Chalk Travels: Nashville, TN and CMA Fest

Happy Friday, friends! You may remember Thomas surprised me during our anniversary trip with a gift certificate (1st anniversary is paper) to CMA Music Festival with our dear friends! I was full of excitement after opening the envelope and remember thinking that it was going to feel like forever until we would be in Nashville walking down Broadway listening to the live music being sung at every Honky Tonk, restaurant and outdoor stage. Now, here I am, ten months later recapping what was one of the most memorable and special trips to date.  

88,500 country music fans from all over flooded Nashville and we had one goal in mind: to "enjoy Country's Night to Rock!" We certainly did exactly that. For 5 days, we ate good food, drank our cocktail of choice and listened to hundreds of very talented country artists. Every artist that you can imagine was there to perform live at multiple venues, host meet and greets, attend autograph sessions and take {endless} selfies with their fans. We caught Blake Shelton leaving The Stage after a surprise performance, I have to admit it was pure luck and one of many highlights of our trip.
Bright and early every morning, we would get our morning jolt of caffeine then jump on the shuttle from our hotel to head downtown for the day. With seven different stages setup for daytime music, you were certain to see artists from legends to the latest up-and-comers. The Chevrolet Riverfront Stage is the epicenter of daytime music with the must-see lineups that aren't performing at night in Nissan Stadium. Between the incredible view and lineups at the Riverfront, this is where you could find us most days!

Then each night, the fans packed into Nissan Stadium to sing and dance for hours to all our favorite artists. To kick-off CMA Fest, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean brought down the house. The following two nights included Chris Stapleton, Sam Hunt, Eric Church, Hank Williams, Jr., Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Cole Swindell, Florida Georgia Line, Steven Tyler and Blake Shelton {along with a few special guests but I'll keep that a surprise until it airs on TV}.

The final night was electric and full of energy thanks to Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan!
As if CMA Fest could get any better, the money generated through CMA Music Festival ticket sales for the nightly concerts and Fan Fair X will benefit music education, reaching 1 million children across the United States. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.6 million to support sustainable music education initiatives across the country.
Now for a few recommendations on places to eat and things to do if you plan on visiting Nashville...

Places to Eat:
- Jack's BBQ
- Biscuit Love
- The Farm House
- Moto
- Etch 
- Virago
- The Stillery
- Merchants Restaurant
- The Southern
- Puckett's Grocery 
- Tavern 
- Barista Parlor
- Pinewood Social

Things to Do:
- Dance the morning, afternoon or evening away at the Honky Tonks
- Enjoy a glass of champagne while getting pampered at the Blowout Company
- Shopping in the Gulch 
- If you're a fan of Reese Witherspoon, you must pop into Draper James
- Try on a pair of cowboy boots in the Lucchese Store
 - Walk the streets of Music Row
 - End of the night with cocktails at The Patterson House
- Sit on the rooftop at ACME Feed & Seed or The Stage 
- Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Take a #SinemaSelfie at the Sinema Restaurant & Bar
- Enjoy whiskey? Visit Whiskey Kitchen
{Many of these great recommendations came from my brother-in-law, a Nashville Native.}  
If you love country music as much as we do, you can relive our trip with us when Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett host "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" on August 3rd at 8pm EST. The three hour special will feature all the country-music stars as they hit the stage during the four-day celebration that we were lucky enough to be a part of. Now, it's time to begin planning our next trip! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

8 comments

  1. Ahhh, what a sweet gift!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it here!!!! We absolutely LOVE living in Nashville, and all that it has to offer!

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  2. Oh my gosh what an amazing trip! We LOVE Nashville and I know it's even better during the CMA music festival!

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  3. All kinds of amazing!! We are about an hour and a half south of Nashville, and we do NOT get up there nearly enough!! What a thoughtful husby you have :)

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  4. Gah, what an absolutely incredible trip!!! I so need to put this on my bucket list!

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  5. Amazing! Such a nice experience! Great tips!

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  6. OMG how much fun!!! So glad y'all were able to go do this! We're going to Nashville for my cousin's wedding this November and I will definitely keep your recommendations - I've got Draper James on my list for sure ;)

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  7. So jealous! I am dying to get to Nashville, but even more so if I got to see Blake & Eric Church! xo, http://www.champagneandsuburbs.com/2016/07/brisket-tacos-with-summer-salsa.html

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Thank you for following along! Your comments make me smile. Xo, Stephanie