Visiting Fan's Guide to Nashville & other local areas & Parking Updates
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02-19-2013, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Originally Posted by
Hey everybody. My buddy and I are flying to Nashville on the 7th of March to watch the Oilers/Preds game on the 8th and we were wondering if people had suggestions on where to stay and things to do? We'll be leaving early on the 9th, so we won't have much time, but we'd like to stay somewhere close to the arena, so we can stumble home if need be after the game.
Also, should we rent a vehicle or is transit and taxi services reliable and plentiful?
There is a thread devoted for visitors to Nashville, but until the mods move this, I'll respond here.
Where to stay/what to do depends on how much you are planning to spend while you are here.
I'll start off with your last bit -- Nashville is a very car-oriented city. Yes, we do have buses that run around town, and a single line commuter train, but for a visitor coming here for the first time, you will probably find that exploring or going any fair distance via public transportation will be frustrating. Taxis can get expensive, quick...so I wouldn't suggest using that as your primary means of transport.
If you can get a good deal on a rental car, I'd probably just go with that, if you plan to actually visit other areas around town.
If you are planning on really just taking it easy, visiting a few bars/restaurants and seeing just a few things, I would recommend staying downtown or in midtown (West End/Vanderbilt area). There are several bus lines that can quickly and cheaply take you a short distance, and late at night a cab ride might cost you $8-10 with tip. You can also walk to a lot of places if you stay there.
Hotels tend to be a little more expensive in town...so plan on somewhere between $100-150+ (plus a pretty decent hotel tax on top of that). I would caution you on any "in town" places that are much lower than $100. They are usually crapholes. If you are a member of a hotel rewards program, check that out. You could also try one of the hotel sites (like priceline.com).
Here is the bus route map:
Notice on the first page on the right hand side there is something called the Music City Circuit. It is a free bus that circulates around the downtown area. You would mainly be looking at the blue and green lines. It doesn't really go to a lot of places, but you may find it effective in knocking off a long walk (and our downtown is a little hilly) if you are exploring by day.
On the larger city map at the bottom, "midtown" is the area around Vanderbilt, just southwest of downtown.
Things to do/see around downtown/midtown:
--Plenty of 'honkytonks' on Lower Broadway. I don't have a favorite. Loud, live music (primarily Country, of course).
--2nd Ave has some honkytonks, but also some more "club" like places and larger venues. It's a little more subdued than Lower Broad.
--Broadway Brewhouse and The Flying Saucer are both good beer places. Yazoo and Jackalope are breweries in The Gulch district with taprooms (remember the green line bus).
--The Exit/In (Midtown off of Elliston Pl) and 5 Spot (East Nashville, 5 Points) are good places to catch non-Country shows. Station Inn in The Gulch usually has some Bluegrass.
-Parks/Misc (just chill, bro)
--Centennial Park and The Parthenon are out near Vanderbilt if you want a nice place to just chill.
--The Bicentennial Mall is located just to the north of the capitol building. You can take a stroll and learn about some Tennessee history while you are there. There's also a Farmer's Market next door if you want to check out local/regional produce and there's an indoor "food court" with some great little places (like Jamaicaway and B&C BBQ).
--The State Capitol isn't a park, but they usually have tours (depending on day and time). Also see Legislative Plaza.
--Riverfront Park and Cumberland Park...just some green space with a little landscaping (Cumberland Park)...decent spot to just chill. Use the Shelby St pedestrian bridge.
--The Country Music Hall of Fame - whether or not you are interested in Country Music, this is a really neat place. But it's kind of expensive, too.
-Restaurants (it depends on what you want -- if you have any specifics, let us know)
--Jack's and Rippy's are BBQ places on Lower Broad. Very convenient to Bridgestone Arena, but they can be insanely crowded.
--Paradise Park has some dangerously greasy hamburgers
--Puckett's on 5th and Church is a little away from the tourist craziness...they have good Southern food.
--Rotier's on Elliston Pl (Midtown) has a very good burger.
--Plenty of higher end establishments around downtown, especially in Midtown, Germantown, and 5 Points.
--Pancake Pantry and Fido in Hillsboro Village (south side of Vanderbilt) have good breakfast.
--12th South has a number of interesting places to eat as well.
You can accomplish most of the above with a combination of walking, riding the bus, or a short taxi ride. Nashville is pretty spread out, though, so I would not suggest trying to walk everywhere.
If you want to get out a little more, or you want to stay further from town (perhaps a less expensive hotel)...then renting a car is more or less a requirement. But if you do that, you open yourself up to more to see. But as you say, you don't have much time.
Personally, I would opt for spending a little more on hotel, and a little less on transportation.
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