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Nashville on Labor Day Weekend

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My friend and I are going to Nashville TN for the first time. We have a place to stay but I'd love some guidance on things to see and do. I'm in my late 20's. I do want to go to a few country bars or two with similar aged crowds, maybe see some performers. We're both artsy and love interior design and history too. We don't have a whole lot to spend, so I'm looking to get the most out of Nashville for my money.

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    Bluebird Café is an excellent country music venue with very modest ticket prices. Visit the web site to determine which show and time you would like to attend and when tickets go on sale. Be on the web site the very minute tickets are available as the show will sell out in 5 to 10 minutes.

    Lovelace Café is both a country cuisine destination as well as music venue. Again, visit the web site to know what is happening for music. On a holiday weekend the restaurant will be busy, busy, busy.

    Edley's BBQ on 12th is my favorite Nashville BBQ. The couple of blocks around Edley's include Imogene & Willy's denim tailor to the Nashville elite as well as several other shops of interest and a local brew bar that is popular.

    Hermitage is Nashville's history destination.

    You will love Nashville. It's a great setting for a modest budget weekend. Have fun!

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    The Bluebird is great, but it's not at all a bar - they expect the audience to be very respectful of whoever is playing (no phones!). If you want to honky-tonk, go to Lower Broadway (Robert's, Tootsie's, the Stage).

    Stumpworks means the Loveless. It's a ways out of town on the west side and will have a long wait on the weekends.

    For artsy, walk around Hillsboro Village (21st Avenue, south of Vanderbilt) or 12 South, or visit East Nashville. East Nashville has the highest concentration of "artsy" and/or hipster here. Some good spots in those areas -

    Hillsboro Village: the Belcourt Theater (indie movies), Pangea and Posh for shopping, Fido and Hot & Cold (next door to each other, same owners) for local food and coffee/tea

    12 South: Burger Up for great burgers with local ingredients (~$12 each, comes with fries), Las Paletas next door for awesome Mexican popsicles, Frothy Monkey for coffee and breakfast, 12 South Taproom for eating/drinking, Katy K's, Serendipity and Imogene+Willie for shopping. (I have never been in Imogene+Willie because I don't want to spend $225 on jeans, but I'm told they do good work.)

    East Nashville: around the 5 Points area, brunch at Marche is awesome and reasonably priced. Its sister restaurant, Margot, is a great splurge. 3 Crow bar or the 5 Spot for drinking. Bongo Java, Barista Parlor or Ugly Mugs for coffee. For more eating, Rumours East, Rosepepper Cantina, Jeni's Ice Cream or the Pied Piper Ice Cream, Silly Goose. Lockeland Table for a bit of a splurge (make reservations - same for Margot). Sweet 16th Bakery has amazing breakfast sandwiches. There's also the Art & Invention Gallery on Woodland.

    Downtown, there's an art crawl once a month in the Arcade area. Rolf & Daughters just north of downtown just got named the third best new restaurant in America - it's really, really good, and not terribly expensive if you can restrain yourself from ordering everything. :)

    Our art museum, the Frist Center, has rotating exhibits; the main one they're advertising now is art deco cars, but check their site to see if there's anything of interest to you.

    For music venues, I'd check Mercy Lounge, 3rd & Lindsley and Exit/In to see who's going to be playing. Doesn't look like anyone is on the Ryman calendar that weekend, which is a shame.

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    (To clarify my "not at all a bar" statement - the Bluebird does serve alcohol and food, but it's not where you want to go if you want to line dance or socialize. The music is over all! Don't let those party scenes on Nashville fool you. :) )

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