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amandarawrrr Feb 7th, 2013 06:35 AM

Nashville trip next month
Hi all, I'm taking a business trip to Nashville next month and will be staying at the Hampton Inn near Vanderbilt. I'm thinking about seeing a show at the Mercy Lounge that Sunday night I get in and am wondering if that's a safe area to walk around in, as I'll be alone? I don't mind the distance but I'm mostly worried about safety. Otherwise, is there public transportation available? I'm also a Zipcar member (and under 25) and see that there's Zipcars available at nearby Vanderbilt University but I'd have to double check that I have access to them - and I'd feel silly driving less than two miles, anyhow.

I arrive on Sunday morning so I plan on wandering around the city during the day, and I might have one weeknight at my disposal, but that's about it - so any other suggestions of what to do/see would be wonderful! Thank you!

amandarawrrr Feb 7th, 2013 06:43 AM

For clarification - it's the Hampton Inn West End, not Elliston Place. Didn't realize there were two until just now!

jent103 Feb 7th, 2013 11:31 AM

The Hampton Inn area is fine, especially during the day - West End is a busy thoroughfare. I would *not* walk to Mercy Lounge, though. It's perfectly safe to go there, but the building is in a confusing, not-pedestrian-friendly area (it took me a few years not to get lost going there!), and is close to some rough/industrial areas. You could either take a cab, or if you take a Zipcar, you can park in the Mercy lot (paid unless you get there super early). Don't feel silly about driving - believe me, most people here wouldn't dream of walking from Vandy to Mercy! Besides the distance, the route is just awkward and built for cars, not walkers.

What are you interested in specifically? For the usual touristy stuff, I'd spend your Sunday downtown at the Country Music Hall of Fame (really fascinating, even though I don't listen to much country) and taking the backstage tour of the Ryman. If you're more into shopping or fun restaurants, head to Hillsboro Village (near Vandy) or East Nashville or 12 South. From your hotel, you could walk via West End and 21st down to Hillsboro Village - probably a 20-minute walk to the heart of the village.

Our public transportation isn't great, but actually you're well situated for the buses. It's a spoke system, and pretty much everything interchanges downtown, but there's a line that goes straight down West End Avenue. I think the Sunday schedule is less frequent than weekdays. Easiest is to just take a cab downtown, wander around, and then cab back. There's a Music City Circuit bus that goes from downtown to the Gulch area (11th/12th and Division, on the other side of the train tracks from Mercy), but I haven't taken it myself and don't know the Sunday schedule.

What show are you seeing?

amandarawrrr Feb 7th, 2013 04:27 PM

Good call - thank you! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I've been to Nashville once but it was overnight on a road trip so I didn't get to see much. I'd love to just get a general feel for the city... fun shopping is good, and I know I'm going to have to stop at Gruhn Guitar for my boyfriend who's a guitar nut! I'm definitely a music fan, I like good beer and coffee, and I just like to try to take in as much of the local culture as I can when I visit a place - so while I'm not a huge country fan, I'll probably give the museum a go, because when in Rome, right? I also love cityscapes and just wandering around outside - I'll probably end up exploring one of the various parks along the river if I have time! I'll definitely keep that bus route in mind. Oh, and I'm hoping to see Tristan Prettyman!

jent103 Feb 7th, 2013 04:55 PM

Oh, she's great live - I saw her a few years ago at another club in town.

For beer, Yazoo Brewery is the oldest (as far as I know) local brewery and the best known. Their space is in the Gulch, which is between your hotel and downtown proper. They do tours, but it's been awhile since I've done it (and they were in their old space a mile or so away), so I don't know the specifics.

For good coffee, Fido or Hot & Cold in Hillsboro Village are owned by Bongo Java, a local fair trade roastery with great coffee. (They're right next door to each other on 21st Avenue. Hot & Cold is great if you just want a drink or a dessert; Fido is a big coffee shop/restaurant with a great menu all day.) Pangea is a really fun store right across the street from them.

Another coffee shop, Crema, is downtown, south of Broadway. I'm rarely in that area when it's open, so I haven't been there, but I hear good things.

Downtown is where the tourists all go, and it's fun, but I'm not sure how much sense the honky-tonks give you of the true local culture, since most of us don't go two-stepping on a regular basis. :) It'll be good for your one day, though!

amandarawrrr Feb 7th, 2013 05:21 PM

Ahhh wonderful! Thank you SO much. I'll have to check if Yazoo does tours on Sundays! Really looking forward to my time. :)

jent103 Feb 7th, 2013 06:46 PM

Sure! I love it here - happy to share some good spots. :) Have fun!

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