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How to Spend a Long Weekend in Nashville

Sep 20, 2019
A sample itinerary that combines a visit to the Vanderbilt Business School with classic Nashville activities

By Kara Sherrer

The Vanderbilt Business School offers many opportunities to visit throughout the year, including MBA Discover Weekend and two-day visit programs for Master of Science in Finance and Master of Accountancy teams. However, not all prospective students are able to make it to these scheduled dates, leaving them to coordinate their own visits to Nashville.

If you’ve never visited Nashville before, you may be wondering how to combine your individual campus visit with a tour of Music City. If you need suggestions for what to do, we’ve put together a sample itinerary for you below:



Ryman Auditorium

Soak up Nashville culture by visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, touring the Ryman Auditorium or the Grand Ole Opry, or sightseeing at The Parthenon (a full-size replica of the famous Greek landmark). If you prefer to be outside, go for a walk at Centennial Park — just a stone’s throw away from Vanderbilt’s campus — or pay a visit to the beautiful Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.


Downtown Nashville may only be a few blocks long, but the space is packed full of honky tonks and country music-branded bars. Music starts early on the weekend, so you’ll still get the same Nashville energy whether you go by day or night. Check out a classic spot like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western world or pay a visit to relative newcomer Acme Feed & Seed, which offers three different levels for multiple experiences in one.


What better way to experience Music City than by seeing a concert? There are numerous concert venues around the city, so there’s always multiple shows to choose from every weekend. Popular concerts venues include the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, Ascend Amphitheater, the Grand Ole Opry, The Basement East, The High Watt, Mercy Lounge, and Cannery Ballroom, Exit/In, Marathon Music Works, and 3rd and Lindsley.



Biscuit Love

Sleep in a bit, then grab brunch at one of the many great spots around Music City. Make sure to book a reservation in advance when possible, since spots at the most popular places fill up fast. Possibilities include Biscuit Love and Fido in Hillsboro Village, The Mockingbird in The Gulch, Sinema in the Melrose area, Marché in East Nashville, and Josephine in 12 South. And if you’re up for a drive, there’s always the classic Loveless Café out on Highway 100.


Explore one of Nashville’s many fabulous neighborhoods outside the downtown core. East Nashville is always a popular choice for its many great restaurants and bars, as well as its proximity to Shelby Bottoms Park and the Shelby Bottoms Golf Course. If shopping is more your thing, check out the 12 South neighborhood, which features the original outpost of Reese Witherspoon’s store Draper James as well as many other boutiques and restaurants. If you prefer the great outdoors, go for a hike at Percy Warner Park or Radnor Lake.


Grab drinks or dinner at one of the many restaurants and bars within walking distance of the Vanderbilt Business School. Patterson House is widely regarded as one of the best bars in the entire Metro area, and it doesn’t take reservations, so walk in early if possible. If you want a more casual experience, there are plenty of other options around, including Tavern, The Ainsworth, Kung Fu Saloon, Henley, and The Stillery. You can also branch out and explore one of the other neighborhoods nearby, including West End, Music Row, and Edgehill.



Owen Graduate School of Management

Classes are in full swing Monday through Thursday at Vanderbilt Business, and professors and staff are also available for meetings, tours, and interviews. Reach out ahead of time to schedule any campus activities this day; your admissions rep can help you set up an interview and put you in contact with other people you’d like to meet. Follow the links below to learn more about campus visits and to start scheduling your own:


There are as many opinions about the best hot chicken in Nashville as there are hot chicken restaurants, but there’s no denying that Hattie B’s is the closest hot chicken spot. The lines get long around lunch time, so either give yourself plenty of time to wait or order it online ahead of time like a local. If you need to cool off afterwards, make a trip down 21st Avenue to Hillsboro Village and grab some sweet treats at Jeni’s Ice Cream. Then return to campus for more meetings or explore the beautiful Vanderbilt campus.


Head to the Nashville airport for your flight home or leave for your drive back.

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