Budgeting and planning are two of the most important parts of traveling. Unfortunately, I’m only good at one of those things. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do but my wallet always seems to have other plans. I am blessed to have been raised by two amazing parents, who found value in exploring the world when I was a child. (Who doesn’t enjoy vacation on someone else’s dime?) But when I went to college, my bank account quickly brought these “wanderlust” fantasies to a halt.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Nashville. While I’d visited as a child, this time around, I was going to be financing my own trip — which proved to be difficult with all $19 in my account. After some research and various referrals, I was able to have a fun-filled weekend in Nashville (even on my budget). Music City showed me a wonderful time and it didn’t cost me a pretty penny.
EXPERIENCE THE MUSIC SCENE
Nashville isn’t called Music City for nothing. For an authentic experience, live music must be on your schedule. Take a walk down Broadway, where music venues line the street and some of Nashville’s best talent performs 365 days a year. You won’t find a cover at any of these bars, so feel free to shop around for your favorite performers.
If Honky Tonk Highway isn’t your scene, Nashville Symphony Community Concerts are another great experience. Check out their website to see their dates, times and locations. Need more music? Check out a full guide here.
APPRECIATE LOCAL ARTWORK
Though home to many fantastic venues, art in Nashville is not limited to museum walls. It’s all around you. Down Broadway, past the honky-tonk bars, is the Cumberland River. Here, a little exploring will lead you to ‘The River’, a spectacular installation inspired by the path of the river. Upon closer inspection, the base is lined with hundreds of guitar picks. Another public installation, also visible from Broadway, is the ‘Ghost Ballet’. From the distance, it may appear like half of a roller-coaster, but it stands as a symbol for the past and present of Nashville’s growth.
Painting buildings across town, you’re bound to stumble upon a variety of murals in any neighborhood you venture in. Recently highlighted in a previous post, pieces such as ‘What Lifts You’ and the infamous ‘I Believe in Nashville’ have captured national attention.
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
A short walk from Loews Vanderbilt will lead you to Centennial Park, home to the only replica of the Parthenon. As one of Nashville’s most picturesque features, for no money at all you can trick your Instagram friends into thinking you went to Greece. Being in close proximity to Vanderbilt University and central to the Midtown neighborhood, Centennial Park is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
Be sure to pack your sneakers too, because there are plenty more photo ops on Nashville’s Pedestrian Bridge. Just over half a mile-each way, you can enjoy views of the downtown skyline and Cumberland River. Not only will the walk get your blood pumping, you may just capture the perfect image for your next holiday card.
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