Tour of Tennessee {Nashville: Hermitage Hotel, Wildhorse Saloon, Draper James + More}

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!


As a Virtuoso affiliated travel adviser, I have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies, and I secure exclusive amenities for my luxury clients at destinations like The Hermitage in Nashville.  Contact me to learn more and start designing your dream vacation today!

Dixie Delights Tour of Tennessee

in collaboration with
Dollywood  |  Visit Nashville  |  Memphis Travel

Part 1 – Read House, Ruby Falls, Rock City + More
Part 2 –  Wild Cave Expedition, Tennessee Aquarium + More

Part 3 – Dollywood + Dixie Stampede
Part 4 – Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

Part 5 – a quick morning in the city

Part 6 – Hattie B’s, Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame
Part 7 – Hermitage Hotel, Wildhorse Saloon, Draper James

Part 8 – Peabody, Beale Street, Graceland
Part 9 – BBQ, Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio


19 thoughts on “Tour of Tennessee {Nashville: Hermitage Hotel, Wildhorse Saloon, Draper James + More}

  1. I’m so excited to read about this trip, especially the Nashville part, because it’s closest to my home in Smyrna. Our girl scout troop will be doing an art tour around town to earn a badge and will include some statues, The Parthenon, and those infamous angel wings. On the weekend that line can last an hour to take pictures in the wings.

    1. You were very helpful on IG!! That sounds like a fun girl scout outing. I guess we got really lucky with the angel wings. They are really cool! I loved all of the art painted on the sides of buildings all over the city. We don’t have anything like that in Atlanta.

  2. Nashville seems like the place to be in Tennessee! Love, love the pictures of Whit line dancing with you! Precious! ?

    1. I won’t forget that. I don’t even think Honey knew how much I loved line dancing until that night. Whit stuck by me almost all night and it was the sweetest thing. xo

  3. So fun to read about your adventures in my town, and I LOVE this family rule: you have to collect all the experiences that come your way!

  4. I am enjoying traveling with you through the state where I was raised. After graduate school my husband and I moved away and only came back to visit my parents who live 80 miles from Memphis. Seventeen years ago we bought a cabin in the mountains of East TN and are once again enjoying my Volunteer state. Your visit makes me want to take my grandkids and explore other areas of my birth state. Thanks for sharing your trip.

    By the way did I read on your blog that you were in Zeta Tau Alpha at GA Tech? So am I? I was a Zeta first at Union University in Jackson, TN and then at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN.

    Really enjoy your blog.

    1. Awwww, that’s great that you have a little place back home now. I love that. I feel the same way about Savannah. (except i just borrow my family’s places :-) ) Yes, I was a ZTA at Tech!! ZLAM!! xo

  5. I just love seeing pics of classic, historical hotels and resorts like the Peabody and that bakery was just to die for! Please make sure the next time you visit Nashville you take time and visit the Parthenon. It is a full scale exact replica of the one in Athens, Greece. You boys will be amazed when they go through it.

    1. I wish we had time in the agenda to do the Parthenon. Nashville was our very favorite city overall and I know we will be back. That is definitely on the next time list!

    1. Thank you!! Yes, I didn’t feel bad at all leaving them in the car. I mean, I crawled through a cave…

    1. Well, I really debated myself. I had a room booked at Gaylord originally and it was going to be about $60 cheaper per night. I knew my boys would love Gaylord but I didn’t think they would want to leave. When Dollywood treated us to our stay at DreamMore I decided to just spend the extra $120 total for the two nights to stay at Hermitage. Once we got there it was truly first class service. I was so glad we decided to stay there!

  6. I love following you and your darling family on your trips now that my kids Are grown and we don’t do as many family adventures! Question-when companies, hotels etc give you complimentary tickets or stays, have you requested them, or do they just know your blog and know they will receive publicity on it? I’ve always been curious how that works.

  7. I used to watch that show on tv, too!!! Every afternoon after school, I think? :)

    Glad I wasn’t the only one!

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