3 Days in Nashville: How to Eat, Drink and Dance Through the Heart of Country Music

Music City is calling. Make sure you check eating, drinking and dancing off your list of things to do in Nashville. (Photo: iStock)

Looking to get a little bit country? Got three days to do it? “Music City” is the perfect spot for a long weekend of live music, mouthwatering southern eats and a good old honky-tonk time. Pack your cowboy boots, if you’ve got ’em (if you don’t, we know where to get ’em), and check out these Nashville must-dos.

Day 1: Go From Bonuts to Backstage

When in Nashville, do as the Nashvillians do. And right now that means lining up at Biscuit Love for breakfast. This food truck-turned-bakery is famous for their “bonuts,” a biscuit/donut combo to die for.

After breakfast, walk in the footsteps of country music’s greatest superstars with a tour at the Grand Ole Opry. There are several tour types to choose from, but the real deal is the VIP tour where you can get backstage for a true behind-the-scenes look at the longest running radio broadcast in U.S. history.

Day 2: Walk the Line in Your New Cowboy Boots

Start your day right at Arnold’s Country Kitchen where Jack and Rose Arnold have been serving up “Meat and Three” (choice of protein plus three sides) for over 30 years. This James Beard Award winner has been celebrated by pubs like Southern Living, SAVEUR and Bon Appetit as well as Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” for good reason — nobody knows Nashville home-cooking like Arnold’s.

Everyone needs a good pair of cowboy boots, don’t they? And if you want the best, head over to Lucchese where Italian craftsmanship meets southern style. Once you’re fitted, take your new boots for a walk to the Johnny Cash Museum and soak up the spirit of the “Man in Black” who called Nashville home for years.

Day 3: Drive Fast. Eat Local. Discover Honky-Tonk

Hit the country roads with an exotic, luxury car rental from Music City Dream Cars and see Nashville in style. Out-of-towners can choose from one of several self-guided tours through winding back roads, fast freeways or just tooling around town with the top down.

Keep the high-life going into the night and make reservations for dinner at Husk, an upscale eatery that celebrates the best the South has to offer. Despite its reputation, southern cooking isn’t all deep fried and covered in gravy. Chef Sean Brock’s source-local philosophy is, “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.”

After dinner, head north a few blocks to “the District”, located at Broadway and 2nd Avenue, and experience a honky-tonk firsthand at one of the many venues showcasing live country music, great local beer and even line dancing … if you dare.