Nashville is the city that provides visitors and inhabitants with an unparalleled world of access to America’s greenest parks, freshest eats, and twangiest, tune-blaring venues. Dress to impress and call that friendly passenger you met on the plane, the fellow traveler who accepted your card at baggage claim, or the bright-eyed receptionist in the lobby of your fashionable hotel. Invite that kindred spirit to join you for the a date night to remember. Nashville awaits, y’all, and we’ve rounded up the best spots to kindle new romance (or re-spark old flames).
Treat your date to an afternoon at Warner Parks. Located 9 miles south of downtown Nashville, Warner Parks — comprised of Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, both historic sites divided by Old Hickory Boulevard — includes 2684 acres of deciduous forest and green meadows. Enjoy a romantic hike on Warner Woods Trail or on Mossy Ridge Trail, and savor breathtaking views of rolling hills, winding wood streams, and old limestone walls and staircases. Stretch out on a blanket next to Willow Pond, and bask in the golden rays of a Nashville sun. Feed your date sweet spoonfuls of pomegranate seeds and liberal chunks of dark chocolate at the Indian Springs Picnic Area. Play a competitive game of hide-and-go-seek in Basswood Hollow, and belly laugh as confused passersby — perhaps skeptical of blissful young lovers and their whimsical ways — quicken their pace and avoid eye contact. Whisper sweet nothings into the wind: Bonus points if you can make ‘em rhyme! Go in for the kiss on Flag Pole Hill at sunset.
Nestled in a cozy, unassuming back alley off Music Row in Edgehill Village, Bella Napoli boasts the “Best Pizza in Nashville,” thanks to the the restaurant’s pizza-making virtuoso, chef/owner Paolo Tramontano. Like a perfectly orchestrated piece of music, the composition of each pie includes ingredients good enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand tall: dough imported directly from the Caputo Mill in Italy, beautiful, ripe tomatoes from the majestic San Marzano region, and flavorful and refreshing Mozzarella di Bufala. Start the night off with a couple fresh caprese salads (dressed with a delicious homemade balsamic vinaigrette!) and a bottle of 11 Albini Armani Organic Chardonnay. For the main course, order a Parma Pizza (fresh mozzarella, diced tomatoes, arugula topped with Parma prosciutto and parmigiano), and for dessert, indulge your tastebuds in the sublime sweetness of tiramisu. Pretend to go to the restroom and intercept the waiter on the way. Pay the whole bill, but not before ordering two double espressos. The night is young!
Half a mile from downtown Nashville, on the second story of an old and rickety brick building, the city’s hippest music lovers shuffle into the beloved Mercy Lounge. Equipped with the most state-of-the-art sound system on Cannery Row, Mercy Lounge has attracted a diverse array of acts since its founding in 2003, including The White Stripes, Beach House, Dr. Dog, and She & Him (Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward). Between sets, shoot a competitive game of pool in the cozy back bar area, or sink into some booth seating with a couple sizeable beers. Invite your date to go with you to the dance floor for a whirl. When your feet start to hurt, take a short cab ride to the nearby Courtyard By Marriott Nashville Downtown. Bid each other a good night (or perhaps a good morning) and show some gratitude to the music city for keeping the dream alive!