City Guide: Nashville

nashWelcome to the south, y’all!

We headed to Nashville for a quick getaway over Memorial Day Weekend. We’ve had Nashville on our minds for a number of reasons and decided it was time to check out the neighborhoods and experience downtown already. We were not disappointed by this southern city! I’m a city girl and Cody is a southern country boy, and Nashville is the perfect mix of both.

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There’s live music everywhere, from Broadway Honky Tonks to the Grand Old Opry, even stages on street corners and bands playing in the airport terminal as you deplane.

We loved the food! From the sweet tea given as you enter Reese Witherspoon’s boutique, Draper James, to the incredible burger scene at Burgerup and The Pharmacy, amazing brunch at Pinewood Social and Flipside, and of course, hot chicken and classic meat and three barbecue.

The city is surprisingly familiar feeling, and I found it easy to get my directional bearings right away. It feels both accessible and approachable. We loved exploring the neighborhoods of East Nashville and especially 12South, and spent a lot of time downtown by Broadway and The Gulch.

If you’re seeing Nasvhille in 3 days, here’s what we’d recommend:
Nashville Eats:
The Pharmacy (East Nashville) Amazing burgers, German beers, and one hell of a courtyard to sit in. Too busy? Walk across the street to Mas Tacos.
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Pinewood Social (Downtown, walkable to Broadway and the Pedestrian Bridge.) This is a warehouse converted into your ultimate hangout-brunch, bowling, bocce ball, TVs, Soaking pools, chairs for laying out, and even an outdoor Airstream bar for ordering poolside.
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Hattie B’s hot chicken, hot line…order ahead or go early.
Flipside (12South) Don’t even order brunch. Just order the $25 Bloody Mary. You won’t be disappointed. or hungry.
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bartaco (12South) Tacos in a fun indoor/outdoor nautical feeling setting. This place draws a crowd and has some killer food and drinks.
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Biscuit Love (Gulch) order at the counter style brunch, easy and fast and equally delicious.
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Jeni’s (12South) a must stop for the best ice cream you’ll ever have.
Five Daughters Bakery (12 South)
Jack’s BBQ (Broadway) If you’ve had too much to drink at the honky tonks on broadway, slip into Jack’s for some quick eats and get back to it.
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Explore Nashville:
Murals. These instagram-worthy murals are all over the city! The quintessential “I believe in Nashville” mural is located in the 12South neighborhood and the Wings are in The Gulch.
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Broadway. Broadway packs honky tonk after honky tonk in this six block area, and is known as the bachelorette mecca. They start to fill up at 10 am and most are open until 4 am.
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Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge is located downtown, just a few blocks from Broadway and Printer’s Alley, and is also a really easy walk from Pinewood Social. This bridge goes over the river and connects to the Tennessee Titans stadium. Great for taking pictures, getting fresh air, or having a picnic in the park afterward.
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Grand Ol Opry. This is a destination country fans surely don’t want to miss. We took the backstage tour and learned more about the birth of country music, how the Opry came to be, how it was rebuilt, and even toured the dressing rooms and got up on stage with the mic.
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Opryland Hotel. Connected to the Opry, and within walking distance to a huge shopping complex and everything kids may ever want to do, the hotel is massive and fun to explore.
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12South Neighborhood. Cute boutiques & awesome restaurants!
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If we had a week to spend in Nashville, we would have added in a few hikes and explored Franklin. We’re already excited to get back and experience more!

Have you been to Nashville? What are your must see’s and do’s?

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City Guide: Philadelphia

Earlier this summer, while city hopping out East, my sister and I took a day trip to Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a great city: easy to navigate, filled with both history and tourism all within walking distance of city center. Its a great city for both young professionals (as evidenced by the packed beer gardens) but also for families, with lots of historical sites, bus tours, and outdoor spaces ideal for picnic lunches.

Here are my highlights and suggestions for a visit to the city of brotherly love:

Reading Terminal Market
51 N 12th St
Reading Terminal Market is located in city center and boats dozens of shops and eateries, with everything imaginable under one roof: cheese shops, sweets, fresh cut flowers, barbecue joints, local butchers, hand rolled sushi, ice cream, and more.
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Historical Sites and Architecture
There’s a lot of historical sites in Philadelphia, most notably Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Visitors can tour Independence Hall and the various buildings surrounding the area and learn about the Liberty Bell and when/why it has been rung throughout American history. The architecture, attention to detail, and ornate sculptures in the buildings are something not to miss around the city.
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Independence Beer Garden
100 S Independence Mall
Located directly across from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall is the Independence Beer Garden. Packed on the weekends, its the perfect place to grab some friends and hang out with yard games in the afternoon over some beers and apps. They had corn hole, giant jenga, cards, and bocce ball located throughout the garden, with various seating options: bar, picnic tables, lawn chairs and stumps.
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Philly Cheesesteak
I think it would be a crime to visit the city of brotherly love without ordering a Philly Cheesesteak. We couldn’t decide on traditional or creative, so we ordered one at the market and one at Sonny’s and split them both. Dinic’s is located within the Reading Terminal Market and Sonny’s is located in Old City, a few blocks from the liberty bell, and was named best Cheesesteak by GQ.

Cheesesteak #1: Dinic's

Cheesesteak #1: Dinic’s (roast beef, mozzarella, broccoli rabe)

Sonny's: Voted #1 by GQ

Sonny’s: Voted #1 by GQ

Sonny's Cheesesteak

Sonny’s Cheesesteak

Rocky Steps
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
No trip to Philadelphia is complete without running up the Rocky steps (added bonus: working off a few cheesesteak calories.) The infamous Rocky steps are located at the Museum of Art. Run the steps, explore the museum and beautiful botanic gardens, take in the view of the city from the top of the 72 steps, and explore the nearby museums like Rodin.
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What are your favorite Philadelphia locations? I’d love to hear!

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