Music City has a lot more to offer than iconic biscuits, beer, and cowboy boots. Here's how to take advantage of Nashville's up-and-coming wellness scene.
It's pretty much a given that you can experience live music just about any night of the week in Nashville, but the city's burgeoning wellness scene may surprise you. You can just as easily swap out a hot chicken leg for a Kimchi roll, and kick off your cowboy boots to throw on some leggings and sneakers (the boots will come in handy later for an obligatory stroll down Broadway). Here, the trendiest, healthiest hotspots Music City has to offer. (Related: Looking for something more tropical for your next adventure? Start planning your trip to Cancun.)
Where to Eat
- Bite into the best veggie burger in town at Sunflower Cafe. It's one of many vegetarian (and vegan) cafes popping up around Nashville, putting a health-conscious spin on traditional Southern comfort food.
- Avo is high on the recommendation list of Nashville native Laura Lea Goldberg, a holistic chef, who loves their clean but creative vegan options, like the whole food cocktails and fun twists on Thai. "Their Kimchi spring rolls and avocado margaritas haunt my dreams," she says.
- Nashville cuisine has much more to offer than just smoky barbecued meat. Try the new Vietnamese eatery Vui's Kitchen, which Nashville-based dietitian McKel Hill recommends for "some of the best bone broth and nutrient dense, big salads in Nashville." Hill orders the Xa Lach salad: a mix of arugula, jicama, fresh mint and cilantro, and sesame seeds, with either lemongrass tofu, lemongrass chicken, or five-spice shrimp, drizzled with a honey-citrusy dressing, and an order of summer rolls on the side. We'll have what she's having.
- For dessert (or breakfast, no judgment) head on down to one of the three locations of family-owned Five Daughters Bakery to taste—and Instagram, duh—some vegan and Paleo doughnuts, like the gluten and grain-free SunButter Chocolate Paleo Crusher. The available flavors change each month, so there's always an excuse to try something new.
Where to Work Out
- Flow to the beats of Music City at the brand new Inner Light Yoga studio. You can take anything from fast-paced Vinyasa, a "Bright Buti" yoga-tribal-dance-fusion class, or a chill cool-down class called "Luminous Restorative," all while jamming to Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Nicki Minaj.
We've got a new class! Say hello to Ignite Vivid. Maybe the idea of free flowing to music while no one is teaching doesn’t sound like kind of party you want to come to right away. Hakuna matata! This class gives you all the core postures, all the cues, and all the time to feel good while starting to move freely in your practice. The perfect place to start, this class sets you up to take on Vivid Free Flow and (yoga) party like it's 1999.⠀ ⠀ Ignite hits the sched Monday's at 6:00pm and Saturday's at Noon. Definitely plan on taking it because its filled with goodness. ⠀ ⠀ #innerlightyoganashville #pursuesweat #hustleandheart #thesweatlife #nashvilleyoga #yogaforeverybody #nashvillethebeautiful #lovewinseverytime #hakunamatata #yogaparty #followtheflow
- For another boutique fitness option, try the popular barre3. You can expect a balance between upbeat cardio, Pilates and yoga-inspired moves, and empowering isometric strength training.
Where to Relax
- For all-natural beauty and skin treatments, make a stop at Poppy & Monroe. Treat yourself to an eco-friendly, waterless mani-pedi (to conserve water of course, but also to eliminate the step of soaking, which can actually cause swelling and breakage of the nails), a natural brow tint and shaping, or if you're feeling really adventurous, a "bikini glow" exfoliating mud mask for your lady parts.
#TBT to China 3000 BCE and to one of the oldest known beauty rituals. Aristocratic women in ancient China would soak their nails overnight in a concoction of beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and dyes made from orchids and roses to color their nails. While this sounds interesting, we're glad we have easier methods to add a little color to our nails these days.
- Get there just in time for the grand opening of Lemon Laine (May 20; conveniently next to Five Daughters Bakery), which specializes in clean beauty, hair, and skin-care products. You can also mix and match your own essential oils with wine bar vibes at the shop's DIY oil bar.
Where to Explore
- You can't miss Radnor Lake State Park, which was recently named one of the best hiking spots in the Southeast by Blue Ridge Outdoors. The majority of its trails are set aside specifically for hiking and wildlife observation. Looking for Nashville's best bike trails? Hit Shelby Bottoms Greenway.
- Make sure you don't leave Nashville without stopping at Bloomsbury Farm, an extremely 'grammable' farmer's market and CSA (this summer, pick up anything from watermelon to fennel). Don't blame us if you end up planning your dream country-chic Pinterest wedding while you're there. Go for the scenery, stay for the incredibly fresh local produce.