I don't know about you, but my friends and I are in all different stages in life. Some of us are recent graduates, still students or well established go-getters trying to make a name for ourselves in the real world of professionals. But regardless of where we are at, we are all very busy and the thought of taking a long weekend getaway together sounded like the perfect remedy to catch up, catch a break and have some fun.
My friends, Bailey, Kelsi and myself decided to act on this thought and spent a few days brainstorming some ideas on places to go. We thought about Miami, Iceland, Colorado, the Hamptons and potentially Hilton Head. We were throwing out the most outrageous or predictable of locations. But it was hard to find one that met all our needs and requirements for a four day trip (budget, easy accessibility, warm, and bucket list material). When none of our ideas seemed to work for us, Kelsi suggested, "NASHVILLE!" and it was an immediate YES.
HOW TO GET THERE:
We are all located in New England, so getting to Nashville wasn't too difficult. We found flights with our favorite airline, JetBlue, for RT of $150 (BTW - why do we love JetBlue? Um free snacks, great entertainment and their staff is awesome. They helped us find seats together (even after last minute booking). Plus they took care of us when we cheered for the New England Patriots (they were amazing sponsors). The flight is also just under two hours from Boston and they offered the best times for us (fly out early and return late).
WHERE TO STAY:
Once we booked our trip, we started looking at AirBnB's. After doing some research we learned that there are definitely more preferred locations that are more ideal for women. We centered ourselves around Midtown area, close to The Gulch. The Ubers and Lyfts were all fairly short distances and were easy to get. We could have also walked to a lot of places, but being in Nashville in the middle of July is not the ideal time to walk (we'll get to that later).
So selecting your AirBnB, you'll definitely want to be specific with the location. We booked a loft and paid around $110 a night for 3 people and it could fit up to 6 people. So when you're thinking about booking your AirBnB, make sure you really spend the time looking at your options with an AirBnB versus a hotel. Hotels are great, but if you're having a girls getaway, its nice to have an open space, multiple bathrooms and a kitchen in case you want to make some of your own meals or have some cocktails before going out. Our place also had a pool and a gym and a place to park if we had had a car. But the multiple bathrooms, the laundry and kitchen made our trip so much more relaxable.
WHAT TO PACK:
Since we knew we were going to have access to laundry, I was able to save money on baggage fares by just using a carry-on for our four day adventure. I felt like I had more than enough clothes, but I wish I had done a little more research on what I should pack based on the time of year and less focus on my attempt to look "more Nashville." So here may be the best advice for my girls out there going to Nashville during the spring/summer months:
Travel Day: We had an early flight so we arrived wearing athletic shorts, converse (or flip flops), and a casual tank top. We nailed this arrival outfit because it was early in the morning and as soon as we stepped of the plan we started to sweat. Average temps were 95 degrees and humid. Plus check in times vary, so being comfortable should be the most important.
First Day & Basically Every Day Outfits: Change in to some jean shorts and a cute crop top and either cute sandals or stick with the converse. Look cute in case you take pictures at some #nashvillemurals! But be comfortable and wear breathable materials.
Nights: You'll want to plan the cute outfits specifically for night when you're not going to melt (as much). Being from Boston, I'd typically say just wear anything black (black dress, black crop with high waisted shorts and cute shoes, but in Nashville they wear way more color).
Tip: I packed 3 pairs of high waisted jeans and wore none of them. Don't even bother packing them. Not worth the space. I also brought several sweaters in case it got cool at night. It doesn't. At all.
PACKING CHECKLIST (based on 4 days):
- 3 pairs of jean shorts (Black, Denim, White/Washed-out Denim)
- 5 basic crop top/tanks (go with colors that won't show sweat like sheer/white, black, patterned)
- 1 light flanneled button up
- 1 denim skirt
- 2 pairs of athletic shorts (travel and or sleep/workout in)
- 2 pairs of athletic shirts (travel and sleep/workout in)
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 or 2 dressier outfits (sleeveless dresses, dress shorts/skirt, romper)
- Jean jacket
Here are some inspiration outfit ideas:
WHERE TO SHOP FOR THESE LOOKS:
Athletic Tops and Shorts: Nike.com and PatriotsProShop.com
Jean Shorts: AmericanEagle.com and Levis.com
Tops: TopShop.com and Forever21.com
Shoes/Boots/Sandals: DSW.com and Aldo.com
>>>if you're interested in anything specific, please send me a message and I can get into more details <<<
HOW TO PLAN OUT YOUR ITINERARY:
Now that you know what to pack, how do you plan out your days? Bailey, Kelsi and I weren't exactly sure how to plan out our days either. But we made sure we each made a list of the places we wanted to try/see/visit. Some of the places were a hit, and some were not worth our time. So from one Boston girl to another (or wherever you may be from), here is a breakdown of the places we recommend:
Day 1: (Travel Day)
- Grab your Dunkin Donuts and catch a flight to Nashville
- After you land either check in (if you can) or go grab brunch at Biscuit Love in The Gulch. They let you store your bags while you eat and walk around. Biscuit Love is a definite must (and make sure you get the bonuts)! While you're there, take a look around and think about the places you may want to go in the Gulch because a lot of great places are centered right here.
- Freshen up. get settled or stay in the Gulch on Day 1 - make sure you take your pictures with the Wings mural (#WhatLiftsYou #NashvilleMurals). Its right next to Biscuit Love. There are a few other murals in this area that you can walk to so it may be fun to get some of the pictures done at the beginning of your getaway before the chaos happens.
-After you take pictures with the murals, head down to Broadway and scope out all the bars. The first day is best for exploring and figuring out the areas you want to spend the most amount of time. Try to make the first night the earliest night so you can make the most of the entire trip.
- If you are like me, you'll want to get a quick workout in. If your AirBnB or hotel has a gym, take advantage of it, even its only for 20 minutes.
- Go back to The Gulch for brunch. Try Milk and Honey if you want some unique and healthier options and fun cocktails.
- Walk around the shops after brunch or maybe even consider doing the pedal tavern.
- Grab some sweet southern coffee at Killecoffee!
You'll definitely need it!
- Spend the afternoon looking at some of the museums near Broadway.
- Afterwards go get ready and then grab drinks at the Thompson Hotel rooftop. Then make your
way to a fun dinner (Whiskey Kitchen, Virago and Kane Prime are all great choices and all owned by the same company).
- Post dinner, head down to Broadway for some dancing and nightlife. Try going to GFL Bar!
- Wake up and head to Five Daughters Bakery 12 South. Grab yourself a hundred layer donut (or two) and coffee. Then walk down Caruthers Ave and grab some pictures at the Nashville mural, Draper James Blue and White Striped mural (pictured above). Don't forget to check out Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's boutique).
- For lunch, go find some southern fried chicken! We went back to The Gulch for Peg Leg Porker BBQ.
- Head back to wherever your staying, drink lots of water and start getting ready for your last night in Nashville. Once you're finished getting ready, make sure you head over the the Westin rooftop bar before the sun sets. It is the most beautiful spot to capture the sunset in Nashville. Make sure you check out the second level of L27 Rooftop Bar. You'll probably catch a concert here too, depending on the night.
- Afterwards enjoy some live music and dancing back on Broadway for your last night.
Day 4 (travel day // last day)
- Pick your favorite place you got breakfast at during your time in Nashville and go back there to try something new! We went back to Milk and Honey because there were just so many options.
- Depending on what time your flight is, you may have time to go to another fun spot. Try Hattie B's or the Red Door. If you go to The Red Door Saloon make sure you ask to look down the hole in the floor.
- Grab your last cocktail (even at the airport) and recap your favorite places and memories with your gals. Let me know if you happened to discover some new places we didn't get to! Share your experiences in the comment section!
Obviously these are just my recommendations on the places we loved. Add, take away or ignore any of what I have mentioned but make sure you HAVE SO MUCH FUN!
Now before you go, make sure you read the last little bit about tips to surviving the southern heat.
TIPS TO SURVIVE:
- Drink Water. You'll be sweating so much that you do not want to get dehydrated and it is SO easy to with the heat and humidity.
- Bring a portable cell phone charger in your purse if you can fit it. You'll be out late and with pictures and the heat, your battery will drain faster than normal.
- Be open to trying new things. There are a lot of fun foods and fun experiences - try it all!