Welcome back friends! Our special New Year’s Eve edition of trip of the week has us heading to Nashville. Get ready for some college bowl bonanza, the loudest hockey stadium in the NHL, and some NFL action.

Trip Details:

  • Location: Nashville
  • Dates: December 29 – January 1, 2017
  • Days: Thursday – Sunday
  • Events: NFL, NHL, CFB
  • Weekend Wild Card (WWC): New Year’s Eve Parties

Airports available (time to downtown):

  • BNA: 15 min cab/Uber ~$20-25

nashville_6Music City USA! Nashville (or Nashvegas if you want to be touristy) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world right now. Although music is aplenty, it has much more to offer than just that. Bonus points this weekend if you spot more than 25 different bachelorette parties. First things first, put on your best pair of boots and follow the bachelorette parties down to Broadway for some NHL action. The Predators are taking on their bitter rival Blackhawks at Bridgestone arena in a Central division match up on Thursday. Parking around the arena is pretty cheap. You can find $5-10 spots off of Demonbreun Street about 3 blocks up from the arena, or splurge and get parking in the Music City center across the street for $25.

If you have been to hockey games before, go ahead and forget what you know and prepare to learn some new things. Natives here treat hockey like they treat football, and why not since it is the South. Fans in the arena will frequently stand during game action, and cheer loudly even during breaks. This is not typical for hockey and baffles our friends up North. Home ice advantage at Bridgestone is a real thing. Bridgestone arena has been named the loudest in the NHL numerous times. And with the hated Blackhawks playing, it’s going to be VERY loud. Tickets for this game will NOT be cheap ($100+) but you will find plenty of scalpers outside the arena. Predators fans wear gold to the games so try to wear that. But don’t worry, about 30-40% of the arena will be decked in Chicago red as their fans travel well.

predatorsDuring the intermissions, check out the amazing food (no seriously, they have some of the best stadium food around). There are many different food stations labeled by type, such as BBQ, Asian, Burger, etc. located in the concourse. My personal favorite: Mac-n-Cheese and BBQ Grilled Cheese. It’s a must try. Also don’t forget to grab a brew at the local Yazoo Brewery station. But hurry back to your seat, because unique to Bridgestone arena during intermission there is always a band playing on the Band Box behind sections 110 and 111. If you’re lucky it may be a famous artist, as Charlie Daniels Band, Phil Vassar, etc. have been known to play! Last but not least, if you see a catfish thrown on the ice, just cheer and go crazy. It is one of the crazier traditions in the NHL and happens during big games and big moments.

Before or after the game, make sure you check out the iconic bars on Broadway street. This street is home to the Honkey Tonks of Nashville. Every bar has a great band playing and you can’t go wrong with any, but make sure you check out Tootsies. This bar is a must see as some of the most famous acts in country music made their name here including Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Roger Miller. Other great ones to check out include Rippy’s right across from the arena, Paradise Park for a dive bar feel, and The Stage for more good music. Also, if you want to act like a local don’t follow the crowds to Acme. Instead, go to the George Jones Museum, which is a hidden gem. This joint has the best rooftop bar in the city.

nissan16_topOn Friday, recover quickly and get your body out of the penalty box and ready for some college football. Bowl season will be in full swing  with Nissan Stadium hosting the Music City Bowl. One of the top 6 teams in the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, or Notre Dame will be playing against each other in this game. It is unclear currently who it will be playing, but it will be good teams. Parking around the stadium may be pricey ($40 and up) so it may be best to take a taxi or park in a garage near Broadway street. Before you go, stop in at Hattie B’s in Mid Town for some famous Nashville hot chicken and a brew! This is the signature dish of the city and it doesn’t get much better than Hattie B’s. The line at Hattie B’s can get long, but it moves pretty quick.

Saturday you get a break from sports, but this is not a day to recover because it is New Year’s Eve and Nashville has one of the largest celebrations in the land. During the day, you might as well be a tourist and check out some of the sights downtown. Touring the Ryman should be first on your list.

The Mother Church of Country Music is where bluegrass originated and the birthplace of the Grand Ole Opry, 635754974124141416-IMG-0139the country music radio program that still exists today. Even though the Opry has a permanent home northeast of Nashville, this amazing music venue is still the birthplace and one of the most famous music venues in the land. Tours happen daily. You can also check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Johnny Cash Museum. If you love country music, this is your Mecca. If you just love music, you are bound to be impressed by exhibits featuring other greats such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and other greats.

If you aren’t in a music mood, three great breweries are just 5 min off of Broadway. Yazoo, the largest in the city is great, but don’t slouch on Tennessee Brew Works and Jackalope either. If you are looking for great patio space, head to Tennessee Brew Works. Try the Walk the Lime beer, listen to some live music, and prepare for the epic party to come.

Don’t fill up too much on beer! Saturday night over 160,00 people will flock to Nashville as the city is shut down. Seriously, all the roads downtown are blocked off. The best part is you can take beer in the street during this event and there are many free concerts. Last year’s bash featured Chris Stapleton, Kings of Leon, Kelsey Ballerini, and LANCO, among others. There is a massive stage right in front of the river on Broadway street and a giant music note drops.  Also, many bars charge covers during this event and you may want to look into going to a NYE party. Check out Nashville Guru for a full listing.

640px-Shelby_Street_Bridge_2008Finally, it’s a new year and a new sporting event. Titan Up as you wake up early (NFL games start at noon in central time remember) and head back over to Nissan Stadium to see the Titans take on the Houston Texans. Same parking situation as the Music City Bowl applies. We highly recommend parking near downtown or taking a taxi. If you haven’t already earlier, you can walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to cross the Cumberland river. The bonus here is that you get amazing view of the city and river. This view is the perfect backdrop for a last minute selfie. A late season match up against division rivals featuring a Heisman winner QB playing is the perfect way to wrap up this trip.

If you aren’t sick of live music yet, head back over the river after the game for some last minute music. Or just wait for the airport. There is a Tootsies location in the airport with live music, along with other bars.

Head on out to Nashville and let us know how your trip of the week went!

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