It was only after our third Uber driver of the day asked us if we were ‘in town celebrating something’ that I realized traveling with a group of women in my early thirties for no reason is apparently uncommon. Especially in Nashville, the unofficial yet highly recommended capital for bachelorette parties.
In a city inundated with leather and cigarettes, boots and beers, my girlfriends and I set out on the perfect prequel to spring by coming down from a Mile High to get a taste of the South. We replaced our Denver fashion trends for paisley patterns, jean jackets and overall cowboy swag reminiscent of a Garth Brook’s video as we prepared ourselves for honky tonk in (slightly) warmer weather.
From Dirty Thirties parties to matching bachelorette shirts and on-the-go veils, it seemed like everywhere we went there was a girl gang celebrating something outside of themselves. Why can’t a group of women just get out of town for the hell of it as a celebration of their own selves, and their friendships? Why do we feel like we need a reason to celebrate, to treat ourselves, to discover and explore?
It became clear that we were out here for more than just a fun weekend, we were setting a new standard to explore without reason; essentially fighting for our right to party.
Upon arriving, being the millennials (elder millennials) that we are, we pulled out the list of spots that we had scoped out on Instagram for cool bars, restaurants and neighborhoods to check out while in the area. Most of these spots and our overall favorite vibes ended up taking place in East Nashville. This suburb is home to an art district filled with murals and alternative bars, providing a laid back feel with plenty of popular options for the best food and coolest bars in the city. Five Points, another art district with similar energy, lives right next door and these two hoods make up the more alternative, punk and hip-hop zones of the [country] music city.
As for shopping in Nashville, we chose to forego the boots, leathers and hats for thrift stores. You can find over 10+ great locations (mostly in East Nashville) for thrift finds, or check out the trendy area of the West End for a more upscale, outdoor shopping experience that serves unique fashion options; plus more murals!
Downtown Nashville and the strip of Broadway is definitely a must see while in the city. Although it’s the most touristy part, it’s hard not to enjoy the feel of high energy that comes from the inundation of live music at every door and the flood of fresh faces. Take your group out for at least one night on Broadway to roam the rooftop bars, enjoy cheap drinks and if you’re brave enough, take part in karaoke or riding the mechanical bull! When in cowboy country…
Ok so you’ve gone shopping, drinking, had some good eats and now you need to crash. For our stay, we decided to try something different for this trip and take part in a city guest house, which was sort of like a cool mix between a hostel and an Airbnb. We found SoBro Guest House on Instagram, and we were impressed by the photos alone. Upon arriving, we were blown away by the cleanliness, fun colors, themed rooms and quality of appliances and furniture. Our check-in and all guest communication were done through a very innovative and efficient text system, including a text-code to enter the building, rooms and for all FAQs. Although human interaction is great, it was nice to be able to go about your day and still have communication with the staff via text. Beds were comfy, high-quality shampoo and conditioner by CO Bigelow, and the cutest kitchen backsplash; all in a great location that sits in the heart of downtown.
So why would a group of women who aren’t celebrating a bachelorette party head to Nashville? Exploring a new city, getting out of our comfort zone, and pursuing our creative visions were all reasons to get out of Denver for a few days; but mostly we were fueled by wanderlust.
Although we weren’t leaving the country, it’s interesting how each area of the U.S. has a different culture to offer. It’s true that most things stay the same. However, there are so many subtle differences from state to state that although might not be obvious, are good to experience—even if that means getting out of your comfort zone. The more culture we allow ourselves to experience, the more compassion and tolerance we have for those are different from us; and that’s the beauty of travel and adventure. The unique differences on an individual level make us better as a whole.
So although Nashville is only a toot, scoot and boogie away from Denver; it was a refreshing experience down South that helped to broaden our understanding of the U.S. while getting in touch with the cowgirl inside all of us.
Creative Cribs/Local Artist Interview: Check out Sarah Tate, a mural artist who painted ‘It’s Gonna Be O.K.’ mural after the flooding that happened in Nashville to help heal the city. Although she didn’t start with murals (actually with handmade wedding invitations), since living in Nashville she has been commissioned more and more to paint colorful, bright but pastel work throughout the city.
In the Know
Art to See: Murals in West End and East Nashville
Where to Stay: SoBro Guest House (vs. Hotel or Airbnb)
Where to Go: East Nashville / 5 Points / West End / Downtown/ Midtown
Where to Eat: Pharmacy Burger, Mas Tacos, Martin’s BBQ, The Crying Wolf (say hi to Kyle)
Night Out: 3 Crow Bar, Pearl Diver, Rosemary & Beauty Queen Bar, The Walden
Caffeinate & Annebriate: Frothy Monkey / Rooftop Bar at The Thompson Hotel / Urban Cowboy
How long to stay: No longer than 2-3 days
How to get around: Rent a car! Lyft can get expensive since the city is not walkable, nor has public transportation.