If you leave the neon lights of lower Broadway behind and drive out past the city’s forests of tall-skinnies, you’ll reach Nashville’s actual forests. The greater Nashville area is wild with Tennessee greenery, especially toward the Harpeth River that winds west of town. Whether you’re exploring by canoe or by foot, it’s the ideal setting for spotting river otters or white-tailed deer. Greater Nashville is also home to some of Nashville’s most significant historical landmarks, from antebellum and Greek Revival mansions to country-music-glitz log cabins. But most importantly: the food. Nashville’s immigrant population has nearly doubled in the last decade. Large populations of Mexican, Kurd, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Arab people now call Nashville home, and many of them have settled and opened businesses around the outskirts of town. Just drive up Nolensville Pike from Bell Road to Thompson Lane, or travel down Charlotte Pike just west of White Bridge. You can’t go wrong no matter which dumpling, kebab, or torta you choose. While the heart of the city remains a revolving door of immaculately tiled coffee shops and velvet-draped speakeasies, the outer regions have been slower to evolve. This means more down-to-earth gems that have stood the test of time—and fewer bachelorette mobs to compete with at the bar.
Not everyone has the courage to explore these macabre destinations. Do you?More