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woman with dog / (c) Barnaby Kerr Photography / Flickr
woman with dog / (c) Barnaby Kerr Photography / Flickr
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A Solo Traveler's Guide to Nashville

Picture of Leena Kollar
Updated: 23 February 2017
Headed to Nashville for a solo getaway? You’re going to a great place! Make the most of your trip by reviewing this guide, which will help you plan the best trip to Music City as a single explorer.

Neighborhood Guide

downtown Nashville / (c) Shane Raynor / Flickr
downtown Nashville / (c) Shane Raynor / Flickr | downtown Nashville / (c) Shane Raynor / Flickr

Downtown

Whether it’s day or evening, there’s always something going on downtown Nashville. The honky tonk-lined streets boast live music, while the horse-drawn carriages give tourists a view of the city. There are restaurants and shops to explore and plenty of hot spots worth checking out.

12 South

12 South, one of the trendier neighborhoods in Nashville, is full of shops and restaurants. Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James store, Frothy Monkey coffee shop, and Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria can be found here, as well as a music store and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Brentwood/Franklin

For a suburban experience in Nashville, the cities of Brentwood and Franklin are the most family friendly. There are shopping malls, restaurants, gas stations, and other places that meet the needs of suburban life. There isn’t much to offer visitors other than gorgeous scenery and a few good bites.

Music Row

Walk up and down the streets of Music Row and find several music publishing companies and record labels. The companies are mostly set up in small renovated homes that act as office buildings. These tiny spaces give Music Row its charm. Walk far enough and reach Belmont Boulevard, where Belmont University is located.

The Gulch

Adjacent to downtown Nashville and Music Row is The Gulch, an urban neighborhood with a lively restaurant scene. There’s also the bluegrass music venue Station Inn, as well as several women’s boutiques.

Hillsboro Village

Located in the heart of Green Hills is the eclectic, bohemian neighborhood of Hillsboro Village. It’s a popular area for Vanderbilt College students, who frequent places like Pancake Pantry and Fido coffee shop. There are a few shops, restaurants, and salons in the area, and a few miles up the street is The Mall at Green Hills.

What To Do

Frist Center For The Visual Arts / (c) Ron Cogswell / Flickr
Frist Center For The Visual Arts / (c) Ron Cogswell / Flickr | Frist Center For The Visual Arts / (c) Ron Cogswell / Flickr

Museums

There is definitely no shortage of culture in Nashville. Whether it’s about the arts, history, or nature, the city has several must-see museums: the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, The Hermitage, and The Parthenon, to name a few. Each museum has a wide array of exhibits to explore, so expect to spend a minimum of one hour at each.

Live Music

Nashville isn’t called “Music City” for no reason. In almost every part of town, there are live music venues that book local, regional, and national singers/songwriters and bands. Many of the downtown venues book musicians to play during daytime hours, and visitors have lots of options to check out live music at night. From larger venues like the Ryman Auditorium to lesser-known venues that only locals visit, Nashville is the epitome of a musically talented town.

Hiking

Those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors will be pleased to know that Nashville is an active city. With the amount of gorgeous greenery and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder. There are magnificent hiking trails all over that go through the city’s winding roads and allow nature to be experienced in its truest form.

Where To Eat

four cheese garlic bacon burger / (c) Rachel Chapdelaine / Flickr
four cheese garlic bacon burger / (c) Rachel Chapdelaine / Flickr | four cheese garlic bacon burger / (c) Rachel Chapdelaine / Flickr

Southern Comfort

No one can visit Nashville without having a classic southern-cooked meal. Loveless Cafe and Monell’s are great places to enjoy down-home southern cooking. Monell’s is a nice place to go for solo travelers because its family-style seating means patrons sit with strangers – a taste of the southern hospitality that Nashville offers.

Barbecue

Between pulled pork, chicken wings, and brisket, the southern barbecue scene in Nashville is constantly growing. There are places that serve barbecue with a kick and ones that offer milder options. Try somewhere like Bob’s Barbecue or Bar-B-Cutie for a quick, easy, and delicious barbecue fix.

All-American

Visiting the South doesn’t have to mean denying those cravings for a juicy hamburger. Nashville is a city full of transplants, many of whom enjoy eating all-American foods. In the mood for a chicken wrap, a turkey club, nachos, or a side of fries? Many of the city’s sports bars have menus full of American favorites.

Healthy/Vegan

Being the health-conscious city that it is, Nashville does have a small community of healthy eaters. There are a few restaurants that specialize in vegan dishes, and a few, like the Calypso Cafe, that offer healthy menu options. There’s also Noshville for soup, salad, sandwiches, or other low-calorie foods.

Where to stay

The question of where to stay in Nashville is really quite simple. If possible, book a room at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. It’s one of the largest hotels in the world, with approximately 1,000 guest rooms, a 57,000-square-foot ballroom, and a 289,000-square-foot exhibit hall. Additionally, the hotel has a quarter-mile-long indoor river, a 3.5-story waterfall, and more than 8,000 tropical plants.

Practical Tips

The Hermitage / (c) Stuart Seeger / Flickr
The Hermitage / (c) Stuart Seeger / Flickr | The Hermitage / (c) Stuart Seeger / Flickr

Pack for fickle weather

It really doesn’t matter what time of year it is, the weather in Nashville is going to be unpredictable. This doesn’t mean there is a chance it will snow in the summer, but allow for some variation of the weather report. Pack a few light layering pieces and comfortable walking shoes that can be worn, rain or shine.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

The majority of people in Nashville are incredibly friendly and helpful, more than happy to direct visitors that lose their way. People in Nashville love their city, and it makes them happy to share knowledge about all it has to offer.

Take the shuttle

If you’re going to or coming from the airport, most taxi cabs can make the trip, usually for a flat fee of about $20. There are also tour buses and shuttles that drive visitors to area attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and downtown. Take advantage of these services for a chance to truly soak up the city and be surrounded with new friends and acquaintances.