in the city. Hands down. Nothing special in terms of toppings and choices. Just a straight-foward burger that will convince you of a higher-power if you happen to believe otherwise.
Part of the charm of Big Al’s is Al himself. If you don’t introduce yourself to him he will make sure he meets you. And you will be better for it.
Anyone on vacation is usually walking around with a few dollars in their pocket so we thought we would point out a couple places to look around.
Imogene + Willie in the 12 South Neighborhood is a cool place to poke around. While a pair of jeans might burn through your extra cash quickly there is a lot of stuff to look at. Imogene + Willie primarily makes jeans that last literally forever. They have become a Nashville status symbol. It is common to see a little orange + on the outer seam of jeans on Nashville locals.
Peter Nappi in Germantown is another store that is fun to look around in. The store is the US base for the brand which makes all of its high end shoes in Italy.
Right around the corner from Peter Nappi in the 100 Taylor Building is Nisolo Shoes. Nisolo has a really cool story as they employ a village in Peru where the average worker gets about a 300% pay bump.
They also have a super cool space with the most comfortable leather couch you have ever sat on. Apart from shoes there are also leather goods.
After a long day of walking around and loading up the credit card head over to Silo in Germantown for a couple drinks before the evening hits. Silo serves up great Southern food with a modern twist. They go out of their way to source local foods and serve only the best meats. The cocktails are always on point. Whether you just want to drop in for happy hour or you want to fill up this is an awesome place to be.
Here we are going to give you two options depending on the type of person you are and what you want to do. There is always the option to head down to Broadway and check out the honkeytonks. This is the classic tourist activity and noone will judge you for being there. Just know that the only Nashville locals on Broadway are working there.
If you are looking for something a little more unique and maybe a little bit lower-key we recommend checking out Cause a Scene. Cause a Scene is a production company that puts on pretty exclusive shows with awesome artists in relatively intimate venues. These are the shows that locals attend. The way it works is that you find a show you want to attend and then they will inform you of the location a day before the events. The shows are rarely hosted in music venues but rather are very often in cool stores or the work spaces of different Nashville creatives. The whole vibe of the show is something that just can’t be replicated by any place looking to grab tourists.
BEFORE YOU PASS OUT
On your way home/to the hotel you have to make one final stop. Don’t come to Nashville without making a stop at Two Boots Pizza in Midtown. They have some of the best and most creative pizza in the city. Personally I will recommend the Kitty. Its a white pizza that comes with Hot Chicken and it is amazing. Pickles will come on the side and you want them on the pizza. Trust us. Pair your pizza with some Yazoo Gurst which they usually have around and you have an awesome end to an awesome day. The people watching at Two Boots is also always quality. The owner Sam does a great job of keeping the place busy with bands so there is never a dull moment.
Whatever you end up doing here we hope you love it. We feel very blessed to be in such an awesome city during such a great time. Give us a shout if you visit.