Know Before You Go: How to Experience Nashville
You're coming to Nashville. You know hot chicken is a must, but do you know the best way to get it? We do! Being in a honky tonk is on the list of things to do, but do you know when to go? Oh yeah, we know that, too. We know all the best tips on how to experience our city and want to share so you know before you go.
• Everyone tells you that you must try hot chicken in Nashville, right? They're right. You must! But that doesn't stop everyone else from going to the restaurant, too. Here are a few tips to help you order hot chicken and not waste a whole lot of time in line.
- Try stopping by from 2-5pm for an early dinner or appetizer before a big night. Or after 9pm for a late night supper.
- Hattie B's has THREE locations: Midtown, Charlotte, and 8th Avenue. Call ahead to see about the wait.
- Party Fowl has TWO locations: The Gulch and Donelson. Check about a wait before heading over.
- Pepperfire Hot Chicken is off the beaten path in East Nashville and offers one of the hottest dishes in the world.
- Don't be afraid to order to-go! Hattie B's Hot Chicken and Party Fowl offer options to go.
- Even the bravest of people have cried after ordering the heat level 'hot' at some of Nashville's hot chicken restaurants. It is best to start low and work your way up! You definitely don't want to start with the hottest level available.
- Prince's Hot Chicken ONLY takes cash. They will not accept any type of credit or debit card.
Nashville Farmers' Market
• We take pride in our Nashville Farmers' Market and venture over to it for a great meal as much as possible. Inside there are several restaurants and a huge dining area for eating. Do add our hidden gem to your list if you have not already.
• Also, check their calendar for Night Market! The third Friday of every month, they open up at night and feature cooking demos, live music, wine and beer, and more.
Music and Food
• Music City is a food town! Why not combine the experience? Plenty of places around Nashville offer a great experience while you munch on great food. See a full list.
Late Night Dining
• You might get a little hungry after a full day of exploring and partying. Check out restaurants serving late night menus.
Lunch Time Downtown
• For a large variety of inexpensive lunches, with a little history, walk two and a half blocks up Fourth Avenue North from Broadway to Nashville's Arcade.
If you’re in town for lunch on a Tuesday or Thursday, catch the food trucks on Deaderick Street for unique local eats.
• While the honky tonks on Lower Broadway might be the most visited, they are not the only ones in Music City. Check out Wildhorse Saloon around the corner on 2nd Avenue North, FGL House is down Third Avenue South, and Swingin' Doors Saloon is off Fourth Avenue South.
• The crosswalks on Lower Broadway do the Barnes Dance. Here’s how that works.
• The bars stay open until 3am. Remember: it's a marathon not a race.
• Prohibition Special at Robert's Western World is one of the finest and coolest meals in Music City. Cost is $5 and you receive a PBR, bag of chips, and the famous fried bologna sandwich.
• Did you purchase your boots in Nashville? Make sure to take it easy as you break them in!
• Wear closed-toe shoes to the bars. You don’t want people stepping all over your poor little toes all night long.
• Many of the honky tonks have multiple bars and levels. If the first level or bar is busy, try the next one.
• If you head to Lower Broadway during the day, the honky tonks are not as packed and the music is just as good. That way, you get the full experience without the full crowd.
• Want to get out of the crowd for a minute? Check out Printers Alley between 3rd and 4th Avenue North and Church Street. Some of the popular bars in this area include Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar and Skull's Rainbow Room.
• Did you know? Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Robert's Western World, The Stage on Broadway, and Legends Corner all have a second entrance? If the front is packed, head around back to the alley entrance.
• The bands on Lower Broadway play for tips. And the majority of places do not charge a cover. Please remember to bring cash so you can tip the band if you like the tunes.
• Group tip - Have each person in the group buy a round throughout the evening. That saves the hassle of everyone going up to the bar at once. By the end of the night, everyone should be paid back.
• Maps. We got them and they make your life easier! From distinct neighborhoods to the full city, we never want you to get lost in Music City. Take a look.
• Demonbreun is pronounced - də-mun-bree-uhn.
• Both Lyft and Uber are available in Music City.
• parkitdowntown.com makes it SUPER easy to find a spot in the downtown area.
• Make a note in your phone of the parking level you’re on so you aren’t wandering around the garage all night.
• If you're staying at Gaylord Opryland, you can purchase a shuttle ticket from getgaylordtickets.com which will shuttle you from the Gaylord Opryland to the Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Avenue North every 90 minutes. Prices are $20 a person per day or $40 for a 3-consecutive day pass.
• Check out our free bus, the Music City Circuit. There are two bus lines, Green and Blue, that will take you around Downtown Nashville for free. They'll get you from The Gulch to the Nashville Farmers' Market and places in between.
• You most certainly will catch a local at a honky tonk, but not every night.
Visit our legendary local clubs like Station Inn, 3rd & Lindsley, and Mercy Lounge for national acts. See more.
• Locals know what is up when it comes to good food. Follow them to their neighborhoods where there are plenty of restaurants found nowhere else. Take a look.
• Nashville is the "Songwriting Capital of the World," and is undoubtedly home to more songwriters than any other city. You must catch a show when in town at one of our venues hosting songwriters like The Bluebird Cafe, Commodore Grille, The Listening Room Cafe, The Row, The Sutler Saloon, Belcourt Taps, Bobby's Idle Hour Tavern, and Douglas Corner Cafe.
• Go on a hike! Nashville has a TON of great parks, all located a short distance from Downtown Nashville. Check it out.
• Looking for a great view? Head to a rooftop! Locals often flock to these areas to see an amazing view of the city and have a drink before a big show or sporting event. L.A. Jackson, L27 Rooftop, and UP, a Rooftop Lounge are some great options. See them all.
• Vacation Packages have been designed with you in mind to help you save money so you can do more for less.
• Don't forget to check out our Discounts and Deals before you go!
• Staying at a hotel? You can visit the Frist Art Museum for free upon presenting your room card.
• Nashville plays tunes each and every day for free! We have a complete guide to help you experience it all, too. Check it out.
• If you're staying outside of Downtown Nashville, ask your hotel if they offer shuttle service downtown. Sometimes it's more cost efficient to pay for a roundtrip shuttle than a roundtrip ride share.
• First time in Nashville? Sign up for a completely free informational walk by one of our Music City Greeters. A knowledgeable volunteer will take you on an hour-long walk through downtown, pointing out historical buildings and fun facts about the city. Register for your spot here: www.musiccitygreeter.com.
• And did you know, some of Nashville's local attractions offer free admission to children under a certain age? You can find out more right here: visitmusiccity.com/freenashville.