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Destination Spotlight: Summer in Nashville

Nashville receives a lot of well-deserved hype these days. This vibrant city is bursting with new restaurants, shops, cultures, and opportunities. In the eight years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen it all. So, skip the tourist traps on your next visit! Here are some of my favorite local spots in Music City to visit during the summer.

This rooftop bar in the famous Gulch neighborhood is a local favorite, and for good reason! LA Jackson is a great place to enjoy stunning panoramic views of Nashville without fighting the traffic to get downtown. A sunset from their terrace with one of their signature cocktails or a glass of champagne is hard to beat. However, since this spot is so popular, I recommend visiting on a weeknight so you can get a good table.

Embers is a classic neighborhood bar with a fun après ski vibe. The bar has a great happy hour almost every day and you can enjoy it on their lovely rooftop patio, overlooking the popular 12 South neighborhood. This is a casual but great place to grab a drink and hang out with friends. If you want a snack, you must try the Cali Style Fries! I don’t say this lightly as a California native, but they are the closest thing I've found to In N Out’s signature animal style fries. Go catch a sunset from the patio and relax with a beer!

When warm weather hits Nashville, we all flock to Arrington Vineyards to spend a day overlooking the beautiful vines and enjoying the local wine. The peach frosé is a fan favorite, and it pairs well with the treats from the Arrington food truck, Simply Living Life. Outside beverages are not allowed but outside food is, so I usually bring some cheese and crackers of my own too. This visit is easiest if you have access to a car or arrange transportation in advance since it’s about 40 minutes from Nashville. It is close to the adorable historic town of Franklin, Tennessee, which is another great spot to visit on the way.

You can’t visit Music City without seeing some music! On a warm summer night, there’s nothing better than seeing a show at Ascend Amphitheater. This casual venue has seated options, or you can bring a blanket and chill out on the lawn. The amphitheater gets a nice breeze from the Cumberland River next-door and has great food and drink options to enjoy during a show.

If you’re in the East Nashville area, try Pearl Diver! This funky lounge will make you feel like you’re visiting a tropical oasis. They have incredible specialty cocktails and eclectic bar food in a uniquely fun and exotic environment. If you somehow leave hungry, you can head down the street to the iconic Dino’s Bar and Grill, a dive bar with great burgers, fries, and everything else you could want after a night on the town.

GreenHouse is a hidden gem in the Green Hills neighborhood. The name is no joke; the interior is actually a greenhouse elevated with chic décor and modern amenities. There are plants everywhere, fun drinks, and a ton of good outdoor seating. Plus, if you're looking for a restaurant rather than another bar, they have a fantastic brunch served Friday - Sunday! Since it’s off the beaten path, there’s never a huge line and The Dolly bowl is one of my favorite breakfasts in town.

Sharing sangria and tapas with friends at Barcelona Wine Bar is one of my favorite summer activities. They have a fantastic wine list featuring predominantly Spanish wines and a full menu of mouth-watering tapas. My favorite tapas include the albondigas (meatballs), the jamón y Manchego croquetas, patatas bravas, the Spanish-style potato tortilla, and their espresso chocolate cake for dessert. This is a great place to come with a group of friends but make a reservation if you can because it gets busy!

Let us know your favorite Nashville spots in the comments!



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