Bring it on home! I'm talking Nashville today because, although it's not where I grew up, after spending twelve years there it's where I say I'm "from." Save for a handful of new spots that have opened while I've been away, I know the city like the back of my hand, and my favorite spots are still favorites. If you live there, share some of your own in the comments! If you've never been, there's no better time than now to see what all the fuss is about.
For an authentic Kimberly-style Nashville experience, rent a place in East Nashville on airbnb. It's your best chance to be able to walk anywhere from where you're staying, plus you'll get to see more of the real Nashville as opposed to downtown, where no one local really goes unless it's for a bachelorette party. There are, however, several really cool boutique hotels in town. The Hutton is dreamy and centrally located. You will need a car. I hear Uber has come to town but isn't quite running smoothly yet.
Where do I even start!? My favorite for several years now has been City House in Germantown. In a former artist's loft space, the atmosphere is open and warm, and the food is phenomenal. I'm always a sucker for Mas Tacos. I mean, crave. Their storefront is just fine but if you can find the truck that's a more authentic experience. Also in East Nashville, Lockeland Table is worthy of the buzz, and Mad Donnas (bacon avocado swiss burger and sweet potato fries!) is a great stop before some drinks at Three Crow Bar, my former neighborhood haunt. You won't go wrong with Marche for brunch, but prepare for a wait. Holland House is another east side winner for dinner or brunch, and for special events too. Hit up PM on Belmont for a wasabi glazed burger and some sushi. It's also where I met my guy, 6 years ago this summer! I love fusion. :) Taco Mamacita (Edgehill Village) is a usual stop for me when I come back to town. Nashville does tacos well, I guess! Need coffee? Barista Parlor on the east side and The Frothy Monkey in 12th South are my faves.
The Hill Center has some of your always favorites like lululemon but also locals Posh and H. Audrey. The Mall at Green Hills has become over-populated and typical mall-like since its former days of being the cool, different one, but if you're looking for luxe this is still the place. Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, and one of my go-to's BCBG... Don't come to town without seeing how Nashville really does shopping though. This is a city with style. Imogene + Willie does denim and more like nobody else. Check out neighborhoods The Gulch and Hillsboro Village too!
Actually, don't. This ain't an episode of NASHVILLE.
So What Should I Do?
Hear music. And not on lower broadway. Go hear whoever it playing at Exit/In, Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, 12th & Porter, or pretty much any other music venue not under the neon lights. And eat lots of food. See above.
I'm coming to town! Join me at these upcoming events - they're some of my favorite parties every year!!
I'm going to have to do a part two on this one because as soon as I hit "publish" I'll think of twenty more things to share with you. Keep an eye out later this summer for more from Nashville!