The last week has been a little crazy for me. I found out last Friday that my role was completely terminated at my job and I was shocked. I’d been told numerous times that I “kept the lights on” at the company, so I didn’t see it coming. But it’s a blessing in disguise, I think. So, I’ve been busy applying for jobs, wrapping up stuff at the office, and meeting with recruiters.
BUT a couple of weeks ago I’d booked a flight to Memphis and Nashville and I’m leaving in a little over a week and I’m super excited! I’d originally planned to go this weekend or next week for my birthday but when I met my now-boyfriend (on Birthright, sigh, I know, so cliche) and he asked if I had travel plans and I mentioned Memphis and Nashville, he said he’d been planning to go to Nashville around his birthday too (which only happens to be a week after mine).
So: this trip is half-solo, half-partnered. I’ll be in Memphis from the 21st-23rd and then I’ll hop on a bus to Nashville and be there until the 25th and fly home that night.
My first order of business whenever I plan a trip is to break out the Google Spreadsheet and start making a list of the things I want to see. Although this is not how my partner travels (“I usually just wander around,” he said), he’s open to this way of traveling, too, luckily!
Anyways, luckily there are not that many things to do in each city, hence why this is a 5-day trip, but here’s what I’m thinking:
- Walk around Beale Street
- Sun Studio
- Walk around the South Maine Arts District
- Memphis Rock’n’Roll Museum
- Civil Rights Museum
- Memphis Zoo
What am I excited to eat as a vegetarian in Memphis? Well, luckily there’s a pretty vibrant vegan scene in Nashville, so the internet says, and I’m excited to try all the old favorites of the city in vegan form. I’m also going to try to stop at a few traditional restaurants and just order sides smothered in BBQ because, really, for me, food is just a vehicle for BBQ sauce usually.
- Imagine Vegan Cafe
- City Silo
- Two Vegan Sistas
- The Arcade – this is apparently Memphis’ oldest restaurant.
- Central BBQ
- The Commissary – I was told their BBQ is excellent.
- Johnny Cash Museum (I’m told that even if you’re not a Johnny Cash fan that you have to go here.)
- Pedestrian Bridge
- Grand Ole Opry
- The Gulch Arts District
- Honky Tonk Highway
- “I Believe in Nashville” mural
- Music City Walk of Fame
- Third Man Records
What am I excited to eat in Nashville? I think my boyfriend is going to maybe try to eat some vegan food with me, but I also know he’s really excited to eat hot chicken and the other famous carnivorous foods in Nashville.
- Frothy Monkey – this is apparently a really cute cafe and I can’t wait to drink all the coffee from here.
- Graze Nashville
- The Wild Cow
- Hattie B’s
- The Southern V
- Biscuit Love – there’s one of these right near our Airbnb and I’m totally excited to eat all the biscuits.
- Five Daughters – known for their 100 layer donuts or something.
- Sunflower Cafe
I’ve also put pins on our Google Map for Nashville for all of the spots that Anthony Bourdain hit up while he was in Nashville filming an episode of “Parts Unknown” (RIP, Anthony). Those spots would include Katie’s Meat & 3, Dino’s Bar, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, Pinewood Social, City House, and the Patterson House.
Overall, I’m basically really excited to eat so it would seem from my list. I’m also really excited to walk around these cities, although I know they aren’t your typical walkable cities like New York, but being a New Yorker I can make it happen.
This will be a perfect 5-day getaway after receiving some terrible news. If I’m missing any sight or restaurant that I absolutely must see, let me know in the comments!
(Featured photo via.)