When we took our trip out to Nashville, we wanted to make sure that we spent our time wisely. Between a few of the guides we found online, and recommendations from our friends, we had our days packed with some of the best entertainment in Nashville. Here is a list of our favorite things to do in Nashville.
Visit The Soda Parlor
The Soda Parlor was recommended to me by a good friend who is a fan of Olan Rogers’ Youtube Channel. In 2014, Rogers opened up The Soda Parlor in Nashville, which is in part an arcade, an ice cream and soda parlor, and merchandise shop. When I heard about this place, I made it my number one priority to visit during the trip. I’m a huge root beer fan, and was excited to see what brews they would have either on tap or bottled. I have to be honest and say that when I got there, I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any root beers that I haven’t already tried. However, it’s the first time that I’ve ever seen root beer on tap. In the end, I went with the Old Centennial Orange Cream by Rocky Mountain Soda, a wildly creamy and sweet orange soda.
The Soda Parlor also features a completely free to play arcade, stocked with arcade cabinets and dozens of different games. Jess and I took turns in a space shooter game (I desperately wish I could remember it, but it was essentially Galaga) while we drank soda. The Soda Parlor made me feel like a child, drinking soda and playing games. Honestly, if I lived in Nashville, I would probably find myself there more often than anywhere else on this list.
Go on a Brewery Tour
This was the first time that Jess or I had ever gone through a tour of a brewery. Neither one of us really drink beer, but we love hearing people talk about things they are passionate about. We have a few friends who have a love for craft beer, and a few with a deeper love for the process through which beer is made. When we got to Nashville, Liz found a deal for a tour of the Yazoo Brewing Company. We figured that taking a tour through the process would be educational and entertaining, and I’m glad to say that this tour hit the nail square on the head. Our host, Cece, who was in love with Yazoo, and brought us through every step of the brewing process. She was knowledgeable about the history, as well as the technical parts of brewing, and gave us three different brews to try along the way. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of beer or not, I highly recommend taking the time to go through Yazoo’s Brewery tour. Learning about the history of the company and the influence of every brew made for an awesome precursor for the rest for of the night.
Listen to Live Music
When you think Nashville, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Music. Tin Roof is a pretty popular bar with live music right outside Music Row. We went there on a Thursday night, so we were able to catch their Writer’s Night, where they invited four songwriters to come up and play original music. One thing we heard over and over in Nashville was that “No one in Nashville is from Nashville.” The cool thing about Writer’s Night at Tin Roof was that you could actually experience that saying through the music you were listening to. Nashville is a melting pot with influence from all over the country and from endless genres. Afterwards, we went up to one of the performers just to say that he put on a good show, and ended up talking to him for quite a bit. His name is John Miller, a singer/songwriter based out of Nashville. He’s enthusiastic about his craft, and is one of those people you could talk to for 5 minutes with the conversation ending with you inviting him to your wedding.
Visit one of America's Oldest Letterpress Shops
Jess found out about Hatch Show Print when looking for free things to do in Nashville (pulling back the curtain on our elite planning methods), which is one of the oldest letterpress shops in the nation. You walk into a shop with its walls lined with letterpressed posters, featuring some of the biggest names in American music history. If we had more time, I would have loved to go on a tour of the facility, learning about the process of the prints and some of the stories from the last century of printing. And even though we didn’t, we did get to watch some of the workers make colorful prints in the back. Hatch Show Print is also right next to the Country Music Hall of Fame, so it’s a quick stop for anyone who’s already in the area.
Do a Little Shopping
Nashville is full of shopping districts like The Gulch and 12 South. Even apart from those, you’ll find boutiques all over that are fun to window shop at. We made it a point to go to The Shine Project, a storefront that helps inner-city youth by providing them with trade skills and work experience. We’ve followed this company for a few years, and I even bought Jess a piece of jewelry from The Shine Project for our one year anniversary. Needless to say, we were excited to finally see the storefront in person.
Go to Trivia Night
On our first night in Nashville, we went to Acme Feed & Seed for trivia night. Trivia Night was hosted by Geeks who Drink and lasted about an hour and a half. I know you can find trivia all over, but we really had a blast trying to answer all of the questions. As it turns out, our knowledge of world literature was far worse than we imagined, and we placed dead last out of everyone there. We’re pretty confident we caught a couple teams on Google, but we’ll take the loss and study up for next time.
Catch a Comedy Show
We were torn on how we should spend our final night in Nashville, and ended up at Third Coast Comedy Club for an improv show. We’ve seen a handful of amateur and semi-professional comedy shows, so we had a decent expectation of what we might find at the show. However, Third Coast Comedy Club exceeded our expectations. There’s something to be said about people who can so confidently pick up a scene and fluently make an audience laugh, and Third Coast really impressed us with their ability to do so. We were cracking up throughout the show and left it quoting our favorite moments all night.