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Tennessee's Music City Enters A Stylish New Era

At its heart, Nashville, Tennessee will always be a hub for music lovers, but you only have to look at the city’s skyline and its crop of new shiny towers rising at speed, to see that Music City is entering a new era.

Since the Four Seasons, Soho House and a crop of James Beard award-winning restaurants swept in, Nashville, where the sounds of country, blues and jazz fills the air, is becoming a hotspot for stylish weekend getaways.

This is where to stay, eat, drink and hang out in Nashville.

Where To Stay

1 Hotel 

1 Hotel Nashville

An earth-toned, eco-focused, plant-filled, luxurious haven, 1 Hotel Nashville is just moments from the bright lights and heady sounds of Downtown. Like all 1 Hotels, reclaimed wood, exposed beams, floor-to-ceiling windows and live plants are hallmarks of the aesthetic. Communal areas are made for lounging, stocked with jugs of fruit-infused water and bowls piled with rosy apples. The earthy, plant-filled design continues into spacious rooms complete with filtered water taps, organic cotton linens and yoga mats. Harriet’s Rooftop is the place for a craft cocktail overlooking the city’s skyline, and don’t miss a trip to dreamy Bamford Spa, where the air is laced with the earthy scent of the signature natural products used in all the spa treatments, which range from fancy antioxidant infusions to simple massages and facials.

Where To Eat + Drink

The Butter Milk Ranch

If you love brunch in buzzy, bright surroundings, The Butter Milk Ranch day-time restaurant and bakery in Nashville’s trendy 12 South District is the place to be. It’s famous for its glazed croissants in all guises: chocolate hazelnut, salted honey butter, twice-baked almond, churro, strawberries and cream, baked with cheese, or filled with shaved wagyu beef – the list goes on. Winning over diners’ hearts, too, are its rich Southern staples like brown butter beignets (donuts to us), a basket of biscuits (savoury scones) with gravy (thick soup), steaming bowls of shrimp and grits (a kind of grain), not to mention glorious, heaped plates of healthy salads for lunch. Everything’s available to go, too.


Deacon’s New South

Tucked inside the ground floor of the historic L&C Tower is this sleek Downtown spot with a classic vibe, cooking up food with a creative Southern slant. Starting with the cornbread and fried green tomatoes is an absolute must. For a fun, shareable feast, go for the steak – it’s arguably what they do best. You choose your preferred cut, how you’d like it cooked, and a few dishes to enjoy alongside – mac and cheese, of course, or collard greens and succotash (corn, lima beans, bacon), perhaps. But not before ordering a 9 to 5 cocktail laced with tequila, St-Germain and lime, to sip on while you wait for it all to arrive.



Considered one of the buzziest in the USA right now, this restaurant is a fun take on Japanese barbecue and street food. It’s also a Nashvillian finalist for the coveted 2024 James Beard Award. Located in cool East Nashville’s Highland Yards district and owned by chefs and married couple, Leina Horri and Brian Lea, the menu is a fun feast of high-quality Japanese comfort food served bento style. The chicken katsu sandwich – fried chicken, cabbage slaw, tonkatsu sauce, toasted Kisser milk bread – is highly recommended.




Another East Nashville neighbourhood favourite, Folk is all about fresh, seasonal Mediterranean-inspired small plates. Grab a seat outside under the string lights, or inside in the low-lit, pared-back dining room with exposed brick walls, paper shades and blue banquets. Dishes are filed in sections: ‘snacks’, ‘fruit + vegetables’, ‘seafood + meat’, and ‘pizzas’ and all taste as beautiful as they sound. Think: stracciatella, strawberry, sunflower and arugula blossoms; chicken Milanese with chicory caesar and parmesan; or pizza with pepperoni, pickled jalapeño, and hot honey.


The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club

Nashville is packed with cocktail bars, but none with better reviews than the cosy Fox Bar & Cocktail Club – find it tucked away behind Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen in East Nashville. Inside, the vibe is vintage speakeasy, with lights turned down low, making it ideal for a date-night, or a pre-dinner or gig tipple. It’s loved for its friendly service and seasonal menu of classic cocktails, all served with creative flair. Signature drinks include the small but punchy Baja Blaise, a blend of barsol pisco, cocchi blanco vermouth, suze, sumac and seltzer. They serve a fun mix of snacks too, like charcuterie boards, bowls of popcorn, devilled eggs and chocolate chip cookies.

The To Do List

Feel The Music

You can’t come to Nashville without dipping a toe into its musical heritage. Kick things off at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which tracks the genre’s evolution and is home to all kinds of memorabilia, including Elvis Presley’s gold-plated Cadillac. A glimpse of this sets the tone for a trip to RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded his first hit, and his favourite Steinway piano resides. Elsewhere, the new National Museum of African American Music showcases musical genres influenced by African Americans and is worth taking time over. Hearing Nashville’s singer-songwriting talent perform at the Bluebird Cafe is a special experience, while fans of the TV show, Nashville, should head to The 5 Spot, a busy East Nashville venue which features in the show and hosts bands and weekly dance parties.


Explore Local Neighbourhoods

Away from Downtown, Nashville is a mashup of distinct neighbourhoods, each well worth exploring if you have time. The walkable 12 South neighbourhood has become one of the hottest areas to live, shop, eat, and drink in Music City. Don’t miss a browse in White’s Mercantile, a fun, updated version of an old-time general store in a former gas station and filled with southern-style handcrafted clothes, homewares and gifts. And treat yourself to a pair of jeans at nearby imogene + willie, Nashville’s top shop for custom denim. Other neighbourhoods for a wander include Germantown for its mish-mash of Victorian-era buildings and independent boutiques, and Hillsboro, a district packed with charm and known for its colourful street art, Belcourt Theatre, and The Pancake Pantry where people queue around the block for a table.


Browse The Art

Located in Downtown Nashville, the Frist Art Museum offers an ever-changing schedule of exhibitions from local, regional, national and international sources. From 30 May – 25 August 2024, visitors can explore the work of renowned contemporary fashion designer, Lee Alexander McQueen. Through the lens of fashion photographer Ann Ray, Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous shares 65 photographs hand-selected by Ray showcasing more than 50 dress objects spanning McQueen’s career, all sourced from the world’s largest private collections of McQueen’s works. Elsewhere, smaller gallery, Zeitgeist in the Wedgewood-Houston neighbourhood, has been a staple of the Nashville art scenes since 1994; it’s fun to discover on the We-Ho Art Crawl, a walk on the first Saturday of each month. Lastly, OZ Arts Nashville, located inside a former cigar warehouse, celebrates 10 years in 2024 and provides a home for contemporary arts.

Our trip was supported by Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. For more Nashville travel tips and inspiration, Visit Music City.

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.
Lead image: 1 Hotel Nashville

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