Capital Thrill: Nashville

Discovering Nashville’s lesser-known treasures.



photograph by Dreamstime

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It’s just a few hours by car from Memphis, but our sister city to the east sometimes seems a thousand miles away, with its hills, its NFL Titans, and its country-music heritage. And while most of us think we know everything that Nashville has to offer — from The Parthenon and The Hermitage to the Grand Ole Opry and Tootsie’s — the Music City is home to scores of lesser-known treasures that not many Memphians are familiar with.

In the March 7, 2014, issue of Time magazine, Jon Meacham says, “The story of Nashville’s current prosperity is a case study in how to make the most out of organic advantages. The specific factors behind its rise aren’t readily transferable, but the larger lessons about what works are. Chief among the takeaways from the Music City’s revival: culture is commerce.” Meacham’s correct. Nashville is ripe with opportunity, booming with new business adventures, a Mecca for foodies, and infused with a cultural twang all its own.

So, whether you’re passing through, taking a long weekend, or making a full destination stop in Nashville, here are a few urban pleasures we think are worth your while, no matter where you call home.

 

Over 21

Those looking for their activities to be a little more spirited should head to 3 Crow Bar for a “happy hour” that lasts all day and night; Red Door East or Bar 308 also attract serious cocktail fans. If you’re looking for a little local brew, you’re in luck — there are plenty to choose from. Tennessee Brew Works, located in SoBro (South of Broadway, for those not down with the lingo), is one of the newest breweries, and offers patrons a sampling from its five ales in the Tennessee Taproom. Other breweries taking advantage of the craft-brew scene are Yazoo, Jackalope, Fat Bottom, Black Abbey, Turtle Anarchy, Rock Bottom, and Little Harpeth.

 

Grub

Where to begin? Hangover cures like “The Ultimate Platter” over breakfast at the Nashville Biscuit House? The dynamic duo of ownership that unites the “Woodstock” at Burger Up and the “Sorghum molasses crumb tart” at Josephine 125 South? Arguably the best fried chicken in town at Bailey & Cato’s? The trifecta of perfection of food, drinks, and coffee at Pinewood Social? I think you get the idea. Much like eating your way through Europe, you could spend an entire lifetime trying all of the delicacies.

 

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