For as many times as I’ve been to Nashville (heck and almost moved there in 2019!) this post is LONG overdue. Nashville is hands down one of my favorite places. I always have an absolute blast every time that I go so I have no doubt you will have the trip of a lifetime. Good food, great partying and a hell of a lot of fun dancing make for the best memories.
WHERE TO EXPLORE
Broadway– where ALL of the bars (and people) are. Many of the bars are owned by famous country singers. Expect live music, big crowds and drunk shenanigans here. I like staying walking distance from Broadway. Music Row– bars and restaurants. Come here if you want to get away from Broadway but still have several fun bars within walking distance! Also walk over to The Graduate hotel for a coffee or drink- you won’t regret it. The Gulch– come for the biscuits (Biscuit Love), stay for the shopping and pictures with the giant angel wings. Also another good area to stay if you don’t want to be so close to Broadway. 12 South– fun area with a good mix of restaurants, shopping and wall murals. Want a cute Instagram photo? Come here.
WHERE TO STAY
Noelle- I’ve never actually stayed here but everyone RAVES about it. I’ve stopped into the hotel lobby bar as well as the coffee shop multiple times and always love the vibe! The rooftop bar, Rare Bird, is also supposed to have a great view plus it’s walkable to Broadway! Thompson Nashville- Located in the Gulch it’s an absolutely beautiful, hotel with modern music touches. My only complaint- no bath tubs 😛 Other than that it’s a great location. Westin Nashville- Great location (downtown near Broadway) and very upscale for a Westin! If you are looking for a more budget friendly option than some of the others, this is a great choice and the rooftop bar is AMAZING. Bobby Hotel- I stayed here on my most recent trip to Nashville and the rooms are definitely a little funky when it comes to decor but overall it’s so much fun and all of their food and dining is top notch.
WHERE TO EAT
@libertycommon- Located near Broadway. We went for a late brunch (HH starts at 2) and thought it was so darn cute. Made for the perfect start to day drink on Broadway! @thehamptonsocial-Located near Broadway. Although this is a chain it’s still a fun spot especially if you’ve never been! It features the iconic “Rosé all Day” neon sign. Suggest going for a boozy brunch but honestly you can’t go wrong with lunch or dinner either! @bartacolife- Located in 12S. I go here every single time I hit the ground in Nashville it’s that good! First things first- amazing spicy margs! Also all of the menu and ordering process is virtual so you order everything through an app and it’s delivered to your table in a matter of minutes. Excellent food, decor, and service! @henrietta_red- Located in Germantown. I keep wanting to try this cute stop but still haven’t made it. I had to include it because it comes highly recommended for their simplistic, chic decor and fresh ingredient dishes! The Southern- Located in South Broadway. If you are looking for a nice dinner spot, look no further! Amazing steak and oyster options plus it’s a short walk to Broadway if you want to go two step the night away after! And if you go for brunch don’t pass up the ribs. *chef’s kiss* @pinewoodsocialist-Located in South Broadway. This is a popular instagrammable spot featuring delicious menu items as well as bowling in an industrial-chic atmosphere. Great for large crowds! @urbangrubtherestaurant12south- Located in the 12S area. The BEST brunch in Nashville by far. You will die when you see the buffet spread is insane (oysters, crab legs, shrimp and grits, plus the regular breakfast fare). Heads up- don’t order the “all you can eat” buffet option (it will set you back $50!)- just get the “one time” buffet option and pile that plate as high as it can go! Scott and I didn’t realize how expensive the unlimited option was and both of us ended up eating only one plate! @biscuitlovebrunch- Located in the Gulch. You absolutely can’t come to Nashville and not indulge in some biscuits. Lots of places have them but Biscuit Love is arguably the best. They also have good drink specials.
WHERE TO DRINK
@lajacksonbar – rooftop bar in The Gulch. Great vibes and always a good crowd not to mention the view is INSANE. @fglhouse – Florida Georgia Line’s Bar on Broadway that NEVER disappoints. Love day drinking here. @acmenashville – located on Broadway. We usually stop and get food here but it’s also a fun bar! @whiskeyrownashville– one of my favorite bars on Broadway. We always end up here especially later in the evening! The third floor (rooftop) always has a DJ making it a fun spot to dance. Tootsies– you can’t come to Broadway and not go here. One of the oldest honkey tonk bars! @zeppelin.nashville – rooftop bar off the beaten path. I forget what the shot is called but you must get the edible flower shot- it makes your whole mouth numb (in a good way lol).
Losers– total dive bar but SO much fun. Seriously I saved the best one for last. They have a bar next door called winners but it’s way more fun to be a Loser;) @whitelimozeennash – cute rooftop bar. Located at the top of The Graduate hotel. If you can make a reservation for brunch- do it!
Charleston, SC had been on the top of mama and I’s travel list for quite some time and if it’s not on yours already, it should be! You will not find another place that offers so much southern hospitality, charm, history, and good old fashioned comfort food. It’s the perfect destination for a weekend trip because while this charming town has a lot to offer, it is easily done in 48 hours! Sure, there are some restaurants and sights that we didn’t get the chance to try out, but all the more reason to make it an annual trip 🙂 My one piece of advice if you are only staying for 48 hours is to stay somewhere downtown so that everything is within walking distance of your hotel!
W H E R E T O S T A Y
The Restoration Hotel. After several recommendations from friends, we felt like The Restoration Hotel checked off everything on the check list. Cute. Affordable. Great location. Lots of amenities. Coffee and and food choices on site. Did I mention cute?!
When visiting Charleston you have one of two types of choices for hotel options. You can go the old fashioned, vintage southern charm route or you can go for something a bit more modern. We wanted the best of both worlds. The Restoration provided touches of southern charm while still feeling like a luxurious getaway. My personal favorite thing about the aesthetic of the hotel was the exposed brick throughout each room. Not something that you see in Texas!
Not only were the rooms extremely spacious, turn down service is provided, breakfast is brought to your door each morning (in a picnic basket!), there is a cute coffee shop on site, a library to use as you please, and a more than accommodating staff! The Rise is the coffee shop attached to the hotel and dubbed to be “the most Instagrammable shop in Charleston” which I can attest to. The Watch is their rooftop bar and restaurant that draws quite the crowd as it should for it’s view of downtown Charleston, great ambiance, and great food! There is also a spa on site if you would like to treat yourself!
Hominy Grill– Known for their shrimp and grits but I opted but for “Charleston Nasty”- a fried chicken biscuit topped with gravy. The long lines are well worth the wait plus they have an outside drink window while you wait so you can enjoy a mimosa on the patio.
The Daily– The same owners as Butcher and Bee but we preferred this place. The Daily has a hip vibe and very small menu. That being said, if you want something quick and good, this is the place! I was a huge fan of their avocado toast and blueberry coconut smoothie.
Husk– I put this on here specifically for brunch because you have to go for the shrimp and grits- oh and the cornbread too! Best shrimp and grits in Charleston and they serve old fashioned cornbread with best flavored butter you’ve ever tasted. If you go for dinner, I’ve been told to sit on the bar side which is a carriage house and has the best burgers!
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit– Most delicious breakfast biscuits ever. If you wanted to do this before a full on brunch or treat yourself to a snack later in the day, you totally could as they are snack sized!
L U N C H/ D I N N E R
167 Raw– On the smaller side so I would suggest this place for lunch or an early dinner. They are famous for their oyster bar and lobster roll!
Cru Cafe– Southern comfort food done right! They certainly have something for everyone. If the weather is nice, they also have a great outdoor seating situation.
The Watch– If you are staying at the Restoration Hotel then this rooftop restaurant is very convenient! I highly suggest their oysters and scallops. The scallops were the best we had the entire trip!
5Church– Hands down our favorite dinner spot and there is no way that I will do it justice. I tried to take pictures but you have to see it to get the full affect. This restaurant is made out of an old church so there are still stained glass windows and the bar is made from an alter. The ceiling is miles high and has words written all over it. If you don’t go here, I can promise you are missing out. We easily hung out here for 4-5 hours! All of their dishes are extremely creative and a true foodie’s delight. I highly suggest the meatballs and scallops.
Poogan’s Porch– We were so hungry and the food was so good that no pictures were even captured. This little yellow house is right next door to Husk and is everything the reviews made it out to be. Make sure to make a reservation as it is a hopping place. I got the short rib ragu with sweet potato gnocchi and goat cheese and holy cow I’m still dreaming of it!
The Darling Oyster– If you want oysters, look no further. This cute spot has everything you could ever dream of when it comes to oysters! And since Charleston is right on the water, you haven’t had a fresh oyster until you’ve tried them in Charleston!
W H E R E T O D R I N K
C O F F E E
The Rise– This is the coffee shop that is attached to the Restoration Hotel and dubbed to be “the most Instagrammable coffee shop in Charleston”. Not only is it cute though, the coffee is dang good. I had it every morning that I was there. I’m not sure how long they will have the Winter Thyme latte but if it is still available when you are there, GET IT.
Black Tap– We didn’t venture here but I’ve heard it is another super cute coffee shop!
C O C K T A I L S
Zero George– This hotel is everything you dream of when you think of Charleston. If you aren’t already staying here or coming for dinner, make sure to at least stop by for drinks. They do happy hour prices and you can choose to sit anywhere in the house that you like. My personal favorite spot is outside on the covered balcony.
The Watch– Even if you don’t make it here for dinner, I’d highly suggest stopping by for at least drinks. The view and cute rooftop are the perfect setting for a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of wine.Dress: Nordstrom | Bag: Urban Outfitters | Jacket: Similar
The Gin Joint- Such a fun and cozy spot that comes highly recommended. If you like to sip on a fancy cocktail and enjoy a creative atmosphere, this is the place! Make sure to do the bartender’s choice- SO MUCH FUN!
The Belmont– This bar is AMAZING. They have the best cocktail bar in Charleston and if that didn’t already sell you, they even have homemade poptarts for dessert.
S I G H T S T O S E E
King’s Street– The best shopping in Charleston, seriously. Even if you just want to window shop, this is the place! I suggest starting here and then making your way to The Battery, Waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods. It’s all in walking or biking distance to each other. Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: LOFT | Shoes: Similar | Sunglasses: Raybans
The Battery– Make sure you walk down to The Battery and explore the neighborbood around there. So many cute and historic spots.
Waterfront Park– An ocean view and a beautiful walk around the harbor. There is also a Pineapple fountain that you must see. If you didn’t know, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and they are all over the place in Charleston!
Rainbow Row– The iconic row of 13 colorful houses. I personally thought it was a little overrated and not as “picture-esque” as it looks but still a cute spot to visit on your walk around Charleston.
Plantations– There are several plantations in Charleston that allow for visitors and each holds a special piece of history. All of them are said to be gorgeous in their own way. Since we only had a few hours, we made the trek to Mount Pleasant to see “The Notebook” house otherwise known as the Boone Hall Plantation. You only need an hour or two to do this but Mount Pleasant is about 20 minutes away from downtown Charleston and can be easily accessed with Uber if you do not have your own car.Top: Target | Leggings: Spanx | Jacket: Similar | Shoes: Nike
Sullivan’s Island– Charleston is home to a few beaches, but if you only have time for one, make sure to hit up Sullivan’s Island! The beach isn’t especially the prettiest but being so close to the ocean, it’s a fun afternoon spot to enjoy the sun. We stopped by The Daily and picked up food/drinks to take down to the beach. Swimsuit: Aerie | Hat: Similar | Sunglasses: Raybans
*This post is done in partnership with The Restoration Hotel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Theres no hiding what a huge wino I am on my little corner of the internet. I’m not one to shy away from a glass (er, bottle) of cab any given night of the week. So when my college girlfriends talked about getting together for a reunion, Fredericksburg (aka Texas wine country) was at the top of our list. I’ve been to the “real” wine country, but this was my first time to experience Texas wine country and all of it’s glory. By the end of the trip, we all agreed that it would become an annual trip as we fell in love with the little city and of course, the endless amounts of wine and girl talk.
Where to Stay
I highly suggest renting a house for the weekend. If you are heading up for a girls weekend or wanting to go in on a place with multiple people, a house is the way to go. Fredericksburg offers many cute options that make the trip so much more enjoyable than staying in a hotel. We stayed at “The Aqua Door“ which proved to be everything we hoped for and more! We were able to spread out comfortably and truly felt like we were at home. Most places are between $4-$600 a night (cheaper during the week) so split between multiple people, it is well worth it! Our house came equipped with boardgames, a hot tub, outdoor games, cable, a piano, and several other amenities that made it a home away from home and a real treat. The owner has several other properties (found here), all with different colored front doors, that are perfect for your next girls weekend, bachelorette party, or couples retreat. I cannot say enough great things about the owner, all of her recommendations, attention to little details, and the overall house aesthetic. Just look what I mean 🙂
There are several tasting rooms on the main strip but if you are wanting to go to some of the wineries a little bit further out, I suggest taking the Wine Shuttle that runs to all of the wineries and picks up every 15 minutes. It is just $24.99 and well worth the money to not drink and drive. Our shuttle driver cranked up the music and we had a grand old time!
Grape Creek Vineyard– Our personal favorite! A tasting is $18 and you get to pick out 6 wines. The majority of us are red wine lovers, and enjoyed the Viognier and Bellissimo wines. We also stayed for lunch in their dining room and split a bottle of wine. We were given several free glasses of wine which might have been why it was our favorite 🙂
Becker Vineyards– A beautiful vineyard that also has lavender fields. Perfect for that vineyard Instagram picture (see below). There is normally live music on the weekends with a gorgeous area that overlooks the vineyard. Perfect area to split a bottle of wine. My personal favorite was the Reserve Malbec.
4.0 Cellars– Calling all wine and cheese lovers. This winery offers a wine and cheese pairing tasting for just $25. If you want to cut the cheese (hehe), a wine tasting is just $15. Friday evenings offer live music and you are welcome to pack snacks to enjoy on the patio.
Where to Eat
Fredericksburg has a lot of German history and heritage, which makes for great dining! Several of our meals were German because who can pass up a schnitzel and beer to combat all of the wine? Not us!
Otto’s– If you are looking for a really good German inspired meal, all 6 of us LOVED this place. Each one of us got something different and ended up sharing everything because every dish was out of this world! Some of our favorites included the Ricotta Gnochi, Wurst Platte, and Pork Shank. The prices are reasonable for a nice dinner. They are also open for Sunday Brunch. I do suggest arriving early or making a reservation as the place is very small.
The Auslander-If you are wanting a cheap, authentic German meal, this is the place! If the weather is nice enough, there is usually a pretty good sized crowd enjoying live music and throwing back oversized beers.
Sozial Haus– A quaint spot that has great pizza. Monday nights they have half price pizzas and bottles of wine.
Hondos– An old spot where you will find many locals. The food is nothing extraordinary but the atmosphere is fun!
Vaudeville– This is a nicer place and reservations are recommended. Even if you don’t get a chance to eat here, I suggest checking out the courtyard and little shop that is attached to it. Both are amazing! I have heard the restaurant is a must do if you have the time (and money!) to do so.
August E’s– Another great fine dining experience. We were there during the week and attended “Thai Tuesday” night. While the price is a little high for thai, the portions are HUGE and easy to share. They also have sushi and steaks.
What to Do
Besides the obvious, there are plenty of other things to do in Fredericksburg! It is such a cute town to explore and small enough to walk most places if you are staying at a house that is close to the main strip.
Walk/shop the main strip- There are over 100 small shops, tasting rooms, markets, and restaurants along the main strip. Be aware that almost everything closes down early in Fredericksburg so to do this earlier in the day. Most place close by 6.
Tasting rooms- If you are just wanting to grab a drink before dinner or do not want to drive out to the wineries, several of the vineyards have tasting rooms on the main strip.
Lincoln St.- A cute indoor/outdoor bar that is perfect for drinks before or after dinner and one of the only places that stays open later.
Yellow Door Studio– If you have already done a wine and painting class, then you know how fun they are. If you have not, now is your time! The art class is BYOB and is so much fun! These classes run about $45/person and are a great keepsake for a girls or bachelorette weekend!