One amazing girls’ weekend in Nashville

All about my recent girls’ weekend in Nashville.

I had an absolute blast in Nashville this past weekend with three of my long-time Florida friends — Judy, Yolanda and Shannon. I’ve known Judy since high school, and Yolanda and Shannon since college. Yolanda was my best college friend, and we lived together for three years, and she was also my matron of honor. Judy and I have traveled the world together on high school trips and spring break trips, and she was one of my bridesmaids, and Shannon and I lived together one year in college and even spent a week together in London during our respective study abroad programs too. We’ve all had some amazing times with each other over the years and shared many, many life experiences. And we had not all been together in one place in absolutely forever. (In fact, we realized the last time we were all together was exactly five years ago in August 2017 for my baby shower for Brady in Florida.)

Once I moved back to the Southeast, we had talked about doing this trip in 2021, but still had some COVID concerns and couldn’t quite get it on the schedule. But once spring 2022 hit, we found a weekend that worked for us all pretty far in advance, put a hold on it and made it happen. Many things came up that could have derailed the trip for all of us, but we did it. So many yays for that!

Nashville girls trip by A Lady Goes West

As busy moms, it’s so easy to think you can put this type of thing aside, because you have other people and other things requiring your attention and time. In fact, as an example, all of three of these ladies I went with have very big important day jobs (much more so than being a blogger and group fitness instructor), in addition to two kids each. But we all know it’s important to connect with friends and spend time away from your responsibilities, and that’s just what we did, and it was so incredibly good.

From the second we got together, it was like no time at all has passed between us, and we didn’t skip a beat. We chatted about everything under the sun in our lives, we reminisced, we cried, we laughed, we partied, we chilled, and we truly made use of our short weekend together. It was good for the soul, and I felt so happy being there and doing it, and I think we all felt that way.

One amazing girls’ weekend in Nashville

A little bit about what we did while on our girls’ weekend in Nashville …

I arrived on Friday afternoon around 5pm (after a hot, packed and delayed flight), and I was the last of the group to arrive …

Ashley heading to Nashville girls trip by A Lady Goes West

I met the ladies at our hotel, the JW Marriott in downtown Nashville, and Judy came down to the lobby and greeted me with a glass of champagne — what service and hospitality.

We went up to our rooms, and that’s literally when the good times began and continued for the next 40 hours or so. We had two adjoining rooms so we could each have our own bed, and that worked out really well. We all also had slumber masks … oh how times have changed since our group trips in the past, when we fit eight people in one room without blinking an eye.

Champagne on Nashville girls trip by A Lady Goes West

After catching up for a bit, we got ready together, and then we walked to dinner. Several people had given us recommendations ahead of time, so we already had reservations for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and we made them just under a month out (you can’t make reservations more than 30 days out, apparently). And I’m so glad we did this, because every restaurant, bar and store in downtown Nashville where we were was super packed. Nashville, in general, was super packed.

Dinner at The Twelve Thirty Club Supper Club

This may have been the coolest place I’ve ever been to dinner to eat … ever. And I mean that. We absolutely loved The Twelve Thirty Club Supper Club. The food was solid, and we shared some sushi, appetizers and then split some entrees.

We had the perfect booth, which was facing the stage, and during our time there we heard two incredibly talented bands perform live music of all genres. They were both so darn good. What made this experience even better was the fact that a local ballroom dancing group was there that night hanging out and basically putting on a performance for all restaurant guests. We people watched, we listened to great music, we enjoyed the dancing (and coming up with backstories for all the people who kept switching partners, because dang, it was something), and we stayed at our table for hours and hours soaking it all up.

Supper Club in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

One of the sweetest parts of this night is that when we arrived to our table, there was already a bottle of Prosecco chilling that Dave had called and ordered special for us ahead of time. He had asked me where we were dining and when, and I guess he used that information to call the restaurant. Dave knew I needed this trip, and I needed this time with these ladies for many reasons, and that was a really special and unexpected sweet touch from him for our group. Cheers to that!

Dancing at Jason Aldean’s Rooftop Bar

After dinner, we met a friendly group of people (while walking out of our restaurant) and we went with them just down the road to Jason Aldean’s Rooftop Bar, which was a total scene. In fact, the entire Broadway area was a scene. Broadway is the busy main drag in downtown Nashville where much of the action happens, and it was even crazier than I expected. I would say it looked a lot crazier than Vegas, which is saying a lot.

Jason Aldean bar on Nashville girls trip by A Lady Goes West

At the Jason Aldean bar, we danced, we drank and we truly appreciated the fact that we had VIP/table access (we met the right people for that!) during our time at the bar, so we didn’t have to be stuck in the sea of humanity crowding each other on all levels of this bar. I can’t tell you the last time I danced until late at a bar/club like that, and I don’t know when I ever will again. But it was so darn fun and carefree!

Shopping, walking and lunch in the 12South neighborhood

The next morning, we hung out in our room a long time waking up and getting ready, then we went out on foot for a bit. We planned to walk more than two miles to an area called 12South (this was another recommendation we had received from one of Shannon’s friends), but it ended up being so hot that we abandoned that mission halfway through and took an Uber there instead. Yes, we were all dripping sweat after about a quarter mile. The struggle was real.

I Believe in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

Nash sign in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

At 12South, we shopped in adorable boutiques, we got coffee, and we had an excellent lunch at Josephine. Our food was so good, but the service was ridiculously slow, which was a theme of the weekend. We were starving by lunch-time that day, and below you will see the best biscuits I’ve ever had. Also, Judy has to have a gluten-free diet, and we felt terrible devouring these in front of her, but she’s a trooper …

Josephine lunch in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

While we were getting coffee, Yolanda immediately told me to look over at the check-out line, because she spotted a Bravo network “Summer House” alum. It was Lauren Wirkus, who was on the first couple of seasons of that show. I knew exactly who she was, and we did some Googling later to find out she lives in Nashville. She was with her husband, nanny and baby, and it was fun to see her in person. I love a good quasi-celeb sighting! Neither Judy or Shannon knew who she was, so they weren’t impressed, but I was. It made my day!

The shopping that day was great. I bought a couple of dresses and a sweater, and I didn’t fully realize it until later than all three items have some variation of animal print. I have a problem. All the other ladies bought some fun stuff too. Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James (shown below), was so cute, but really all the stores were cute …

Draper James shopping in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

Kittenish shopping in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

I also couldn’t tell you the last time I shopped like this. Truth be told, we were all a little draggy on Saturday after a big night on Friday, minimal sleep and super-hot temperatures, but yet — once again, I was so happy doing it, and I very much enjoyed it.

Dinner at Etch Restaurant

That evening, we went to our second reservation, Etch, which couldn’t have been more different of a vibe than the first night. While I was sad the scene wasn’t as cool, the food made up for it. We had some incredible drinks and bites at Etch. But once again, the service was painfully slow, and the entire restaurant was full.

We had steak carpaccio and roasted cauliflower for appetizers and then I had a salmon dish as my main course. Literally incredible. I haven’t had food as good as I had in Nashville probably since living in San Francisco. Every meal was so satisfying and flavorful, and so were the many dirty martinis I consumed (with regular olives, not blue cheese).

Etch restaurant in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

Before dinner on our last night, we went up to rooftop of our hotel, but it was too busy to grab a drink, so we just grabbed a photo. Are you catching on to the theme of everywhere being busy here? But that view was worth the elevator ride up …

JW Marriott rooftop in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

It was actually really nice that the Etch Restaurant that night was a little more tame though, because we didn’t have to talk over any loud music. We were there for a while talking about life, and then we took a moment to look at our recommendations to figure out where we could go see some live country music from there, which wouldn’t be quite as crazy as the night before. I told the ladies about a place someone at Life Time mentioned to me, Legends Corner, so we set out on foot there and walked right up to it.

Drinks, country music and girl talk at Legends Corner

This was the perfect ending to our big trip. Legends Corner is a no-frills live music bar on Broadway in Nashville, and the drinks were cheap, the bands were awesome, and the vibe was casual and country.

While we did have to smush up to the bar for a while, we eventually ended up getting a table at one point. During this bar outing, we covered just about every topic under the sun, and we shared and laughed and drank many, many beverages. Once again, I didn’t want it to end, because it felt so good to be with these ladies in this setting. We also paid $20 to put in a request for “Wagon Wheel” one of my all-time favorite songs. Judy covered that, and I much appreciated it.

Legends Corner bar in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

That night, we made it back to our hotel rooms around 1 a.m., so it was another late one, but it was worth every bit of tiredness we knew we’d all feel in the morning.

The next morning, Judy was the first to fly out, then Yolanda and Shannon and I had brunch at our hotel and went to the airport together. I had a lot of time alone at the airport after they left, so I people-watched, I called my mom and Dave to give them the trip report, and I felt so fulfilled about having made this girls’ weekend happen. But no, in the future, I don’t want to be the last to arrive and the last to leave.

Overall thoughts on my girls’ weekend in Nashville

Exceeded my expectations in every way!

I had only been to Nashville once before on a work trip many years ago (back when I worked at a public relations agency in Orlando), and I didn’t get to see much of the city then, so I didn’t have any real thoughts on the area.

During this trip, while we were only there for two nights, and while we only stayed in the downtown area, I feel like we did a lot in a short time. The party side of Nashville is a lot crazier than I expected, even though people told me this to be true. But seeing it in person was a whole different thing. There were tons of bachelorette parties taking place and crazy big group trips, and that provided a lot of great people watching. I mean, the outfits alone … wow.

I found downtown Nashville to be surprisingly clean and walkable, even though it was so busy and touristy. Our hotel was perfectly located, and we did just enough and not too much. I sort’ve wish we had just one more day to venture out for more, but we soaked up every second of this short trip together as best as we could.

Yes, we had fun. Yes, we ate good food. Yes, we got away. But most importantly, we had some incredible quality time as long-time friends with big histories together. We made a pact that we’ll do this again one day soon, and I think I’m going to get the ladies to visit me in Charlotte all together next time.

Starting our Nashville girls trip by A Lady Goes West

I had a smile on my face from the second I arrived, until I left (except when we were having serious conversations, of course), and I felt so happy to have done this. Three cheers to reconnecting with truly good people who will be in my life forever.

To Judy, Yolanda and Shannon: Thank you for this trip, because I needed it in so many ways. I love you all so much!

And that was our girls’ weekend in Nashville. Thanks for stopping by the blog to read and have an awesome week! (Also, I made a little video about our trip, and you can find that here.)

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day for YOU …

Have you ever been to Nashville?

When was the last time you made time to hang out with friends?

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  1. So glad you had a fun girls weekend! They are so important and give you a lift in the best way! Nashville sounds fun, can’t wait to visit one day!

    1. Yes! It’s a bit crazy there, I’m sure there’s plenty to do as a family away from the downtown area, but I didn’t explore any of that — may be best as a girls’ trip hehe! Hope you had a nice weekend, Joanna! 🙂

  2. I love your black dress type thing – it is a great length and so flattering! Looks like your weekend was amazing, glad you got to have the break ♡

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