When Allegiant Air announced direct flights from Sarasota to Nashville, of course we had to plan a weekend trip to Music City. The flight from Sarasota is about an hour and 40 minutes, so it’s a great spot for a quick weekend getaway. It’s about an 11 hour drive from Sarasota to Nashville.
Now, even though we are travel bloggers we did a pretty terrible job of researching this weekend because it happened to be the weekend the NFL Draft AND the Nashville Marathon was happening. We didn’t find this information out until a couple of days before we left! (We were wondering why the hotels were so expensive…)
Keep reading to see how we spent our weekend getaway in Nashville!
A note: We paid for everything we did on this trip. This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of our links at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting the blog!
Nashville may be famed for its country music, but this may well be the capital of rock and roll music in the United States of America. – Paul Stanley
We arrived in Nashville Friday afternoon and Friday evening headed straight to Broadway. Broadway is the place to go to experience Nashville’s nightlife. Because the NFL Draft was going on, Broadway Street was actually completely closed off to vehicle traffic. It was very, very crowded but very fun getting to walk down the middle of Broadway.
If you’ve been to Nashville before, you know walking down Broadway Street is a bit overwhelming. One of my favorite parts is hearing all the live music. This was even more amplified because the NFL Draft was also going on, so there was a lot of stuff to look at.
We headed to Honky Tonk Central and had a few drinks. We then started walking around away from Broadway because it was getting very crowded. We ended up at the Renaissance Hotel on Commerce Street. They have the Bridge Bar which is located in the bridge that connects the parking garage to the hotel, so the view is great. This was definitely a cool place to relax and grab a bite to eat.
Several friends recommended checking out Opryland, so Saturday morning we decided to Uber over there to see what it’s all about. Wow! This resort is crazy! It reminded me of a resort in Las Vegas (but there is no casino). We spent quite a while wandering around and exploring.
I was wondering why there was such a massive resort here, and Opryland used to be a really popular theme park and a resort was built to accommodate the out of town guests. The theme park has since been shut down but the resort has grown into a destination unto itself.
The Gaylord Opryland is located right next to the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall. There is an easy walking path to both locations. This is definitely worth seeing in person. There are plenty of restaurants and shops. You can take a gondola ride around one of the buildings, and there is a water park that recently opened.
Saturday night we headed back to downtown. The NFL Draft was still going on and it was even more crowded downtown. We found a cool place called Printer’s Alley where there were some bars and restaurants. It was nice because we were actually able to find a seat here.
Our original plan was to do the hop on/hop off trolley tour on Saturday, but this got pushed back a day because the trolley was unable to operate that day. We like doing the hop on/hop off tours because we usually see more than we normally would on our own. It’s also fun because you can get off and explore at each of the stops.
This tour took us to a few unique places that we probably wouldn’t have gone to on our own. We started at the Bicentennial State Capitol Park. This is definitely worth checking out. It is a beautiful park to walk around that tells the history of Nashville. There is also a really cool bell tower display to commemorate the many musical figures that are from Nashville. Next to the park is the Farmers Market. This was a lot bigger than we thought it would be. It’s an indoor/outdoor farmers market.
The other spot we checked out was Marathon Motor Works. This was an old automobile manufacturer. It is now a creative space with shops and businesses. Throughout the building you can see old machinery parts and photos from when they manufacturer cars here. There is also a car museum where you can see the Marathon automobile. We never would have gone here on our own, and it turned out to be a really cool place to walk around.
We also stopped at Centennial Park to see the full scale replica of The Parthenon (yes, this exists), and we walked around Vanderbilt’s campus. We really enjoyed getting to see more of Nashville than just downtown today! Another reason we like doing the hop on/hop off tours is you learn a lot of interesting information about the places you are driving by.
THINGS TO DO IN NASHVILLE
- Bicentennial Park
- Try moonshine at Bootleggers Inn
- Rent a scooter and ride around downtown
- Visit Gaylord Opryland
- Tour the Grand Ole Opry
- Centennial Park
- See the Parthenon
- Try barbecue (There are a LOT of options. We tried Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and it was amazing!)
- Check out the Gulch (where you can take an Instagram photo with the famous wings)
- Country Music Hall of Fame
- Belle Meade Plantation
- Marathon Motor Works
- Ryman Auditorium
- Vanderbilt University
- Have a drink at a rooftop bar (there are a lot to choose from!)
- Visit Music Row
- Printer’s Alley
- Grab a coffee at Barista Parlor
WHERE TO STAY
Staying in the downtown area would be our preference, but we actually ended up staying at the Hotel Preston. This hotel is located near the airport and they have a free airport shuttle. They have a lot of funky art and they are currently redoing their restaurant area, so that will be really nice. It’s about a 10-15 minute Uber ride to downtown.
Check out: 10 Things to do in Nashville
Now, we want to know if you’ve been to Nashville before! What are your tips and favorite things to do? Let us know in the comments.
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