Emily Thomas is an outdoor explorer with roots in both Seattle and San Diego, who loves creating stories through her adventures. She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Nashville as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, make sure you’re following Alaska Airlines on Instagram.
By Emily Thomas, Seattle, Washington
Nashville, also known as “Nowville” truly is the place to be. Coming to Nashville as Alaska Airlines’ “Weekend Wanderer,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. The city remains traditionally southern, but has a young, vibrant, hip culture with a passion for pursuing a multitude of creative fields.
After visiting, if I had to choose one thing that characterizes Nashville, it would be the people. Everyone I encountered was so warm and welcoming. I even made new friends just waiting outside of the airport. When I told people I was here visiting, they instantly had a list of “must-sees” and restaurants I should try. Some even invited me to join them for dinner, which I gladly accepted. Although the Nashville metropolitan area has more than 1.7 million people, it is not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and see someone you know. When you’re in Nashville, you’re family.
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Nashville dining is a special experience in the sense that there are so many unique restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else. Some of my favorites included Biscuit Love, The Soda Parlor and The Crying Wolf. I fell in love with some of the interior design as each place had such intricate details making it unique. People in Nashville love to hang out at coffee shops such as Crema, Barista Parlor and Frothy Monkey (a favorite of Taylor Swift, which means you can’t go wrong.)
For the full Nashville experience, I had to visit Broadway where all the bars and live music are. Downtown Nashville is small. Most attractions are within a walkable half mile of each other. The streets were filled with live music, and for every bar I entered I heard a free concert. Nashvillians love their music, and celebrate it with every opportunity they get.
While I was in Nashville, I made it a point to ask people what their favorite things about the city are. Some mentioned the music, some mentioned the weather and some mentioned the downtown atmosphere. But, almost unanimously, those I interviewed mentioned the people who live there. I was excited to visit a city with a sense of community and strong history. I’m thrilled about Alaska’s new nonstop flight, because I plan on visiting again in the future.