We woke up Saturday morning with what could only be described as a fried food hangover, so we paid a visit to what might be the only juice bar in the state of Tennessee called Juice Nashville to revive ourselves.
We started wandering down Division Street after grabbing lattes at Bond Coffee when a pale yellow 1967 Ford F250 caught our eye. We
ran walked over to the truck, which turned out to be owned by King Baby, a badass handmade jewelry company that combines silver with precious stones and leathers wearable by everyone from bikers to pop stars. After getting a tour of their store/studio with Kim, we met the owner Mitchell and took a few photos by that glorious f250. Before we parted ways, Kim gave us a super helpful list of places to try to visit before we left the next morning.
One of our favorite stops along our Tour du Nashville was HatWRKS, a hat shop owned by Gigi Gaskins who is also a milliner herself. Her store is covered from floor to ceiling with Stetsons, her own custom hats, and a few other companies as well, so it’s no wonder that rock stars and movie stars make it a point to swing through her store to pick up a new hat whenever they’re in town. She is extremely knowledgeable of the headwear industry and is a true artist. Make sure to stop in and say hello if you ever find yourself on 8th Avenue South.
After a lot of running around, we drove over to East Nashville to try The Silly Goose, which was recommended by a lot of the locals. This place is all about fresh, wholesome ingredients. You really can’t go wrong with any of the couscous dishes or sandwiches.
After dinner, we went back to our hotel to change and head to the #1 recommended stop by friends who have visited Nashville: Santa’s Pub. Named one of the best dive bars by Esquire, it’s a karaoke bar that only serves beer (for reasons only Santa can explain) and if you cuss, you’re getting kicked out. It’s a little off the beaten path of downtown and the strip, but it’s totally worth a visit. Best of all? He’s a die-hard Stetson fan.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.”
Have you ever heard the story of how the John B. Stetson Company came about? It’s kind of a long story, but the original Stetson hat dubbed “The Boss of the Plains” was actually created by John B Stetson on the fly while traveling with a group out West. When he returned in 1865, he borrowed some money and started a modest company that would end up an American heritage company nearly 150 years later.
Would John B. Stetson’s legacy been as great had he not ventured West? We will never know. But feeling inspired by uncle Stetson, a few of us decided to pack our car with a camera and a stack of hats, and head down to Nashville.
We hit the road bright and early and got a few hours of driving in before we stopped for pancakes and coffee in Maryland. Awake and energized, we continued our Southwest adventure.
Virginia welcomed us with picturesque views that lasted throughout our short drive through “The Old Dominion”
Anxious to hit Nashville, we skip lunch and grab some snacks at a gas station in West Virginia, but then we got distracted by some picturesque windy roads and decided to grab the camera…
Back on the road! The rest of West Virginia was a blur, but we all perked up as soon as we saw the “Welcome to Kentucky” sign. We took I-64 for another three hours and landed at Willie’s Locally Known in Lexington. We were in deep-fried-and-bourbon-flavored-everything heaven. If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself here, order the fried green tomatoes, the blackberry habanero chicken wings, and the ribs. Try any of the local bourbons on the rocks and wash it down with a pint of KY bourbon ale. The atmosphere was laid back with a dark ambiance and the live music was homegrown bluegrass and folk by the Rumpke Mountain Boys. Unfortunately it was too dark to take any photos of the restaurant or food, but you can tease yourself here by looking at the menu.
We each walked out of Willie’s in a fried food coma but knew we had to muster up the strength to drive the last three hours to our final destination, Nashville. Naturally, a heavy rainstorm joined us that stretched out the duration of our drive but we finally made it around 1 am! All of the plans we had made in the car to visit downtown once we arrived vanished when we checked into our hotel and swan dove onto our beds.
Check back Monday for day 2 when we explore Nashville!