Loew’s Vanderbilt Plaza Super nice, and in a really good location – right across the street from Vanderbilt and not too far from downtown. Another option is the Marriott on West End Ave. The Hermitage downtown is also very nice, but I prefer the Vanderbilt area. Two other options in that area are the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn.
Walk across the Pedestrian Street Bridge.
Tour the Ryman Auditorium (an earlier home of The Grand Ole Opry) – make sure to pay the few extra dollars for the backstage tour package. So worth it!!!
Visit Cheekwood – an art museum and botanical gardens.
The Frist Visual Center for the Arts is downtown and a great art museum.
Eat a pancake breakfast at The Pancake Pantry, but get there early as there is always a line.
See an independent film at the Belcourt Theater and then walk up and down the streets of Hillsboro Village – eclectic shops, etc. Get coffee across from the Belcourt at Fido and frozen yogurt from Sweet Cece’s.
Sample some local brew at Yazoo Brewing Company’s Taproom.
As far as running/hiking goes, you cannot beat Percy Warner Park. The park has a paved 5.8 and 11.2 mile road loop as well as several great trails. The white trail (2.5 miles is my favorite), and the red trail is great as well, but a bit more challenging (4.5 miles). For some great walking and easy trails, check out Radnor Lake.
Best Southern Food: The Loveless Cafe – amazing breakfast served all day, and they start serving “supper” at 11 AM. The wait can be long on the weekends but so worth it!
Hot chicken, a Nashville specialty: Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack.
Bella Napoli – favorite pizza with great outdoor seating.
Baja Burrito – cheap mission style burrito place. Love love love!
Calypso Cafe – cheap fast, yet healthy Caribbean style food. Great mashed sweet potatoes, and their black bean salad is amazing.
Park Cafe- My favorite restaurant in town. CD and I actually got married on their back patio.
Rose Pepper Cantina – eclectic little Mexican restaurant over on the East side of town.
Favorite brunch – a toss up between Fido in Hillsboro Village and Marche over on the East side of town. Fido has a back room that is very family-friendly - lots of space in-between the tables, and I feel completely comfortable taking all the kids there for breakfast/coffee outings. Oh, and Fido serves food all day – delicious!
Favorite Coffee shop - The Frothy Monkey.
Burgers: Burger Up or Gabby’s – both serve amazing sweet potato fries as well as local beef. Gabby’s is my favorite.
Ice-Cream: Jeni’s Splendid Ice-Cream on Eastland Avenue. American artisanal ice-cream. Try Gravel Road (salted caramel with smoked almonds)!
Frozen Yogurt: Sweet Cece’s.
Vegetarian: The Wild Cow.
Popsicles: Las Paletas (don’t question me. Just go and try the avocado.)
Gourmet grilled cheese truck: The Grilled Cheeserie.
Favorite Taqueria: Mas Tacos. Complete hole in the wall out of the way place on the east side of town. Great tacos, cheap, and creative daily specials. Funky hours – most days, just open for lunch.
Chocolate: Be on the lookout for Olive & Sinclair chocolate bars available in most independent coffee shops and Whole Foods. From bean to bar locally made chocolate.
Beer: Yazoo Brewing Company.