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We all love to shop locally whenever possible, but there's something so fun about taking a trip to a different city to find unique sources for holiday gifts. Last week, my beau and I made a quick trip to Nashville. He had a conference to attend, and I had some Christmas shopping to tackle. My shopping expedition had two rules: find some unique presents, and stay far, far away from the tourist mayhem at Opryland. With those rules in mind, I've created the HerKentucky Guide to Holiday Shopping in Nashville.
For the Prepster:
Vineyard Vines is always a fun place to start! The bright, preppy prints draw you in, and you're likely to hear an upbeat Jimmy Buffett Christmas Carol playing in the background! (Hill Center Green Hills 4015 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 105 Nashville, Tennessee 37215)
For the College Student:
Every time I walk in Bink's Outfitters, I'm equally jealous and relieved that this store didn't exist during my sorority girl days. With their amazing selection of Hunter boots, Yeti Coolers, The North Face, and all the other things that you "really really need" for barn dances and field parties, I'd have spent all my time and money there. Hopefully, you can show more restraint whilst shopping for the college kid or outdoorsy person on your list. (Hill Center Green Hills 4017 Hillsboro Pike Suite 304, Nashville, TN 37215)
For the Southern Belle:
Draper James is, of course, Reese Witherspoon's new lifestyle brand. The flagship store in Reese's hometown of Nashville is simply adorable, featuring clothing, accessories, and small gifts with a sassy, feminine flair. The sales associates are so friendly and helpful, and they offer you a cup of sweet tea when you enter the store! (2608 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204)
For the Hipster:
Just down the street from Draper James are two simply enchanting local stores that will fulfill your favorite hipster's requirements for simple, well-made, unique, and thought-provoking items. White's Mercantile, owned by Hank Williams Jr's daughter Holly, is a fabulous, dog-friendly general store chock-full of amazing, quirky dry goods. (2908 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204)
Imogene and Willie is known for high-end denim, but also features unique clothing, gifts, and more. Founded by Henderson, KY natives Carrie and Matt Eddmenson in an old filling station, Imogene + Willie offers unique, hip presents for the coolest people on your shopping list.(2908 12th Ave South, Nashville, TN 37204)
For Just About Everyone:
If you have to go to the mall for holiday shopping, you might as well go to a really, really good mall. The Mall at Green Hills features a fabulous mix of mall standards like Macy's and Williams-Sonoma and luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and David Yurman. Nordstrom alone is worth the trip.
Happy Shopping, y'all! Where do you shop for your holiday gifts?
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Good Morning, Big Blue Nation!
Whether you were out too late in the Gulch or SoBro celebrating the Wildcats' win or simply enjoying the other SEC games at Bridgestone Arena, chances are, you had an exciting night. Now, you sure could use some breakfast. Here are a few of my Music City favorites.
If you don't want to move your car, 417 Union is the way to go. We discovered this little gem during one of the Cats' Music City Bowl appearances. It's open at 7, you can probably walk there from your hotel, and you'll get a good, hearty meal without a huge crowd or a lot of pretension. Think: a really good version of your hometown diner.
If you want to drive all the way across town, the Loveless Cafe is calling your name. There's a reason that this motel-turned-diner is a quintessential Nashville Must-See. The food is, quite simply, that good. Try to rustle up a party of four for the all-you-can-eat breakfast, and don't miss the biscuits, country ham, or hash brown casserole!
If you want to stand in line with Vandy students, tourists, and everybody else under the sun, don't miss the Pancake Pantry. The food is fantastic, don't get me wrong. I particularly love the French toast and the sweet potato pancakes. But, weekend lines often reach Disney World proportions, and you may just miss the game while you're waiting on your carb fix.
If you want to have a great brunch experience, walk across the street from Pancake Pantry to Provence. There, you'll find amazing food, an unbelievable dessert selection, and the best cup of coffee in town. (Always, always order the Dancing Goats coffee. I could write a love sonnet to that blend.)
If you want to feel artsy, head over to East Nashville's Marche Artisan Foods. The food is incredible. The atmosphere is laid-back. And even the simplest fare -- a PB&J or a cup of hot chocolate -- is transformed into a work of art.
Finally, if you want to make me extra jealous, make plans for Sunday Chicken & Waffles at Hattie B's. The hot chicken is amazing, and I hear that, on Sundays, they serve it up with waffles and PBR. You really can't miss that.
Enjoy your breakfast and your visit to NashVegas! Go Cats!!