Weekend Wanderer: Seattle to Nashville

Emily Thomas is an outdoor explorer with roots in both Seattle and San Diego, who loves creating stories through her adventures. She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Nashville as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

By Emily Thomas, Seattle, Washington

Nashville, also known as “Nowville” truly is the place to be. Coming to Nashville as Alaska Airlines’ “Weekend Wanderer,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. The city remains traditionally southern, but has a young, vibrant, hip culture with a passion for pursuing a multitude of creative fields.

After visiting, if I had to choose one thing that characterizes Nashville, it would be the people. Everyone I encountered was so warm and welcoming. I even made new friends just waiting outside of the airport. When I told people I was here visiting, they instantly had a list of “must-sees” and restaurants I should try. Some even invited me to join them for dinner, which I gladly accepted. Although the Nashville metropolitan area has more than 1.7 million people, it is not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and see someone you know. When you’re in Nashville, you’re family.

Ready to book? Find nonstop flights to Nashville at alaskaair.com.

Nashville dining is a special experience in the sense that there are so many unique restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else. Some of my favorites included Biscuit Love, The Soda Parlor and The Crying Wolf. I fell in love with some of the interior design as each place had such intricate details making it unique.  People in Nashville love to hang out at coffee shops such as Crema, Barista Parlor and Frothy Monkey (a favorite of Taylor Swift, which means you can’t go wrong.)

For the full Nashville experience, I had to visit Broadway where all the bars and live music are. Downtown Nashville is small.  Most attractions are within a walkable half mile of each other. The streets were filled with live music, and for every bar I entered I heard a free concert. Nashvillians love their music, and celebrate it with every opportunity they get.

While I was in Nashville, I made it a point to ask people what their favorite things about the city are. Some mentioned the music, some mentioned the weather and some mentioned the downtown atmosphere. But, almost unanimously, those I interviewed mentioned the people who live there. I was excited to visit a city with   a sense of community and strong history. I’m thrilled about Alaska’s new nonstop flight, because I plan on visiting again in the future.

Sometimes the best views of Mt. Rainier are from a plane. One of the best things about having a window seat on the way out of the Seattle airport is to see the Mt. Rainier summit poke through the clouds. I am excited I had a chance to see it this morning on my way to Nashville! Stay tuned as I show you some of the cool things the country music city has to offer :).
Diving into breakfast at one of the most popular places for brunch in Nashville. If you plan on making a stop in Nashville, make a stop at Marche and order the almond croissant. It was my favorite!
Some of the buildings in downtown Nashville have very interesting architecture. I was really impressed by the inside of the Sheraton Hotel. Pretty central and close to everything (and who wouldn’t mind a cool view from the elevator?
On a sunny day, Nashville is such a pretty place to be. It’s the middle of October and it’s 70 degrees out! People are walking around with cowboy boots & shorts enjoying the live music. I guess summer isn’t over here yet.
Nashville, Tennessee has one thing that makes it so different then a lot of other cities, and that’s the people. Over the past few days, I have experienced such amazing hospitality from the locals helping me find unique places to explore, restaurants to try, and different things I shouldn’t miss while in the city. I made it a point to ask every cab driver what they love about living in Nashville and I got several different answers ranging from “the live music scene” to “the weather year round,” but almost every single one mentioned the people. When you’re in Nashville, you feel like family. The Nashville metropolitan area has 1.7 million people, but as I explored different coffee shops with local photographer @sarakiesling, she almost always ran into someone she knew. Good people, good food, and live music everywhere you turn. That’s Nashville for ya.
One place I really loved visiting while in Nashville was the Parthenon building. Close to Vanderbilt University, there is a mile loop around the lake with a beautiful view of it from across the water. One of my favorite things about Nashville has definitely been the architecture. It did not disappoint ! Where have you been that had beautiful architecture?
After spending the weekend in Nashville, I think it’s safe to say I believe in Nashville. I had such an incredible time meeting people and exploring the city, and definitely need to go to the gym when I get back to Seattle for all of the delicious food I ate. Was so happy to be the #weekendwanderer ! Thanks again for coming along on my journey you guys :).