I'll be headed up to Nashville this weekend. Any recommendations of what I should check out while I'm there?
I went for the first time this weekend and have nothing going on at work, so:
I spent countless hours just wandering around downtown -- there's a ton to see. As to be expected, the main drag is a maybe a tad kitschy, but it's a lot of fun. The Capitol area is real neat, and the public library was really cool, too.
I tried out many of the midtown places. Tried to watch a game at Corner Pub, which I didn't really enjoy. Wouldn't go there again. The Row was really cool and also had great breakfast. Had a great time getting drinks on the deck at Soulshine, and there was a good band playing. Noshville was good. I enjoyed the pizza at Blackstone, and their beer is really good. (The sampler is an awesome deal). I actually got a six pack for the road, but was pretty disappointed -- it's way better on tap. Jackalope and Yazoo were the other local breweries I tried, and I liked everything.
I was pretty disappointed in The Gulch; it was pretty over-hyped in my opinion (though it was a small sample size). The Pub was cool and had an awesome beer list (Young's Double Chocolate Stout Nitro on tap? Yes, please.) but I'd have more fun going out in either downtown or midtown instead.
I tried to ask a lot of locals for stuff we should try to do, but nobody really had any substantive suggestions (other than the GOO, which I had zero interest in doing). The town is laid out very well and easy to explore on your own, I'd just spend a lot of time wandering, really. The vibe I get from campus is that I probably would have hated it as an undergrad, but it seems like it would be a nice place for grad/professional school.
All in all, it's a really neat place. I was concerned I'd feel out of place or uncomfortable as your standard lefty atheist Northerner, but that really wasn't the case. There was an opinion piece in a local paper titled "Carpetbagging Hipsters are Ruining Nashville!" After my visit, I'd be happy to join that movement, at least for a few years!