The sixth day on our Tour of Tennessee continued in Nashville.
While in Music City, we laid our heads at the absolutely amazing Hermitage Hotel. Having read about the Hermitage year after year after year in Southern Living, I knew I wanted to stay here the minute we decided on adding Nashville to our itinerary.
This historic hotel in the heart of downtown Nashville opened in 1910. Every single bit of our stay here was luxurious and impeccable, from the moment we pulled the jeep up to the curb and were greeted by the doormen.
The gorgeous lobby is an old-world blend of classical Italian and French Renaissance architecture, with a grand staircase, marble floors and columns and a painted glass skylight ceiling.
Our room was also incredibly nice and comfortable with two queen beds, a sofa, chair, Nepresso coffee station and giant bathroom.
Day 6 (continued): Nashville
After wrapping up our day touring the Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Victor Studio and Hatch Show Print, we relaxed in the room for a bit. Before heading out to Wildhorse Saloon, we popped in the Hermitage’s famed Oak Bar for a cocktail and snack.
Oak Bar was originally opened as a private gentleman’s club in 1910. Its illustrious history began during the onset of Tennessee’s prohibition era, and the bar achieved notoriety and fame when it was caught serving teapots filled with bourbon!
Now, one of the strangest things we explored on our Tour of Tennessee was right here in the Hermitage Hotel… what has been voted “America’s best restroom.” This preserved art-deco style men’s room features lime-green-and-black leaded glass tiles, lime-green fixtures, a terrazzo floor, a two-seat shoeshine station, and a telephone connecting you to the front desk. I even got the go-ahead to take a peek inside myself from a staff member that found me lingering outside waiting on the boys.
After Oak Bar we were ready to hop in the car for a night of food, games, country music and line dancing at Wildhorse Saloon.
We arrived right around 5:30 and only waited a few minutes for a table. Whit and I immediately hit the dance floor for our first line dance lesson of the night!
Honey and John did eventually join us for just one dance lesson. Honey was a great sport and totally game. John looked like he was being tortured. BUT, we have rule in this family that you have to collect all the experiences that come your way. And you can’t go to Nashville without line dancing. :-) After one song they retreated to the pool tables upstairs, but Whit stood by me on the dance floor well into the night.
We spent our entire evening here, eating, dancing, listening to the fabulous band and playing games upstairs. It is definitely a destination.
We all agreed that it was one of our best nights spent in Tennessee!! Wildhorse Saloon is family friendly and welcomes all ages. I was particularly excited because years and years ago Sister and I spent hours and hours in front of the tv watching the Wildhorse Saloon broadcast and learning every line dance we possibly could. It didn’t even occur to me that this was the same Wildhorse Saloon until we got inside. I told Honey my story and he thought I’d gone batty. (First, he didn’t believe this place would have a TV show. Second, he found it unfathomable that people would watch said TV show to learn how to dance. HA!) One quick google search later and it was confirmed. This was THE Wildhorse Saloon of my youth. Sister was just as excited as I was. :-)
Day 7: Nashville
We slept in a bit before packing up the car for the next leg of our trip. Before heading out of town, we headed to the 12 South neighborhood for some food and shopping. Our first stop was Five Daughters Bakery for breakfast! The donuts were divine!!
Just down the street I had another “moment”. The day had finally come to visit Draper James!!!!! Honey pulled around to park in the back and I told them to just stay in the car :-)
I walked through the big blue double doors and literally just froze to take it all in. It was fabulous. The ladies were so incredibly sweet. I felt like I had come home :-) I walked all around the store twice while sipping on my sweet tea. Again, the ladies were super friendly and when I asked if I could take pictures for my blog gave great big smiles and said OF COURSE!!!!!
I picked out one top and one dress to try on. The clothes are pricey so I settled just on the dress. I had planned to wear it for Easter but when we didn’t go to Savannah I decided to save it for Whit’s First Communion in a couple of weeks! I literally would have been happy with any, and I mean any, item in that store. It was all fresh and classic and so stinkin’ cute. After checking out one of the ladies insisted on taking MY picture with my bag. She opened both of the doors, perfectly positioned me with my bag and tea, went outside into the street IN THE RAIN and took this picture. I mean, SO nice!!!
When I got back to the car, I got Honey to come out and take a few more pics. You know, because I was at Draper James.
After Draper James, we headed a bit further down the street to shop at White’s Mercantile. It calls itself “a general store for the modern-day tastemaker” and was quite cute.
My neck of the woods doesn’t have many shops like this, and I so miss them from living in Savannah and Smyrna (west side of Atlanta). I spent a good long while exploring (left the boys in the car again) and brought home some socks and a sign for the boy’s bathroom.
White’s Mercantile also carries Ex Voto Vintage jewelry, which I have fallen in love with! I have teamed up with them for a bracelet giveaway and will share all the details later in the week.
When it was all said and done, Nashville was our favorite city we visited in Tennessee overall. We all really, really, really want to come back again. (If you are curious, the Nashville mural is located directly next to Draper James. Parking is free in the back of the store.)
Tomorrow we head to the last stop on our Tennessee road trip – Memphis!
Part 5 – a quick morning in the city
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED