Rêve on the Road: Nashville, TN
Over the last five years, Nashville has transitioned from "Music City" to "It City." Perhaps the shift is due to the TV show or--like Portland--its inclusion on nearly every Top 10 list of places to travel. Whatever the reason, more people than ever before are packing their cowboy boots and heading South. In this post, we call on Rêve rider and one time Nashville resident, Bernadette Doykos, to highlight some of her favorite, can't miss activities that will have you moving around the city like a local--and countering the effects of all of the signature food and drink items, like hot chicken and bushwackers. Get Moving
On a recent trip back to my old neighborhood (5 Points in East Nashville) I hit up this new boutique spin studio. After the 45 minute class, I pretty much felt like a a rock star. In addition to curating a killer playlist and inspiring your best dance moves on the bike to a collective beat, the instructors introduce some amazing light choreography that makes you feel like you're on stage and helps you to forget--for a few seconds at least--how hard you are working. This month, they move into their permanent space, and I already cannot wait to go back. Classes are $15 for a drop-in.
Located at the top of historic Music Row, Shakti is a really special yoga studio, owned by sisters, Lauren and Kelly. When I lived there, I did a yoga trade (or as a friend joked, I was a "yoga janitor") here and could not get enough of their classes, wonderful teachers, and friendly yoga community. They offer a robust schedule, which includes a wide range of classes from calming Shiva Vinyasa to their signature heated Power Flow, which includes a super fun soundtrack and will make you sweat more than you knew was possible. Regardless of which class you take, you will walk out feeling revived and refreshed. The studio is a favorite of some local celebrities, so don't be surprised if you find yourself on a mat next to one of your favorite musicians or a cast member of Nashville. Also, if you're looking for more of a HIIT workout, head right downstairs to Get Fit 615!
Nashville is known as the "Athens of the South," a nickname that has stuck due to its replica of the Parthenon, located in Centennial Park right across the street from Vanderbilt. In addition to frequently hosting live music, Centennial has a perfect 1 mile loop which is a great place to log your miles and do some excellent people watching. Centennial Park is just one of a number of well maintained running trails around town cared for by Nashville Parks.
Rest & Recover
As a reward for all that moving, Nashville offers some of the very best in food, drink, and entertainment. It would be impossible to highlight all of my favorites, but here's a quick list!
After expending all that energy, you have to refuel, right? If you are looking for an incredible, fresh meal, look no further than Marché. They uses the tastiest local ingredients to create a new menu for each season. The food is healthy and unique, the perfect place to unwind amidst the hustle of the city.
Barista Parlor is Nashville's equivalent to Tandem Bakery, unbelievably hip and even more so delicious. Their coffee making process is nothing short of an art and the baristas are decked out in beautiful, handcrafted Imogene & Willie (another Nashville must see) aprons. My recommendation: a biscuit and egg sandwich and a Kentucky Bourbon Vanilla Latte. They have three locations throughout the city (East Nashville, The Gulch, and Germantown), so you'll be sure to be able to find one amidst your travels. During the summer, they frequently pair with neighborhood yoga studios to offer some great classes, so be sure to check their schedule!
Located at the edge of the bustle of Broadway--Nashville's iconic strip of honky tonks--Pinewood Social is an experience that is difficult to characterize. Equal parts coffee shop, delicious restaurant, bowling alley, and bar, Pinewood Social has a little something for everyone. It can serve as a great spot to camp out and do work or, with its tiny pool, a place to beat the heat. Whatever you are looking for, you won't want to miss it!
These recommendations only scratch the surface of the Nashville food scene. Regardless of where you end up, I can nearly guarantee that you'll have a great time--even if you opt to burn some calories two stepping at Robert's Western World.
From Portland, Nashville is an easy flight away--Southwest offers a great option with a quick stopover in Baltimore--making it an ideal place to jet for the long weekend.