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Nashville’s Hidden Gems

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radnor park, must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, radnor park hikes, biking in radnor park2. If you find yourself Downtown (which you will) looking for a quick pick-me-up or perhaps a refreshingly, non-fried dish amongst the spread of good ole Southern cookin’ that you’ll undoubtedly be surrounded by, Frothy Monkey is where it’s at!

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashvilleNot only do they serve a great cup of coffee, appropriately called a Frothy Monkey, they also have a delicious variety of salads, sandwiches, AND breakfast served ALL DAY! There’s a ton of gf and vegan options as well (menu here).

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, frothy monkey downtown nashville, where to drink downtown nashville, healthy food downtown nashvilleI ordered their most popular salad, The Gail, along with a side of their house made gf bread, and Drew ordered The PMP (prosciutto, mozzarella, provolone) with a side of raspberry custard pie. With exceptional food, service and ambiance it doesn’t get much better than this.

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, frothy monkey downtown nashville, where to drink downtown nashville, healthy food downtown nashville, berry custard pie3. Located within a short walking distance from the Frothy Monkey is “one of the 12 most original office buildings in the world,” the Batman Building.

must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, batman building, nashville must do'sThis 33-story AT&T office has been sweeping the Nashville skyline as the tallest building in the state of Tennessee since 1994. You can’t miss the chance to take a few photos with this unique character:

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, nashville must do's, wild cow, best vegan in nashville, nashville vegan, best restaurants in nashvilleOne of my favorite meals of the trip, this East Nashville gem is brimming with locally sourced vegetarian, vegan and gf options galore, satisfying even the most ravenous of carnivores, aka Drew (menu here). We started with their fajita-style nachos, smothered in their homemade vegan queso and  cashew cheese and marinated setian, along with a light and refreshing Caesar salad to share:

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, nashville must do's, wild cow, best vegan in nashville, nashville vegan, best restaurants in nashvilleFor dinner I went with The Philly and a side of chick pea salad (so good!), while Drew went with their most popular dish, The Buffalo Beans and Greens. They also have a variety of vegan desserts that are made by local bakeries and delivered fresh daily:

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must do in nashville, hidden gems nashville, unique nashville, hiking nashville, things to do in nashville, best of nashville, frothy monkey, best cafe in nashville, best coffee nashville, downtown bars nashville, best of downtown nashville, nashville must do's, wild cow, best vegan in nashville, nashville vegan, best restaurants in nashville, vegan dessert nashville5. If you’re looking for the best “Ranch Dressing” in town, Katy K’s is a one-of-a-kind store that cannot be missed. Katy started her business in Manhattan in the 1980’s and many of her designs appeared in early MTV videos on Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, New Kids on the Block, Dolly Parton and many others. Stop in and take a look at the vintage-western threads and pin-up clothes:

hidden gems nashville, unique things to do in nashville, best of nashville, what to do in nashville, things to do in nashville, romantic things to do in nashville, adventures in nashville, fun things in nashville6. Nashville is big on the pizza scene with places like Five Points, Soulshine, DeSano’s and Two Boots leading the way. Our favorite? TWO BOOTS. Why? Because THIS:

best pizza nashville, two boots pizza nashville, gluten free pizza nashville, best pizza in america, unique restaurants in nashvilleThe thin CORNMEAL CRUST is the foundation of everything at Two Boots. Crisp, crunchy and a little bit nutty, it provides the perfect support for the rich and exotic toppings… and also scores it a spot on the 18 pizza joints you MUST TRY before you die.

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best pizza nashville, two boots pizza nashville, gluten free pizza nashville, best pizza in america, unique restaurants in nashvilleNamed for the geographical shapes of Italy and LouisianaTwo Boots was started in 1987 by Doris and Phil, 2 indie filmmakers who loved Cajun food and culture (more history here). The Bayou Beast, Drew’s favorite pizza, is truly the best of both worlds. Spiced shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapenos and mozzarella combine, transforming ingredients from Italy and Louisiana into one tongue-tingling “masterpie”:

best pizza nashville, two boots pizza nashville, gluten free pizza nashville, best pizza in america, unique restaurants in nashville, bayou beastDrew also loved The Newman, named after the infamous Seinfeld character, and The Kitty, a Nashville-only pie honoring country legend Kitty Wells, featuring Hattie B’s famous hot chicken, blue cheese dressing, jalapenos and a side of pickles:

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best pizza nashville, two boots pizza nashville, gluten free pizza nashville, best pizza in america, unique restaurants in nashville, creative kitchen countersOne of the only pizza shops in Nashville offering a gluten-free crust, I went for the V for Vegan, an incredible combination of all my favorites: shiitake mushrooms, artichokes, red onions, Daiya cheese and a revolutionary crisscross of basil pesto and red pepper pesto. Even Drew couldn’t keep his hands off this pie!

best pizza nashville, two boots pizza nashville, gluten free pizza nashville, best pizza in america, unique restaurants in nashville, gluten free pizza nashville7. After all that talk about food, it’s about time we squeeze in another beautiful hike. Beaman Park is a diverse, 1,700-acre park featuring a nature center, that looks more like our dream home, & 6.6 miles of intertwining hiking trails at all levels of difficulty. Go without a plan, the trails run along various streams and are truly a joy to explore. For more epic hiking spots in Tennessee, check out this link (thanks Sarah!).

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best coffee in nashville, best coffee in america, best crema, crema in nashville, coffee art nashvilleThe best Americano and Cappuccino we have EVER HAD. So smooth and so creamy, and that’s before putting any almond milk or cream in! Look at this adorable (and delicious) pair below:

best coffee in nashville, best coffee in america, best crema, crema in nashville, coffee art nashville9. Fueled up on some incredible caffeine and looking to take a short day trip from Nashville? Mammoth Cave National Park is located 1.5 hours North of Nash and is the longest cave system in the world!

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mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashvilleBe sure to book your tours in advance. We originally wanted to do the 6-hour Wild Cave Tour but it was sold out for the next 3 months! So, we opted for the less intense, but still intriguing, Historic Tour. This 2-hour, Ranger-lead journey took us through the same historic entrance where the earliest explorers and visitors once entered!

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mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth caveOur tour started in a series of tunnels known as Broadway, appropriately named for their incredible width, height and the fact that they run for miles and miles:

mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth caveThe parks service has done a very nice job of creating pathways, along with upgrading the lighting, making it safe for exploration, while also preserving the natural environment.

mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth caveOur Ranger was fun, friendly and informative. Our favorite part was when he turned off all the lights and had nothing but a lantern and a flashlight to tell us the stories of way back when:

mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth caveOur journey was filled with smooth paths, along with steep stairs and tight passageways, the most memorable being Fat Man’s Misery.” While some people questioned their ability to make it through, no man was left behind 🙂

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mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth caveAfter having an awesome time learning about the history behind this incredible cave, we emerged and continued exploring on some of the 7.2 miles of scenic trails that venture from ridge top to river, from sinkholes to springs, and from historic overlooks all the way back to the Historic Entrance.

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mammoth cave national park, mammoth caves, day trip from nashville, adventures around nashville, couples activities nashville, family fun nashville, historic tour mammoth cave, hiking mammoth caves10. Last on our list, but certainly not least, is the long-time Nashville favorite, Arnold’s Country Kitchen!

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arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashvilleWith the friendliest, kindest, smiliest staff and a new list of menu options daily, it’s no wonder so many Nashvillians make Arnold’s part of their everyday routine!

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arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashvilleDrew could not wait to dig in to his “Meat & 3”!!

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arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashvilleFried catfish, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, candied yams (his FAVORITE) and a heavenly slice of pecan pie:

arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashville, pecan pieArnold’s Country Kitchen was opened in 1982 by Jack and Rose Arnold and has been a happily run family biz ever since! We had the pleasure of meeting their awesome sons during our visit, including Kahlil pictured below!

arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashvilleBe sure to look for our Mr and Mrs Adventure sticker that Khalil himself placed on the front door!

arnolds country kitchen, best southern cooking nashville, unique restaurants in nashville, best hot chicken in nashville, must do restaurants in nashville,Nashville will be sure to capture your heart in more ways than one, and with these gems on your to-do list, you can bet you’ll have to be dragged out by your boots. “Ya’ll come back now!”

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7 Comments

  1. Reply

    Joyce

    November 14, 2018

    Hi there

    Just wondering what time of year you went -I see you’re wearing toques in the caves. We’re thinking February

    • Reply

      Brittany Rouille

      November 14, 2018

      We were there in February too! It will e a bit chilly, but we quite enjoy the seasons there 🙂

  2. Reply

    lexijokay

    April 25, 2017

    Heading to Nashville in July! This was super helpful thank you! 🙂

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      April 25, 2017

      Have a wonderful time!! You are going to love it 🙂

  3. Reply

    michelle

    January 4, 2017

    is there a list of these nashville finds that I can print ?

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      January 4, 2017

      Hi Michelle! So glad you like the post 🙂 You could copy and paste it into a word doc and simply remove the photos for printing. Hope that helps and have a blast! Nashville is so much fun!

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