Friday, January 9, 2015

Where's Courtney? Welcome to Nashville, TN (May 2014)

I'm part of the Yelp Elite crew, which is an incredible group of people who get the opportunity to preview menus and venues around the city for free! Every year the Yelp team hosts a Spring Break in a different city open to all Elites across the nation. Last year I stumbled upon this news and found out that they were headed to Nashville!

Nashville has never been a city that's been on my list of places to go, but the list of events had me intrigued and with my never-ending wanderlust streaming through my veins, I convinced my fellow travel-loving friend to join me for some fun in a new city. 

Yelp was hosting events for a whole weekend, complimentary to those who RSVP'd and got on the list. My friend and I made our arrangements to hit up as many of the events we could, while also soaking up the city ambiance on our own. 

To save money, we stayed at the Radisson near the airport rather than the suggested (and more expensive) hotels in the heart of the city. Since we weren't going to be at the hotel that much other than to sleep and shower, we felt that this was a good way to budget. It was a comfortable stay and offered a free shuttle to and from the airport. 

We also decided not to rent a car for our extended weekend. By using Uber, we ended up saving money as we didn't spend near as much as we would have renting a car, filling it up with gas, and spending time and cash on parking. We planned out our days to accommodate where we were going, too, but we also walked a lot. Thank goodness our hotel supplied free bottles of water. We were there in early May, but already the weather was hot and balmy. 

On Broadway, there are countless places to eat and hear live music, not to mention close access to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Some of the Yelp events we experienced included a behind-the-scenes tour at Third Man Records, Jack White's label. Jack White's nephew gave us the tour and said that there are intimate music sessions and concerts held at the studio and recorded live. We also got on board a beer bus tour to several of Nashville's local breweries San Diego is known for its craft brew, but Nashville isn't too shabby a place to get some either.

Inside Third Man Records -- no photos allowed BTS

Beer, beer, and more beer!

We, of course, had to hit up the Grand Ole Opry and take the backstage tour, which was fun to hear the history of artists who have played there. The venue itself isn't that big, and our Uber driver had a hard time finding where to drop us off. It's kind of tucked away among trees near the massive hotel and a mall. 

Nashville is a fun-loving place! They have fried pickles everywhere (a favorite!), delicious BBQ (loved Jack's), and are big about "hollerin' and swallerin," which we did plenty of at Honky Tonk Central. Yes, that's what it's called. Get the Key Lime Pie cocktail and get in the spirit of country music.

I tasted fried pickles everywhere, but LOVED the ones at Honky Tonk Central.
Take the opportunity to travel whenever you can. There are ways to keep it cost-friendly and it's worth it to experience some place you've never been. Nashville was just one of the many U.S. cities I got to visit last year, and I loved its hospitable and funky vibe. 

There are still many places to cross off my list, but my travel adventures don't stop here...

I briefly wrote about my experience last year, but not as in-depth or with as many pictures as with this blog post. Almost a year later, I still am thinking about those fried pickles! I also spotlighted the city for as a Nashville City Guide.

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