Y’all, wedding planning is insane! Having just gone through the process this past year I can tell you from first hand experience that there are so many decisions to make and details to figure out before the big day, it’s crazy. Yes it’s completely worth it, but it’s also madness.
That being said, a bachelorette party should give the bride a chance to relax, take her mind off the planning stress, and simply enjoy time with her closest friends!
Over the past few years bachelorette parties have grown into elaborate weekend trips so pulling off an unforgettable party is a bit harder than it used to be. There’s more organization and communication involved, especially if bridesmaids and friends attending are coming from different states or the bridal party is meeting in a new city. The best advice I can give is to start early! Find a date that works and roll with it.
If you’re reading this you may be considering or have chosen Nashville for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you won’t regret it. Nashville has become one of the hottest bachelorette party locations in the U.S. The city’s bursting with delicious food, amazing music 24/7/365, Southern charm, friendly people and laid-back, fun-loving atmosphere. Plus tons of Instagrammable locations to capture the weekend’s memories. The party doesn’t stop in Music City!
As locals we took our tried-and-true activity, food & drink, and shopping recommendations and created this detailed guide to help you plan the perfect destination Nashville bachelorette party experience for your bride’s last bash in Nash! Boots optional.
All photography by @studioist
1. ENJOY LIVE MUSIC ON BROADWAY
Nashville’s not nicknamed Music City USA for nothing. There is live music on every corner, on every stage, and on every night. :) Lower Broadway is home to the neon signed honky tonks that Nashville’s famous for. You’ll immediately be able to tell the vibe of each venue when you walk by so go where the music takes you, but some of best classic spots are The Stage and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. Newer additions to the Honky Tonk Highway include multilevel bars like ACME Feed & Seed, FGL House, and Honky Tonk Central.
If you’re looking for a more diverse scene, Demonbreun and Midtown are located just across the interstate towards Nashville’s west and are more popular with locals, college kids and young professionals. The bars play a variety of music and offer different experiences than their lower Broadway counterparts. On Demonbreun check out bars like Tin Roof, Dawghouse Saloon, and Two Bits, and in Midtown check out hangouts like Broadway Brewhouse & Mojo Grill, Rebar, Loser’s Bar & Grill, and Kung Fu Saloon.
2. TAKE IN THE VIEWS FROM A ROOFTOP BAR & TOAST THE BRIDE-TO-BE
Especially when the weather is nice, a rooftop patio is the perfect place to enjoy a drink and the view with your girls! Rooftops are the new black in Nashville and there are now more than 20 places to go for an elevated experience. Among the masses there are a few that stand above the rest—L.A. Jackson is a modern swanky space with vintage touches atop the Thompson Nashville in the Gulch, L27 is a an outdoor lounge high above the city atop the Westin Nashville, Rare Bird is a chic tropical-inspired retreat situated atop Noelle’s 12th floor, the Rooftop Lounge atop Bobby Hotel is bright, relaxed and complete with a 1956 Scenicruiser on the edge, and for views of Broadway ACME Feed & Seed’s airy rooftop can’t be beat!
3. RELAX & GET PAMPERED
There’s no better way to relax than with an afternoon of manis, pedis, massages, facials, wraps…I’m already feeling more relaxed. :) In Nashville there are tons of day spa options but the Omni Hotel’s Mokara Spa and Westin Nashville Hotel’s Rhapsody Spa are two of the best. If you really want some quiet time check out Float Nashville and enjoy an hour in their sensory deprivation tanks.
Get dolled up for the weekend with a party at The Blowout Co. or The Dry House. A blowout can reset your hair with a polished, manageable style, add body, and even get some of this Nashville waves for the weekend.
Honky tonked too hard last night? Head over to Arete for a simple, painless 30 minute IV replenishment therapy session. Their rejuvenation services are tailored to individual’s needs. Leave feeling refreshed and healthy.
4. DO IT FOR THE 'GRAM!
Taking photos in front of Nashville’s many murals and walls is an activity in and of itself and is the perfect way to create and capture memories with your tribe. The most popular murals are the “I Believe in Nashville” mural on the side of Edley’s Bar-B-Que (2706 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) on 12South and “What Lifts You” mural (302 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) in the Gulch. Do be warned that on the weekends there can be quite a long queue to take your photo by these.
Instead of driving around searching for the perfect backdrop, check out the roundup of our favorite Instagrammable Nashville Walls & Murals!
5. OKAY LADIES, NOW LET'S GET IN FORMATION
Who run the world? GIRLS! Unleash your inner goddess with an empowering dance class at one of Nashville’s pole and aerial studios. Haven’t you heard, pole dance makes being strong cool and be comfortable in your own skin comfortable! It’s true. I’ve been practicing pole off and on since 2010 and love, love, love it. Studio Goddess, Miss Fit Academy, and The Chrome Bar all offer party packages focusing on either pole, chair dance, or aerial play (think circus silks). Bond while you simmer, shake, and bond with your tribe!
If you’re more comfortable on the sidelines, enjoy the burlesque performers on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at Skull’s Rainbow Room (222 Printers Alley, Nashville, TN 37201), a circa-1948 speakeasy lounge. $20 cover for burlesque performances. Alternatively check the upcoming show dates for Music City Burlesque and Wasabassco Burlesque. Both are known for fabulous performers and great music.
Also if you love drag shows Nashville’s got some fantastic options. Play Dance Bar (1519 Church St, Nashville, TN 37203) and the weekend Drag n’ Brunch at Suzy Wong's House of Yum (1515 Church St, Nashville, TN 37203) are two of our favorites!
6. INDULGE IN LOTS OF SOUTHERN COMFORT FOOD & LOCAL TREATS
Over the past few years Nashville has transformed into a foodie haven with new, delicious restaurants popping up every month. Now you can find everything from Japanese to Mexican, but the city’s roots lie with comfort classics like smokey bbq, fluffy biscuits, meat & threes, chicken & waffles, and the city’s namesake hot chicken.
- BRUNCH: Brunchies in Nashville rejoice! More and more restaurants are crafting and serving a brunch menu on the weekends, but some of the best for groups are Pinewood Social (33 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210) - an industrial-chic hangout with twists on American favorites and a bowling alley, 12South’s retro 50s-style Flipside (2403 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) is known for their legendary loaded Bloody Mary called The Big Fix, Midtown's Hopsmith Tavern (1903 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203) for shareable brunch portions and 2-for-1 bottles of champagne(!!), the Gulch’s Biscuit Love (316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) - a bright space serving sweet, savory, and sandwiched biscuits with modern twists like bronuts (part biscuits, part doughnut), and Butcher & Bee (902 Main St, Nashville, TN 37206) - a renovated warehouse with elevated breakfast favorites in East Nashville. For a completely different, more upscale experience check out RH Cafe (2101 Green Hills Village Dr, Nashville, TN 37215) at the Restoration Hardware in Nashville than plan your future house by walking around this four-story store.
- COFFEE: Let’s be real, at some point during your trip you’re going to need a little pick me up and there are no shortage of places for a morning or mid-day pick me up around town. Bongo Java (2007 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212) is Nashville’s original coffeehouse and Frothy Monkey (2509 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) is another local favorite. Because of their proximity to several universities and downtown, both are popular spots for students and freelancers during the day. Other top spots around town include Edgehill Cafe (1201 Villa Pl #101, Nashville, TN 37212), Barista Parlor - airy shops serving high-end coffee with locations in the Gulch and East Nashville, Crema (15 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37204), Ugly Mugs (1886 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN 37206) - an artsy coffeehouse with live music in East Nashville, and Steadfast Coffee (603 Taylor St, Nashville, TN 37208) & Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes (1200 5th Ave N, Ste 104, Nashville, TN 37208) in Germantown just north of Nashville. If you’re looking for a tiny grab and go option, Killebrew (401 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) in the Gulch’s Thompson Nashville is perfect!
- LUNCH: You’re going to be livin’ it up while in town so lunch should be no different—eateries with great atmospheres, affordable food, and on the quicker side so you can get back to it. Edley’s Bar-B-Que (2706 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) is dedicated to smoky bbq and southern sides in a rustic, friendly space. Sit on the patio and order the BBQ Nachos! The Grilled Cheesery (2003 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN 37212) specializes in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (!!), tomato soup and milkshakes, while The Donut + Dog (2127 Belcourt Ave, Nashville, TN 37212) - savory, satisfying hot dogs and sweet brioche donuts in a small renovated house. Both are in Hillsboro Village. Does a burger and shake sound just riiight? Burger Republic (420 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) in the Gulch has a menu full of gourmet locally-sourced burgers and SPIKED milkshakes. Yup you heard me right…spiked milkshakes! Alternatively check out The Stillery (113 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201) downtown for burgers, pizza, live music and moonshine, and order the Hot Chicken Skillet Mac n’ Cheese. If tacos are your thing, check out Taqueria del Sol (2317 12th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37204) - a playful fast-casual eatery with SoCal Mexican specialties or Bartaco (2526 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) - a beachy, bright taco shop with a large patio.
- DINNER: The variety in Nashville restaurants has increased exponentially over the past few years and now there is something for everyone, every price range, and every taste. In Germantown, Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint (1123 3rd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208) - a cozy burger joint with long beer list and fenced green space and Geist (311 Jefferson St, Nashville, TN 37208) - an 118-year-old blacksmith shop turned upscale restaurant with internationally-inspired shareable starters, entrees and desserts - are both delicious! Get your taco fix at Taco Mamacita (1200 Villa Pl, Nashville, TN 37212) - a colorful Mexican eatery & taqueria. Feeling sushi and Asian-fusion fare? Make a reservation at Virago (1126 McGavock St, Nashville, TN 37203) in the Gulch. Note: Maki-Sake Monday menus have 2-for-1 drinks and half-price sushi rolls. :) Urban Grub (2506 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) on 12South is perfect for satisfying those raw bar and southern seafood cravings, while The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden (731 Mcferrin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206) is a old-time soda fountain with burgers, sausages and lots of outdoor seating in East Nashville.Or make a reservation at City Winery (609 Lafayette St, Nashville, TN 37203), a music venue, restaurant, wine bar, and winery all in one with a globally wine-inspired seasonal menu.
On the pricier end Le Sel (1922 Adelicia St, Nashville, TN 37212) - a beautifully designed, stylish french bistro in midtown, Liberty Common - a modern Southern brasserie with fabulous wall art in downtown, Sunda New Asian (592 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) - creative twists to south-western Asian cuisine in the Gulch, and Henrietta Red (1200 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208) - elevated seafood small plates and oysters.
- SWEET TREATS: And no meal would be complete without desserts! If you’re looking for creative flavors then Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in East Nashville and 12South will do you right. Right down the road is local favorite Las Paletas (2911 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204), a small shop with flavor-packed Mexican ice cream and fruit pops. Yum! Have you ever eaten a 100-layer doughnut? If not, stop by Five Daughters Bakery on 12South to change your life. For all your cookie cravings Christie Cookie Co. (2606 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204) on 12South whips out perfectly soft and delicious cookies, brownies, and baked goods! For more bakery yummies Baked on 8th (1512 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203) has a good selection of cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, cookies, and more.
Did you know the GooGoo Cluster was created in Nashville in 1912? Well this candy bar is still as delicious and now has a whole shop dedicated to it. Check out the Goo Goo Shop (116 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201), watch some being made by hand in the kitchen, and shop their selection of treat and Nashville-themed gifts.
7. LAUGH & LEARN
There’s so much to do in Nashville and if you’re only here for the weekend that’s too little time. Grab your girl gang and hop aboard the hot-pink school bus of NashTrash Tours! Hosted by two hilarious sisters, Sheri Lynn & Brenda Kay, you’ll visit some of the most famous spots in the city while the hosts share stories about country music legends and Nashville folklore—all wrapped up in a boisterous comedy routine! Essentially it’s a Nashville tour/comedy show on wheels that will have you laughing all afternoon.
8. GET CRAFTY
Discover your inner artist while furthering the bonds with your closest friends with a DIY class. DIY classes are a great way for everyone to try something new and classes enough flexibility for everyone to create something unique. Also many are set up for beginner experience levels so everyone will have a great time, no matter how crafty they are.
Give painting wood signs a-go with hands-on custom home decor, framed signs at AR Workshop, Craft Love or Board & Brush; meet up at a BYOB and snack studio to be guided through a painting for you to take home at the end of class at Dabble Studio, Painting With A Twist or Paint Night; paint and/or throw your own pottery at Brushfire Pottery Studio, Third Coast Clay or The Clay Lady’s Campus, or hand-pour candles yourself at The Candle Bar. The best part is that everyone’s will be unique in it’s own way. Make the items for yourself or exchange them with each other for added fun!
Check each studio’s calendar for availability in upcoming workshops or to inquire about private parties.
9. SHOP TILL YOU DROP
- THE GULCH: Shop for trendy women’s clothing and accessories at Blush Boutique and country-pop singer Jesse James Decker’s Kittenish. We also love the effortless jewelry collection at Kristin Cavallari’s Uncommon James, the beautiful Western boots of Lucchese, and the fine quality leather boots, shoes and bags of The Frye Company. For everything else from locally-made goodies to clothing and the perfect gift head to Two Old Hippies.
- 12SOUTH: Shop locally-made gifts, clothing, jewelry and home decor at Serendipity, Holly Williams’ White’s Mercantile, MODA Boutique, and Judith Bright. Be sure to stop at Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James for some complimentary sweet tea as you browse.
- HILLSBORO VILLAGE: Find all the local things at Hey Rooster General Store and Native + Nomad, shop for clothing at Revv, Scout & Molly’s, and Tribe Kelley Trading Post, owned by FGL’s Brian Kelley’s wife Brittney.
- DOWNTOWN: For the perfect Nashville gift shop Music City Marketplace, museum shops like Circa in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and Southernaire Market. Get some finely made leather boots at Nashville Boot Co., Boot Country, or Boot Barn and complete the ensemble with a beautifully crafted hat from Goorin Bros. Hat Shop or HatWRKS. Other classic shops include Ernest Tubb Record Shop - established shop selling CDs, songbooks, and photos for 70 years, and Hatch Show Print - the letterpress institution creating posters for classic country legends and contemporary artists.
- GREEN HILLS: In addition to the larger retailers in The Mall at Green Hills, boutique women’s clothing stores like Anthropologie, Posh Boutique, Hemline, and Holly Williams’ H. Audrey lining the street of The Hill Center.
10. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE YEAR-ROUND (FREE) FESTIVALS
The growth Nashville has experienced over the last decade has led to a plethora of annual, semi-annual, and one-off festivals, fairs, activities, and opportunities to catch live performances around the city, mostly for free! CMA Music Festival day activities and concerts are free, Live on the Green is a free concert series every Thursday evening in August, Musicians Corner is a free concert series every Friday and Saturday in May and June at Centennial Park, and free performances by The Nashville Symphony during the summer. The fireworks and celebrations are free on Broadway for 4th of July (including the Music City Hot Chicken Festival on July 4) and New Years Eve. East Nashville’s Tomato Art Fest is a free local arts, crafts and food festival in every August, free Movies in The Park are shown Thursday nights in June in Elmington Park, Germantown’s free Oktoberfest has everyone wearing lederhosen in October, and Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is lit with more than 2 million twinkle lights and festive decor during the Christmas season. Additionally there are countless annual food truck, cultural, art & craft, seasonal festivals and activities.