Go, Nashville, North America, USA

The Two Faces of Nashville

nashville skylineMost people traveling to Nashville have no idea what to expect.  It’s an city that is taking on a big city urban style while still being throughly rooted in the a tremendous independent culture.  Both of the parts should be checked out by anyone traveling to the city, but to really understand the difference, you’ve got to see the two ways this city works.  No where is the urban and indie contrast more pronounced when comparing the two popular neighborhoods of 12 South and the Gulch.

12 South

This is an ever evolving strip of independent, local, or grass-roots chain stores between Wedgewood Ave and Gale Ave .  Along this road, you’ll find amazing local restaurants like Mafioso’s (my favorite pizza in the world) and Las Palletas (a local store that mixes Mexican flare into homemade popsicles) standing next to cozy coffee houses like the Frothy Monkey and BBQ joins.  The warm friendly vibe welcomes visitors year round and the regular crowd of innovators and independent thinkers keeps the tone hip and fresh.  More convenient than driving all over East Nashville, stopping here is one of the best ways to experience the thriving spirit of local Nashville.

The Gulch

On the other side of hip in Nashville, the gulch represents the city’s urban side complete with expensive cocktails and high-rise living.  The area is polished and upscale, while still holding onto a touch of Nashville’s grass-roots side.  Here you’ll find some more upscale independent restaurants fit for an impressive night out, but you’ll also find local flair like 2 Old Hippies and the environmentally conscious grocery store The Turnip Truck (which is a bit more brand conscious than the farmers market that might be visited by a 12 South native).  To put a button on the feeling here, it’s home to Nashville’s first Urban Outfitters, and that is the kind of feel the area exudes.