Last weekend my family flew to Nashville to move my sister into Vanderbilt University. She’s starting her freshmen year as I start my senior year and I can’t believe how time has flown. My parents are also going to be empty nesters which will be a new adventure for them. It was my first time in Nashville and I was so impressed with this little city. In just three days, we ate a lot and helped Leah settle in. She’s already in her first week of classes and though there are always bumps, I think she’s adjusting really well and I’m rooting for her!
If you find yourself in Nashville,
Stay at the Union Station Hotel. It’s a former train station and there are high ceilings and old schedule boards intact. The rooms are spacious, the staff is lovely and hello, it’s so much fun to stay in a place where so many people began big trips and came home.
Walk through Vanderbilt’s campus! It’s beautiful, so green and full of random sculptures and art pieces. The move in team also handled the onslaught of anxious freshmen with aplomb, helping us unpack the car (I literally only had to carry my purse) and the freshmen dorms are air conditioned and spacious (a huge contrast to my freshmen room).
Explore East Nashville, the up and coming hipster area. We didn’t have much time to do this but we ate a meal there before our flight back and a quick glance at the shops and art galleries made me want to return.
Sweat at Krank Nashville. We took a fun spin class there. It’s no soulcycle but the first class is free and the staff was really nice (and there’s a juice spot nearby: FitFood Revolution where I had a green juice blended with kombucha). Juice Nashville is on my list for my next trip but it was closed on sunday when we tried to go.
Shop/sample the region’s bounty at the Nashville Farmers Market. It was raining on sunday but the market is covered and there were gorgeous tomatoes and peaches (and yes, kale).
Fido is right off campus and so good, it’s always full of students. It’s open all day and the menu keeps changing.
The Frothy Monkey, near the capitol, is a beautiful space with good breakfasts. I loved their oatmeal.
We loved brunch at Margot Café and their dinner menu also looks great. It changes daily based on what’s fresh and the brunch menu had so many vegetarian options which I always appreciate.
Husk Nashville is a can’t miss food destination. Sean Brock, the owner, is something of a celebrity in the southern food scene and he calls the restaurant (the first one is in Charleston where he opened his first restaurant) a celebration of Southern ingredients. Here’s a New Yorker profile from 2011 which is where I first read about him. Yay for no paywall! This means all the products are local and it also includes a focus on heirloom varieties of common plants, like corn or tomatoes which have been important to southern cuisine for so long. We had delicious parker house rolls, and I am still thinking about the appetizer of spicy grilled corn with peppers. For vegetarians, they have a huge and enviable entrée: a plate of southern vegetables. It changes all the time and is always four or five preparations of vegetables. I thought it was a little bit too big and could have done with three dishes but it was delicious. The hush puppies weren’t my favorite but I couldn’t stop eating the grilled okra. I can’t even believe we got dessert but there was a coffee cream cake that was worth every gram of sugar. The restaurant is in a renovated house with views of the garden where they grow the herbs they use. It’s special. Make a reservation.
It was so nice to be with the whole family for most of the weekend (we haven’t done that since Mendoza) and I know Leah’s going to get the hang of school!