Life With Landing / The Wander List

The Wander List: Will Landing Members Adam and Roxanna Call Nashville Home?

By Bri Hand | Nov 15, 2022
Landing members Adam and Roxanna in Nashville, Tennessee.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere? After their LA jobs became remote, Landing members Adam and Roxanna realized they could find a forever home in any city they wanted. But there was one problem—they had no idea where that was. 

In our new video series, “The Wander List,” Adam, Roxanna, and their dog Fin travel the U.S. in search of their “soul city.” Along the way, they live like locals and seek out hidden gems in each city, sharing the best spots they find and their take on each city’s vibes.

After spending three months in Austin, Adam and Roxanna packed up their car and started off on a road trip to Nashville, the next contender in their journey. Read on for their impressions of Nashville and the best places they visited while they were there—including bars, restaurants, live music venues, outdoor activities, and more—and check out Episode 2 of The Wander List below: 

Getting to Nashville

Our road trip to Nashville took a little bit longer than expected (okay…a lot bit). It turns out that we accumulated a lot of stuff while we were in Austin and had to play a little Tetris to make it all fit in the car! We finally hit the road two hours late after shimmying items into every nook and cranny of the car. 

With traffic and multiple stops (for coffee), we were now going to arrive in Nashville too late for our Landing host to meet up with us, and we were stressed! Neither of us had ever been to Nashville, so there was a real question of, “Where am I going to sleep tonight?” In the grand scheme of things, booking a last-minute hotel isn’t the end of the world, but that uncertainty wasn’t fun with a jam-packed car and a dog in tow. 

Luckily, Landing had us covered. When a Landing representative called to confirm our arrival, we apologized for our tardiness and they told us that it was no problem and that we could do a self-check-in with a lockbox code. It was that simple, and we were so glad that Landing had our back.

At around 1 a.m., the car was unpacked and loaded into the apartment. We were exhausted but relieved to have arrived in our new home and to be sleeping in our beds!

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Our favorite live music in Nashville

Coming from Los Angeles and the world of film, we’re both familiar with living in an artist’s town. The thing that immediately stood out to us about Nashville was that it wasn’t our art. What a cool experience it was to be on the outside and enjoy country music (and many other genres!) as an audience. It was as if we were food connoisseurs eating at New York City’s finest and were shielded from the hustle of the kitchen. We could listen to all the best music in the world and just admire how great it was. 

One Sunday, while checking out the Nashville Farmers Market, we came across a singer who was playing guitar inside for tips. I remember thinking, “Yeah, this guy is pretty good.” Then, he began to crescendo and just blew me away. The guy at the farmers market was playing a different ballgame than the artists playing for tips who I was familiar with. I thought to myself, “We must be in store for musical greatness here in Nashville, because there is talent everywhere.” 

And we were! One of our earliest “wow” moments was at The Listening Room after we lucked out by getting seated right at the base of the stage. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to go, and the stars just aligned. Every song from three aspiring singer/songwriters came with a fun story that led to the song’s ideation, and we even knew a few of the songs! Listening to these songs being played by the folks who wrote them just really wowed us because it gave the songs a whole new perspective. 

Toward the end of our trip, we decided we really should check out Broadway. For anyone who isn’t familiar (we sure weren’t!), Broadway is a strip in downtown Nashville that’s filled with poppin’ bars and fills to the brim with tourists and bachelor/bachelorette parties every weekend. Apparently, it’s even known as “NashVegas!” We weren’t sure if that was a dig or a compliment, but I have to say that we had a really good time.

By happenstance, we first landed in Robert’s Western World listening to the last 10 minutes of Kelley’s Heroes’ set. This band was just epic. Even now, I can’t even think of words that seem good enough for their talent and electric energy. We highly recommend them to anyone visiting or living in Nashville—you won’t be disappointed. On a totally different day, the guitarist sat next to us at the Assembly Food Hall eating dinner and I had butterflies! 

Our favorite bars in Nashville

Adam and Roxanna toast over the Nashville skyline after moving there.

Right off the bat, the Pool Club at Virgin Hotels became a go-to spot of ours. This fun spot was within walking distance from our apartment in Music Row, and it had a great staff and an incredible view. It was actually one of the first places we stopped at our first day exploring Nashville. We recommend going for a drink or an appetizer. It was a good time and everyone was very nice (or maybe that’s just Nashville). 

Another very fun spot to check out is Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. It’s not so much a bar, but if you sign up for a whiskey tasting, you’ll get a whole lot more than just tipsy. The story of how this distillery came to be starts with fortunes lost and ventures to a woman-led whiskey empire during Prohibition that somehow got completely forgotten after being forced to close their doors. Then, generations later, this spot was discovered again by their great-great-great (maybe another great?) grandchildren through a historical preservation project. Cheers to history and whiskey!

Our favorite restaurants in Nashville

One thing is for sure about Nashville—there is no shortage of great places to eat if you want to try some local cuisine. We found a surprising abundance of mom-and-pop restaurants, which was very cool and totally our vibe!

We’re here to end the hot chicken battle between Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Prince’s Hot Chicken. Now, there’s a Hattie B’s within walking distance from our apartment, and the line outside wraps around the building almost every day. There’s nothing I dislike more than waiting in line. 

In my opinion (and I really hope this doesn’t start another chicken war), but I think Prince’s Hot Chicken at Assembly Food Hall is very worth it. I know what you’re thinking: “Assembly Food Hall is like a food court. Why would I go there?” We don’t know all the answers, but we do know that every time we’ve gone to Prince’s Hot Chicken at Assembly Food Hall, the chicken has extremely freshly fried and delicious. 

We also loved sampling the local bakery scene. If we lived in Nashville, we would go to Sweet 16th for their biscuit sandwiches all the time. As temporary locals, we stopped by about two to three times per week and could never get enough—this bakery is the exact type of place we look for in a city. It’s run by the coolest lady in the world, Ellen, who is always there to take care of you and make you feel like family. 

The shop is smack dab in the center of residential East Nashville (our favorite neighborhood in all of Nashville), and you can really feel the community vibes when you visit. One very hot afternoon, when a neighbor of the bakery was moving in just around the corner, Ellen gave bottles of water to the family. It’s just that kind of place. Oh, and we highly recommend the lemon squares, chocolate chip cookies, and one-to-go biscuits. But really, you can’t go wrong here. 

We also loved Dozen Bakery, which was a recommendation by our lovely Desnudo Coffee friends from our time spent in Austin. 

Last, if you’re in town and really want to treat yourself, look into Catbird Seat. Catbird Seat is truly a dining experience where the food is as good as it gets and the vibe is special. We booked our tickets online a few weeks in advance as a celebratory conclusion to our Nashville adventure, and it was the best meal either of us had ever had. The word “meal” here is actually a bit misleading—it’s less of a meal and more like a tour through a museum of flavors. There were a total of 14 dishes, each one being just a few (very curated) bites. This was the first time either of us had ever ventured into this level of fine dining, so we mostly recommend it for people amazed by food. It was an experience to remember forever. 

Other awesome restaurants we love in town included Rolf and Daughters, Ladybird Taco, Butcher and Bee, Lyra, Cafe Roze, and Monells. And, for coffee, we loved Elegy and Slow Hand

Our favorite activities in Nashville

From more touristy attractions to hidden gems, we found plenty of ways to keep busy. Our Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour was a fun way to get eyes on the city. 

During weekdays before work, Fin loved walks around Shelby Bottoms Park, Centennial Park, and the Tennessee State Capitol (and dropping by Sweet 16th after for a one-to-go biscuit sandwich and dog treat). On the weekends, we ventured out a bit more like to Leiper’s Fork, an old historic town with art galleries and antique shops, or Arrington Vineyards for the amazing views and wine.

Pinewood Social might be one of the coolest places ever. It’s a restaurant, lounge, bar, and bowling alley all wrapped up into one. What’s even more interesting is its hidden location—more than once we wondered if we were in the right area. But we kept going and were met with a very good time. We definitely recommend trying the fried broccoli! 

Finally, when in Rome, right?! We couldn’t not take a guitar lesson in Music City, so we stopped by Ellen Britton Guitar and had so much fun. She’s taught many of the big names over her years in the Nashville music scene and is as cool as can be. Whether you’re wanting to learn a song for a show or pick up a fun hobby, Ellen is an absolute gem. 

Other activities we enjoyed in Nashville were playing games at Game Point Cafe, shopping on 12 South, and exploring Marathon Village. More often than not, we just wanted to get out and see the lush greenery. Nashville is beautiful enough that just “taking a drive” is an activity. I never really understood when I heard country songs say that before, but I guess I just never lived in Nashville. 

Our Nashville takeaways: Will we call Music City home?

Over homemade biscuits and strawberry lemon jam, we ended our stint in Nashville by talking about our favorite times and whether we had found our “soul city” here. At the end of the day, Nashville is somewhere that absolutely could feel like home. It has a welcoming community, there is plenty of great food, it’s beautiful, and we had a lot of fun everywhere we went. We even made some friends here (human and pup)!

TL;DR: It’s definitely a contender. 

There are still a lot more cities we want to explore. While we haven’t seen enough places yet to know for sure, it’s possible we just might just be coming back to Nashville. 

Looking for a new place to call home?

If you’re on a journey to find your own “soul city,” Landing offers fully furnished apartments in over 375 cities throughout the U.S., all with flexible lease terms that let you live there for as long as it takes to decide whether it’s the right place for you—and easy transfers that let you move on to the next city on your terms. Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you, and browse our apartments today! 

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.