Not sure where to live in Nashville? These are the neighborhoods to seek out, no matter what the reason for your visit
Best Place To Stay In Nashville Near Broadway
Deciding where to sleep is the most important part of planning any trip. That’s not just hotels, that means everywhere. Much will depend on the focus of any particular trip, and most tours of Nashville revolve around its reputation as one big neon honky-tonk paradise, where the swimming and beer sipping lasts until dawn. You’ll find a lot of that in Music City, of course, but this place is much more unique and different than that.
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Every area of Nashville offers something different, from popular attractions to live music, great restaurants, and family-friendly places. Places to stay in Nashville Let your guide do the heavy lifting; all you need to do is choose.
Downtown is the economic and tourist center of Nashville, as well as the regional center and home of Lower Broad. This is where you’ll find honky-tonks, blasting Western swing music at almost any hour of the day. But this place is not just for parties; in addition to some of the biggest attractions, Downtown is home to swanky hotels, restaurants, and breathtaking views of the Cumberland River. This area attracts tourists who want to stay in Music City easily, no car needed.
PASS: Fifth Hall + Broadway’s Assembly Food is a collection of small restaurants from the city’s best restaurants. Want hot chicken? Chinese comfort food? Red-velvet tacos? Kurdish food? Check, check, check, and check. It’s all here at affordable prices, with stunning views of the Ryman Auditorium and Broadway. Free live music is a constant benefit.
DRINK: As discussed, there are many honky-tonk style bars in downtown Nashville. Locals love Robert’s Western World because the owners hire top musicians to play world-class Western and country music … and because they sell cheap beer.
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DO: Go to the second floor of the Nashville Public Library. This is where the Civil Rights Chamber describes the most important events of the student-led protests that took place in the 1960s and helped divide the country.
STAY: With minimalist 1970s decor and a decided approach to service and amenities, the Fairlane Hotel is one of the best places in town. Head here to relax in luxury, and take in city views from guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. Get breakfast at the Bagelshop downstairs before heading out to explore.
If you do one thing… Catch a show at the Ryman Auditorium . In fact, it doesn’t matter who is playing, you just want to feel the sacredness and amazing acoustics of the space. If you can’t get tickets, take a day trip to see the backstage magic.
Music Row is where Nashville’s business is done. Two parallel streets (connected by a roundabout that sports a funky Musica sculpture) are lined with former houses that have been converted into music studios and office towers. Among these important needs of the music industry are places to eat, drink, listen to music and sleep.
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KITCHEN: With 32 seats around the open kitchen, the Catbird Seat offers hours of cooking performance as it serves just dinner. Book in advance and watch the magic of making a batch from local ingredients.
DRINK: Q: Is there anything better than drinking beer in Nashville and listening to singer-songwriters tell stories that affect the world? A: No, there is none. The best of this Music City action takes place at Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern, Music Row’s favorite bar.
DO: Names like Elvis Presley wrote and recorded hits behind the scenes at Historic RCA Studio B. The Music Row studio, preserved as it was then, is open for tours. Book your tickets and catch the shuttle here; tours from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
STAY: With a signature red staircase, a famous rooftop pool, and oversized guest rooms with great views, Virgin Hotels Nashville is the best way to stay in the middle of it all.
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If you do just one thing… Shop at any Old Iron, designer Andrew Clancey’s temple to all things composite. If it’s good enough for Miranda Lambert, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift, all of whom have worn Clancey’s designs, it’s good enough to take home (when you get there, note that Clancey now has a line at Free People. stores).
Named after the actual canal that runs through the area, this is perhaps Nashville’s most modern neighborhood in terms of architecture, with high-rises and dense urban living mixed with retail. It’s within walking distance to downtown, SoBro, and Midtown, but full of attractions, especially shopping, dining and drinking (but what else do you need?).
EAT: Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan brings Indian food, spices, and cooking to lucky Nashvillians at his flagship restaurant Chauhan Ale and Masala House. Order the option to sample his fusion recipes, but don’t skip the hot chicken pakoras.
DRINK: If your idea of a good time includes playing duckpin (a type of bowling that doesn’t require rental shoes), bocce, pinball, or foosball, head over toPins Mechanical. All of these games, along with cocktails, beer, and wine (sure to improve your cause), are on the menu at the accompanying bar.
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DO: Walk the Gulch Greenway to Frankie Pierce Park in Capitol View. This outdoor urban oasis is perfect for walking or biking an easy one-mile route on city streets, with views of buildings and green spaces. There are plenty of outdoor murals to stop and look at along the way.
STAY: A glass tower from the outside, the Thompson Nashville is a modern hotel with many interesting touches, including artifacts made from reclaimed wood from the surrounding area. Don’t skip a trip to the rooftop bar, L.A. Jackson.
If you do just one thing… In the middle of all these high places is a simple cinder block building, which for decades has housed the best bluegrass music in the country. The Station Inn is a must for all visitors to Nashville, not just The Gulch.
East Nashville has a love-hate relationship with the “hip” moniker it’s earned over the years due to its high concentration of creative people. This large area on the east side of Downtown is home to stylish vintage shops and purveyors of handmade goods, not to mention delicious chef-driven food and great little watering holes.
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EAT: Melvil Arnt and his parents moved to Nashville from Paris, and that shows in every part of Once Upon A Time In France, from the relationship to the food to the wine list. The French bistro doesn’t stop there, so plan to chat with the locals over a glass of wine while you wait for a table.
DRINK: Order a tropical cocktail or two at Pearl Diver, a stylish lounge that brings an island vibe to its menu, public spaces, and atmosphere. If you’ve only been to cheesy tiki bars, prepare to be blown away by the thoughtfulness of this tropical experience.
MUST DO: Browse the small boutiques at the Shoppes at Fatherland and nearby Five Points Alley Shops. These small storefront collections feature handmade goods, vintage finds, and more.
STAY: The Gallatin Hotel’s brightly colored hallways, front arches, and garden emphasize the motto “Stay Happy.” In addition to the many selfie spots, the hotel donates to a local startup that works with Nashville’s homeless.
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If you do one thing… Every single Monday at 5 Spot, the locals cut the carpet. They call it Motown Monday, but really, it’s just dancing to a bunch of good music, starting with Western swing. Most people who show up know their footwork, but you don’t need to be an expert to join.
The moniker means “south of Broadway” and this little neighborhood sets itself apart from other downtown areas. It is home to a hockey arena, a symphony, a convention center, and a range of hotels, restaurants and museums. Like its neighbor to the north, Sobro is a tourist destination, but with an offbeat vibe.
EAT: It’s not magic to create a restaurant that’s fun and serves delicious food and drinks, even though it can sometimes feel like it. At House of Cards, you can eat some steakhouse-style (or vegan surf and turf, if that’s your thing) and watch psychics and magicians do their thing. Bring a sports jacket, as there is a dress code to get in on the fun.
DRINK: The stunning modern art collection (all for sale, just ask to see the binder) is as good as the specialty cocktails on the menu at the intimate Bar Sovereign.
Best Things To Do In Nashville (2023)
DO: While the honky-tonks are loud, Nashville is a songwriter’s town at heart. Hear their stories and acoustic sets by catching a low-key sit-down show at The Listening Room Café.
STAY: The luxurious Joseph Nashville is full of unique experiences, from its world-class art collection (don’t forget to look down at the rooftop bar) to its award-winning Italian cuisine and indulgences.
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