Chicago to New Orleans

Day 3-4: Louisville KY to Nashville TN

Louisville to Nashville

The drive began with a bit of traffic leaving Louisville and ended with a bit of traffic approaching Nashville. In between, a slow 214 miles unfolded, including two glorious entries into Tennessee (it turns out, if the GPS says something, it’s most likely right), driving on beautiful, tiny roads surrounded by lush vegetation, farms, and livestock.
And I believe I was the only person not driving a pickup in all of Tennessee.

Nashville, AKA Music City.

Music all day long, music all night long; neon lights, crowded streets, cowboy hats, leather boots, short shorts, booze, cold beers, warm whiskey all around me on Broadway. An unpleasantly humid and warm Monday night. The gigantic BBQ ribs dipped in spicy sauces I’ve had might have contributed to intensifying the perceived heat. Wearing my leather jacket was not helping either. It’s an unnecessary piece of attire, but it is required by this movie script. So be it.

The first morning off from driving, I left the craziness of downtown – already buzzing with music and booze – for a much-needed chill walk around the quieter neighborhood of Germantown, taking a break for a heartwarming, mouthwatering family-style dining experience at Monell’s: sharing table, stories and homemade southern food with other guests. A calm and relaxing morning after last night’s shenanigans before finding myself a bit discouraged back in the sinful madness of Broadway, thinking the 20-30-year-old me would have appreciated this place more.

“I guess I’m aging,” said the man in black, writing this from a honky-tonk bar, listening to some good old Johnny Cash, while sipping yet another Jack on the rocks, with no intention of going back to his motel anytime soon. The weatherman says it is about to start raining after all.

Louisville to Nashville County Road
Another beautiful county road between Louisville and Nashville

Driving from Louisville to Nashville Cheat Sheet

Accommodation in Nashville

  • Knights Inn Nashville,  99 Spring St, Nashville, TN 37207. This was my second time staying here. It’s not the fanciest accommodation you’ll ever experience, but it is clean, safe, and about a $5 to $8 Uber drive from Broadway.

Where to eat and what to see between Louisville to Nashville

  • The Storehouse, 40 Public Square, Leitchfield, KY 42754, Fancy a good coffee in the middle of nowhere?
  • Edley’s Bar-B-Que, 1004 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206. While I’m not an expert, I can say that the ribs here were absolutely great. It’s also the first place I had dinner in Nashville a few years ago, and I’m a sucker for memories.
  • Monell’s Dining & Catering, 1235 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208, This place follows the same concept as one I visited in Savannah a couple of years before. There’s no menu, and you can’t reserve a table. Food is served at pre-set times. Large communal tables seat around 10 people each, where you’ll sit next to strangers. After a few minutes’ wait, the table is covered with a feast of southern food, much like a Christmas dinner at home. The fried chicken was spectacular.
  • Butchertown Hall, 416 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208, It’s more upscale than Edley’s and offers great brisket and ribs.
  • Robert’s Western World, 416 Broadway # B, Nashville, TN 37203, a world-famous honky-tonk bar featuring great music and cheap booze.
  • Tootsies Orchid Lounge, 422 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, Another iconic honky-tonk bar, my favorite part is the downstairs area (upstairs can get a bit too rowdy). It’s a bit more intimate than Robert’s.
  • Standard Proof Whiskey Co, 219 Rep. John Lewis Way N, Nashville, TN 37219, I had a fantastic late-night whiskey tasting here, followed by a couple of free shots while chatting about music and life with the bartender.
  • TailGate Brewery Music Row, 1538 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN 37203, They offer great beer flights, and I believe there are a few of these breweries scattered around Nashville.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203, A must-visit when you’re in Nashville.
  • Johnny Cash Museum, 119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201, It was less exciting than I thought, but still worth a visit.
  • I Believe in Nashville Mural, 2702 12th Ave S Nashville, TN 37204, There are a few of these scattered around the city.

Nashville BBQ Ribs
BBQ in Nashville… Luckily I was hungry

Driving from Louisville to Nashville FAQ

How many miles are from Louisville KY to Nashville TN?

The shortest route from Louisville, KY, to Nashville, TN, is 176 miles. However, I drove for 214 miles, attempting to stay off the highway as much as possible and getting lost in the gorgeous Tennessee countryside.

How long does it take to drive from Louisville KY to Nashville TN?

The fastest route from Louisville, KY, to Nashville, TN, would take 2 and a half hours.

What’s the best thing about driving from Louisville KY to Nashville TN?

The countryside, both in Kentucky and Tennessee, is among the finest in the country. The shades of green are unreal.

What are the major attractions along the way in a road trip from Louisville KY to Nashville TN?

Again, there is no major attraction; the most beautiful part of this drive is the drive itself among fields, ranches, and the fabulous countryside. Once in Nashville, most things happen around Broadway.

What type of car is best to drive from Louisville KY to Nashville TN?

If you want to blend in, I recommend a pickup! Jokes aside, the roads are clean, and any car would be okay..

Photos and videos taken from Louisville and Nashville

I believe in Nashville murals
Iconic murals in Nashville

Louisville to Nashville County Road
The countryside between Louisville and Nashville is beautiful

Nashville Broadway
The Broadway in Nashville at night

Nashville Broadway
The Broadway in Nashville at night

Live music at Robert’s Western World

Nashville Honky Tonks Roberts
Robert’s Western World

Live music at Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Nashville Honky Tonks Tootsie
Tootsies Orchid Lounge

Walking down Broadway in Nashville

My two weeks itinerary on a Chicago to New Orleans road trip

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