Tennessee

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Special thanks to Allison Chen and Meghan Bradshaw for the recommendations

Nothing leaves you with that tingling burn quite like fine Tennessee whiskey. Doesn't matter if it's their famous Jack Daniel's Distillery, the pulsing Music City, or tucking away in the Great Smokey Mountains - there's always a reason to raise a glass and toast the Volunteer State. 

MEMPHIS

Things to Do

Things to Do:

 

Visit the National Civil Rights Museum.

 

Watch the world-famous Peabody Ducks at the Peabody Hotel at 11 a.m. or 5 p.m. daily.

 

Catch a Memphis Grizzlies and/or a Memphis Redbirds game.

 

See Graceland, duh.

 

PLAY THE DRUMS AT PAULA RAIFORD’S DISCO ON SATURDAY NIGHT.

 

Tour St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

 

Check out Crosstown Concourse and all of its glory.

 

Attend a (free, holla) Levitt Shell Concert.

 

Plan a picnic at Overton Park and/or Shelby Farms Park.

 

Stroll down Broad Avenue Arts District.

 

Take a picture in front of all the Instagram-worthy murals around town.

 

Get a Jerry’s Sno Cone – get whatever flavor + make it a “supreme” (trust us).

 

Catch the sunset at Beale Street Landing.

 

Take a walk (or run, if you’re into that sort of thing) on the Big River Crossing Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Places to Eat

Downtown

 

Catherine & Mary’s: Upscale Italian restaurant on South Main; sit at the bar and

grab a cocktail. The brussel sprouts are phenom.

Central BBQ: Memphis-style barbecue…need I say more? They also have a location in

Midtown. Barbeque nachos and banana pudding are must-haves.

 

Earnestine & Hazel’s: Super cool dive bar in South Main; ask them why they’re

haunted. Famous for their soul burgers.

Other Honorable Mentions:

Flying Fish

Gus’s Fried Chicken

Maciel’s

Midtown/East Memphis

 

Hog & Hominy: Peanut butter pie. HOLY SHIT, y’all.

Kwik Chek: Hole-in- the-wall mini-mart slash lunch-restaurant with a delicious Bi

Bim Bop. Fair prices.

 

Young Avenue Deli: Delicious sammies and occasional live music. Give me the Sam

I Am with sweet potato fries and a Steigl Radler, and I’m good to go.

 

Other Honorable Mentions:

Aldo’s Pizza

Second Line

Slider Inn


 

BRUNCH

Downtown

 

Automatic Slim’s: Funky/trendy spot on Second Street, tons of pancake flavors

among other delicious options. They have a mimosa bong, holla.

 

Carolina Watershed: Outdoor watering hole and super chill darty (drinking party)

scene. Bacon is 10/10.

The Arcade: Memphis’ old café, located in the heart of South Main. Nothing like

a hearty breakfast. Elvis’ favorite was the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Banana

Sandwich.

Other Honorable Mentions:

 

Bardog Tavern

Sunrise Memphis

South Main Market


 

Midtown/East Memphis

 

Beauty Shop: Retro beauty shop converted to some of the best brunch, like, ever.

Truly, anything here is delicious. Chicken & Waffles and/or Cuban Breakfast =

NOM.

 

City Silo: Smoothies, acai bowls, vegetarian things, etc. It’s all super-healthy AF.

Liquor Store:  An actual old liquor store transformed into a trendy diner with a

Latin flair and full bar. The Sweet Potato Hash, y’all.

 

Other Honorable Mentions:

 

Café Ole

Bryant’s

RP Tracks

Muddy’s Cupcakes

Places to Drink

Downtown

Gray Canary: Super-chic new spot on Front Street; they have a nice cocktail list

and wine selection. Order a few shareable plates and have a drink overlooking the

river. The Confluence is my go-to cocktail.

 

Loflin Yard: Huge indoor and outdoor bar on South Main. They have live music and

giant projectors that play sporting events, etc. Serves American food if you’re

looking for a snack while sippin’ on your beer/cocktail of choice. Come here on a

sunny afternoon or early evening, it’s chill AF.

Silky’s: Dueling piano bar, very casual. Similar to Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans!

Get the Diver and split it with your bffs.

 

Other Honorable Mentions:

Bardog Tavern (breakfast shots, y’all)

Ghost River Brewing Taproom

Old Dominick Distillery

Midtown

Alchemy: Sleek spot with handcrafted cocktails and all the tapas you can

shove in your face.

Molly’s La Casita: Best margaritas. Get the half & half and thank me later.

Railgarten: Ping pong, volleyball, live music, tiki bar, rooftop, diner, ice cream,

you name it. Another unique indoor/outdoor hangout in Midtown that always

serves as a good time. Their frosé is certified litty.

Other honorable mentions:

 

Mardi Gras Memphis

Memphis Made Brewing Company

Wiseacre Taproom

General Tips

Plan a visit in May, lauded as the best time in Memphis, tbh. Few reasons why:

  • Weather is SO nice

  • Beale Street Music Fest

  • 901Fest

  • World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest (BBQ Fest)

  • Memphis Italian Festival

 

For more ideas and other options check out Choose901 or I Love Memphis online and follow them on Instagram!

 

NASHVILLE

Things to Do

Walk around Centennial Park. This beautiful green space includes sculptures, the Parthenon (which houses a museum inside), and is right across from Vanderbilt University.

 

Check out all of the murals! Some of the most famous are: the Willie Nelson Mural on 378 Almond Street, the Octopus in East Nashville at 604 Gallatin Ave, I Believe in Nashville and Draper James Stripes in 12 South, Rolf and Daughters Mural in Germantown, the What Lifts You Wings on 302 11th St, and Jason Woodside Mural at 11th Ave and Laurel St to name a few!

 

Wander the 12th South Neighborhood. Here, you can find multiple murals, visit Reese Witherspoon's store, Draper James (they’ll give you sweet tea inside), buy flowers from a van, and eat or drink at delicious restaurants.

 

Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 

Wander Broadway. There’s tons of a famous bars, live music, and people.

 

Hop on a Pedal Tavern! These are especially popular with bachelorette parties or groups to drink and bike your way around the city.

 

Take a day trip to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. While you’re there, go to Miss Mary Bobo’s -- you won’t regret eating at this family style restaurant in an old house.

 

Head to Pinewood Social.  They’ve got a bar, bowling alley, coffee shop, outdoor games, and their pool is open during summer.

 

Visit Downtown Franklin. Hometown of Miley Cyrus, and you can find plenty of cute shops in this historic area.

Places to Eat

Bar Taco: Try the Pork Belly and Portobello taco, and get it with guac.

Barcelona: Cute tapas and wine bar.

Butcher Town Hall: Texas-style BBQ. More formal. 

Caviar and Bananas: Fast, casual sandwiches that also serves breakfast and salads. Complete with a coffee bar and froze, it’s super hip and trendy.

Edleys: A few locations to choose from, family friendly BBQ.

 

Frothy Monkey: One of Nashville’s most popular coffee houses. Tons of toast and omelette options for breakfast, or sandwiches and healthy bowls for lunch.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken: Arguably the best place to get Nashville’s famous hot chicken.

Jenni’s: Extremely popular ice cream shop, also featured in our Atlanta section.
 

Go to M Street (on McGavick in the Gultch): All the restaurants here are worth eating at. Whiskey Kitchen has bomb spinach artichoke dip (add on shrimp + bacon) and basil strawberry lemonade; Virago gives you rooftop views and great sushi; and St Anejo is a flavorful Mexican restaurant that’s perfect to grab a drink or appetizer if waiting on a table.

 

Tavern: Great Sunday brunch with a 2 for 1 special on all drinks.

The Grilled Cheeserie: You can’t really go wrong here if you love cheese and bread. Don’t forget to add on a decadent milkshake.

The Southern: Great steaks, oysters, and an overall fine dining experience.


Nada: A new Mexican place -- you can’t miss the queso or bottomless chips and salsa.

Places to Drink

Broadway

ACME: Multiple floors featuring live music, a sushi bar, a rooftop, and more.

Crazy Town: Good old-fashioned fun.

Florida Georgia Line: FGL’s (the band) bar with an awesome rooftop.

Tootsie’s: Very famous and rowdy, almost always have live music.
 

Not Broadway

 

Dino’s: Fun spot in East Nashville.

Kung Fu: Open-concept barcade with checkers, skee ball, Jenga, and more.

 

Santa’s Pub: The diviest bar in the city. It’s a karaoke bar where a man in a Santa suit will serve you ice-cold Bud Lights and Frito’s in a double wide
 

The Pharmacy: Craft sodas and brats in a beer garden.

Places to Stay

The Thompson: Luxury hotel in the Gulch pocket of Nashville. Incredible accommodations and well-known rooftop bar.

Transportation

Uber will be the easiest way to get across town. If you’re near Broadway though, best to stretch your legs and walk around between bars.

General Tips

If there’s live music, you’ll know it. The bars turn on their neon lights outside so you can mozy on in.

If you want to steer clear of super touristy places, stay away from Broadway at night and head to East Nashville - unless you want the rowdy, loud, environment that's conducive for Bachelorette and Bachelor parties.

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