After a few more hours of gas station junk food, radio karaoke, and the freedom of the American open road, we finally arrived at our destination: Nashville, Tennessee. Known to many as the epicentre of country music, Nashville - or Music City, USA - is like a Southern Las Vegas. Lit up with flickering neon lights advertising barbecue to boots, Broadway is the main thoroughfare in downtown Nashville. No matter the time of day, Broadway is packed with people spilling in and out of the legendary country bars that line the strip: Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Honky Tonk Central, and Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge, to name a few. It's an unbelievable sight to see, and dare I say, quite exhilarating even if you are not a fan of country music.
During our stay in Nashville, we rented a charming home in 12South, one of Nashville's most popular neighbourhoods. Located only steps away from the lively 12th Avenue, we enjoyed brunch at Frothy Monkey, a local favourite, and stopped by Five Daughters Bakery for freshly baked donuts. The most anticipated event of our two days in Nashville, however, was the Country Music Crawler Pedal Tavern. Essentially a party bicycle, the Pedal Tavern is the ultimate Nashville experience, and a fun way to explore the city. On a pre-determined route, you hop on and off the moving bar counter to visit famous country bars for flavoured moonshine, live music, and music history. It was by far the highlight of our trip. To end our day, we went to Jack's Bar-B-Que for traditional Nashville fare followed with a night of dancing at the honky tonks on Broadway - only in America!
On our last morning in Nashville, we headed to the Gulch, a trendy new neighbourhood not too far from Broadway. Composed of mixed-use development and revitalized heritage buildings, the Gulch is home to a series of stunning wall murals by local artists - street art so beautiful, people actually line up to take pictures. In Midtown, we discovered an amazing restaurant called Caviar & Bananas, a gourmet market-meets-café with a gorgeous white and gold interior and bright, happy atmosphere. There is so much more to Nashville than cowboy boots and country music, and I'm looking forward to visiting again.