The Gulch, Nashville: What to See & Do and Where to Eat, Drink & Stay

Cosmopolitan, chic, and oh-so-cool, The Gulch is a trendy neighborhood in Nashville where the cool kids stay and play. Home to high-end fashion boutiques, elegant hotels, and contemporary restaurants, there’s plenty of action to keep you busy in The Gulch, Nashville.

The once-abandoned industrial district is now a wonderful, walkable LEED-certified community with an intoxicating energy. It’s not all wining, dining, and shopping through – the Frist Art Museum is a fantastic place to explore, and the Mercy Lounge is the go-to for great indie, folk, and soul music. Take in some bluegrass honky tonk at The Station Inn, and don’t the famous angel wings photo op at the Nashville WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural.

Whether you’re heading to Nashville for business or leisure, make the Gulch your base and enjoy all that this funky neighborhood has to offer! Here are a few things to add to your to-do list in The Gulch, Nashville.

Why Treksplorer? Founded in 2011 by Ryan O’Rourke, Treksplorer provides travel recommendations and advice to millions of readers every year. Our content is rooted in our writers’ firsthand experiences, in-depth research, and/or collaborations with other experts and locals. Read more about our editorial policy.

What to see & do

The Station Inn

Hailed as one of the country’s best bluegrass clubs, the Station Inn holds true to the Nashville classic music scene. Hosting the greatest bluegrass, blues, roots, and Americana in the world, you might hear country one night and rock the next. There’s always an electric atmosphere with some of the genre’s best musicians as regular visitors.

The Station Inn is a tiny cinder-block holdout that’ll make you feel as if you’ve stepped into your parents’ 1970s basement. Grab a table for front house seats and sip a local craft brew while you soak up some of the best tunes in town.

Head to the club on a Sunday for the open-mic session, where you might see three generations of musicians playing at the same!

Frist Art Museum

Soak up some of Nashville’s artistic and cultural scene at the Frist Art Museum. Housed in the historic U.S. Post Office building, the Frist Art Museum hosts a variety of traveling exhibitions of local, national, and international works.

Frist Art Museum

The beautiful white marble building sets the precedent for the collections inside. Wander through stark, white-walled galleries adorned with constantly rotating displays. One of the best features of the museum is the Martin ArtQuest (MAQ) interactive gallery space.

Try your hand at different art forms, from drawing and painting to animation and textile weaving. Blow your mind at the zoetrope station and manipulate frequencies with sand on metal plates sound pattern station. It promises hours of creative fun!

Nashville WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural

Murals are an integral part of Nashville, and The Gulch is no exception. The Nashville WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural is a famous interactive mural penned by artist Kelsey Montague of a huge pair of angel wings.

Montague’s wings boast drawings of musical notes and guitars, capturing the very essence of the city. On a deeper level, the wings stand to capture the spirit of the musically creative community of Nashville and its rich musical culture.

RELATED: Top-Rated Nashville Tourist Attractions

Follow in the footsteps of Taylor Swift, who helped the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou go viral after having a photo taken with the #WhatLiftsYou mural in Nolita, New York. Stand beneath and vast wings and let the angel in you shine.

Tennessee Brew Works

When it’s time for a frosty, the Tennessee Brew Works is a great spot for kicking back with a beer, delicious food, and great live music. This laid-back brewery produces handcrafted ales that pay homage to the rich culture of Tennessee.

Sample the range of ales, beers, and IPAs that are created by the team at Tennessee Brew Works in the taproom overlooking the brewery. Good weather calls for being outside, so grab your beer and head out to the sunny, pup-friendly patio. Grab a bite to eat from the beer-centric food menu and listen to great live music.

Be sure to check out the line-up of live music for each week, as the brewery hosts a fantastic calendar of events throughout the year. It’s a great way to enjoy good beer and meet the locals!

Where to eat & drink

Wondering where to go for great food in the Gulch? You’ll find a fantastic choice of great little eateries, cozy cafés, and elegant restaurants for special occasions.

If you love biscuits, then Biscuit Love Gulch is the place to go. The café serves a menu of different dishes made with mouthwatering Southern-style buttermilk biscuits. Open for breakfast and lunch, it’s a fab spot if you are feeling peckish while walking around town.

Grab a steaming bowl of ramen with noodles, tofu, BBQ pork, and an egg at Otaku Ramen Gulch before heading out on the town. The mothership store of the franchise is on Division Street and has a full bar if you want something stronger than Boba tea.

restaurant gulch

Chicken and beer, anyone? Chicken, hot chicken, and eye-wateringly hot fried chicken are what’s on the menu at Party Fowl. Twenty local brews on tap accompany the grub, along with plenty of salads, sides, and dipping sauces.

For a cool, laid-back spot with a delicious selection of classic European cuisine, the 404 Kitchen won’t disappoint. Tuck into seasonal food like burgers, steaks, and fresh salads, and sip rare and unusual wines or a whiskey from their impressive collection.

If you prefer a traditional pub with dark corners, a bar lined with bottles, and tasty pub grub, then The Pub – Nashville is your best bet. The London-themed tavern serves brunch and lunch and has an amazing variety of Scottish Ale draughts and Bourbon. Another good place to enjoy a range of craft beer and pub grub is Hops & Crafts.

Join the cool crowd for cocktails and people-watching at L.A. Jackson. Relax in a lounge chair on the outdoor rooftop patio and soak up the spectacular views over the city while some of Nashville’s greatest DJs rock the tunes.

Think late-night, dark and intimate, fine food, stiff drinks, and great jazz, and you have Rudy’s Jazz Room. Sip classic New Orleans prohibition cocktails while you listen to some of the finest live jazz in the city.

Where to stay

The Union Station Nashville Yards

The Union Station Nashville Yards, Autograph Collection

Based in the spectacular old train station building, the Union Station Nashville Yards, Autograph Collection exudes timeless grace. You’ll be transported back to the Gilded Age with exquisite architecture, designer décor, award-winning cuisine, and five-star service. A stay at this elegant abode is a real treat!

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Nashville

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Nashville Downtown/The Gulch

Conveniently located within walking distance of the neighborhood’s highlights, the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Nashville Downtown/The Gulch makes a good base for exploring. Comfortable guest rooms have all you need, from fridges to iPod docks. Relax in a whirlpool tub and enjoy drinks at the rooftop bar against a backdrop of lovely city views.

Thompson Nashville

Thompson Nashville

Treat yourself to a splash of luxury at the Thompson Nashville. Perfect for a romantic getaway, this gorgeous hotel has beautifully appointed suites with designer furnishings and rainfall showers. Enjoy high-end facilities like a state-of-the-art fitness center and concierge services. Savor award-winning cuisine at the culinary gem Marsh House.

W Nashville

W Nashville

Adorned with music-themed artwork, the W Nashville is an eclectic and cool hotel with comfortable accommodations and top-notch amenities. Two restaurants, three bars, and a coffee shop serve delicious cuisine, and an outdoor pool and yoga lawn are perfect for unwinding. A short walk from the hotel gets you to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Grand Hyatt Nashville

Grand Hyatt Nashville

Set across the street from the Frist Art Museum, the Grand Hyatt Nashville is a sophisticated hotel with polished rooms and deluxe amenities. There are no less than seven restaurants and a rooftop bar for wining and dining, a luxury spa for pampering, and an outdoor pool for cooling off. The hotel is a short walk from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Tennessee State Museum.

Treksplorer

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

DISCLAIMER: Treksplorer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its affiliated international sites.

DISCLAIMER: You'll notice that from time to time I link out to recommended hotels/tours/products/services. If you purchase anything through these links, I'll receive a commission. It won't cost you anything extra, but it will help keep me trekkin' on and delivering more free (and unsponsored!) travel information to you. Thanks :)