Hello, all! I've just returned from my second Bonnaroo and my first visit to Nashville, and my brain and heart are lingering in Tennessee. So kindly bear with me while I remember how to string words together in a remotely pleasing and intelligible manner.
I was originally going to write out lists and suggestions for going to Bonnaroo, but, frankly, the internet is pretty chock-a-block full of those already, so while I'll pepper a few tips here and there, this is mostly my (vegan) guide to Nashville!
To start, if you're remotely into music, being outdoors, and crunchy vibes you should absolutely get your butt to Bonnaroo (and also drop me a line because you sound super fun). For those of you who don't know, it's a four day music festival in Manchester, TN, about an hour from Nashville, and far and away the best festival I've been to. The laid back and cooperative spirit makes for an incredibly fun and relaxing way to spend a weekend, and between the awesome staff and fellow Roovians, you're never far from a friend (mushy, but true).
Last time we went I made a celebratory cake, and this time was no different. It's officially tradition.
I went with mocha cake and chocolate ganache, and it was goooood.
The drive from New York to Tennessee is long but gorgeous, as it passes through the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountain ranges. We had a pretty uneventful time and had arrived and set up camp by 10 am (if you're not camping, you're not really experiencing 'Roo. That's just a fact.)
It was a perfect weekend weather wise, and except for about 45 minutes of rain on Saturday night, the days were sunny and hot and the nights were cool and clear.
It's impossible to choose favorite shows, but Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Leon Bridges, and Vulfpeck are high up on the list for sure.
One thing I can HIGHLY recommend is buying one of these. They were super cosy and convenient.
Bonnaroo was the usual nirvana-like experience: four days of sun, beer, and music, all in the company of fellow, crunchy folks (and six of my most seriously awesome friends!). After the festival wrapped up we took our dirty selves (and my dusty, dusty Subie...
...) and headed to Nashville for a couple nights, and our Airbnb spot was ideal; across the street from good bars with live music, walking distance to a ton of great restaurants, and a short cab to the more touristy downtown spot.
We ate at Clyde's at Church, where the vegan options and cocktail choices were impressive (and I got to play ping-pong for the first time in a decade.)
At this point the meals are blending together a bit, but I can wholeheartedly endorse Fido for breakfast:
...The Local Taco for lunch (we went to the one in East Nashville, which I highly recommend visiting)...
...and Pied Piper Creamery, which unexpectedly had vegan flavours!
As for entertainment, we just hit the various bars in walking distance with live music, which was nearly all of them. The downtown honky-tonk part of town was worth a visit, but definitely not where we felt like spending a ton of time. Vanderbilt, Midtown, and East Nashville were way more fun parts of town.
We all had a blast in Nashville, and I would go back in a hot second. The vibe down south really is more laid back than here in New York, and the hot weather, killer live music, and awesome food for both vegan and omnivore alike was all right up my alley. Happy travels!