We left Brooklyn with the car packed and my dog Winston in tow! Fender benders avoided and we were quickly out of Brooklyn and into the winding mountains south of the Mason Dixon. Two women travelers on a mission to become road warriors, one dog and 17 hours of driving later and weekend getaway Nashville begins!
After the long drive, we were weary, but warmly welcomed by our good friend and Tennessee native Allie O’Connell. Allie is an inspiration in her own right: A young en
trepreneur ready to crack the glass ceiling for women in technology. Allie’s first start-up, Carbon Objects, developed innovative technology to connect art galleries and collectors. Ad
ditionally, Allie has solo traveled around the world whitewater kayaking many of the most intimidating waterfalls and waterways. There was no better person to travel with and introduce us to the thriving Nashville art scene and cool neighborhoods in this hip southern city.
But before we could art crawl, we had to revive and check out a few spots to find the wares of young designers! A trip to the farmer's market for fresh fruit, local honey and exploring was the perfect place to start our trip.
Then off to an insanely delicious family style all-out southern cooking brunch at Monell's in Germantown was in order. Grits, pancakes, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, bacon...and more did the trick.
We visited Native and Nomad in Hillsboro and connected with owner Kelly Connolly. It was a pleasure to meet someone so committed to designs that are unique and fresh. Kelly’s care for her collection is deep, she can tell you the story of every designer in her shop. We got to chatting and told her our story (women travelers with a passion for design) and we are now carried in our first shop in Nashville!
By evening we were ready for art! The two highlights of the night were Zeitgeist Gallery and Fort Houston. At Zeitgeist, for the show Therely Bare Redux, Allie Introduced us to Lain York - a venerable pioneer of the Nashville art scene. His energy and vast knowledge of Nashville’s transformation from regional to nationally recognized was fascinating.
The artists, designers and tinkerers of Nashville are serious about their love of DIY and nowhere was that more evident than at the Fort Houston maker space. Situated in a massive warehouse this community of artists/makers/designers are customizing motorcycles, 3D printing, screen printing, woodworking, making furniture and so much more.
As we roamed the halls, we couldn't help but be inspired by the spirit of ingenuity and creativity. It's definitely refreshing to explore a different designer/maker scene than the one we're always in (Brooklyn). What else is cool about Fort Houston? You can become a member and get access to their workshops and even rent desk space. I really appreciated the passion and drive felt in Nashville and will be looking forward to going back soon!
Here's a little taste of what the guide includes...dowload the whole guide below!
Grand Ole Opry, of course!
Hillsboro, 12 South, WeHo
- Hillsboro Village: Take a stroll down 21st Ave S. It will not disappoint, lots of cute shops, including Native and Nomad, REVV, The Impeccable Pig and great food options!
- Explore the 12 South neighborhood: Check out awesome vintage shops, high end boutiques and delicious food.
- Hop into Moda Boutique for mid to high end women's clothing.
- Explore the many beautiful fabrics, sewing and embroidery goods (throw in some yarn for good measure) at Craft South.
- Absolutely get a made-just-for-you pair of jeans at Imogene + Willie, which just so happens to be located in an old gas station, cool right?
- Don't leave without peeking in White's Mercantile, I think they have some of the best souvenirs in Nashville and the shop owned by Holly Williams, who has released three critically-acclaimed albums. Don't miss her other Nashville store H. Audrey, a women's clothing boutique.
- Grab some caffeine at Portland Brew while you shop your heart out.
- Lastly, if you're looking for cute, contemporary southern clothing and accessories at an affordable price head over to Vinnie Louise.
Guide Note: From the time I wake up to when my head hits the pillow I'm on the GO when traveling to a new place! I hope my guides help you navigate cities in an easy, thoughtful and hectic-free way while being able to take in as much as possible in the time you have! Please let me know if you've used this guide or plan to use this guide in the comments! I'd love your feedback! Also, if you haven't checked out my City + Metro Map cuff bracelets you can follow this link to them!
Thanks for sharing your music, southern cooking and creative spirit Nashville!
About Tiffany: I am the Founder and Creative Director of Designhype! Labels I like on me: designer, traveler and foodie. I've been obsessed with travel and art since I was a child so it only made sense that I would somehow merge the two together. Now after many years of traveling, moving to various cities and designing along the way I have started writing up travel and city guides to share with you! I'm a meticulous and oftentimes called OCD trip planner, from the time I wake up to when my head hits the pillow I'm on the GO! I hope my guides help you navigate cities in an easy, thoughtful and hectic-free way while being able to take in as much as possible in the time you have! Enjoy!
Tiffany is from the East Coast, now on the West Coast and currently thinking about the next city she'd like to call home for a few years.