Our Christmas Eve in Nashville
Our Christmas plans this year took us from Pittsburgh, PA to sunny Panama City, Florida with a pit stop in Nashville, TN. I slated two nights, so we would have one day in Nashville to explore. While the holiday did make schedules more challenging to navigate, we were able to eat, drink, and explore and still have a cozy night to exchange Christmas presents, watch Home Alone, and toast spiked egg nog. It was quite festive!
While you won’t see Julep in these pics (we left her to be spoiled in very loving hands in PGH, since she has issues with other dogs), you will see Maple Le discovering that Nashville is quite the dog-friendly city. From the food to the dog parks, to the warm temps, we’re eager to return for a longer stint. In the meantime, here’s a vicarious one day in Nashville.
Arrival + Takeout From Joyland
While we didn’t have the time to sit and dine in one of renowned Chef Sean Brock’s fine-dining restaurants, we did have time for his fast food concept, Joyland. It’s fast food with a sustainable twist – local meat sourcing and quality ingredients.
One Day in Nashville: Morning Coffee & Treats
Morning Coffee at Barista Parlor in the East Nashville neighborhood. Grabbed coffees to take to the dog park as well as beans of what I’m assuming to be “The Office” inspired Belsnickel variety (photo below). I’m pleased to report it was quite admirable and not impish at all.
Maple Le’s playtime at the Shelby Dog Park. We were in awe of how dog-friendly Nashville is. Shelby Park was large with a pavilion for rainy/hot days, a walking path and benches for the humans, and an overall lovely aesthetic with lots of trees. We were pretty jealous.
100-layer donuts (ie: a cronut) from Five Daughters Bakery. We bought a variety including salted chocolate, egg nog, purist, and a honey cheesecake to enjoy. I’m a big fan of the option of the mini 100-layer donuts, so we could try more flavors. I was especially surprised by the egg nog flavor, which tasted like an actual sip of rich egg nog. So often egg nog flavored baked goods just taste extra creamy or overly sweet.
One Day in Nashville: Afternoon Eats & Adventures
A quick stroll through the Nashville Farmers’ Market. Christmas Eve definitely took a toll on this experience as most of the businesses were closed, but it was worth the visit nonetheless. We’d definitely come back for the Jeni’s Ice Cream booth as well as all the other food “sheds.”
Lunch at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. We opted for the mild, so you heat seekers will have to do your own quest. The mild was the perfect level of heat and flavor. Pimento mac and collard greens on the side. Everyone who worked there was friendly and helpful, which is saying a lot for working on Christmas Eve.
We walked off the fried chicken and explored Centennial Park which boasts a replica of the Parthenon. Just up the hill was another dog park, even more impressive than the first. It was huge, terraced, and boasted many a tree.
One Day in Nashville: Happy Hour
A quick beer on the dog-friendly patio at Southern Grist Brewing Co. in East Nashville.
A Cocktail at Camp Bobby, the rooftop bar at Bobby Hotel. The dog-friendly rooftop lounge at the Bobby Hotel took on a festive ’70s camp vibe with a retrofitted 1956 Scenicruiser, rentable igloos, campfires, an ice skating rink and skate-rental chalets. We skipped the igloos (which had a food & drink minimum) and curled up in one of the poolside lounge areas to sip a tequila, averna, and coffee cocktail called “Hype.”
Christmas is such a festive time to visit a new city. Nashville treated us, including Maple Le, quite well, and we hope to be back soon.