One of our first weekend trips while Brent and I were dating was to Nashville, Tennessee. We’ve been back two more times since, and each time we find new things to love about it.

Want some off-the-beaten path favorites? Look no further. 

Nashville is full of history and beautiful architecture, from Cheekwood Gardens to Union Station downtown. We’re talking grand, Southern, walkable architecture and design.

Brent loves the country music (you hear it before you even leave the airport). He calls Nashville a town with everything — it’s bustling but quiet, historic yet expanding, established but always attracting new talent and fresh blood.

Plus it has great food. Enough said. Here are some of our favorites. 

What to Do:

For the weird and wacky, check out the Parthenon replica in Centennial Park. Yes, there’s a full-size gilded statue of Athena Parthenos inside. As well as a great, small art museum. Free admission.

For a more elegant outdoor option, check out Cheekwood Gardens, a 55-acre estate with gorgeous landscaping and views. Entrance costs $20 to the art museum and gardens,  but you can spend hours wandering this beautiful estate.

Union Station – This 1900 railroad station is gorgeous. Sit in the lobby area and take it in, or get a drink from the bar and relax. Admission is free. If you’re looking for more art and inspiration, head over next door to the Frist Center for the Arts. Tickets are $12 but sometimes the center offers free admission so check before you go.

Downtown Franklin. This town 20 minutes south of Nashville is lovely. It has a downtown area with a mercantile and small shop. Worth the drive, especially if you want lunch or dinner (see below for more food options).

Where to Eat:

The Old School – 10-minutes North of Nashville is this farm-to-table school and restaurant. The restaurant has a weird setup, but the food is excellent. And they have great live music Thursday – Sunday.

MUST TRY: The twice-fried fingerling sweet potatoes if they are on the menu. They were incredible. Brent would go back just for these. 

Harvest at Homestead Manor – This beautiful farm-to-table restaurant is south of Nashville. We went here on a double date and were blown away by the elegance and decor. And the food is fantastic too. Sit out back if you can.

Biscuit Love – We wanted to stick to off-the-beaten path recommendations, but we loved Biscuit Love so much, it’s on here anyway. This is a great place for brunch (there are two locations, soon, three, but we like the Gulch spot because there’s so much to see if you walk around). This is biscuits and gravy like you’ve never eaten before.

Gray’s On Main —Gray’s on Main feels like a cafe and speakeasy rolled into one. Housed in a building that used to be a pharmacy, you can still see some of the old-school prescriptions and equipment in the decor. Sit upstairs and order a cocktail. 

The Little Donkey — We discovered this fast-casual Mexican restaurant in Germantown and liked it so much, we went back twice that weekend. Fresh, inventive tacos, delicious cocktails — this is a fantastic place. There are some cute boutiques and other restaurants in walking distance as well.

MUST TRY: The La Taqueria tacos. We can’t say enough about these magical tacos. 

Last but not least, Martin’s BBQ Joint. Finding the best local BBQ is a must on any trip with Brent. Our friends took us here and we loved the laid back ambiance, old-school decor, and moist brisket.

MUST TRY: Order the pit master combo or a BBQ tray with brisket on it. Hard to go wrong with that. 

Do you have any Nashville favorites? Let us know!