Let's talk about VEGAS...Nashvegas..
According to Wedding Wire, Nashville is one of the top 5 most popular Bachelorette destinations in the United States. As a local, I see more Bachelorette trips everyday than you can possibly imagine. Nashville is FULL of pedal taverns, honky tonk trailers and women dancing around with inflatable unmentionables. I work right off of Broadway so when I run errands or grab a bite to eat downtown, I see women walking the streets in stilettos at 10am...I usually duck my head and shuffle along in my dress pants and loafers wishing that I was on a fun trip.
You can guarantee that 9/10 bachelorette parties will be wearing cowboy boots, denim cut-offs, matching tanks and cowboy hats with veils attached. I want to save YOU and your friends from the embarrassment of being 110% basic, so I have created a Nashelorette guide to help you plan a fun-filled weekend that won't have you laughed off of Broadway and Demonbreun. I am going to direct you to the less-touristy spots so that you can enjoy yourself and your brides last weekend as a bachelorette without shame. So let's begin, shall we?
First of all, where will you stay? An Airbnb in 12 South will put you within walking distance of restaurants and super cute stores that will make great past-times during the day. I know that every group wants a picture in front of the iconic "I Believe in Nashville" mural, (which is basic- but we will allow it because it is a great photo to remember the weekend by!), and you can find this mural in the 12 South area too.
If you would rather stay in a hotel and can throw some D's on it, The Thompson Nashville is in the perfect location and you might even spot a celeb or two during your stay. I once saw Sean Mendes there and I may have fan-girled a little bit. If you are looking for something more affordable with easy access to Broadway via a $5 Uber or Lyft, my friends and I have stayed in the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt. It has a cool restaurant underneath with live music every night. Try to book adjoining rooms wherever you stay, so that you can open the door and hang out with the whole group feeling included! Once you book your stay, the fun planning begins! I like to plan around food, so let's do this thing that way.
Casual: If you have time to wait, The Pharmacy has the best burgers and craft beer in town. If you are looking for a spunky place that makes for cute Instagrams (come on, you know you were thinking it) Flip Side in 12 South is an adorable chicken place that looks like an old diner on the inside. The front wall is a garage door that slides up so you feel like you are eating on a patio without sweating to death or getting rained on.
Upscale: If you are looking for something a little more fancy, aka you are willing to dress up, then here are a few good options for you. Urban Grub has the longest wine list in the city and the best southern cooking ever. Kayne Prime will cost you a pretty penny, but it'll make you feel super bad and boujee. If you are wanting to go all out and go to debatably the nicest restaurant in the Gulch, hit it up.
My personal favorite lunch spot is Saint Anejo. The porch is to die for and the tacos....I have no words. I like to think of myself as a queso connoisseur and their queso with chorizo will rock your world, promise. If you want to get a taste of the famous Nashville Hot Chicken, which you 100% should, I really like Party Fowl and Hattie B's.
So let's talk about everyone's favorite meal: BRUNCH. Hold on tight cause I have quite a few suggestions here... Josephine, 5th and Taylor, Butcher and Bee, and The Sutler. To save you from reading a novel, I am going to leave it at that because my love for bacon alone constitutes at least 3 paragraphs.
We've talked about food, now let's talk about fun. Don't be confused. Food is fun, but you need some actual things to do besides wine and dine. There are so many cool places in Nashville, so I can only touch on a few but i'll tell you about some things I have done so that I can vouch for them and you'll know they are pre-approved!
If your bride is a fitness kinda gal, there are some sahhhweet studios all over town. CycleBar is a 50 minute indoor cycling class in the dark with custom lights, fun themed music and drinks afterwards if you catch it at the right time!
Hotbox is an intense kickboxing class in a heated (83 degrees, whew) room. The vibe is really cool and welcoming, but bring an extra shirt cause you'll be sweating quite a bit.
Barre3 is a really unique barre studio, for those of you who like something a little less crazy than kickboxing! They have great instructors who have you feeling it the next day for sure.
Since this is a Bachelorette trip...I have to mention this. Mom, stop reading now and pick up at the next paragraph.... The MOST fun workout and absolutely hilarious entertainment is at Studio Goddess. It is a pole and aerial fitness studio where you can rent out a room and have a private class for your group. They pick super sassy music and teach you a choreographed routine to dance to. Trust me, it will be the highlight of your trip. My friends and I may have done this and we had a blast. Warning: not for the faint of heart or easily embarrassed.
The good thing is that if you get any kind of workout in, you can fully indulge and not feel guilty. The best. If your idea of working out is walking around and shopping, i've gotchu covered too.
Here are my favorite walkable shopping spots:
The Mall at Green Hills I window shop here because it is mainly places like Louis Vuitton and other galleria-type stores, but it's fun to walk around and look! The Cheesecake Factory is attached to this mall...I recommend the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, it is heavenly and it's gluten free ;)
Hill Center this is a place you can actually shop. My favorites here are Kendra Scott and Lululemon.
Hillsboro Village is an awesome spot to walk/eat/shop. This strip has everything from the Pancake Pantry, to Jeni's Ice Cream, to my some of favorite local boutiques, The Impeccable Pig being at the top of the list!
Drinks with an Atmosphere
Arrington Vineyards is a short drive outside of the Nashville city limits in Arrington, TN. It is a gorgeous vineyard with picnic tables, a restaurant, and lush scenery. You can pay to sample from tons of different wines. They give you chocolate, crackers and cheese to snack on while you sip. Bring a blanket to spread out and relax on. Of course, make sure you have a driver because you don't want to take an Uber there. Since it is outside the city, paying for transportation could get pricey, so you will want to take your own cars!
Up Rooftop Lounge will give you good drinks and a better view. Try this Gulch hotspot if you want to chill on a rooftop before hitting the town!
Yazoo Brewing Company will give you all the casual, cool vibes if you want something a little more low-key. It is within walking distance of Party Fowl, the hot chicken place I mentioned earlier. It might be fun to combine those two into one outing!
There aren't a ton of things that I am good at. But one thing is for sure, I can hook you up with the best places to get fat in Nashville. Let me share this with you, it's what a good friend would do.
So there will inevitably be times when you need some filler activities. Stopping by a cute, local place to satisfy your sweet tooth is exactly what you should do during those times. I'll drop a few spots below. Since everyone already knows how delicious cookie dough, ice cream and donuts are...I won't say much else.
So there are a few ways you can go out in Nashville. We usually do Broadway, Midtown, East Nashville, or Germantown. While there are endless options for live music, karaoke, dancing and celebrating your girl, I will list a few favorites that are bride-approved and bachelorette party tested.
The Back Corner has a more clubby vibe to it. With private booths and bottle service, this may be a fun option for the fancier bachelorette.
Lonnie's Western Room was voted Nashville's best karaoke bar. I will warn you, as a large group of women obviously on a bachelorette trip, YOU will be expected to entertain everyone with your best Carrie Underwood or Shania Twain performance, so prepare accordingly.
The Final Touches
When I was a Maid of Honor, I had no idea where to start with a Bachelorette trip. I hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, this guide will help you plan the perfect weekend! I will say, it is the personal touches that make the weekend special.
Think about things like, how will we make the bride feel like the weekend is all about her? Here are some ideas to lead you in a fun direction with that. Maybe you could...
- Give her gifts that she can open in front of everyone
- Play games where she gets to answer questions about her groom
- Have custom cookies or cupcakes with her new initials
- Print pictures of her groom to have around the room
- Pack her favorite snacks and drinks
- Plan to split up the cost of her meals between the group...she is the guest of honor after all!
- Bring her favorite movies to put on when you get back to the hotel to go to sleep
- Bring fun accessories for her to wear out that identify her as the bride
- Don't get stressed over schedules. Just go with the flow and don't rush things!
Really, just do anything that shows her that this is HER trip. You want to show her that you put thought into things that SHE likes and that make her special and unique. Have fun with it. She will only ever have one bachelorette trip, so show her a good time...but most importantly show her some LOVE!