The Explorer's Guide to Music City

November 29, 2022

Whether you're a newcomer to Music City or a long-time Nashvillian, you know this city's not short on incredible places and experiences to explore. Our Nashville-based team put together a guide full of old favorites and fresh must-sees designed to help our Elara residents make the most of their amazing home.

Nashville City Guide

Music City is growing unbelievably fast and there’s a never-ending list of things to eat, see, and do! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options when there’s always something going on. Refer to this curated list to help you narrow down your itinerary during your time in Nashville. It’s a destination with something for everybody. 


Nashville hot chicken is a staple and something to try at least once! You’ll likely have to wait in line at places like Hattie B’s, but it’s popular for a reason. You also can’t go wrong with Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack South, Red’s 615 Kitchen, or Waldo’s Chicken. Not to worry, there are usually mild options! 

Photo credit: Brianna Melanson

Whatever you’re craving, we guarantee there’s a restaurant with it on the menu. It’s a diverse food scene catering to any diet. There’s a vegan bakery on one street and a Tex-Czech bakery on the next. Nashville has become a foodie destination and boasts recipes from world-class chefs. 

Brunch is huge in Nashville, both Saturdays and Sundays. Places that are consistently fabulous for brunch include Liberty Common, Geist, and Hearts. They all have an immaculate vibe, above and beyond service, and unreal flavors. 

Photo credit: Brianna Melanson

For special occasions, there are excellent fine-dining establishments. Audrey, named after Chef Sean Brock’s grandmother, presents elevated rural south fare and an atmosphere inspired by Appalachia. Watch Chef Deb Paquette work her magic in the open kitchen at Etch. The artfully plated cuisine is influenced by global flavors. Don’t leave before having the homemade dessert. So worth it. For dinner and a show, we highly recommend making a reservation at House of Cards or Skull's Rainbow Room in Printer’s Alley. It’ll be an evening to remember. 


Caffeinate in the Instagram-worthy coffee shops with seasonal flavors. Baristas here are serious about their craft and latte art. Shops like Honest Coffee Roasters and family-owned Flora + Fauna meticulously roast their coffee on site. 

Flora + Fauna. Photo credit: Brianna Melanson

Watch the sunset from one of the rooftop bars. Enjoy breathtaking skyline views with a drink in hand. Take the elevator up 10 stories to Bobby’s Backyard and get a picture “driving” the 1956 Sceniccruiser secured on the ledge of the building. In the winter, the rooftop transforms into “Camp Bobby” where you can reserve a heated igloo and get cozy under the stars. 

Bobby Hotel. Photo credit: Brianna Melanson


A common misconception is that you need to love country music in order to happily live in Nashville. Music City is open to all kinds of sounds. In the mood for rock and roll or jazz? You name it, someone’s performing it. It’s true that there’s live music at every spot on Broadway every day of the week, and there’s no shortage of talent. You never know if you’re listening to the next pop star or if a celebrity will step up on stage as a surprise guest. 

The Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry are on the pedestal for having hosted Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Elvis and more. These historic gems still have incredible concerts to this day and offer backstage tours. They say if you get invited to play at one of these venues, you know you’ve made it. Pick up a legendary Hatch Show Print concert poster as a souvenir. The Red Rocks of Nashville is the new FirstBank Amphitheater for entertainment in the great outdoors. Want to experience the music scene like a local? Check out The Basement East, Brooklyn Bowl, or Fox and Locke


The Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Estate sits on 55 gorgeous acres. Every visit is unique because they are always planting and presenting new exhibits. There are tons of hands-on activities for kids in their TOTS! program. Plus, the Turner Season’s Garden has a magnificent model train installation where you can watch them move along the tracks and through tunnels. Cheekwood also hosts adult yoga classes in the Japanese Garden and various educational art workshops.

Photo credit: Brianna Melanson.

Nashville has wonderful urban parks, dog parks, greenways, and nature trails. Centennial Park is the perfect place to take a picnic, read, or stroll around the lake. You’ll discover the Parthenon, a full-size replica of the temple in Athens, Greece. See just how grand it is standing next to the massive pillars. Inside is a fine art museum and a gold statue of Athena herself. 

Fans go wild for game day. Watch the Nashville Predators ice hockey team compete at Bridgestone Arena or the Tennessee Titans score a touchdown at Nissan Stadium. The brand new GEODIS Park is home of the Nashville Soccer Club and is now introducing a 2023 lineup of concerts that features  Shania Twain and P!nk. 


Walk along the shops in the trendy 12 South neighborhood. Here you’ll find Reese Witherspoon’s store Draper James with the iconic blue and white striped mural. In the summertime, build your own bouquet at Amelia’s Flower Truck or stop at the farmer’s market in Sevier Park. White’s Mercantile is a pet-friendly general store with wonderful nostalgic gifts and local finds. One of the lots changes throughout the year from a nursery in the spring to a pumpkin patch in the fall, and a Christmas tree lot in the winter. Hillsboro Village, L&L Market, and Marathon Village are other similar locations with amazing local boutiques and eateries. 

Photo credit: Brianna Melanson

To spruce up your new home, Green Hills is a great place to start. The area is a gold mine for furniture and decor stores including Lovsac, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Fill your bookshelves with books from Parnassus Books and a lamp to read under at Bella Vita. At the mall, experience the four chandelier-filled levels of Restoration Hardware (RH) and work with an interior designer to customize your space. When you’re ready to take a shopping break, stop in the stunning RH Courtyard Restaurant for a delicious meal. 


Whether you’re coming in for a weekend to tour homes or treating yourself to a staycation, you deserve to stay in the best of the best. 

The Russell is a renovated 115-year-old church in East Nashville. The boutique hotel with 23 rooms features the original stunning stained glass windows, historic brick walls, and repurposed pews. Their slogan “Stay Here, Change Lives'' means each stay provides beds and meals for local homeless shelters.

The Hermitage Hotel’s glamorous accommodations are unmatched. Take in the timeless elegance from the show-stopping lobby to the award-winning Art Deco men’s restroom. It’s Nashville’s longest standing hotel a block from the Tennessee State Capitol and played a role in the women’s suffrage movement. The 5-star hotel gracefully incorporates yellow details throughout in honor of the yellow roses pro-suffragist leaders that stayed and hosted meetings in the hotel wore. Book an afternoon tea in The Veranda or dinner at Drusie & Darr by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 

1 Hotel Nashville is the city’s first sustainable luxury hotel. All of the 1 Hotel’s properties are LEED certified and 100% carbon neutral. The distinct ivy-covered sanctuary was intentionally built with mindful materials and continues to be committed to the planet. This hotel has it all when it comes to amenities. Attend a fitness class at Anatomy, indulge in a wellness facial at the spa, or take their house Audi e-tron out to explore the city. Bring your pets for the perfect green getaway. 

1 Hotel. Photo credit: Brianna Melanson

If you’re lucky enough to call Nashville home, all of these extraordinary places are within reach. We hope this guide introduced you to new possibilities to make your time in the Music City even more enjoyable.