A Weekend in Nashville
Honky tonks and music legends, hot chicken and bourbon
Nashville is much more than the home of honky tonks and bachelorette parties. The capital of Tennessee is home to about 7 million people who enjoy the city’s temperate climate, rolling hills, miles of state parks, and abundant food and music scenes.
A brief 2 1/2 hour flight from New York, Nashville is an amazing weekend destination that can cater to anyone’s specific tastes whether you’re searching for sophisticated dining, taking in the outdoors, or spending an evening exploring the honky tonks of Broadway. Read on for where to stay, where to eat, and where to drink.
Where to Stay
The Virgin is a good home base for your weekend. The property opened during the height of the pandemic, in July 2020, and mixes sophistication and whimsy. The hotel is located on Music Row, where the business of music is conducted and is a nice walk or a short Uber ride to popular neighborhoods like the Gulch and Lower Broadway. The hotel’s bar and restaurant, Commons Club, is a popular watering hole with locals who live in nearby highrises, as is the Funny Library Coffee Shop. The hotel also has a rooftop guest-only pool deck and an adjacent lounge open to the public. On a recent weekend, the hotel’s outdoor patio was filled with local Nashvillians and their pups enjoying the weather with a local IPA, a glass of rose, or a lavender latte. The Virgin Nashville’s “chambers” are all oversized and well-equipped with thoughtful amenities like “smart” rooms, a “yes” button on the phone that gives you instant access to a concierge, and a minibar (a mini-Smeg fridge in Virgin’s signature red) complete with everything from Diet Coke and bottled water to Tylenol and an “adult” kit.
Where to Eat
When in Nashville, you are going to need to try hot chicken (you don’t call it Nashville hot chicken in Nashville). Nearly every restaurant will have some version, but Hattie B’s is the most popular for a reason. The chicken is crisp on the outside and impossibly moist on the inside. The chicken comes in a range of heat levels from “Southern” (no heat) right on up to “Shut the Cluck Up” —though most people start with medium. A quarter chicken and two sides costs around ten bucks and is the best Hamilton you might spend on a meal.
This Tennessee outpost of Charleston’s Husk is located in the former house of Nashville Mayor Richard Houston Dudley’s home, where he lived when elected in 1897. The charming restaurant changes menus almost daily, but expect Southern classics like pimento cheese, buttermilk biscuits, pork chops, country ham, and ribs.
This eatery has been serving up scratch-made pancakes since 1961. The Pancake Pantry serves all manner of breakfast items, but you came here for the pancakes. Varieties include sweet potato, sugar and spice, Smoky Mountain buckwheat, pecan, and buttermilk — with most stacks under $10. Pro tip: skip the Downtown Nashville location and head for the one in Hillsboro Village, a quaint shopping and dining district adjacent to Vanderbilt College where you can indulge in some retail therapy to work off your meal.